After Cedar Rapids recorded two homicides and a suspicious death in less than a week, several dozen residents met last night in a park to pray, console and encourage each other, then to march through their neighborhood. Monica Simpson is with the group Stop the Violence and she addressed the crowd before the march. “Look at your neighbor,” Simpson says. “We’re all here for the same reason. This violence has got to stop.”
Among the marchers was Denia Davis, the godmother of one of the people who was killed last week. Davis says members of the group plan to hold a march every month from here on out. “What we’re doing here, rain, sleet or snow, I’m gonna’ walk,” Davis says. She’s the godmother of 20-year-old Sierrah Simmons, who was found shot to death in a home last Wednesday.
Also killed in that incident was 22-year-old Quintrell Perkins. No arrests have been made. Among the other marchers, Michael Cosby says it was a gesture of hope.
“Every little bit helps, but shutting up ain’t never helping nothing. You know what I mean?” Cosby says. “So, we out here raising our voice about it because it’s senseless. It’s absolutely senseless.”
The group marched to the home where Sierrah and Quintrell died for a moment of silence. On Friday, the body of a Cedar Rapids woman was found in her apartment. Police call it a suspicious death. Officiers had been asked to do a welfare check and discovered 37-year-old Shanna Beyhl dead.
An autopsy is planned. Police aren’t saying how Beyhl died.
(Reporting by Jill Kasparie, KCRG, Cedar Rapids)