IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. -- Photos of Brook Stagles, the little girl whose death prompted proposed reforms to child protective services in Monroe County, lined the entryway of Christ the King Church, which hosted a memorial service one year after her death.
Brook died on November 14, 2016 from a ruptured intestine, caused by a punch. She was pale, vomiting and feverish for days before she finally got the medical care she needed. Brook was three years old.
These photos show Brook smiling, playful and seeming happy. That's how her grandfather John Geer wants Brook to be remembered, not as the badly abused toddler whose short life tugged at the heartstrings of people across Rochester and beyond.
"I want everyone to know she was a very happy energetic, loving, loved child," Geer said. "She had everything in front of her, it's terrible."
Geer says he isn't ready to stop fighting for change. He says he plans to run for political office next year.
"I don't believe all the responsibility should be held on a Republican or a Democrat, or just one party," Geer said. "I believe all the parties should be working together."
Her father, Michael Stagles will be sentenced next month for criminally negligent homicide. His girlfriend, Erica Bell, is serving a 25-year to life sentence for murder.