The family of slain 16-year-old Zachary James Whittington spoke alongside other community members Tuesday night at a press conference in the hopes of stopping youth violence in the Sacramento community.
The news conference was held at Liberty Towers Church. Family, church and community members were in attendance to support those speaking.
Sherrie Whittington, Zachary’s mother, said that he was “such a blessing” and “quite a character.” Sherrie said that her son’s death was not the end of Zachary’s story.
“I must come to grips of the reality that I am now a part of this club that nobody signed up for – it’s called mothers of murdered children. I’m here today to start the rest of my life,” she said. “I will live with guilt that I could’ve done something more, that I could’ve helped him more. But one thing I will never doubt is my love for him.”
Zachary’s brother, George, said that Zachary’s death was undeserved in a short yet poignantly emotional speech.
“That was my baby brother, and I just want justice for him,” George Whittington said. “They took my brother, they took my baby’s uncle away from him.”
Healing 5 President and activist Nicole Clavo, whose own son was killed in 2015, closed by asking the community to look after all children – not just our own – in order to stop youth violence in the Sacramento community.
“This is not just an isolated murder, this is happening throughout Sacramento County,” Clavo said. “Until we think as one, become as one, and take responsibility for all of those that are around us – children near and far – and think of them as our own, this will continue to happen and this will not be the last press conference.”