New Video Surfaces in Fatal Stabbing of Woman Who Was Called the N-Word, Community Demands Answers

by Xara Aziz

Family, friends and several advocacy groups are demanding answers after a woman was fatally stabbed and killed in Cedar Rapids earlier this month.

In newly-surfaced video obtained by TV9, Devonna Walker was involved in a scuffle with another unidentified woman who shouted a racial slur at the victim. As the woman proceeds to walk away, Walker charges at the woman and is then stabbed to death.

No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made in the killing.

Scores of racial equity groups, including The Advocates for Social Justice, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s Faithful Voices for Racial Justice, Marion Alliance for Racial Equity, the Cedar Rapids NAACP, Parents Against Violence Everywhere and We Are CR, have since come out requesting authorities to provide more information.

Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks said he would not attend a town hall meeting with the advocacy groups because it would be “highly unorthodox and potentially unethical.” He did, however, state that he had “private conversations with members of these groups and allowed one member to attend a meeting between himself and the victim’s mother,” according to TV9 which obtained a letter from the attorney’s office.

The news station also reported that Maybanks is working with Cedar Rapids Police Department to conduct a full investigation.

“I do hope the coalition representatives understand that my declining to meet is not out of disrespect for the pain Devonna’s family and the community if feeling,” Maybanks wrote. “Rather is out of our duty to uphold our ethical obligation to be circumspect regarding extrajudicial statements so as not to compromise the integrity of the investigation.”

Meanwhile, the Advocates for Social Justice reached out to Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell and Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman requesting a town hall meeting.

O’Donnell declined to comment but said spoke with Walker’s mother.

“I, too, wish the wheels of justice moved more swiftly,” she wrote. “As a City, we are committed to a thorough and complete investigation. I am confident the CRPD has done that and more.”

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