Led by the Rev. Willie Phillips, more than 50 residents gathered in front of the Foxy Lady Lounge Saturday to voice concerns on an AK-47 assault rifle attack that killed Shannon “Scooter” Fields Jr. and wounded another man.
“The community heard the out cry that it’s time for change,” said Phillips, president of Winterfield on the Move Against Drugs. “They came out to be apart of change. This is the step in the right direction in bringing this community together.”
The protest at 3023 Victory Drive in Columbus came just seven weeks after Phillips led a similar march around Club Majestic where 24-year-old Charles Foster was killed on Jan. 1. Since that march, Columbus Council has revoked the liquor license at the nightclub and taken the first step to declare the location a public nuisance.
At the strip club, Fields was gunned down about 2 a.m. Wednesday when a gunman fired multiple shots that also injured Lamar Cash, 25. Phillips called on the mayor to make sure the nightclubs in south Columbus are staffed with security just as the downtown establishments.
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“We are are tired of our young people being gunned down in these nightclubs,” Phillips said. “They need to be shut down. It’s going to take citizens to stand up and say enough is enough. That’s why we are here today to say enough is enough.”
Sheena Ard, Fields’ aunt, described her nephew as a young man she helped raised while their families lived nearby in Smith Station, Ala. “We were pretty close,” said Ard who now lives in Fairfax, Va., but still has a son living in the area. “My house is here and their house is there. All the kids grew up together. I’m very close. I changed plenty of diapers.”
Referring to Fields as “Scooter,” Ard noted that her nephew was acquitted of a murder on Decatur Court in 2011 but he always respected her.
“He never disrespected me,” she said. “He didn’t listen and he liked the streets a little bit. He and his daddy had it out about that, but he was always respectful.”
Ard said she is really concerned about Columbus and gun violence. “It is almost getting like Chicago,” she said. “It sounds like a little Chicago. I don’t know if anybody cares because it black on black.”
Ard had a chance to meet with Jessie Foster, the mother of Charles Foster. She heard about the protest and came from Georgetown, Ga.
“This don’t make any sense,” Jessie said. “It’s just sad. We’ve got to wake up. Our young people need to wake up and smell the coffee because of the fact that they are our future.”