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Chanting for justice

Anthony Lewis

Written By Sierra Jiminez

Syracuse, N.Y.—Twenty minutes. Twenty minutes was all it took for Angelik Mitchell’s life to change.

On August 15th, 2009, Anthony Lewis went downtown to the Latin American Festival in Clinton Square. Later that evening, police said there was an altercation at the festival between a group of teenage girls—and Lewis was asked to leave.

Lewis ran down South Salina Street amidst a mob of more than 200 people. As he crossed the intersection of Fayette and South Salina Street, police said he was surrounded and stabbed in the heart.

He was 20-years-old.

In twenty minutes, Mitchell lost her only son. Now, she and the rest of Lewis’ family protest on the streets where Lewis was killed.

“That day we were moving here and we stopped and went to the festival,” Mitchell said as she sat on her son’s bed in their new apartment. “We probably stayed maybe 15, 20 minutes… I had wanted him to come home with us, but he was like ‘I’m ok, I’m good. ’”

“I just wish he would have come,” Mitchell said. “I wish I would have made him. If I would have known, I would have made him.”

Mitchell said her son made an impact on almost everyone he met—including his girlfriend at the time of his death.

“It’s just hard. I didn’t think I would be here like this,” said girlfriend Ana Dourdas as she sat in his room. “I knew I would be here but I didn’t know I’d be here without him.”

“I really do miss him because I spent every day with him. I don’t know who’s gonna call me in the middle of the night. I don’t hear his ringtone anymore. And I never will. I want him to call me, I’m waiting for his phone call,” Dourdas said.

Lewis’ family said they believe his murder was an act of racial violence. And they said they know who was involved. They’ve even gone as far as to look them up on MySpace.

But police said without a witness to come forward, there’s nothing they can do.

“I feel like his life was cut short. I really do,” Mitchell said. “He wasn’t hurting anybody… I mean they all got chased because they were black.”

Sierra JiminezAnthony Lewis Vigil_1_93

Ana Dourdas kneels by her boyfriend's vigil a month after he was stabbed to death in Downtown Syracuse.

Mitchell said police have tried to stop her protesting multiple times, stating it’s time to move on. But every Tuesday and Thursday, Lewis’ support group is back out on the streets—fighting for justice.

“Were not going anywhere so they might as well just arrest the people and do what they have to do. Because we’re gonna still be here,” Mitchell said. “We’re gonna be rallying and we don’t care if the officer said we’re making people mad. So what!? I really don’t care. I’m mad because they murdered my son. If they didn’t want to be made mad, then they shouldn’t of murdered my son. I don’t care how other people feel right now. Because my son is not here. So what if I’m making people mad? So what?”

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