Mother of murdered son helps crime victims receive posthumous degrees

Mother of murdered son helps crime victims receive posthumous degrees

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A Brooklyn mother has turned the pain of losing her son to gun violence into action.

Her family accepted her late son’s diploma in his memory. Now thousands of other grieving families will get the chance to honor their loved ones this same way.

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Michelle Barnes Anderson’s only child was murdered in Brooklyn six years ago. She hopes her story will now help others. A special graduation ceremony is now bringing a little bit of light to her family.

Anderson says her heart belongs to her six-year-old granddaughter Melkenzye Anderson. Her granddaughter walked across the stage at Barclays to accept her late father’s posthumous Bachelor of Arts degree from John Jay college. It’s something Anderson fought for for years.

It was October 2017 when Anderson’s son was murdered at a bus stop at the Farragut houses.  Her only child, 27-year-old Melquain Jatelle Anderson, was shot and killed.  Her granddaughter was born months after his death.  PIX11 News covered Anderson’s journey for years as she co-founded the Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation trying to keep her son’s memory alive.

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Anderson led the way and helped pass Mel’s Law in 2023 with NY Assemblymember Phara Soufrant-Forrest. The law took effect last October.

Click here to learn more about Mel’s Law or want to give to the Melquain Jatelle Anderson Foundation.

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