Photo Gallery | Flag raised for 3-year-old who died from beating
(WMC-TV) - Child advocates and members in the Memphis community remember a young girl who died after a beating, allegedly at the hands of her mother's boyfriend.
Child advocacy center employees said the unfortunate incident is an example of negligence that happens too much.
A flag was raised Thursday with dozens of people there to honor 3-year-old Ciriyah West's memory. The flag serves as a reminder from those who serve on the front lines protecting Mid-South children.
West died in the hospital three weeks after police say Tony McKinney spanked her for five to six minutes before noticing she was unresponsive. He was baby-sitting the child in an East Memphis apartment complex while her mother was at work. Family members said in the past there were never any problems with McKinney.
"I mean this right here is surreal it's like I'm dreaming and in a little while somebody is going to wake me up," said grandmother Betty Woodall.
The mother said she is done with McKinney and .
The little girl's mother is working to give her a proper memorial and funeral.
Ford funeral home on Winchester Road is taking donations to help pay for the little girl's funeral.
Ciriyah mother and family members will be releasing balloons Friday evening at Overton park as part of a prayer vigil.
Investigators charged him with first degree murder. He will be back in court Monday.
After the flag raising, leaders said it was a reminder we all have a responsibility.
"We also play an important role, and it is why we're here today to prevent the next child ... To remind every adult in the state of Tennessee ... They have a responsibility under the law ... If you think, if you feel ... There might be any abuse ... To pick up the phone and call," said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich.
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