Family of teen killed by Portsmouth police officer host toy drive for victims of gun violence

Posted at 11:34 AM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 16:46:17-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The family of a teen killed by a Portsmouth police officer is hosting a toy drive for members in the community who have lost family members through gun violence, police brutality, and domestic violence.

William Chapman's family and his cousin, Mr. Earl Lewis, started the drive on December 21st.

Chapman was killed by former Portsmouth Police officer Stephen Rankin in April 2015. Rankin was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter this summer.

"Trust me, the day that William died, we had no money, we couldn't even bury William," says Lewis. "I made up my mind, after what we went through, if I could help any family in this community, I will do it."

They are giving away free toys for families with two or more children from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Toy Company located in Military Mall Circle through Christmas Eve.

The store's owners are providing the toys for the cause.

"It heals me, I'm being healed by the God that I know," says Lewis.

He tells News 3 that Chapman's mother is using some of the money from a wrongful death settlement between the city and the family of Chapman.

Some families have been so inspired by the cause that they have donated to the toy drive.

Among them, Angela and Bruce Smith, who lost their son Donte, a Deep Creek High School graduate, to gun violence back in 2008.

"We've been through it," says Angela. "It's tough."


Former Portsmouth Police Officer sentenced to 2.5 years for voluntary manslaughter

Former Portsmouth Police Officer’s defense team starts appeal process in manslaughter case

Former Portsmouth Police Officer Stephen Rankin breaks silence in BBC documentary