SAN ANTONIO – The basketball court at Al Forge Park was transformed into a stage for an anti-child abuse rally. Organizers, state representatives and law enforcement gathered to say enough is enough.
”These children are not just a statistic -- they matter. They’re our children,” Representative for District 124 Ina Minjarez said.
“The winds of change are blowing” that’s what organizers of this child abuse call to action rally are saying this evening. @SATXPolice Chief McManus says he’s frustrated can’t fix this, that crimes like this keep happening. @ksatnews pic.twitter.com/toDwhQfXnd— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) February 13, 2022
”This isn’t just abuse, this...this was straight up murder,” Carrie Wilcoxson said.
For 25 years, Wilcoxson has worked as a child abuse prevention advocate.
Hearing about the alleged beatings and treatment of both Danilo and Mercedes inspired her to organize this rally, to show the community the winds of change are blowing.
“We really need to be come back to the table and work smarter on how we’re examining our state department, our child welfare system,” Wilcoxson said.
In Mercedes’ case, SAPD Chief William McManus says both Child Protective Services and his department were involved yet there was still a failure to protect the little girl. It’s leaving him at a loss on a solution to this heartbreaking problem.
”We say enough is enough over and over again but apparently it, you know, it just doesn’t stop. And I don’t know how to change. I don’t know how we change people’s behavior to make them stop,” Chief McManus said.
Mercedes’ family held her photos and cried as the community lifted their hands to pray for the lives ended by violence, praying for the winds to truly bring change.
“Horrible, horrible tragedy with that little girl and that little boy prior to her,” McManus said.
One of the biggest messages shared -- the community needs to step up and help children in need.
Also, if you see something, say something. A call for intervention could save a life.