Memorial plaque unveiled to remember the Beatties Ford Four
Jamaa Cassell, Christopher Gleaton, Kelly Miller and Dairyon Stevenson were killed on June 22, 2020.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As the two-year anniversary of the Beatties Ford mass shooting approaches, the community is hoping to never forget the names of those killed on that tragic day.
On Friday, members of the community and the families of Jamaa Cassell, Christopher Gleaton, Kelly Miller and Dairyon Stevenson gathered at the corner of Beatties Ford Road and Catherine Simmons Avenue for a dedication by Charlotte’s Alternatives to Violence program.
Everyone reflected on the day, honored the fathers in attendance, and remembered the four killed during the mass shooting on June 22, 2020.
“We’re standing here because our children have been killed and yet no one has told us who was part of the process,” Mecklenburg County commissioner Vilma Leake said.
“What happened here was tragic. Anytime you lose lives it’s tragic,” Charlotte councilman Malcolm Graham said.
For Kenny Stevenson (Dairyon) and Charles Billings (Jamaa), this Father’s Day will be one they reflect on the old times.
“He had the chance to go deep sea fishing for the first time. It was a wonderful, wonderful weekend,” Kenny Stevenson said, referring to Father’s Day in 2020. “We will think about all the great memories and we will celebrate.”
Billings said he will think about family.
“I can go back to where we had our immediate family...he cooked. That’s the way I want to remember him,” he said.
The Beatties Ford Four will permanently be remembered after a memorial plaque was unveiled Friday afternoon by Graham and Leake.
“It’s actually a blessing,” Stevenson said. “So grateful they are keeping the legacy and names alive so maybe one day we will have justice.”
“Something is better than nothing. Two years we hadn’t got nothing,” Billings said. “So in order for us to get this, look what we had to go through to even get that.”
It’s a journey this time next year, they hope they won’t have to repeat.
“I want to say I can leave and go and visit my son, sit down and talk with my son and say, ‘they did their job. I promise you, they did their job,’” Billings said.
That would mean an arrest.
Holding those who pulled the trigger accountable.
“I challenge every elected official in this community to do a better job, including myself,” Leake said. “Hold someone accountable for this behavior, it did not just happen.”
CMPD announced Friday that the FBI added an additional $30,000 to go toward the reward money in this case, bringing the total reward to $47,300.
No arrests have been made.
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