On a bright, sunny Father’s Day afternoon in 2006, Chanel Petro Nixon left her home to apply for a job at Applebee’s Restaurant in Restoration Plaza. Though it was a short distance from her home to the restaurant, along an always-populated Fulton Street, the 16-year-old honor student never made it home that day. When Chanel’s parents reported her absence to the police, officers implied she ran away. Days later, Chanel was found in a garbage bag in front of 212 Kingston Avenue, the former home of The Greater New Harvest Church of Christ and directly across the street from the Historic First Church of God in Christ.
Chanel had been strangled. Her case remains an unsolved homicide.
For the past several years (except last year), Chanel’s family has joined President of the Central Brooklyn Anti-Violence Coalition Taharka Robinson and members of the community on marches from the family home and rallies at the Kingston Avenue location where Chanel’s body was found. The pain still takes an emotional toll on the Nixon family.
“It’s been seven years ago tomorrow that I buried my daughter Chanel. It still feels as if it was yesterday,” Mrs. Nixon stated at the rally. “I don’t care where I have to go, who I have to go to, what I have to do. I want justice for my daughter and I want to put my daughter’s killer away.”
“Chanel Petro Nixon was murdered in a very heinous capacity,” said Robinson. “Had this child been from anybody else’s community, the city would not have hesitated in conducting the search and investigation for her.”
Robinson added, “Had we not raised this issue there would not have been awareness put on it.
An investigation would not have been conducted to the magnitude that it has been.”
Chanel Petro Nixon was the best and brightest that any parent could want for their child. She was an honor student. She did everything she was supposed to do which makes it even more painful for Chanel to be taken from them in such a violent manner.
“Mrs. Nixon is still in shock. They are very upset. They are very hurt,” said Robinson. “They know in order to make sure that they get justice not only for their daughter but for their family and find a solution to this, they have to continue to remain proactive.”
Acknowledging that in January there will be a new city government, Robinson wants to make sure that we put Chanel on their agenda. “This is not something that is going to disappear. They need to be making sure that they do something about it when the city changes over,” said Robinson. “Whoever takes City Hall and becomes the new council member (for Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights), this needs to be a priority.”
Robinson believes “We owe it to Chanel Petro Nixon and the Nixon family and the community to bring forth justice for them. They have suffered greatly and we want them to stop suffering.
When something like this transpires in our community and we are not outraged and constantly trying to make them the focus, then we have become apathetic.”
“We have an obligation to protect our children,” said Robinson. “We have an obligation to respect our parents, to respect our neighbors and work together in the community.