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Vigil Held in Honor of Cleveland Murder Victim

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Author: Timothy C. Ervin

Release Date: Apr 19, 2017

The “senselessness” of gun violence was addressed during a student-led vigil on April 19.


Alabama State University's Student Government Association held a vigil outside the Dunn-Oliver Acadome to honor Cleveland murder victim, Robert Godwin, Sr.

Godwin, 74, was shot and killed on Sunday, April 16, as he walked home near Interstate 90 in Cleveland. Steve Stephens posted video of the shooting on Facebook, catching the attention of the nation. Stephens killed himself on yesterday after a police chase in Pennsylvania.

The victim's cousin, Waynetta Callen, is an ASU theatre student. She and her brother attended the ASU event.

Dr. Darryn Moten, professor of history and Political Science at ASU, offered words of encouragement to the victim’s family and added that gun violence in the United States is too common.

“In 2010, 31,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of gun violence,” Moten said. “I really think we should have vigils more often to remind all of us of the senselessness of these murders. I really believe, in this moment of sadness for the Godwin family, we need to think about how we, as a collective community, can stop these senseless killings because it impacts all of us.”

SGA President Shane Parks was attending an out-of-state conference at the time of the vigil but said the event had the full support of the student leadership and was coordinated by SGA senator, Chayning Jenkins, one of the event speakers.

“We felt that it was important to show support for Waynetta Callen, a fellow Hornet, whose family was so deeply affected by this tragedy,” said Parks. “It is also important that the issue of gun violence be highlighted and that all of us do all that we can to stem the tide of senseless killings in our neighborhoods and our country as a whole.”

Other speakers for the vigil included Marion Brock, coordinator of ASU’s Counseling Center, and ASU student Cameron Jenkins.

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