‘He was treated like he was nothing’ | Mother of gun violence victim speaks at Toledo City Council meeting – WTOL


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Debbie Brinkley, the mother of Martitus Holloway, wants TPD to start building more relationships with people in the community.

TOLEDO, Ohio — There were a lot of emotions at Wednesday's Toledo City Council meeting as a mother voiced what she experienced after her son was shot and killed earlier this year. 

"I did everything as a mother to prevent this from happening. But yet my son was a Black man that was killed and he was treated like he was nothing," said Debbie Brinkley, the mother of Martitus Holloway. 

For the first time during a council meeting, Brinkley spoke her mind. 

Holloway, her only son was shot and killed in late January in west Toledo. 

And to this day, the mother says she has yet to hear anything from a Toledo police officer.  

"Did we drop the ball on that? And for her to say there in that meeting that she has yet to be contacted by the police and her son was killed, that's on us. We've got to do better," said Cerssandra McPherson, a Toledo city council member.

Brinkley and McPherson grew up together in Toledo. 

After today's meeting, they say the reality is gun violence can happen to anyone. 

"My son was not in a gang. They went to Deveaux Junior High School together so they had been knowing each other since junior high school. They were friends, quote-unquote. But I'm not sure what happened on that day," Brinkley said of the man who shot her son.

Brinkley is sad police have not reached out to her. She and McPherson say that could be the first step in building trust.

"We've got to let the police department know that we're having these large events. And then we gotta get the police out to just ride through, walk through, Ride their bikes through, so that the community can feel safe," said McPherson. 

And also build relationships with people in the community. 

"If you go into the neighborhood and you're just riding by and say, 'hello,' you know? Just 'I'm just coming by wanting to say hello.' That's how you build relationships with a person, before something happens," said Brinkley. 

WTOL also spoke to the family of 74-year-old John Toyer, an Army veteran who was shot and killed while stopping for a snack at a central Toledo gas station.

They say these incidents are really upsetting and they pray it stops.

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