by Ken Katz
The murder of Darius Brazell on the corner of Lakeshore and Mandana on August 8 was especially poignant for a number of reasons. Like a vengeful poke in the eye, it occurred immediately adjacent to the “Know Justice, Know Peace Memorial” just down the block from homes that display “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe” banners. In addition, it occurred in the heart of the Grand Lake neighborhood, which many of us had assumed to be insulated from gun violence. More than anything it was the realization that this tragedy appears to have been totally senseless. A 55 year-old man—law-abiding and hard-working, beloved by an extended family— gunned down for no apparent reason.
Darius Brazell was laid to rest this past Friday and he leaves behind a son and three daughters. The eldest of the daughters, Darianna, recently graduated from high school with plans to attend college, while her younger sisters, Breanna and Arianna, are both into dance. Like the entire family, they are struggling to deal with the sudden loss of their father.
One of Darius’s siblings, Katrina Angel Dixon Williams, who now has custody of the youngest, Breanna, has been attempting to raise $10,000 to create a savings account designated for the future needs of Breanna and Arianna. Approximately $3,200 of that amount was raised through a GoFundMe campaign organized by a niece in the midwest, Bianca Brazell. A Facebook fundraising campaign that Katrina subsequently opened wasn’t adequately promoted and raised just $375. At our urging, she opened a new GoFundMe account yesterday and, with a little bit of help from Splash Pad News readers, we’re hoping to reach her initial goal or at least come close. Please click on this GoFundMe campaign link to donate what you can.
EDITOR’S POSTSCRIPT: To ensure that the above content was correct, we shared the text with Katrina and got effusive thanks in return. Since it speaks eloquently to the turmoil we are currently experiencing, we’re sharing the last three messages in that thread:
Katrina: Thank you, I talked with my niece who also thought what you are doing for her father and her sisters is amazing. Her words exactly! We sincerely appreciate you.Editor: Thank you, but I must say it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to all the others, who are doing so much more—not just for your family specifically, but for an entire country desperately in need of societal change.Katrina: I agree, we so much need change, it hurts so much. I pray this world gets better. I have a seven-year-old son, I don’t want him raised with Hate in his heart.