KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Families gathered outside the City County Building in Knoxville Monday evening to honor their loved ones lost to homicide.
Regina King attended the event, to honor her niece Chaka Sigh, who was murdered more than two years ago.
“Nobody deserves their life to be taken away unless it’s God’s plan. I don’t think that was the case and I just want justice for my niece,” King said.
Aside from the pain and grief Sigh’s family has experienced, they are also left without answers.
“Still today, they do not know who did it. I’m just basically here to support all the other victim’s families who’s lost loved ones,” King said. “Unfortunately in my case, we haven’t gotten justice yet, so I’m going to be here and be out here doing whatever I can until we get justice for my niece’s murder.”
Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen read names of victims being added to the brick memorial, and those already on it. She said it’s important to raise public awareness about what the families of victims go through.
“When a homicide happens, often it’s in the news, or when the trial comes up, it’s in the news again, but the families of these homicide victims have to live with that loss day after day after day forever,” Allen said.
Working in law enforcement, she said it’s their mission to do what they can for these families.
“It’s our job as prosecutors to hold those offenders accountable, to take them to trial, to bring them before the citizens of Knox County and let them be found guilty and removed from our society. Even though a conviction in a homicide doesn’t really bring back the person that’s been lost, it’s a small bit of closure for the families in these cases,” she said.
King said being around other families who’ve been through what she has is a bittersweet feeling.
“It’s a tearful day for me because it brings back the remembrance, it’s like a constant reminder, to see that I’m not the only one going through this, there’s others that are going through this, so we can support each other, love on each other, knowing that we’ve been through this and we can get through this with each other’s support,” she said.
Knoxville Police Chief Paul Noel also spoke at the event.
“It’s my promise that KPD will work diligently to speak for homicide victims, to honor their humanity, and to help their families get the closure they deserve. We will not forget the lives that were lost,” he said.
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Joan Berry, founder of HOPE for Victims, hosted the event. Monday also marked the release of her book, “The Johnia Berry Story: My Journey for Justice for Johnia.” She founded HOPE for Victims after her daughter was murdered in 2004.