In August, a 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death by a teenage girl.
According to Naima’s mother, Joy, who saw the proceedings from afar on Monday. The 16-year-old girl accepted a plea bargain, pleading guilty to manslaughter rather than facing first-degree murder charges.
“It feels like a punch in the gut. Even though we knew going into this that there was going to be a plea,” said Joy Liggon.
According to police, Naima and many other girls stopped at the McDonald’s on 14th Street Northwest after leaving a party. Back in the car, the defendant and another girl got into a dispute over sweet and sour sauce. That dispute escalated into an altercation outside the automobile, during which the defendant stabbed Naima twice.
Liggon claims that the dipping sauce debate has overshadowed her daughter’s death.
“This whole image of Naima fighting over sweet and sour sauce was not true. “I don’t want her death politicized or reduced to a packet of sweet and sour sauce,” she added. “Naima was not trying to start a fight. She was attempting to break up a quarrel between two other persons.”
Mother and father of a girl killed in a dipping sauce dispute in DC discuss their daughter and bereavement.
In court, a video of the altercation was shown. According to the defendant’s attorneys, the stabbing was in self-defense.
Liggon, on the other hand, was not convinced. She wanted the case to go to trial.
“I saw the video, and I knew it was not self-defense. You can clearly see in that video what happened,” she explained. “And I don’t know which stab wound led to Naima’s death but that second stab wound was very much intentional from what I saw so it just looks like there’s a pretty solid case here.”
The defendant, a 16-year-old girl, faces incarceration in a juvenile detention institution until she reaches the age of 21.
“It just doesn’t feel fair, I just keep coming back to that, it doesn’t feel fair,” she added.
The punishment, according to the family, is insufficient.
“I feel like if you do the crime, you ought to do the necessary time,” said Marc Gallo Foster, Naima’s uncle. “That’s the problem in our city. These young people know that even if they commit a crime or do something they’re not going to spend anything past their 21 birthday. So, it’s a free game out here. They’re running wild in our city.”
The family would like to see district laws changed to allow for lengthier sentences for minor criminals.
While they work to make that happen, they intend to establish a nonprofit or foundation to link other families with resources so that their children do not wind up in Naima’s circumstance.
Meanwhile, Liggon and her brother will continue to commemorate and remember Naima on a daily basis.
“Naima was light, she was very bubbly, she was your typical 16-year-old,” said her mother. “She liked to hang out with friends, she liked to dance, she played basketball, she was involved in church. She was just a pretty amazing kid.”
“She was the light of the party, she had a great sense of humor,” said Foster. “She would keep her uncle on his toes.”
The defendant will be sentenced in court on January 3.
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