KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The family of Donnie Sanders, 47, who was killed by a Kansas City Police Department officer in March are upset after their memorial was uprooted and removed.
At one time, the memorial located on 52nd and Wabash, featured candles, flowers and stuffed animals. But since last week, only dirt and rocks remain.
“I just don’t understand why, it’s been here the whole time, then all of a sudden, it’s gone,” said Donnie Sander’s sister, Youlanda Sanders. “To me, that took a part of me. That’s all I had of my brother was to be able to come over here and see him.”
“That is a significant piece to not only the community, but to the family,” said Anton Washington of Creative Innovative Entrepreneurs Non-profit. Washington says he was moved by Sander’s story and knew he wanted to help.
So he’s raising money for for an official memorial, that will one day replace what’s missing. “The purpose of the memorial, it will be a plaque, or engraved stone with his face, or engraved stone with his name on it, with decorative rocks,” said Washington.
He says it’s not just about the memorial, but it will raise awareness about the case, get more community involvement, and encourage people to be a voice.
“They’ll try to overlook it, put in on the back shelf and say this police officer was in the right for protecting his life,” said Washington, as he motivated family members and supporters Saturday afternoon.
According to police, they were following Sanders during a traffic stop. They say he raised his arm, like he had a weapon, and the officer fired.
It was later determined Sanders was unarmed.
The family says after 6 months they still don’t have answers. “No answers. Nothing. Still waiting,” said Sanders.
The memorial is one thing that gives them peace. “This basically is all I feel like we got left,” said Sanders
The new replacement plaque is estimated to cost around $1,600 dollars.
Washington has started a GoFundMe to help raise the necessary funds.
They hope to have the new memorial by September.