BALTIMORE — "Let there be light in this space," said Erricka Bridgeford with Baltimore Ceasefire. On Thursday night, she lit sage and walked up and down West Forest Park Avenue in Baltimore where yet another person was killed.
"Murder should not have the last say. It feels like murder has dominion over the city so we have to show up and take the city back with love," said Bridgeford. "We go to the space where someone was killed and fill it with light and love and remember and honor that the light still exists and their life still matters."
Thursday, they remember 34-year-old Gerald Brown, also known as Geesongz, who was shot and killed.
"Gerald Brown was the type of dude that would give you encouragement and then make fun of you in a very loving way," said Jamaal Collier. He worked at Loyola University where Brown played basketball. He stressed how much of a jokster Brown was.
Others only met Brown once or twice, like Karim Amin. Amin said Brown made such an impact on him he wanted to pay his respects. He explained how he met Brown when he was giving out food for his non-profit organization and Brown jumped in to help.
"Gerald came over and started giving out bread started giving out food and said, 'Brother, I’ll meet you tomorrow, cause I’m coming back,'" said Amin. "He was the person that, with his light and the love, he was able to open people's hearts."
At the same time, Club Downtown Baltimore was celebrating Brown's life.
"It could be the worst day ever but when Geesongz came around you smiled," said Quick Silva, the owner of Club Downtown Baltimore. "We're going to keep his name going."
Thursday they held a fundraiser for Brown's fiance and two children.
"Those kids have to wake up tomorrow and the next day and the next month without a father. It's heartbreaking," said Ivan Baker, Brown's best friend. He said he's working to keep Brown's light shining. "We just want to keep that positive energy going, that positive outlook going and stop the killing."
They plan on having another fundraiser on Father's Day for Brown's family.
Brown's viewing has been scheduled for Thursday, June 20 from 1 to 8 p.m. at Wylie Funeral Home in Baltimore.
The following day at 11 a.m. services will be held at Empowerment Temple Church. Brown will then be laid to rest at King Memorial Park.