On August 4, 2017, Erricka Bridgeford launched her ceasefire campaign, asking for people to stop killing each other for 72 hours. A year later, Baltimore is looking ahead to its fifth ceasefire as violent weekends are becoming the norm.
First Ceasefire: August 4-6
Posters lined the streets, hoping to spark change and create a safer Baltimore. While the first ceasefire was not a complete success, it started a movement that has caught on quickly around the city.
During the first ceasefire, there were three reported shootings, two of them deadly. Even though on paper the ceasefire did not seem successful, many said the unified call for peace did make an impact.
Second Ceasefire: November 3-5
Fast forward to November where the second ceasefire was planned. The message was the same, put the weapons down, but once again shootings shook the city.
When the second ceasefire began, the city was already at 300 murders for the year, setting Baltimore on record pace for violence.
Though the signs covered the city, one person was still killed and another was injured. The 301st murder in the city was an off-duty D.C. police sergeant, and the woman traveling with him was shot in the leg.
Third Ceasefire: February 2-4
Organizers did not give up. A new year, a new start, and come February the first successful ceasefire took place. While gun violence in the city did not exactly come to a halt, no murders were reported. Two people were shot, but they both survived.
But the third ceasefire wasn’t just successful because there were no murders reported over the weekend, it jumpstarted a 12-day streak of no murders in the city.
A streak that made people really believe that talking about peace means something. The ceasefire was ended by the 28th murder in the city since the start of January, which was behind the rapid pace recorded the previous year.
Fourth Ceasefire: May 11-13
Come May, everyone is ready for another successful ceasefire, and once again the city went 72 hours without a murder. At this point, the small grassroots campaign started by Erica Bridgeford has grown into a citywide movement. Several events were held to celebrate life, like prayer walks and more.
Unfortunately, a murder-free streak did not follow the ceasefire this time. Within hours after the end of the ceasefire, a man was shot and he crashed his car in Southern Baltimore, leaving the city with 102 murders.
Come August 3, another ceasefire is set to begin and the community is already coming together, hoping for a third murder-free weekend.
As of August 6, there have been 165 murders reported in the city, and recently weekends have been deadly.
- July 27-29: 6 shot, 1 dead
- July 20-22: 8 shot, 3 dead
- July 13-15: 4 shot, 2 dead
- July 6-8: 10 shot, 3 dead
- June 29 - July 1: 13 shot, 1 dead
During the ceasefire weekend, four people were shot, one died from their injuries and another man is in grave condition. Police say all of the weekend shootings happened within a two-hour time frame. Organizers have not said when the next ceasefire will be.