UGA Vigil: Hundreds Mourn Laken Riley

University of Georgia students gather to pay tribute to Laken Riley at the Tate Plaza on c
Nell Carroll/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Hundreds of UGA students gathered on Thursday to mourn the murder of Laken Riley along with the death of Wyatt Banks, a UGA freshman who reportedly died by suicide.

“In a sea of hundreds of people, not one person in the University of Georgia community was alone in their grief,” reported the Red & Black.

“Students and the campus community gathered in mourning on Monday, Feb. 26, at Tate Plaza to honor Wyatt Banks’ and Laken Riley’s lives. The vigil was jointly hosted by UGA’s Kappa Sigma fraternity and Alpha Chi Omega sorority chapters — brothers and sisters to Banks and Riley,” it added.

Riley attended UGA until transferring to Augusta University’s College of Nursing in Athens in the spring of 2023 where she made the dean’s list.

“Laken was an amazing daughter, sister, friend and overall person in general. Her love for the Lord was exemplified in every aspect of her life,” her obituary read.

A GoFundMe in Laken Riley’s honor has since received more than $125,000 in donations.

“No words can express the pain and heartache that Laken’s family and friends are experiencing,” the GoFundMe post read. “She was a wonderful friend, sister, daughter, etc. who touched the lives of everyone around her. Her infectious smile and contagious laugh lit up every room she entered.”

As Breitbart News reported, Laken Riley became yet another name in an already growing list of American citizens to have reportedly died at the hands of a migrant in the United States illegally:

On Feb. 23, 26-year-old illegal alien Jose Antonio Ibarra from Venezuela was charged with kidnapping and murdering Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley the day prior while she was out for a morning jog around the University of Georgia campus in Athens.

Before ever arriving in Athens, Ibarra had already been shielded from deportation thanks to New York’s sanctuary state policy.

Ibarra was arrested in August 2023 in New York City and charged with injuring a child under 17 years old as well as with a motor vehicle violation. The sanctuary state law ensured that Ibarra was freed from jail before ICE agents could request custody of him.

It is almost certain that if he had been handed over to ICE agents, he never would have been in Athens months later at the time of Riley’s morning jog on Feb. 22.

The Associated Press

Augusta University students, in blue, and University of Georgia students gather at the Tate Plaza on the UGA campus in Athens, GA, Feb. 26, 2024, to pay tribute to Laken Riley, a nursing student at Augusta University’s Athens campus who was found dead Thursday, Feb. 22. (Nell Carroll/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

In the wake of Laken Riley’s death, it was later revealed that Clarke County, Georgia, Sheriff John Q. Williams (D), representing Athens, said he opposed turning migrants with criminal records over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation, lamenting it promotes a “culture of fear.”

“We can’t help with a culture of fear in our community and expect the citizens to respond and help us in situations because the fact is that a lot of law enforcement is based around community support … if we are antagonizing people because they are what, undocumented or under-documented, then they’ve built that fear in them and they’re not likely to come to us not only when we need their help but when they need our help,” he previously said.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature filmEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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