One month after police found Tanaya Copeland stabbed to death blocks away from her home, community members gathered to honor her with a mural in her memory.
A crowd of thirty or so relatives, friends and neighbors stood at the intersection of Linden Boulevard and Cleveland Street — only three blocks away from where she was killed to watch local graffiti artists create the 18-year-old’s portrait.
“It feels great to know how much the community cares,” Tanaya’s mother Rochelle Copeland said before thanking those who came to celebrate her daughter.
She especially wanted to thank local marching band the Royal Knights and its coordinator, Osei Smith.
Last month, he helped crowdfund more than $4,600 to cover funeral expenses for the Copeland family.
“I thank Osei so much,” the elder Copeland said. “The band was her other family.”
Copeland, who was walking home from practice the night she was killed, played drums with the marching band.
The mural came about after local musician Ty Black invited graffiti artist Louis Rivera and the SIC Crew to create the purple-hued portrait of Copeland in her marching band uniform alongside her name.
Black said she was frustrated with the city’s lack of progress in seeking justice for the community one month later.
“We want people to talk about it. We need a public outcry,” Black said.
Earlier in June, investigators said there might be a link between Copeland’s murder and the stabbing of two children at a nearby housing project that left 6-year-old Prince Joshua “P.J.” Avitto dead and 7-year-old Mikayla Capers in critical condition.
Despite arresting and charging suspect Daniel St. Hubert in connection to the attack on Avitto and Capers, police were unable to link him to other similar stabbing incidents around the city.
Police confirmed on Monday that there was no arrest or charges made in the Copeland case.