LEWISTON (WGME) – Leaders of Lewiston’s immigrant community gathered Sunday to speak out about recent violence in the city.
Last week, Donald Giusti, 38, died Friday from injuries he suffered when a massive brawl broke out on Knox Street near Kennedy Park.
The man’s uncle, Jim Thompson, said it is time that the violence stops and that his nephew should not have died so young.
“Donny was a father, he was a volunteer at a local church here, he was a hard worker. What his street repertoire was isn’t what he was,” Thompson said. “What I know [is that] it’s been ongoing between groups of kids both diversive white, black, whatever. You know … what I learned is they can’t learn to get along. It’s just a bickering thing and then it turns to violence.”
Thompson said the violence needs to stop and leaders of the immigrant community agree. They gathered in front of City Hall to speak out against the recent violence and give their condolences to the Giusti family.
Fowsia Musse, executive director of Maine Community Integration, was among them.
“I’m a mother of five, she’s a mother of eight, so we came here to seek safe haven,” she said. “So the idea that there would be another issue or scared of someone attacking us is not right. We don’t want anybody to be attacked, does not matter where they came from or what religion they are, but we have to work together in order for such thing like this not to take place.”
Giusti’s family plans to hold a vigil and barbecue to remember him in Kennedy Park on Thursday. A funeral is planned for Friday morning.
The family and leaders of the local immigrant community say they will continue to work with police investigating the fight and that they urge anyone who witnessed it to come forward.