ATLANTA — One year after an infamous holiday-weekend of violence in Atlanta left five people shot to death, the family of one of the victims is seeking to honor her and the others by working to end violent crime.
Erica Robinson’s big sister, Tiffany, said it may be just a dream. But Monday she began trying to make it come true.
Tiffany Robinson organized a memorial service at the spot in Downtown Atlanta where Erica was killed -- the intersection of Auburn Ave. and Jesse Hill, Jr. Drive, NE.
She invited local state politicians, and candidates for city offices, to speak about what they are doing, and what they will do, about the rise in violent crime.
It was Saturday night, July 4, 2020 when groups of people began arguing, and then shooting at each other, following fireworks.
Photos: Remembering Erica Michelle Robinson
Erica was shot in the crossfire, along with more than dozen other innocent bystanders.
Erica died from her injuries.
So did Josh Ingram, 20.
Three other people across the city were also shot to death that holiday weekend.
Now, on July 5, 2021, Tiffany Robinson issued a call for action, at the place where Erica and Josh were killed, as drums beat for justice and peace.
Tiffany arranged for the Atlanta Ol’ Skool Drummers to march and perform in tribute, at that intersection.
Erica and Tiffany loved being in marching bands together, first at Atlanta’s Frederick Douglass High School, and then at Albany State University.
“I miss Erica so much,” Tiffany told family and friends during the service. “Erica just wanted to watch the fireworks, in her city which she loved so much.”
Tiffany wants voters to consider which candidates to support based on the candidates’ anti-crime platforms, in this fall’s city elections.
“I ask the city officials who are here today to protect our streets, and protect our loved ones,” Tiffany said at the outdoor service. “This is the time now for us to speak up. And it’s important, because we have innocent people dying, for no reason, for no reason, at all.”
Tiffany Robinson invited office holders and candidates to the service, to speak about their anti-crime plans. She heard commitments from them to come up with plans, but no specifics, yet.
A candidate for City Council President, Courtney English, said that behind every statistic about violent crime is a family, hurting.
“The police can’t do it alone,” English said. “It’s going to take everybody out here to make this thing right... We owe it to the memory of all those that we have lost to make this right and make this city safe again. We’re going to fight together, we’re going to work together, and we’re going to get justice for Erica together.”
Atlanta police have arrested one person, so far, and charged him in Erica’s and Josh’s homicides.
Deputy Police Chief Timothy Peek said at the service that investigators will not rest until all those who are responsible for the shootings are arrested.
“Just know for absolute certainty that we’re not going to stop working Erica’s case until we bring everything to a successful resolution, period.”
Peek again urged people who might have tips and knowledge of what happened and who was involved to call Atlanta police, or contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta to leave anonymous tips and qualify for a reward at 404-577-TIPS (404-577-8477).
Tiffany said that this day was just the first day of putting her grief and anger to work.
“It’s about not always being angry,” she said, “because, sometimes being angry you can’t always find a solution. And we have to, at least, start somewhere and find a solution to the problem, in a positive manner. To get justice, you know? We have to start somewhere."
"Everybody has a dream and the dream always starts small, you have a lot of people that are trying to knock your dream down, but I’m not going to knock mine down. It’s definitely a start," she explained. "It hasn’t been easy. But it’s a start. So, whatever I need to do to push her name and to push for action, and stopping violence, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to be an advocate for my sister, Erica Robinson.”