Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Monument proposed for local victims of violence

  • Follow Crime & courts

A monument is in the works to honor the lives of innocent people killed by violence in Augusta.



This year has been particularly violent, with 34 homicides to date. There were 27 homicides in 2009 and 23 in 2008. But those are just numbers.

Two local ministers want to erect a memorial wall as a visual reminder of the long-lasting effect of violence in the community.

"It's a call to accept the rules of society," said the Rev. Christopher Waters. "You can disagree without violence. There are better ways to resolve conflict."

Plans are up in the air, including an exact design and where to erect the monument. But some of the criteria have been determined, and a private donor has committed to funding much of the project.

The Rev. Larry Fryer said because the homicides have occurred around the city, the monument should be centrally located. He pictures a marble wall similar to those used to commemorate the lives of service members, paired perhaps with a fountain or a seating area for families to reflect.

He has contacted city leaders about the project and plans a presentation to commissioners soon. He expects the monument to be placed on public property.

Some of the deaths this year and in the past were connected to drug deals or the victims had long criminal histories. Fryer said the memorial is reserved for innocent victims who are not to blame for their deaths.

Waters recently held a "Stop the Violence" march with his congregation at Thankful Baptist Church, on the corner of Walker and Third streets. His church ordered paper fans with the names of 29 homicide victims on them, but by the time of the rally three more people had died.

Families will not move to this area if it has a reputation for violence and neither will new businesses, he said. That robs everyone of tax dollars, employment and other economic benefits, Waters said.

Fryer said the wall would send a message from the grave:

"Our lives were taken in vain. We don't need any more bloodshed."

Comments (49) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
marlboroman152
0
Points
marlboroman152 11/16/10 - 03:26 am
0
0
what a crock. Why erect a

what a crock. Why erect a monument to innocent victims when the law should be punishing the guilty. Erecting this monument would recognize the guilty and give "street" credit to them. Considering the fact a convicted felon has a statue on Broad Street this makes perfect sense. Wake up Augusta your city is being evacuated for safer places with better police protection. The crime rate isn't solely the police's fault but the citizens who allow criminal activity in the neighborhoods.

TeamLoser
1
Points
TeamLoser 11/16/10 - 06:15 am
0
0
Maybe we can name the new

Maybe we can name the new baseball stadium in honor of them.

Boo-Hoo
0
Points
Boo-Hoo 11/16/10 - 06:20 am
0
0
With all due respect, this is

With all due respect, this is focusing attention on the wrong thing. The focus should be on the society that fosters the criminals that perpetrate these crimes and the system that should punish them and protect the rest of us. And beyond that, who would be the judge as to who is qualified victim?

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 11/16/10 - 07:38 am
0
0
A great statement that will

A great statement that will make an impact on visitors and potential investors. Forget it. Ill bet countryman is all behind this lol.

trishN
0
Points
trishN 11/16/10 - 08:09 am
0
0
No, no, and no again!!!

No, no, and no again!!!

snoopdawg99
0
Points
snoopdawg99 11/16/10 - 08:12 am
0
0
Who is to say they are all

Who is to say they are all innocent victims. Some of these were drug deals gone bad that is an innocent victim.. NOT!! glorify the bad guys?
not with taxpayer money. let them build something like this at the Regency Mall private Money On private land.

Suzy Q
1
Points
Suzy Q 11/16/10 - 08:37 am
0
0
If they make a monument,

If they make a monument, they'd better make it really heavy or it will wind up stolen like the memorial statue that was recently recovered.

Oh yeah...no copper on it either. Wouldn't last 10 minutes after it was put in place.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 11/16/10 - 10:19 am
0
0
Not a very practical

Not a very practical idea,,,Perhaps these Pastors should be condemening these acts of violence from the pulpit...should be standing downtown with a bull horn berating the thugs on the corners...going house to house and lecturing deadbeat parents....calling out the names of the thugs and condemening them everyday......................

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/16/10 - 10:27 am
0
0
How about they hunker down

How about they hunker down and take a totally different direction. Go out into the community & preach family values, work ethic, personal responsibility and try to help their community rise from the ashes instead.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 11/16/10 - 10:30 am
0
0
I want to add that their

I want to add that their hearts are in the right place but I believe it's better to stop it before it happens rather than deal with the aftermath.

