March honours 16-year-old stabbing victim Jannai Dopwell Bailey
MONTREAL -- data-pm-slice="1 1 "> A group marched in Cote-des-Neiges-NDG Saturday to honour Jannai Dopwell-Bailey, a 16-year-old who was fatally stabbed last month.
The group met in front of his school, Programme Mile End, where a memorial still stands.
Bailey’s friends and family remember him as a fun and loving teenager.
“A child who loved to dance, he loved rapping, he loved his family, he loved his mom,” said Bailey’s cousin, Onica John.
His family also wants to set the record straight, and make sure people know who Bailey was.
“He wasn’t in any type of gang,” said his brother, Tyrese Dopwell-Bailey. “I know because he’s black and he has dreads, automatically the media thought that he was gang affiliated.”
“He was just a little boy. A teenager figuring out life,” he added.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with Bailey’s death and face charges of second-degree murder. One of them is 18-year-old Andrei Donet, while the other is a minor and therefore cannot be named.
Bailey’s mother says there needs to be more after school resources to prevent incidents like this one from happening in the future.
“Play basketball, play music, socialize — there’s nothing here for the youths. They are on the street,” said Charla Dopwell.
Cousin Onica John agrees.
“In Cote-des-Neiges there’s certain programs that need to be implemented to help with the young ones. Because if you leave them to just hang, they’re going eventually end up doing stuff that they’re not supposed to,” she said.
Dopwell said she met with Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante, but did not disclose any details about their interaction.
“The mayor came [to] my home and the meeting went well, and that’s all I’m going to say.”
There is hope that some good can come out of the tragedy community — but the loss will never be forgotten.
“It’s very, very sad,” said Dopwell. “I miss him. I sleep, I breathe, I eat, I think of Jannai.”