Detroit mourns criminal justice advocate killed at gas station




  • In US
  • 2022-11-27 18:33:33Z
  • By Detroit Free Press
Kimberly Woodson speaks to crowd at vigil for Daniel Jones Saturday evening at an 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads Shell gas station.
Kimberly Woodson speaks to crowd at vigil for Daniel Jones Saturday evening at an 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads Shell gas station.  

Community members gathered to remember the life of Daniel Jones on Saturday evening at a Shell Gas Station at the corner of 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads in Detroit. Jones, a social justice activist, was shot and killed on the evening of Nov. 19 while in his car at the station.

Having been formerly incarcerated, Jones changed his life after leaving prison. He became involved in criminal justice reform and voter engagement work in Detroit and across Michigan. He served as a board member for Nation Outside, a criminal justice reform organization, and was involved with other community organizations.

"He was a beautiful soul and human being who had transformed his life and dedicated his life to helping others. He was about peace and he was about justice and fairness and equity and he is deeply, deeply missed in our community," said Darryl Woods, regional coordinator for Nation Outside.

The vigil was organized by Nation Outside with the support of groups such as Michigan Liberation, SADO, Human Rights Watch, the Voting Access for All Coalition, and Michigan United. Members of several of these organizations attended, along with friends and family of Jones.

Attendees gather to honor the life of Daniel Jones at an 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads Shell gas station Saturday evening.
Attendees gather to honor the life of Daniel Jones at an 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads Shell gas station Saturday evening.  

Jones did voter engagement work in the leadup to the 2022 election, including speaking with members of the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, said community organizer Carrie Hatcher-Kay.

Attendees lit candles, held signs and wore leis to honor Jones' life. The event began with music playing and an opening prayer by Pastor Kevin Harris. Following this, several speakers shared their memories of Jones and the impact of his work.

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"Danny was about change. He represented love and transformation. He spoke up for the underdog," said Kimberly Woodson, a fellow criminal justice advocate and formerly incarcerated individual. "He wanted the violence to stop and the same laws that he fought to change, the person who took his life on the soil that I stand on, will benefit (from). And I will fight for that person to benefit from it in honor of him because we're coming home to heal our community."

Carrie Hatcher-Kay, 55, of Ann Arbor speaks to crowd at vigil for Daniel Jones Saturday evening at an 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads Shell gas station.
Carrie Hatcher-Kay, 55, of Ann Arbor speaks to crowd at vigil for Daniel Jones Saturday evening at an 8 Mile and Greenfield Roads Shell gas station.  

Violence like Jones' killing is unacceptable and contrary to the work he invested in, said community activist Teferi Brent.

"How in the world did this beautiful brother escape penitentiary only to come home and to lose his life to a city that he fought so hard to save and transform? I've got a real problem with that," Brent said. "This brother survived MDOC (Michigan Department of Corrections) but could not survive a gas station run on 8 Mile and Greenfield."

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A Detroit Police Department vehicle was present to monitor the situation throughout the event. Toward the end of the vigil, organizers passed around paper lanterns to assemble and release. A few went off successfully, however, the DPD police officer present advised participants to put the flames out, as there was not enough wind to effectively launch the remaining lanterns.

Detroit police have not yet identified a suspect or motive in this case.

Family members, including his mother and brother, attended but chose not to speak. Woods conveyed the family's desire to get justice for their loved one.

"We're calling for justice, we're calling for answers in this case, we're calling for the mother to get the answers that she needs and her family to get the answers that they need," Woods said.

An investigation into Jones' killing remains ongoing and organizers encouraged community members to contact DPD with any information.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Vigil held for Daniel Jones after fatal Detroit gas station shooting

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