James Byrd Jr.'s family held vigil to honor him - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

James Byrd Jr.'s family held vigil to honor him

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In the hour that Brewer was executed, James Byrd Junior's family and part of the Jasper community gathered at the James Byrd Junior Memorial Park in Jasper to remember Byrd.

The family spoke of love, justice, and peace.

Among those who attended the vigil was Byrd's oldest daughter, Renee Mullins. She said the execution of Lawrence Brewer, one of the three men convicted in Byrd's death, doesn't serve justice to her father.

"The execution doesn't mean that much to me because it's doesn't bring my father back," Mullins said, "I want the world to know that I have forgiven him and I don't hate him."

That was the message of Wednesday night's vigil. The event was called, "Love, Justice, Mercy, Compassion, and Peace."

Byrd's sister, Betty Byrd-Boatner, believes Brewer didn't have to do what he did to her brother.

"I feel sorry for Brewer because he has so much hate inside of him," she said, "And didn't understand how to get out of him and he took the wrong path."

Byrd was being dragged up Huff Creek Road in Jasper County with a chain behind a pickup truck. It was a culvert that ended Byrd's life. 

Jasper police chief Rodney Pearson was a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper in 1998, and was the first officer at the scene of Byrd's decapitated body.

Wednesday afternoon was Pearson's first time back to the scene of the crime after 13 years.

Byrd said as he was driving up the road, he can vividly see his body being dragged up the road.

Byrd-Boatner has her own memories of the tragedy, but even now, she remains unwilling to hate.

"If my mother was here today, she would say these words, no violence, but peace."