Context: The above video was published on Oct. 4 on a candlelit vigil held in honor of Zoey Felix.
TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A northeast Kansas man says he is taking matters into his own hands to call for action from the state government following the rape and death of a Topeka five-year-old girl earlier this week.
KSNT spoke with Jenner Cochran on Thursday about a “peaceful protest” he is organizing in memory of Zoey Felix, who was reported dead by first responders on Oct. 2. Felix’s death has rallied support from across the Topeka community and received criticism from those close to Felix.
Cochran, while he has no personal connections to Felix, said he was deeply affected upon hearing of her death.
“I have a 6-year-old of my own,” Cochran said. “I just haven’t been able to shake this sick feeling all week. We’ve seen what’s happening. Things are getting just worse and worse.”
Now, he is calling for action with a protest in downtown Topeka at the statehouse in the hopes lawmakers will make changes to Kansas law.
“This is just a concerned citizen who’s calling for change,” Cochran said. “A couple people have thrown the term ‘Zoey’s Law’ concerning changes that need to be made rolled into one bill.”
Cochran said he hopes the protest can be a peaceful demonstration of local citizens calling for changes to be made on homelessness and children in difficult situations, issues he says are impacting urban areas like Wichita, Lawrence, Topeka and Kansas City. Some state lawmakers have responded to the death of Felix and are calling for the Kansas Department of Children and Families to make changes.
The protest will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Evergy Plaza, 630 South Kansas Avenue, according to the event description on Facebook. Following opening remarks from organizers, the protest will march south down Kansas Avenue, turn west on 10th Avenue and eventually stop at the front of the Kansas Statehouse.