In August of 2000, Brenda Sexton, a police officer in the 8th Police District of Chicago was murdered in a domestic violence incident in her home. Brenda left behind five young children and five siblings along with many colleagues who were stunned at her brutal death. Fourteen years later, they have not forgotten her; the police department building where she once worked stands vacant. WINGS, in collaboration with two organizations, is now turning that building into a beautiful shelter to provide a safe haven to victims of domestic violence. To honor her memory, we are turning the vacant lot to the west of the building into a garden and play area.
The Brenda Sexton Memorial Garden will be located next to the building in a beautifully landscaped area that includes comfortable seating. The garden will provide a quiet, attractive and peaceful place for residents where they may relax and reflect. Women and their children arrive at the shelter homeless and with the anxieties of fear, uncertainty, hopelessness, and feelings of sadness and loss. The garden will serve as a refuge, a place to settle, to think, to have quiet and a sense of serenity.
Rebecca Darr receives a special gift from Robin McGraw and her foundation, When Georgia Smiled, toward The Brenda Sexton Memorial Garden: https://youtu.be/W-MHSuuf_Jk
5 SIBLINGS ON WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE — INCLUDING THE MURDER OF THEIR MOM
Nearly 15 years ago, police officer Brenda Sexton was brutally beaten to death by her boyfriend, Sam Lupo, leaving five young children without their mother.
“I was 10 years old when Sam killed my mother,” recalls the oldest son, Tony, now 24. “That morning, I ran into my mother’s room … The lights were off in the room, and I tried to wake my mother up. I lifted the pillow up and at that point, I realized that my mother was no longer with us. Her face was caved in. I really couldn’t recognize her at all. It was a terrible sight to see. There was blood everywhere — on the floor, on the wall, on the bed, on the baseball bat that he used.”