ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It was a shooting nearly thirty years ago that left Rasheem Broughton paralyzed: a life-changing experience that led him to advocate for others.
Broughton was shot in 1991 and, according to police, died in February 2021 due to complications from the shooting.
Per FBI reporting standards, Rochester police said they are recording Broughton’s death as a 2021 homicide.
“He made me a better person for the seven years that I supervised him,” said Reggie DeJesus, the independent living services manager for the Regional Center for Independent Living, a former colleague who worked closely with Broughton.
Broughton worked as an independent living specialist. DeJesus recalled traveling with Broughton to other states and the nation’s capital to advocate for disability rights.
“We did actions, we lobbied,” DeJesus said. “He put his money where his mouth was.”
DeJesus told News 8 whenever a similar instance would happen – a shooting resulting in paralysis – Broughton was always first to ask to meet with the victim’s family as a reassuring voice.
“His legacy is really, he really embodied our mission,” said Rebecca Payton, director of independent living services at the Center for Disability Rights and a former colleague of Broughton’s.
Broughton’s contagious smile is immortalized on a poster on the side of the Center for Disability Rights building on State Street.
“He was very good, and I miss him dearly,” DeJesus added.