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Family of murdered toddler not satisfied with progress of case, demands more action

5 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago Tuesday, June 08 2021 Jun 8, 2021 June 08, 2021 11:02 PM June 08, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - It's been eight days since Ja'tyri Brown was killed by a stray bullet while hanging out with her family by the pool. 

"Look at my baby, I will never hold my baby again,” Hope Provost said, holding pictures of her granddaughter.

The enormity of her pain is matched with her resolve.

"Justice is going to be served for Ja'tyri Brown, I will die trying, somebody is going to pay," Provost said.

Ja'tyri's toys and tiny shoes share space at her grandmother's house with a growing display of photos and sympathy flowers. The family gathered in the living room to watch Tuesday's police press conference, anxiously hoping news of the arrests of JT's killers might bring some comfort in their grief.

“It's a step but guess what it won't bring my baby back,” said Hope as she cried.

Her grandfather George Provost said the family had higher expectations.

“Words without the works are just words. That was more upsetting to my family than helpful. We were better before we got this,” he said.

Ja'tyri Brown, who would have turned 2 in August, was killed May 31 while she was playing near the pool of the Fairway View Apartments on College Drive.  The shooting also left two men dead.

Brown, her family has said in multiple interviews with WBRZ since, was an innocent bystander – shot by a stray bullet when selfish gunmen wildly opened fire hitting Brown, the two others and vehicles parked in the complex parking lot. The family tells WBRZ, that they have no connection to either the suspects or the other victims.

JT's grandfather says the arrests are a step, but not nearly enough.

“They tell us they got a juvenile, the killers are still on the loose, so could possibly kill somebody else while trying to get away. The two other guys that they aren't giving names for. Yet they have warrants. A warrant is a paper. We need bodies in custody," George Provost said.

But law enforcement action can't be enough on its own, he said.

“I'm tired of pastors going from church to their homes, the politicians going from their offices to their luxury homes. All of them are being funded by tax dollars and our tithe and offering. So stop taking from us and help us, please, I beg,” he said, wiping away tears of hurt and frustration.

They say violence in the community is an issue and they won't stop until someone steps up to deal with it.

"If we don't get action and get our killers, police station, we are coming out. We're putting up rallies. Pastors, if you don't get out of the pulpit, we'll be in front of your churches. You're going to see us. We're coming in masses,” he said.

He said he hopes no one else has to feel pain like this again.

"You could be planning your father's funeral, your son's. Don't think it can't happen to you because I didn't think this could happen to me," Provost said.

Hope Provost said her family will follow the prosecution closely now.

"We want the maximum sentence. Anything they can give, we want it. We don't want a plea deal, no manslaughter. We are not taking anything less. We want it all,” she said.

The grandparents ask that anyone with information about the killers please "do the right thing" so their family can begin to heal.

A balloon release is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the apartment complex where the crime occurred.

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