Justice For Syiah

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Often times justice for the racial minority goes unnoticed because of the demographic of that race. What is the income of that neighborhood? or what’s the crime rate? Those questions are major factors That come into play when injustices happen in those areas.

On July 8, 2018 at approx. 5am a fire broke out at 5298 Lescot Ln. in a West Orlando neighborhood linked to random criminal activity. The occupants of the home at that time was 60yr old, Ingrid Howard, 10yr old, Sion Johnson and 8yr old Syiah Johnson. 

As flames began to grow Sion was the first to awaken and seen the fire ran from the home to find help. Ms Ingrid Howard woke to flames engulfing the house as she escaped outside she looked back to make sure Syiah was behind her but she was not. She returned back into the home screaming Syiah’s name at that time the roof caved in.

A Good Samaritan pulled her back out from the flames. It was not to be for Syiah. After about two hours the fire was extinguished and the body of eight year old Syiah Johnson was carried out. 

Tragic Accident! 

Normally I would agree but circumstances and situations leading up to the morning of this fire has the family, friends and community demanding answers to many puzzling questions.

Although there was three occupants in the home at the time of the fire; there was actually two other people who resided at the address that were not home who various reasons.

Birtel Howard, 42, Ingrid Howards’s son; a known drug user and registered sex offender was not home at the time and neither was 11yr old Saron Johnson the oldest brother the Sion and Syiah. 

After a uphill battle Ingrid succumbed to injuries from the fire. 

After two weeks the cause of the fire was determined to be an unattended candle.

Normally that would be an acceptable determination but because of knowledge and relationship formed the loved ones of Syiah Johnson are demanding a thorough investigation into the fire at 5298 Lescot Ln. in Orlando, FL. 

Birtel, who is a known drug abuser and sex offender, known to be on his mothers porch everyday was no where to be found and neither was her van. 

For about two weeks no one has been able to get any information from Birtel or Ingrid Howard’s other children. 

Sion, 8 is reported as letting people know he saw uncle Birtel set the grill on fire and set it against the wall of the house. 

Birtel was never questioned by police as to his whereabouts when the fire started or why he had Ms Ingrid Howard’s car. 

After a call to a reporter questioning why no one has asked Birtel anything at that time he’s reported to have said that at 5am him and unknown persons were playing cards inside the home. He lit a candle and left the home about thirty minutes later he returned to find the house in flames.

who are these unknown persons?

Why would a candle be needed to play cards at 5am?

Days prior to the fire Ingrid Howard has been reported telling people she informed Birte She was not providing for him any longer. 

Why did he go missing right at that time?

Why did he take her car as well?

This tragedy has too many unanswered questions the family, and community want answers to.

Too many times the media and police treat tragedies such as this one as casualties Of being a minority and not worth putting in the work to ask these questions. Because your neighborhood is associated with crime. Not you personally but your neighborhood prevents you from the type of care you rightly deserve. 

All we are asking is that the Orange County Police department do a thorough investigation into the cause of this fire. We believe this fire was no accident and for Our loved ones who no long have a voice we advocate for justice for them. Justice for Syiah! 



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