Protect our community and our women

Reported by: Shawn Lanier
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Updated: 6/14 11:22 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) A small group gathered in Alton Park this afternoon to have a fundraiser and to show support for Francis Smith who was murdered in her home last Sunday morning.

While gang violence is a problem here in Chattanooga, there may be another one that's just as important and that's the violence against women.

Last week, there was the strangulation of Inez Burney and the shooting death of Francis Smith.

This fundraiser for Francis served as a backdrop to a growing problem. They were helping out the family financially and calling on the community to step up.

"With all of the women that's been lost, and as men we have to respect and protect our women," said organizer and community activist Kevin Muhammad.

Muhammad wanted to use this event to attempt to reach out to everyone.

"[We want] to let them know that we feel their pain their suffering and their sorrow and we will do anything that we can to relieve some of that,” he added.

He wants to relieve the pain from the family by asking the community to put their arms around those who are hurting the most.

Co-organizer Latoya Holloman echoes that sentiment.

"It's going to take us to help rebuild the community,” said Holloman.

Both Holloman and Muhammad look at the community as an extension everyone's individual family and said it's time we treat them that way.

"We definitely need to show sisterhood, brotherhood, and stand as one to help make our community better,” said Muhammad.

"So when we lose a member of our community whether or not they're biological or not, they are our brother's and sisters,” said Holloman.

They believe this is the way that everyone can prevent the pain some families feel.

"So we got to bring the family love back together because it's only when family is structured properly that we can begin to heal our communities,” Muhammad added.

All the money they raised will go toward the funeral arrangement for Francis Smith. They hope they can get the attention of people in the community before it's too late.

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