Riverman1
93633
Points
Riverman1 11/16/10 - 11:02 am
0
0
It's a noble attempt if

It's a noble attempt if poorly thought out. It does show you how horrendous crime has become in the old city area.

itsallright
0
Points
itsallright 11/16/10 - 11:08 am
0
0
Let's see, $10,000 from

Let's see, $10,000 from taxpayers to complete a "study" for the best site, $50,0000 to erect a monument for the victims. This would include the "victims" that were drug running, gun toting thugs themselves. I THINK NOT!!!! The only real victims would number very few.

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 11/16/10 - 11:48 am
0
0
I cannot even believe this is

I cannot even believe this is being considered by anyone...anyone...PLEASE THINK...dedicate some street lights w/name plaques on them, or do the same on CCTV cameras, or establish a grant/foundation to support local police...ALL would be more effective for the community long term!!

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 11/16/10 - 11:54 am
0
0
I appreciate their efforts;

I appreciate their efforts; sometimes they seem to be the only ones actually trying. However, I agree that they might want to re-think this one.

Little Lamb
49030
Points
Little Lamb 11/16/10 - 11:56 am
0
0
The Rev. Larry Fryer

The Rev. Larry Fryer said:

The memorial is reserved for innocent victims who are not to blame for their deaths.

Oh, boy. Now we'll have to name a committee to meet and vote on who is really innocent. I'm thinking the memorial will be kind of like the Vietnam Memorial on the Washington Mall, in that names will continue to be added. The committee will have to set up bylaws about what qualifications it takes to be on the committee, what constitutes a quorum, will just a simple majority qualify to be included on the memorial, or will it take a "super" majority? Will there be an appeals process if someone is denied inclusion on the memorial?

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 11/16/10 - 01:25 pm
0
0
The monument is being paid

The monument is being paid for mostly by private investment. I agree the innocent victims are a small number. I don't have a problem with building the monument... Maybe it will impact the lives of the teenagers and young adults living in Augusta.

I think the chronicle needs to check their stats... According to the Sherrif's office.
2009-25 homicides
2008-19
2007-25
2006-18

Farnsworth
0
Points
Farnsworth 11/16/10 - 12:34 pm
0
0
Yeah and countyman this year

Yeah and countyman this year in 2010 we've had 34 murders and the year isn't over yet. Get off this "Augusta isn't crime ridden" stance you've been on. Our homicide rate has steadily increased year after year since 2006. It's getting worse not better. We aren't living in the Mayberry you seem to think we are living in...

JackBootedThug
0
Points
JackBootedThug 11/16/10 - 12:35 pm
0
0
If the right Reverends Waters

If the right Reverends Waters and Frier want to find private funds for this project, I say go for it, but keep your hands out of my pockets (via my tax money).

Westside Liberal
12
Points
Westside Liberal 11/16/10 - 12:47 pm
0
0
Have these two Ministers Lost

Have these two Ministers Lost Their Ever Loving Minds. Maybe they need to get off their collective rear ends and quit focusing on the problem and start focusing on a Solution or at least a means to a solution. Building a memorial to those who succumbed to violence will not stop it. We need leaders not preachers who advocate feel good monuments to our pain without resolution

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 11/16/10 - 12:52 pm
0
0
The idea is noble, but I

The idea is noble, but I don't think it should be the primary focus here. If anything, honor the victims by supporting the efforts of the RCSO to catch those responsible. Then, support the efforts of the DA to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law (no plea bargains). As for street credit for murderous thugs, well, start running ads featuring victims' families and even the murderers' families. Those ads should let the public know exactly how mothers feel when their children are killed, or when their children hurt them by killing someone else and end up being locked up for life. The entire thing needs to be humanized to counter any possible street credit.

Rolling Eyes
247
Points
Rolling Eyes 11/16/10 - 01:04 pm
0
0
So where do the good

So where do the good ministers plan to begin the list of murder victims? From the first one in our recorded history just pick a year out of their hats? Who gets to be 'honored' and who gets left out and how will the city deal with the squabbles that will surely come about from families of the excluded ones if such a monument is created.

Consider what visitors to our town would think if they saw such a memorial dedicated to murder victims and seeing dozens upon dozens of names. The smart ones would lock their car doors, put the pedal to the metal and never come back!

