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Sister of domestic violence victim says she saw warning signs in new boyfriend

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kasphiReported by Liku Zelleke

When confessed killer Angelo Smith Jr. was shown being taken into custody, the images that flashed on TV screens across the country showed a man wearing a Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity shirt as he was led away by two officers on either side of him.

When the police later said that it was Smith’s own fraternity brother who led investigators to what is believed to be the body of Bianca Tanner, the two facts made others in the Greek organization community  sit up and take note of the situation.

Tanner, a Guilford County teacher was Smith’s girlfriend and no information has been released as to how she was murdered or even why.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe made that fact clear when he said, “Let me be clear, at this point we only have remains.”

While that might have put everything on hold until Smith’s case goes through the legal system and everything is eventually made clear, members of Greek organizations across the country are seizing the chance to raise awareness about domestic violence.

One such organization that is also looking to mend the image that is often associated with Greeks by doing something positive is Omega Psi Phi.

“It kind of gave a negative connotation and stereotype of what Greek organizations are about and it was not a good look for our community,” says Ty Turner from the fraternity. He says that he knew both Tanner and Smith quite well while they were in college in Greensboro and never thought that this tragedy could ever happen.

The rally was held this week and featured hundreds of members of black Greek letter organizations seeking to raise awareness on domestic violence issues.

“Our mission overall is service to the community, so when you see someone who negates that, you want to take a stand and say ‘This is not what we are about,'” said Jason Perry, a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.
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During the rally, Tanner’s sister Cerise Richardson spoke about her life without her sister.   She says that she had reservations about her new boyfriend, but chose not to say anything. This is a mistake she says she has come to regret. She encourages others not to make the same error with their own family members.

“That’s the one thing to this day, I regret. I met her boyfriend, I did have reservations,’ said Richardson, “I didn’t say anything. That’s what I kick myself in the butt for every single day.”