The mum of a popular teenager tragically shot dead today led a march through Liverpool as families called for an end to gun and knife crime.
Kajdijah Sonko, whose teenage son Yusuf was killed in Toxteth, was backed by supporters of all ages as she marched from Toxteth to the city centre.
The protest came five months after his death – a period that has seen no-one charged over his murder and other Merseyside families left devastated by gun and stabbing attacks.
Starting in Tiber Square – just yards from the spot where Yusuf was killed – the march drew the backing of a passionate crowd.
This included city boxing inspiration Natasha Jonas . Chanting for an end to gun and knife crime – and calling for “justice for Yusuf” – Kajdijah led children, teenagers, mums and dads from the Toxteth community into the city centre.
The march ended on the steps of Lime Street station where Kajdijah; Yusuf’s dad, Papa; and Ms Jonas were among those to give poignant speeches.
Ms Jonas, who represented Team GB at the London Olympics, told the crowd: “Too many of our young people are dying through senseless violence. They are not getting their chances and opportunities to shine and be the best they can be – and everyone has got the opportunity to do and be great.
“Liverpool, as a city, is known up and down the country for supporting our own, for standing up for what we believe in and for bringing about change.
“There has never been a more important time than there is now… I listened to Kajdijah have an interview earlier and I broke down.
“As a mother to a mother, as leaders of this community, as people of this city, we need to support her in her quest to get justice for her son but also support the campaign and get guns and knives off our streets.”
Recent weeks have seen a series of devastating incidents on Merseyside.
Since the death of Yusuf, who is not thought to have been the intended target of the shooting that killed him, James Meadows , Tommy Grace , Sam Cook and Adam Ellison have been fatally shot or stabbed.
Speaking on Lime Street, Mr Sonko urged anyone with information about Yusuf’s murder to come forward and said: “There will never be justice. Until I find out who killed my son, I will not rest.
“I am not talking about revenge. I am very angry and upset. I ask myself everyday the same question – What have I done wrong to achieve this?”
He added: “I want to say thank you very much everyone and I pray to God what happened to me will not happen to another family again.
“We are not talking about just Yusuf, we are talking about the community as a whole, Liverpool as a whole.”
*Anyone with information about the murder of Yusuf or gun crime is asked to call the gun crime hotline on 0800 230 0600.
You can also report gun crime information – and details of other crimes – to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.