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 11/16/10 - 01:03 pm
0
0
Who decides who is an

Who decides who is an INNOCENT victim? Are they innocent because they weren't involved in a drug deal gone bad? Are they innocent in a gang related shooting if they are in a gang but just standing outside their house? Most of the murders that happen in Richmond County have underlying crimes associated to the "victim". If they made sure that those "victims" weren't included then they would only have to add the names of two or three people a year.

I think if you ask the Chamber of Commerce their thoughts they would say it's a bad idea to have something up to be seen every day that tells those visiting Augusta just how violent a place it can be. How many businesses will want to move to Augusta with that looming reminder?

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 11/16/10 - 01:23 pm
0
0
Farnsworth...''Our homicide

Farnsworth...''Our homicide rate has steadily increased year after year since 2006''.

Uh? According to the Sheriff's office it hasn't. There were 6 less homicides in 2008 compared to 2007. The violent crime rate decreased in 2009 compared to 2008 also..

2009-25 homicides
2008-19
2007-25
2006-18

The FBI violent crime rankings. You need to get off this'' Augusta is crime ridden'' stance you've been on. Augusta is a much safer place to live than the majority of comparable cities.

1. Madison, WI 228.2
2. Des Moines, IA 275.3
3. Spokane, WA 377.2
4. Huntsville, AL 405.5
5. Augusta, GA 415.1
6. Savannah, GA 428.5
7. Macon, GA 440.3
8. Durham, NC 442.7
9.Trenton, NJ 457.9
10. Greensboro 479.2
11. Knoxville, TN 494.4
12. Winston-Salem, NC 510.6
13. Columbus, GA 521.5
14. Toldeo, OH 557.4
15. Chattanooga, TN 589.9
16. Charleston, SC 616.3
17. Wichita, KS 642.3
18. Baton Rouge, LA 697.3
19. Mobile, AL 724.8
20. Columbia, SC 760.9
21. Tallahassee, FL 766.8

http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_06.html

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 11/27/10 - 02:18 pm
0
0
*

*

boredinaug
97
Points
boredinaug 11/16/10 - 01:26 pm
0
0
A monument like this will no

A monument like this will no doubt create issues (as other posters have mentioned) concerning WHO is actually innocent enough to be on this wall. Oh, and I agree with Rolling Eyes...what in the world will visitors think when they see this? Will it be highlighted as a "place to visit" while in Augusta on travel brochures? Building a monument like this is glorifying what should be our city's shame.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 11/16/10 - 01:38 pm
0
0
instead of a coat drive maybe

instead of a coat drive maybe augustas poor need a bullet proof vest drive

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 11/16/10 - 01:38 pm
0
0
it's truly amazing these
Unpublished

it's truly amazing these so-called "reverends" run to the local gov't for funding to build such monuments, but have very little trouble securing funds build large churches that sit in front of most gov't housing projects. why don't all the revernds meet in front of these large churches that are close to the housing projects(for example-beulah grove, that sits next to cherry tree crossing) and establish daily marching thru the projects educating the residents on going out and getting a job and be productive members of society to get off welfare, get rid of the "no-good" and sorry men or "babies daddies" in their lives. that will make a bigger impact than a monument to the victims

Riverman1
93633
Points
Riverman1 11/16/10 - 01:51 pm
0
0
By ignoring the tremendous

By ignoring the tremendous crime in the downtown area we are doing nothing to fix it.

KingJames
11
Points
KingJames 11/16/10 - 01:51 pm
0
0
Lifelong, though I disagree

Lifelong, though I disagree with the monument, please read the article again. The funding is supposed to be mostly private, and most of that is supposed to come from "a private donor" who "has committed to funding much of the project." I agree with everything else you said, though.

Riverman1
93633
Points
Riverman1 11/16/10 - 01:58 pm
0
0
What Countyman is reporting

What Countyman is reporting is the statistics for Burke, Columbia, McDuffie, and Richmond Counties, GA and Aiken and Edgefield Counties, SC COMBINED. Click on his link. That skews the numbers. The "safe" counties contribute to the population, but not the crime.

As I've said before, if you only count the population of the old city prior to consolidation in 1996 and the murders (and other violent crime) committed there, you will find it is the most dangerous "city" in the nation.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs