A WALK TO SAY ‘NEVER AGAIN’
Residents March To Honor Slain Sunnyside Resident
Led by City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, over a hundred residents walked along 43rd Avenue from 51st to 42nd Street to honor the memory of Lou Rispoli, who was fatally beaten on Oct. 20,and died five days later. The three men believed to be responsible for the crime are still at large, and a $24,000 reward is being offered for any information that could lead to their arrest.
At John Downing Park in Woodside, Van Bramer—joined by representatives from the New York City Anti-Violence Project and Make the Road NewYork as well as local leaders, members of Community Board 2, Rispoli’s husband Danyal Lawson and Rispoli’s family and friends— congregated to begin the vigil.
He would address the crowd, let- ting them know that Rispoli’s murder was “not acceptable, today or ever. Ever.”
“Today, we march to say ‘never again,’” he added. “Today, we march to say ‘we’ll never forget.’”
Nicholle Bittlingmeyer, a friend of Rispoli’s and the choir director at Mary Queen of Angels Church, sang “Amazing Grace,” after which the 10-block march began.
It ended at 43rd Avenue and 42nd Street, near the building at 41-00 43rd Ave. where the late night attack took place.
It was there that Lawson, Rispoli’s partner of over 32 years, read a prepared statement, in his first remarks since the attack.
“I’ve been robbed of this amazing man,” he told the crowd. “His friends have been robbed of a great soul, and this neighborhood has been robbed of this special man.”
“He never felt afraid to walk the streets here, at any time. No one should feel afraid to walk these streets at any time, no matter who they are,” he added.
Van Bramer would later echo this sentiment by telling the crowd that “what happened to Lou should never happen to anyone.”
Residents then left their candles in front of a makeshift memorial to Rispoli in front of the building near where the crime took place, leaving them there to burn through the night in his memory.