On Tuesday, October 11th, hundreds of community members packed the street outside the Save Our Streets Crown Heights office, united to honor the memory of Lavon “Boo” Walker. People shared their memories of Lavon and called for his legacy to live on through continued efforts to end gun violence. The vigil was covered by News 12 and PIX 11. Additionally, Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation attended and reflected on his blog:
“The vigil felt like a combination of memorial service and rally. There were calls for justice — but “the right way.” There were appeals to support Lavon’s family. Most of all, there were pleas to honor Lavon’s legacy by continuing the work he dedicated the last several years of his life to — combating violence on the streets of Brooklyn. Cries of “Stop Shooting Start Living” drowned out other noises on the block and echoed out into the neighborhood.”
David Gaskin, S.O.S. Crown Heights Program Manager and Tiffany Murray, S.O.S. Bed-Stuy Program Manager facilitated the speaking portion of the event as many of Lavon’s friends, family, and former participants spoke about his life and the difference he made in the lives of many others. Gaskin affirmed the work and community change that Lavon “Boo” Walker made in his life, saying, “He was able to reach hundreds of people. This was Lavon’s mindset – ‘If I can reach that one, I’ll work through that one to get to the rest of the people.'” Aaron Jones, former S.O.S. staff member and current Violence Interrupter Supervisor with GMAAC echoed that idea, sharing, “I would not be here if it wasn’t for ‘Boo.’ He came to me and said, ‘We gotta chill out here.’ He showed me a different way. He brought me here. I met all these good people that really got to me, and then I took it to the next level.'” Derick Scott, a founding member of S.O.S. and now the Program Manager for Operation HOOD explained, “Lavon was like no other. He would get people that were likely to shoot or get shot because of their high risk activity and help them create alternatives.”
Marlon Peterson, who also worked with Lavon at S.O.S. spoke to the crowd saying, “He cared. He loved us. That’s what love looks like in public…Lavon showed us how to create what we want. When you see young brothers for whatever affiliation they are in, don’t push them away because you are pushing away a Lavon. When you walk past them you are walking past potential Lavons. We must see every person in our community as a creator like Lavon was.”
The evening closed with prayers and a moment of silence while everyone held up candles and photos of Lavon. A large photo display of Lavon was filled with comments from the community and given to the family to take home.
Donations are being collected to support Lavon’s family and two sons, Lavon Jr. and Matthew. To give, go here.
Viewings and the Funeral Service will take place on October 16th and 17th.