NIAGARA, NY (MB) — Buffalo is a ‘City of Good Neighbors’ and the Parks household within the city of Niagara takes that title to coronary heart. On Sunday, the household hosted the neighborhood for a reunion occasion after being victims of a hate crime simply weeks in the past.
Johnny Parks has lived on John Street within the city of Niagara for 10 years. He is lively in the neighborhood as his father, grandfather, former soccer coach and present soccer referee. He waves to all of the neighbors he passes by and sometimes asks how they’re doing. He and his household had been shocked to see racist slurs painted on a yard fence simply days after the taking pictures at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.
“When it first happened, I was so upset and shocked. I didn’t know what to do,” mentioned Jazlyn Parks, daughter of Johnny Parks.
The household was much more stunned to search out out that the perpetrator was a neighbor. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office arrested 60-year-old Howard Murphy and charged him with a second diploma offense. The cost has been upgraded to a hate crime as a result of nature of the assault. A courtroom date has not been set for the case, based on Parks. He had an order to guard the bereaved, however Park mentioned thus far there was no such order.
On Sunday, the Parks household hosted a neighborhood reconciliation occasion to convey their neighbors collectively, saying hate is homeless on the streets.
“We wanted to give back to our community and show that we are a city and a town of great people,” mentioned Johnny Parks.
GoFundMe raised practically $6,000 for his or her household, however they needed to make use of that cash for others. Some of them had been used for Sunday afternoon celebrations, which included DJs, meals, drive-by parades and shirts designed by native firms. Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti additionally confirmed help.
After their story was printed, the neighborhood supported the Parks household.
“Home Depot showed up and replaced the fence panels,” Johnny Parks mentioned. “We got Carrabbas to come and provide food and everything else. During the week we were trying to get over that fence, someone else donated food for us.”
He needed to host this occasion to have fun those that are on the facet of his household utilizing a few of Go Fund Me’s donations. Parks mentioned one other portion of the cash raised was used to purchase a doorbell digicam for one more neighbor’s home.
“If they know there are cameras in the area, maybe the next person won’t have to go through what we’ve been through,” Johnny continued.
Going ahead, the Parks household says training begins. Both Johnny and Jazlyn plan to advise the Niagara-Wheatfield college district the place Johnny coached soccer on the best way to train younger folks, college and workers to like and respect others.
“Teach peace and love. Don’t be afraid to say hello to someone. All you have to do is always be kind,” mentioned Jazlyn. “You never know what someone is going through, so a kind gesture can be a huge help.”
Johnny mentioned GoFundMe nonetheless had funds left, thanking everybody who supported his household throughout this troublesome time. He plans to make use of the cash to assist others. The Parks household is the epitome of what good neighbors imply.
Tara Lynch A local of Buffalo joined the Minus Better staff as a reporter in 2022. She beforehand labored at Minus Better’s sister station, WETM in Elmira, NY. You can comply with and comply with Tara on Facebook. Twitter Find extra of her work right here.