SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - Hands Across New York is in Schenectady Friday to take a stand against child abuse in memory of 8-year-old Sha'hiim Nelligan who was allegedly beaten to death by his grandmother nearly a week ago.
The community rally started Friday morning where participants will march to the Schenectady County Jail in honor of Sha'hiim. Hands Across N.Y. is encouraging the community, parents, advocates, activism and more to attend.
"They yell, they go to school with bruises, parents know it, grandparents know it, other people see it but nobody says anything because it's raw, and it's ugly, and it's easier to turn your head away than to say stop," said Hands Across N.Y. founder Laurie Russell. "I'm not going to let this happen."
The group says they were moved by the tragic death of that eight year old boy. Police say Sha'hiim was killed after a "prolonged beating" by his grandmother and legal guardian, 43-year-old Gloria Nelligan, in their Schenectady home.
Police say something occurred which "resulted in her using what would be considered excessive corporal punishment which directly led to his death." Authorities say family members called 911 after finding the boy unresponsive.
Nelligan was arrested a short time later and has been charged with first-degree manslaughter.