LANCASTER – Local organizers from The Community Action League and The AV-Nation of Islam held a press conference Friday morning to ask the public to help bring justice to the shooting death of Michael Davis.
Calling for an end to senseless violence in the Antelope Valley, the conference took place at the Sierra Villa Apartments, where the victim was gunned down on June 26 and left to die in a parking lot in the 600 block of East Avenue H-14.
Davis, 22, was shot multiple times in his upper body following a dispute with the suspect, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau. Davis apparently was upset and demanded money for veterinary care after the suspect struck and injured his dog, according to officials.
Flanked by family and supporters of the shooting victim, organizers called for the alleged gang-affiliated suspect to surrender himself to authorities.
“Michael Davis should not have been gunned down the way he was gunned down,” Ansar “Stan” Muhammad, co-founder of the Community Action League, told the public. “This man was not only a beautiful soul, but he had a child, and he had a child on the way. And he was seeking justice for his dog. So, we’re asking for this perpetrator to turn himself in immediately.”
TCAL co-founder Pharaoh Mitchell called out the suspect at-large, saying, “You were scared enough and coward enough to pick up a gun and shoot somebody, but you are not man enough to turn yourself in and face the consequences of taking this young brother’s life.”
Mitchell addressed members of the community, imploring them to stop targeting themselves with ongoing violence.
“What you don’t understand is that the more you cause chaos in our community, the more our community of people – African-American and Latino community members and others – are being targeted because of your stupidity,” Mitchell said. “All of our lives matter.”
Yolanda Davis, the mother of the shooting victim, gathered enough strength to speak to the community about her son, saying, “My son was not a gang-banger, he was no thug, and he did not run in the streets. He did not deserve to be gunned down like this. It’s not fair to his son, and it’s not fair to his unborn baby.”
Deba Harper, CEO and founder of CHAMP Community Foundation, said she, as a mother, understands how devastating it is to lose a child to senseless violence, but finds it difficult to comprehend how people fail to value lives within their own community.
“This young brother, Michael Davis, had sympathy and compassion for his community, caring about the life of his dog – and for another person that looks like him, to have the audacity to shoot him down like a dog – how do we expect anyone else to feel that black lives matter if we don’t feel that black lives matter?”
Ansar Muhammad agreed, saying, “We cannot point our finger at nobody – we’re doing this to ourselves.”
To bring attention to the ongoing issue of violence in the community, he announced he is helping to organize locals to participate in the 20th Anniversary gathering of the Million Man March this October in Washington D.C.
But closer to home, Muhammad said his organization is calling on local officials to “invest some of our important tax dollars into a citywide community-based intervention initiative that will focus on critical areas of our community.”
The initiative being proposed by the group includes a “safe passage of services” program that would offer professional conflict mediation and resolution services in communities throughout the Antelope Valley.
The group is also asking that trained community intervention workers be available 24 hours a day to “communicate with individuals to prevent the escalation of violence in personal conflicts,” he said.
The suspect in Davis’ shooting death is described by witnesses as a black male in his early 20s, possibly driving a black pickup truck, according to Sheriff’s officials.
The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact them at 323-890-5500. Tipsters may remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or text the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637).
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