HOUSTON, Texas – A Texas community has set an example for the nation in their peaceful gatherings responding to the senseless execution of a peace officer who lived and worked in the neighborhood. Thousands of people have been respectfully gathering at the gas station where Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was murdered on August 29th.
Goforth was shot execution-style at a neighborhood Chevron station in northwest Houston. The officer was in uniform and was putting gas in his patrol car. Witnesses told Breitbart Texas that the shooter shot the deputy in the back of the head and in the back. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said the deputy was shot 15 times at close range. As reported by Breitbart Texas, 30-year-old Shannon Miles, has been charged with capital murder of the peace officer. Miles lived less than one mile down the road from the Chevron station.
The Houston-area community has honored the officer with many peaceful gatherings during the week and a day after his death. There has been an outpouring of support for the deputy, and for all law enforcement officers and their families. People have come from all over the city, the state, and other states, to pay their respects.
Eight days after his murder on a Saturday night, people were still at the gas station to honor the slain officer and to pray for all peace officers.
Amy Lasko, one of the organizers and volunteers at the memorial site told Breitbart Texas, “It is amazing that the community has come together in this way to support Deputy Goforth and other law enforcement officers.” She said that “people of all races, professions, one-percenters, gangsters, black, white, Asian, have come to pay their respects and to thank our officers.”
Lasko has lived in the neighborhood for 32 years and has been there every day for the week following the murder. She said that the entire community has come forward to volunteer but that there has been a core group of about 15-20 volunteers.
Lasko attended Deputy Goforth’s funeral on Friday but stood vigil over the memorial site for 24 hours straight when deputies took off to mourn and honor the deputy.
Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal told Breitbart Texas, “It is nice to see the unity, the bond, they are creating.” He said the group closes in prayer every day.
Deputy Dhaliwal said the community volunteers are challenging neighbors to talk to each other. He said this helps to fight crimes in communities. The effort is called #KnowYourNeighbor.
Another volunteer, Linzi Jackson said she came by to pay her respects, and realized she wanted to do more.
She said the memorial site will be winding down soon but added, “The community has not finished grieving.”
Jackson said “It has been a beautiful thing to see the community come together. I think it is an example for the nation, what we need to do, what is the right direction.” She concluded, “It’s the way it should be.”
Amy Lasko added, “People from Amarillo, Waller County (Texas), New York, Chicago, all over the nation – we want them to see what we are doing.”
One night after Goforth was executed at the Chevron station, over a thousand people gathered at the site to memorialize the man who was apparently murdered simply because he wore a police uniform, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
Thousands more quietly and peacefully marched through the neighborhood the following night.
More than $200,000 has been raised for the Goforth family by people volunteering at the Chevron station. Almost $300,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe account online. More than 4,200 people joined in contributing through this account. Almost half a million dollars has been raised in all for the Goforth family.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2