'We're not giving up': Friends of social worker killed on the job continue calls for justice
CALGARY -- Supporters of Deborah Onwu, the Calgary caseworker killed while on shift, say they will hold rallies on the 25th day of every month until safety standards are addressed.
"We're not giving up," said rally organizer Rebecca Opoku in front of the main office buildings of Wood's Homes in Montgomery on Saturday.
The non-profit organization once owned the assisted-living building in the 1800 block of 27 Avenue SW where Onwu was stabbed to death on Oct. 25, 2019.
She was the only social worker assigned to care for a teen with a known history of violence, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
Opoku told CTV News Calgary she's made many attempts to contact various Alberta government officials regarding workplace safety standards.
"We're just going to continue to be flooding their office with our e-mails and phone calls and, if it's necessary, drive there because that's how important it is for us."
Other caregivers said they demonstrated in solidarity.
"We need to stand up for safer working environments for care workers. It's important that if we don't take care of ourselves and we're not protected, we can't help and take care of others," said Kelly Spence.
Eighteen-year-old Brandon Newman has been charged with second-degree murder in Onwu's death.
Court-ordered psychiatric assessments have determined the teen is fit to stand trial.
Members of the "Justice for Debbie" group say they don't want their friend's death to have been in vain.
"(She was a) beautiful woman, lovely woman who just showed up to work and never came home. She was giving. She would give until she couldn't give anymore," said Opoku.
The next rally is planned for Feb. 25 and will include a march to Memorial Drive.