AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Caroline Lister created a petition to rename the skate park at John Stiff Memorial Park to honor the legacy of Brian Deneke.
Deneke was an Amarillo teen and a part of the “punk rock” community. On December 12, 1997 tragedy struck as feuds between the “punk rock” and “jock” communities came to blows.
According to police, a fight broke out between the groups, which led Dustin Camp to run Deneke over. Camp was charged with first-degree murder and later convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
Now, over two decades later, Lister a friend of Deneke is petitioning to get the name of the park changed.
‘He was always nice to people, he would feed the hungry,” said Lister. ” Since this was his idea, I want it named after him because he’s brought so much impact on a lot of people’s lives.”
Lister met Deneke in high school and said he sported a green mohawk and was one of the only people who’d talk to her. She shared he taught her tolerance and self-love.
In 2007 Lister started a petition to rename the skate park but it was stolen. Since then ‘Bomb City’ a film focused on the events that led to Deneke’s death and the trial of Camp was released.
“Lots of kids have seen the stories or seen the movie,” said Lister. “They’ve seen his love for skateboarding. I want people to see the positive side of Brian of what a good person he was.”
Lister hopes the park will continue to provide a safe place for kids to skateboard.
“I want to make sure that it’s safe,” explained Lister. “I want people say, oh, let’s go to skate park. I’d like to at least have people know why it’s named after him.”
The petition currently has over 5,000 signatures. Lister said most feedback has been positive.
“I’m really hoping I can get it done for Brian’s family and for Brian, because a lot of people are really supportive of this,” said Lister.
In order to rename the skate park a formal application must be submitted to the city secretary.
City officials said at this time they have not received an application or presentation surrounding the name change.