“These raindrops represent the tears of the family and the community” said Councilwoman Letitia James at the start of the march commemorating the third year of the unsolved brutal murder of Chanel Petro-Nixon, a 16-year-old “A” student at Boys & Girls High School. Ms. Petro-Nixon’s body was found in a trash bag in front of 215 Kingston Avenue.
“We are calling on Mayor Bloomberg to make the case of Chanel Petro-Nixon a priority of the Police Department’s Major Case Squad “ said community activist Minister Taharka Robinson who organized and led the march.
In his remarks, Councilman Charles Barron said that while this case may be unresolved, it is not forgotten. “We will never forget what happened” said Barron who charged the City with not giving Chanel’s case the attention it would have received “if she (Chanel) were of another complexion,” adding “we will not rest until we receive justice in this case.”
That sentiment was echoed by Councilwoman James. “Until we have information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, or perpetrators of this crime, we will be out here in the rain, we will be out here in the sun, in the snow, in the fall, we will be out here marching to keep her memory alive.”
Led by Mr. Robinson and Chanel’s mother, Mrs. Lucita Petro-Nixon and Chanel’s father Garvin Nixon, the sixty or so marchers, including District Leader Olaniki Alabi, James Caldwell, president of the 77th Precinct Community Council and Daily News columnist Errol Louis, chanted “Who’s Daughter? Our Daughter!” and “If you know something, say something” as they proceeded down Harriet Ross Tubman Avenue, AKA Fulton Street to Kingston Avenue and up to the site where Chanel was found.
On arrival, Reverend Dr. Cheryl Anthony, pastor of Judah International Christian Center, led the group in prayer and Councilwoman James told them “We’re standing on sacred ground” and that they were there to “Let people know that snitching is a badge of honor. You have an obligation to snitch, particularly as it related to the death of this young angel.”
All those assembled had sympathy for the Nixons, but there was one who could empathize at a very raw level. Mrs. Robin Lyde had lost her son Benny Lyde who had been murdered on his stoop. It took two years, but his killer was found. “It’s three years and we have no answer I know it’s hard for this mother to get up in the morning. At nighttime she walks around and wonders who did this to my daughter? This has forever changed the lives of her cousins and siblings. We need to take a stand. It’s her daughter today, it’s yours tomorrow. Or your son. We did this for Benny, I’m asking that we do this for this mother.”