BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham community is hurt and stricken with grief, but it came together Wednesday night in honor of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney. The community vows to not let her death be in vain.
“She made us stop and check ourselves. Do you understand? Check ourselves to see if we’re doing everything we can to keep out children safe from harm. Check ourselves to see if we are truly the village we promised to be,” said Birmingham Police Department Chief Smith at a city organized vigil downtown Birmingham Wednesday afternoon.
Kamille’s brown eyes and innocent smile is etched in the minds of those who attended vigils all over Birmingham and surrounding area Wednesday, the day after Kamille’s remains were found in a landfill.
The “what if” questions for all Kamille could have been cripples many with grief.
“I’m sick. I’m angry. I’m sad. I want to take somebody’s head off because we don’t kill babies,” cried Summit Media personality Sheila Smoot.
Since Kamille’s kidnapping more than a week ago, the community set out on self organized searches, raised money and prayed for Kamille’s safe return. Although devastated by Kamille’s death, those prayers did not cease.
“Let’s come together as one. Amen, God,” prayed Apostle Wanda Stephens at a vigil in Kelly Ingram Park Wednesday night.
In East Birmingham at Patton Park, neighbors lit candles and prayed for healing, wisdom and peace at a 98.7 KISS FM and Summit Media organized vigil.
“Coming together with the knowledge that we have now that things can happen. You need to be cognizant of where your kids are at all times,” said Darryl Johnson, Program Director 98.7 Kiss FM.
“The healer is still here. Even through this, we can still be healed,” said Pastor Pisani Baldwin-Standfield of Abundant Harvest Church and Summit Media.
“I pray for peace right now in the name of Jesus, over our city. I pray for peace for the family of Kamille McKinney,” another pastor cried out.
The hurt and heartbreak of this tragedy continues to be felt in Birmingham and the nation. Our prayers are with the McKinney family and our community.