Community gathers to remember one-year anniversary of Jay Anderson's death

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 23:31:33-04

Family and friends met to remember Jay Anderson Jr. in the very spot he lost his life one year ago Friday, and a circle of support formed around his parents.

"It's important because we're not giving up," said Linda Anderson, his mom.

"I love it, just having that support like that," said Jay Anderson Sr. his dad.

A Wauwatosa police officer shot and killed the 25-year-old in Madison Park last year.  Anderson was sleeping in his car around 3 a.m. with a loaded handgun when the officer approached him.  Video showed Anderson's hand move up and down.  Police said the officer feared for his life.  He fired six times.  He was not charged.

"It wasn't fair to him to go like he did," Linda said.

"I just don't know what else there's to do, but we've got to fight and get justice is what we need to keep going for," Jay Sr. said.

Around the same time in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood, community members organized a prayer walk.  It came on the heels of this week's not-guilty verdict for the police officer who shot and killed Sylville Smith last August. His death sparked violence in this neighborhood.

"We wanted to just get as many people as we could together from as many faith groups as we could to come out and lay a circle of prayer around the park," said Pastor Lynne Hines-Levy of the Salvation Army.

"We're praying just for peace," said Cookie Taylor, a neighbor.

Back in Wauwatosa the group prayed for purpose, conviction and courage. 

"It keeps happening and the reason it keeps happening is because nothing's being done to these police officers who's killing these young men," Linda said.

Their fight isn't over.

"It ruins our whole life," Linda said.