AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Garian Henry sits in Dyess Park off James Brown Boulevard. The future site of her first ever ‘Stop the Violence’ rally. “I’ve had a lot of people in my life to fall victim to violence."
She’s sitting just yards away from where one of her close friends, Lawonn Fluorney, was shot and killed in 2016.
Henry said Fluorney’s killer hasn’t been found. She wiped tears away as she remembered him. “My feet just couldn’t move, they wouldn’t let me move no further to get to him. but they laid him in the street. He was in the street curled up, like an animal.”
So far in 2019, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has investigated 23 homicides; 4 remain unsolved, according to Sgt. Kimberly Lee. There were 24 gun-involved homicides in 2017 and 26 in 2018, according to data from the Criminal Intelligence Division (CID) of the sheriff’s office.
These statistics renew Henry’s resolve to make a change in the community through her upcoming event.
“Keep the memories alive for them so people cannot forget that anyone can fall victim to crimes,” Henry said.
The 45-year-old mother of 4 said people tend to point the finger at law enforcement officers or lawmakers. She believes the real work starts at home. “Parents! Parents should be involved. Fathers should be involved more in their sons’ lives. Education is the key because it’s ridiculous how things are going.”
Henry, who is a domestic violence survivor, said she hopes the event will holistically help end violence in the city and help victims heal. She’s invited crime victims, an attorney and others to discuss domestic violence, kids’ online safety and more.
The Stop the Violence Rally will take place at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at Dyess Park.