Friends and family gather Saturday for a vigil to remember Ka’Sandra Wade, formerly of Larimer. The 33-year old Pittsburgh woman was fatally shot on New Years Eve by her ex-boyfriend Anthony Brown, who had a history of domestic abuse. The 51-year old Brown shot and killed himself the next day when police came to his Point Breeze home.
The vigil will also mark the formal announcement of the development of “Ka’Sandra’s Law,” a proposal intended to improve police procedure and response time regarding 911 calls.
Police and the District Attorney's office are conducting separate investigations. While a women's advocacy group has concluded police probably followed proper protocol, Maryellen Deckard, Action United’s spokesperson as well as Wade’s former co-worker, renewed a call for new police protocols to be put into place.
“There really should be some kind of law, some kind of procedure and policy about 911 calls from women where they say they need the police to come here and there’s a scuffle and the call is shut off,” she said. “I mean, what could have happened? What else could have happened, besides her abuser took the phone away from her?”
In addition, the group will announce a trust fund established to provide for Wade’s 10 year-old son, Zaire Brown.
“Ka’Sandra was part of the Action United Family, and so Zaire is everybody’s kid,” Deckard said. “And we want to make sure Zaire has a future and that his grandmother will be able to take care of him.”
Above all else however, Deckard hopes the message that comes out of this is that domestic abuse isn’t acceptable.
“It’s all about Ka’Sandra, but it’s all about also every woman that is suffering in the same living conditions as Ka’Sandra was,” Deckard said. “And it’s about that boy, and all the little kids that have to watch that abuse. The worst thing you can do is stay, because that child is getting that groove worn into their mind too.”
The vigil is scheduled for 4 pm Saturday at Action United at 5907 Penn Avenue and then attendees will process to Eastminster Presbyterian Church on North Highland Avenue.