On December 21, 2012, Dazie Williams' son, Joshua Woods, was shot to death on his way home from Willowbrook Mall. He was killed, according to police, for his newly-purchased Air Jordan sneakers.
"They want these shoes and some kids want them by any means necessary," she said.
One year later, on the anniversary of Joshua's murder, Nike is releasing another limited edition Air Jordan.
"It hurts knowing that tomorrow that same routine will happen that took my son's life," said Williams. "I still have text messages that I sent my son that morning. 'Mom, I'm OK. We're already on our way home.' My son didn't make it home."
The shoes are released in small quantities, creating demand that exceeds the supply. Opponents of the marketing strategy say it has caused 1,200 deaths per year nationwide.
"They put out a few sneakers and it's like throwing steak to a bunch of rabid canines," said activist Deric Muhammad.
Williams started an organization called Life over Fashion. She wants to warn parents about the risk involved in sending their children to Air Jordan release events and to persuade Nike to sell the shoes differently, by selling them online or by making more of them.
"I just want to make it safer for your child for my child to purchase shoes and not lose their lives," said Williams.
On Saturday, Williams will be out at malls to spread her message that a sneaker isn't worth someone's life.
We reached out to Nike for comment, but as of this posting, have not heard back from them. Three people were charged with capital murder in the Joshua Woods case. They have not yet gone to trial.
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