Violence erupted across America this past Fourth of July weekend as numerous shootings were reported in Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, Alabama, South Carolina, and Maryland/Washington D.C. This morning, Rickey Smiley revealed his daughter was a victim of gun violence in Houston, Texas, having been shot three times last night.
“I’m just so angry right now,” the host said on his own Rickey Smiley Morning show today, sharing that his daughter, Aaryn Smiley, was hit on the way to Whataburger. “She’s crying, she’s scared and I can’t get to her,” Smiley added, explaining he has to fly to Dallas then drive to Houston to see his daughter because of the limited number of flights available and the extensive layovers.
After letting his co-hosts and audience know his daughter is fine, the comedian held back tears as he expressed his frustration with gun violence in our community. “All the stuff these people trying to do to fight for the rights of Black people. This is no discredit to Black Lives Matter because I believe that and I’m with that movement 110% and one has nothing to do with the other, but there are some criminals in our community that someone needs to do something about.”
Referring to the shooting killings of 8-year-old Royta Giles Jr. in Birmingham this past Friday and 8-year-old Secoriea Turner in Atlanta Saturday, Smiley said, “I get the luxury of going to the hospital, even if they don’t let me upstairs to see her, I get to wait in the lobby. I get to text and talk to my daughter…Just think about all the parents, forget me, think about all the parents that got to go pick out a casket this morning.”
Unfortunately, that rings true for a lot of parents as a result of shootings this past weekend. In San Franciso, a 6-year-old boy was fatally shot in the neighborhood of Bayview. A 7-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were killed in Chicago. An 11-year-old boy was struck and killed by a stray bullet in Washington, D.C. And in St. Louis, a 4-year-old child is in critical condition after being shot in the head.
“I just pray,” Smiley said. “I’m sitting up here a gunshot victim myself and I’m still up here fighting and praying for the rights of Black people and all of the parents that had to bury their loved ones due to gun violence in our own community by our own people. Absolutely disgusting”