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Hundreds mourn Quamari Barnes at Capital City Academy

UNITY: The crowd outside Quamari's school

HUNDREDS PACKED the gateway and roadway at Capital City Academy in north west London on Sunday afternoon (January 29) to pay tribute to 15-year-old Quamari Barnes who was murdered last week.

A post-mortem examination on Wednesday gave the cause of death as a haemorrhage and stab wound to the chest.


SOLACE: Pastor Michael Francis speaks to the gathering

Many of those who came out to celebrate Barnes' life also used the platform to denounce violence among youths, whilst calling for more youth centres and other avenues that will enhance better living.

Barnes' sister Piera, in showing her appreciation remarked that her brother was an angel on Earth:

" ...today she (their mother) said to me, 'don't you know that we were living with an Angel?' - I was a bit confused but now I understand why when I see all the people here today. It makes me happy".

Divulging more about the teenager she added,

"When I think about my brother I get upset and want to cry but because he was such a funny person every time tears come to my eyes I have to laugh because of the things he would do; the things he would say - he was such an amazing person.


SHARING: Quamari Barnes' sister Lavina

"I don't know any 15 year-old that could cook a Sunday dinner like my brother, he made the perfect rice and it was fluffy. He could make a good red velvet cake. I said to him, 'Whichever girl you get when you are older, she will be lucky as so much man cannot cook, but he could cook and do so many things that most 15 year-olds can't do.

"He is in peace now and I am so happy."

She also emphasised that their mother wanted her music-loving son to be remembered for how strong he was.

The deceased was highlighted as a 'good boy' who was humble loved everybody in his family.

"He was a special boy, he wasn't just anybody so this sort of thing needs to stop", one speaker noted.

CALL TO ACTION: Dawn Butler

Among the throng the were echoes of the need for more youth centres, more youth programmes and unity.

MP Dawn Butler called for more community action to addresses the issues faced:

"I want you to feel the power of community; I need you to feel the power you have here today where you stand side by side with strangers because it is that power that is going to change our community and determine what's next ..."

One teacher who addressed the crowd called on everyone to introduce themselves and their children to those beside them and to adopt such habits after leaving the protest to achieve greater community spirit.


MOTHERS MEET: (Foreground) An elder lady encourages communication between the generations, whilst Quamari Barnes' grandmother, Lovers Rock singer Sylvia Tella smiles and looks on (background right)

As a series of vigils roll on, parents were urged to stop being afraid of their children and to check their rooms for weapons. One grandmother noted that she wasn't afraid to stop the young men on the streets and 'tell them good morning' and demand that they pull up their pants. She implied that such action is the way to go to develop values in the youths.

A 15-year-old has been charged with murder and appeared before the Willesden Youth Court last Friday.

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