WASHINGTON (WRIC) — Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) spoke on the floor of the U.S. House Friday about the death of Markiya Dickson, a Chesterfield student killed by a stray bullet in May during a picnic at a Richmond park. Dickson was 9.
Spanberger, Virginia’s 7th Congressional District representative, addressed the House floor to honor Dickson and “to continue her own efforts to advance gun safety legislation in the House,” according to her spokesperson.
Dickson’s parents, Mark Whitfield and Ciara Dickson, were both in attendance during Spanberger’s speech. The congresswoman addressed their “extraordinary strength, determination, and courage,” in the wake of Dickson’s death.
You can read Spanberger’s full speech here:
I rise today to tell the story of Markiya Simone Dickson. She was an energetic, kind, and spunky nine-year old girl.
She was a beloved daughter and an adored sister. She was in 3rd grade, and she was preparing to sing a Justin Bieber song in her school’s upcoming talent show.
On May 26, 2019, Markiya and her family attended a community picnic in Richmond, Virginia. And from across the park, a random gunshot went through the crowd—and this senseless, cruel act of gun violence took Markiya’s life.
During and since this unimaginable time, Markiya’s parents—Mark Whitfield and Ciara Dickson—have demonstrated extraordinary strength, determination, and courage.
They continue fighting to ensure Markiya’s name and her beautiful life are never forgotten. And they stand by their steadfast wish to fight back against gun violence in our communities—so that other parents will never have to experience the pain they feel following Markiya’s death.
Markiya was beloved by those who knew her, and the Richmond, Virginia community stands with her family at this time.
Together, we share her story, we mourn her death, and we promise to fight for a safer community for all children.Rep. Spanberger on Friday (D-Va.)
Watch Congresswoman Spanberger’s full speech here.
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