BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Eain Brooks, who died a short while ago when he was only 5, has become the poster child for a child protective system that his family says failed him. Buffalo Police say the boy was killed by his mother's live-in boyfriend, last month.
Sunday, his loved ones gathered to keep his memory alive. They're trying to send a message to others that could save lives.
Songs filled the cool, fall air at Delaware Park and walkers took to Ring Road, remembering Eain Brooks. Dressed in black, their message was loud and clear, but their footsteps, quiet.
Eain's family says there's no tip-toeing around abuse any more.
"If you think someone's being hurt, if you think a child's being hurt, you need to speak up," Robin Hart, Eain's maternal grandmother, said.
Hart was locked arm in arm with Eain's paternal and great-grandmothers. Together they created "Eain's Echo", after his story sent shockwaves through the community.
"It's just not us that are arm-in-arm. This has got to be spoke out. It is Eain's echo and maybe it's taken us to do it. But its' everybody's fight," said Hart.
Eain's family was frustrated time and again. They say their grandson's case slipped through the cracks of Child Protective Services.
"Somebody needs to change something. I don't feel that anyone should have to go through what we're going through right now," Eain's grandmother, Tammie Garcia, said.
"It's gonna take the whole neighborhood, it's going to take all of Buffalo, the whole state to stand up," said the boys' great-grandmother, Carolyn Spring-Baker.
Senator Tim Kennedy says this family's advocacy can help change the system.
"By this family transferring that grief and pain into positive action, hopefully we'll save lives across Western New York and across New York State."
Walking in the wake of tragedy, they silently spread a message of hope for the future.
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