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Baltimore community holds vigil for 4-year-old Malachi Lawson

Posted at 10:45 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 23:18:34-04

BALTIMORE — "He mattered. He's not trash," said Chetara Brown fighting through tears. She's talking about four-year-old Malachi Lawson who was literally thrown in the dumpster after he died.

Baltimore Police said Malachi's mother, Alicia Lawson, and her partner, Shatika Lawson, are charged with his death.

RELATED: Mother charged in death of missing 4-year-old called Lyft to dump his body

Brown is Shatika's godsister who said she spent hours searching for Malachi with the family.

"It sickened me to grieve for her. It sickened me to help look for someone when she knew the whole time where he was. It breaks my heart over and over it again," said Brown. "He was a defenseless baby that did not deserve anything that happened to him, no matter what happened to him. He deserves laughter. He deserves holidays and Christmases and birthdays and fun times."

Brown put together a vigil for Tuesday night on North Rogers Avenue where Malachi was reported missing. Originally, police said Malachi's mother reported he was last seen on his grandmother's porch. She said she wanted Malachi to know he was loved, even by people who didn't know him.

"All kids need to feel love, even in death," said Kenya Longmire, a teacher. "You’re not supposed to treat your child like that, you’re supposed to give them all your love."

She said she was driven to come to the vigil because she was just so heartbroken over what happened.

During the vigil people sang and prayed.

Malachi's former foster mother even spoke.

"He had a smile that I’ll never see ever again. The same way that picture looked with them braids is the same way I braided his hair every single day."

She stressed she wish she could have kept him and kept him safe.

"I said I was gonna shut my home down but after this there’s another child out there who needs me."

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison consoled her during the vigil. He talked bout how this tragedy affected them in the police department, in the State Attorney's Office and in City Council. He said their thoughts and prayers are with anyone.

"For those of you who don’t know your neighbors get to know your neighbors so we can wrap our arms around our children so we can prevent a tragedy like this from happening again," said Commissioner Harrison.

Everyone at the vigil was heartbroken and in disbelief, they just pray Malachi is finally out of pain.