Crime victims remembered at annual Tree Lighting Ceremony - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Crime victims remembered at annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -- For many, the holidays is a time of gift giving and spending time with family, but for those who have lost a loved one to a violent crime, it's a time to reflect.  

The Attorney Generals Office held their 7th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Jackson on Monday.

The Attorney Generals office reports in 2009 more than 8,304 Mississippians were victims of violent crime with 190 victims of homicide.

Doris Weaver of Advocate/Survivors of Homicide Victims Gulf Coast Women's Center in Biloxi says often getting through the holidays is the most difficult time for family members who have lost loved ones to violent crime.

"The trauma of the violent crime forever changes the self we were before," Weaver said. "We have all been forever changed by knowing or loving victims of violent crime."

Mother Deborah Dixon shuffled through several photos of her son Broderick Dixon who was killed in 2009.

"He would always be smiling," Dixon said. "Every time you see a mirror he would always be smiling."

Dixon was 27 years old, and was killed in Birmingham by police officer Chevis Finley. Dixon's mother says there was never reason as to why her son was killed.

"The Jackson homicide came and rung my doorbell May 22nd, 2009 and let me know my son was gunned down by a police officer."

Finley was found guilty and charged with manslaughter.

However, for family members of Gail Franklin they say justice has to be served.

"It's been 4 years last month and we don't know no more than the day it happened," Franklin's mother Linda Brook said.

Brook says her daughter's home was broken into and she was gunned down. "She was outgoing, she loved people, she would help anybody," Brook said.

This ceremony is part of the Crime Victim Compensation Division of the Attorney Generals office.

Their goal is to provide financial assistance, advocacy and support to victims of violent crime and their family.

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