from The Telegraph (Alton, IL local news paper):
Some were on foot, in wheelchairs, in vehicles or on motorcycles, with police cars at the front and back of the line. They proudly displayed signs and chanted as they journeyed up the hills of Sering Avenue.
The group of nearly 30 people had gathered to honor 29-year-old Dorothy Latrice Dixon, who died from her injuries after being shot with a pellet gun, beaten and scalded over several weeks’ time. She died in January. Dixon, who had moved to Alton from Quincy, Ill., was six months pregnant and developmentally disabled.
Six people, including two minors, face nine counts each in Madison County Circuit Court in Dixon’s death. One of the people facing charges was Dixon’s caregiver, who also had the authority to cash Dixon’s disability checks. Authorities believe money sparked the abuse.
Dixon suffered her injuries inside her home at 2957 Hillcrest Ave., where she lived with five of the six people responsible for her injuries. A May 14 Madison County coroner’s jury ruled the deaths of Dixon and her unborn son as homicides. Dixon also had a 1-year-old son, who was placed in protective custody with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She was unmarried.
Dixon’s death hit close to home for the people that gathered Saturday, most of whom are disabled or know someone who is. Members of Chicago-based group Feminist Response in Disability Activism (FRIDA) organized the memorial, procession and moment of silence at Dixon’s former home. FRIDA is a “group of radicalized women with disabilities” who represent themselves.
The group organized at IMPACT Inc., 2735 E. Broadway, a “self-help, advocacy organization” for people with disabilities. Attendees sat in a large circle, where several people shared poems, stories and their thoughts about Dixon and other disabled people suffering from abuse. They talked about people they knew and mourned for Dixon. One woman commented that disabled people, particularly women, are invisible in society.
The group marched and drove to Dixon’s old home on Hillcrest. The current homeowners – Jessie Sr. and Robbin Hicks, and son Jessie Jr., 13 – walked outside to greet the mob of people who stopped in front of their house. Their 12-year-old daughter, McKayla, was not there. The family welcomed the group and participated in the moment of silence.