Friends, family and strangers hold peaceful protest in Albany following the death of Nigel Brown

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Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The death of 9-year-old Nigel Brown compelled Jamie Mathis, someone who didn’t know the child, to coordinate a protest in his honor.

“I first said peaceful protest, but I think the better word for what is going on here today is advocating for Nigel,” said Mathis.

Jamie Mathis, protest coordinator
Jamie Mathis, protest coordinator(WALB)

She said she wanted to coordinate the protest because she couldn’t have imagined if this happened to her family. Mathis said it could’ve happened to anyone.

“If that doesn’t wake the people of Albany, Georgia up and unite as a city, then nothing will,” Mathis told WALB News 10.

Mathis said she’s done pointing the finger at different people. She said it’s time for the community to take responsibility and make a change.

Concerned citizens gathered to remember Nigel Brown's life and protest for justice.
Concerned citizens gathered to remember Nigel Brown's life and protest for justice.(WALB)

“We cannot leave this on the shoulders of APD (Albany Police Department) and law enforcement agencies. The people of the community, if we want things to change, then we have to be the change that we want to see — bottom line,” said Mathis.

Nigel’s family was at the protest. His Godmother Shaliyah Robinson said that to see the turnout and know a stranger coordinated the event means they have the community’s support.

Shaliyah Robinson, Nigels godmother and Shabrina Brigham, a family friend
Shaliyah Robinson, Nigels godmother and Shabrina Brigham, a family friend(WALB)

“It’s not like everyone’s just letting the case go away, everyone wants justice, so all we want is justice to be served,” said Robinson.

Robinson said they’ve been focusing on Nigel’s mom and siblings to help and support them in any way they can.

Family, friends and strangers pray at a peaceful protest asking for justice for 9-year-old Nigel Brown. If you know...

Posted by Molly Godley WALB on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

“Even when everyone’s gone and the cameras are gone, the friends that call stop, you still have family behind you that supports you every step of the way,” said Robinson.

Both Mathis and Robinson have one message for the person responsible for Nigel’s death.

Sign at a peaceful Albany protest following the death of 9-year-old Nigel Brown.
Sign at a peaceful Albany protest following the death of 9-year-old Nigel Brown.(WALB)

“God be with your soul. Even if they don’t find you, God be with your soul because that was an innocent child,” said Mathis

“Have a heart because it could be your child as well. Just speak up. It might eat them up at night knowing, even if it wasn’t intended, you took away an innocent child from his family, friends, his parents. Just speak up,” said Robinson.

Frank Wilson, who recently retired from the Albany Civil Rights Institute, was at the protest. He said this tragedy needs to send the message that all lives matter, regardless of the reason for their death.

Frank Wilson, community activist
Frank Wilson, community activist(WALB)

“If a cop had killed this young man, the streets would be filled. The fact that it was done in a drive-by manner should not matter. It should matter that a life was taken. We should really be concerned, especially because it was a kid,” said Wilson.

Wilson is hoping that Albany city leaders will put all they can into finding who was responsible. He’s hopeful others who are involved in gun violence activity will get out of that type of environment after seeing the family and they’ve been affected.

If you know anything about this case, you’re urged to call the Albany Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.

Moski Shai’keem is hosting a book signing Wednesday at 3:30, at Turtle Park. The proceeds will go directly to the Brown family. The book is: Boy of the 22nd Century Volume 1.

Many people at the protest said if the community wants to see a change, they need to be the...
Many people at the protest said if the community wants to see a change, they need to be the change.(WALB)

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