Prayer Vigil Held in Fort Wayne in Response to Rioting in Missouri


Published 08/18 2014 10:38AM

Updated 08/19 2014 08:08AM

With the violent protests taking place in Ferguson, a peaceful prayer vigil was held in Fort Wayne Sunday in response to the protests in Missouri.

19 year old Tavontae Jamar or "TJ" Haney was killed by Fort Wayne Police on April 27, 2013.

The NAACP and Rose Haney gathered together Sunday to pray for all police-connected-shootings.

"Hands up, Don't shoot. Hands up, Don't shoot."  That was the chant, as people gathered on the courthouse lawn to pray for justice for those involved in police related shootings. 

"Asking you Jesus, to please bless this mother and her child.  Heavenly Father, she's asking for justice."

Allen County NAACP President Rev. Saharra Bledsoe says the goal of Sunday's prayer vigil is to raise awareness of an injustice.
"Of righteousness, of peace for this mother, and for that mother in Ferguson, Missouri. I just want somebody to hear her humble cry and come to her aid."

TJ Haney's mom Rose says her son was a passenger in a car, at a traffic stop, when he died on April 27, 2013.
"The passenger and my son both got out and ran. But the police officer chose to run after my son. In the process of chasing after my son, he ended up stopping with this hands up, and the officer shot him."

Fort Wayne police say, TJ Haney pointed a weapon at them, but Rose doesn't think that happened.

But Rose Haney says she doesn't believe her son had a gun.  "I know no knowledge of a weapon. I didn't see a weapon, they didn't show me a weapon."

Stephanie Reynolds says this prayer vigil is to raise awareness for everybody. "It's about getting justice for everybody. It just ain't for TJ, this could happen to anybody's son. It could be my son, it could be your son, it could be anybody's son."

"Heavenly Father, they say they won't turn over the paperwork that she needs to go on with her legal battle."

With the rioting in Missouri, Rose explains why keeping things peaceful is so important.
"Number one, the buildings didn't do it. Hurting the buildings, and robbing places, and tearing up the community where I live is not going to be the answer."

Rose says she wants more information about her son's death.
"I feel like this officer needs to be held accountable for what they've done. If the FBI came down, and do a thorough investigation, I think we'll have a lot more answers and we can go on with our life."

Sunday's prayer vigil stirred up a lot of emotion for the family and friends of T.J. Haney.

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