Chicago Officer To Be Remembered At Domestic Violence Shelter

(CBS) – A new garden dedicated to the memory of a victim of domestic violence will be a place for others to find peace.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

The unveiling of a fountain in the Brenda Sexton Garden at the WINGS Metro Domestic Violence Shelter was met with applause on Thursday.

“I know my mother would have wanted the garden to be a place where women could go to, to find self-worth,” says Morgan Johnson.

Her mother, Brenda Sexton, was a Chicago police officer who was beaten to death by her boyfriend 15 years ago. Sexton was the mother of five children.

“I think my mom would be really happy, this is actually a shelter that is helping individuals out there, especially mothers out there who are being abused,” Niko Garcia, Sexton’s son, says.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was moved by the words spoken by Sexton’s 15 year-old daughter.  He said it was the first domestic violence shelter to open in Chicago in a decade.

The fountain in the garden was donated by Aquascape, with the landscaping donated by Christy Webber.

“It has been absolutely wonderful the outpouring of support from the community for this garden, the project and everything. We are so pleased to actually get to do this during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” says Rebecca Darr, CEO of WINGS Program Inc.

The garden is located right next to the WINGS Metro Domestic Violence Shelter, which will serve women and their children when it opens in February 2016. This building was once occupied by Chicago police; Sexton worked there.

“Her spirit is going to be in these hallways — her laughter,” Sexton colleague Jane Fudacz says.

The shelter is being paid for through private funds and a $1.8 million fine paid to the city by a gentleman’s club.

The five children of Chicago Police Officer Brenda  Sexton.  Youngest child Morgan Johnson (right, in blue shirt)  was 7 months old when her mother was killed. (Steve Miller/WBBM)

The five children of Chicago Police Officer Brenda Sexton. Youngest child Morgan Johnson (right, in blue shirt) was 7 months old when her mother was killed. (Steve Miller/WBBM)

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