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‘Grieving is not against the law’: Mom of woman killed in Avalon Park shooting responds to dropped charges

Nyisha Beemon says the “charges were bogus” and that “officers did not have a reason to arrest” her.

Jaya Beemon (left) was shot to death last Feb. 25 in Avalon Park. Police released images of the three shooters.
Jaya Beemon (left) was killed in a Feb. 25, 2020, shooting in Avalon Park. Police have released images of the three shooters.
Facebook/Chicago police

The mother of a woman shot dead at a South Side convenience store says she’s grateful prosecutors have dropped charges against her for allegedly resisting arrest while she was grieving at a hospital.

Nyisha Beemon told the Chicago Sun-Times the “charges were bogus” and that “officers did not have a reason to arrest” her.

On Thursday, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office dismissed two misdemeanor counts of battery and resisting an officer, two days before a funeral for Nyisha Beemon’s daughter, Jaya Beemon.

Jaya Beemon was one of five people shot Feb. 25 after three shooters opened fire into the door of a convenience store in the 7900 block of South Avalon Avenue. Beemon was on a date with a fellow Malcolm X College nursing student who was also struck by gunfire, Nyisha Beemon said.

Beemon said she rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center’s emergency department and passed out while viewing Jaya’s dead body.

She said she woke up to a plainclothes officer dragging her out of the ER.

“They said I wasn’t grieving appropriately,” Nyisha Beemon said. “That’s a lie ... Grieving is not against the law.”

Police said Beemon allegedly pushed and kicked an officer but later said the department would review the circumstances that led to the arrest.

Beemon said she was visited at home last week by Chicago Police Department director of public engagement, Glen Brooks.

Brooks told the Sun-Times he spoke with Beemon and told her that CPD “regretted the circumstances that led to the arrest and shared our deepest condolence for the loss of her daughter, Jaya.”

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office said Wednesday that the charges were filed without their review, and that prosecutors would move to “quickly dismiss the charges, so that a grieving mother can mourn the loss of her daughter in peace.”

Nyisha Beemon said Foxx called her ahead of a Thursday court date to say the charges were dropped.

“I’m grateful she removed them, but those charges will still be on my record,” she said.

Beemon said she hopes Foxx’s office can expunge the counts at a later date.

A very beautiful personality

Nyisha Beemon said her daughter, Jaya, had a “very beautiful personality” and was studying to become a nurse like herself.

“She was like my executive assistant, helping me with everything,” said Beemon, also an adjunct professor at Malcolm X College.

Jaya wanted to be a travel nurse and work in California, she said. “She loved cupcakes, Portillo’s and was always laughing.”

Nyisha Beemon said detectives haven’t updated her on the investigation into Jaya’s death.

Police said three shooters left the scene in a white Chrysler 300.

Beemon said Foxx promised her she would prosecute the shooters to the fullest extent of the law.

“They executed my lady,” Beemon said.