Bronx-born rappers and other celebrities have joined the public outcry for justice after the fatal, gang-related stabbing of a New York City teen.
The often-outspoken Cardi B and “Drowning” artist Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, both of the Bronx, expressed frustration with their native borough on social media using the hashtag #JusticeForJunior, a campaign started after the slaying of 15-year-old Lesandro “Junior” Guzman-Feliz. Their Instagram posts joined hundreds with the tag this week as details emerged regarding the attack, which police said was carried out by a group of eight men outside of a bodega on East 183rd Street in Belmont.
“What’s happening in my city right now is Disturbing …” wrote Highbridge native Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, whose birth name is Artist Julius Dubose. “We’re killing each other for senseless reasons. Not only was Junior 15 and innocent, he was from the Bronx like me, he had a loving family at home.”
The rapper shared a video on Tuesday that appeared to be the slain teen dancing to his music. Boogie requested his fans “point him in the right direction” to make a donation to Junior’s family. “The Mayor even the police … we have to do better protecting our people, especially our youth,” he added.
“Bodak Yellow” artist Cardi B wrote that the news had “made me teared” and directed her fans to a GoFundMe page asking for $15,000 to cover funeral and burial costs for Junior. As of Wednesday, more than 10,000 donors had raised just over $280,000.
An $8,000 contribution made under Cardi B’s name, Belcalis Almanzar, topped the donations.
Rihanna shared condolences with her 63 million Instagram followers on Monday, writing, “can’t stop thinking about this poor baby boy, and how his family must feel right now! I’m sincerely praying for your healing and #justiceforjunior.”
Carmelo and La La Anthony, of Brooklyn, took their support one step further, visiting the site where Junior was attacked in a case of mistaken identity Monday and then presenting his family with autographed jerseys, sneakers and a portrait.
La La, who says she was connected with Junior’s sister through Instagram, said she and Carmelo did “more than bring jerseys and sneakers,” and asked others to donate. She did not specify their donation amount.
“Putting my arms around his mom is something I will never forget. Being in his room is something I will never forget,” La La wrote.
Eight men, some of whom are alleged members of the Dominican gang Trinitarios, were arrested in connection with the killing. A funeral service for Junior was held in the Bronx at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Wednesday morning.
With Nicole Brown