KANSAS CITY, Kan. — As Kansas City’s homicide rate grows to unprecedented heights, anti-violence groups like AdHoc Group Against Crime continue to fight the deadly trend.
But AdHoc president Damon Daniel says the group can’t inspire change alone.
“I think we have to look at violence as a public health issue, and what I’ve been telling people is that we have to really look at Kansas City — the KC metro is like a body, right? And there’s parts of our body that have illnesses that have spread,” Daniel said.
Daniel and his team continue to support victims’ families, including the loved ones of Sir-Antonio Brown, the 6-year-old KCK boy who died after being shot outside his home.
“You have a lot of people who’ve been hurt, a lot of people who are seeking justice, they have not had justice, there is a cycle of violence that they’re trapped inside of — it’s generational for many,” Daniel said.
For the Brown family, justice means sharing Sir-Antonio’s story and encouraging the community to come together.
“Justice is actually getting our own out here on the streets and cleaning up our community because he didn’t deserve what happened to him,” said Shynesha Hill, godmother of Sir-Antonio.
Hill says her family grew up with gun violence, but her godson’s death has taken away her family’s sense of security.
“If we’re not outside watching our kids, we don’t even let them come out, which is taking away from their childhood, and it’s just not okay with summer being here,” she said. “That’s a big worry of ours, and it needs to change.”
Hill and Ad Hoc are working toward such change.
A march honoring the life of Sir-Antonio will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 2, at Klamm Park in KCK. The family is asking for people all across Kansas City to join in the effort of keeping streets safe for everyone.
“People are becoming so desensitized to life, to human life,” Hill said. “That they don’t care that they’re taking people away from their families, they don’t care about the aftermath.”
KSHB reached out to Crime Stoppers to see if there has been an increase in tips this year.
From Jan.1 to May 30, Crime Stoppers reports 1,518 tips were received. During the same time frame in 2022, the group received 1,175 tips.
Additionally, the KCPD Board of Police Commissioners has approved 12 monetary rewards thus far in 2023 for tips that resulted in arrests.