By Katrina Weston
Rashawn Sullivan, formerly a convicted murderer, has recently held a vigil in honor of Jason Crawford, the man he killed.
Sullivan served 17 years in prison for killing Crawford in a drive-by shooting on the corner of Woods and South Salina streets, November 25, 1997.
However, today, during a vigil in the same location, Sullivan said he wants to take responsibility for his actions, and to help stop the spread of violence throughout the Syracuse community.
As he held a megaphone in one hand, and a written apology in the other, Sullivan read aloud a letter he’d written as an apology to Crawford’s family, some of whom had attended the event.
“I did not write this letter recently, I actually wrote this three years ago while sitting in my cell,” Sullivan stated. “I am not apologizing from the surface; I’m apologizing from the man I am. I am doing everything that I can to make sure that Jason’s death is not in vain. I no longer order clonazepam work for myself. I work for the community, to help restore Syracuse back to where it used to be.”
Delaine Crawford, one of Jason Crawford’s cousins, accepted Sullivan’s apology on behalf of the family members who attended the event.
“We except your apology Rashawn,” she stated. “As long as you continue to do the work it takes to help rebuild the community; then we stand behind you 100 percent.”
According to Sullivan, he has currently teamed up with the Syracuse First Response Team, as well as with other well-known community activists like Mary Nelson, in order to help promote ongoing violence prevention in the community.
“As a way to give back to the community, and to take responsibility for my actions, I can’t let Jason’s death be in vain,” Sullivan stated. “I will not let Jason’s death be in vain. I have to try to stop this senseless violence, that I feel I contributed to starting.”