Mothers of Murdered Sons share pain, take action

BALTIMORE - So far this year, five kids have been killed in Baltimore City.

In all of 2013, 10 families experienced that same heartache.

Now, the moms going through the pain of losing their babies are taking concerns to the officials, the first steps of an ambitious plan to address youth violence in Baltimore.

"We're setting up meetings with all the heads of the departments. Baltimore County, Baltimore City," Chris Brown said.

For one group of moms, enough is enough.

Three teens were killed in just last month: Michael Mayfield (17), Najee Thomas (14), and Raysharde Sinclair (18). The mothers of murdered sons support group wants it to stop.

"We got to come together and we got to fight. We just can't just meet here in this closed building and don't get out there. Let's fight for our children. We have to take our streets back."

Najee Thomas’s mother Amina Gilliam sometimes forgets he’s gone.

"I guess it's a process, but I be forgettin' he gone,” Gilliam said. “Like with school. He'd be like oh, I gotta get ready to go. And I'm like, oh it's 3 o’clock. gotta pick my baby up."

Thomas was shot and killed last month in their Cherry Hill home .  

She's one of the newest members of the Mothers Of Murdered Sons and Daughters of Maryland, a support group for families of children taken too soon.

With *five* juveniles already killed in the city so far this year. This group is taking their support to a new level.

"You don't get no answers from the detectives. They don't know anything. They don't call you. They're not concerned about our children. We must fight for our children."

The group acknowledges there are many avenues of change, but it maintains that change starts within the community.

"If we can rethink how we just are in our community the churches need to take a part, parents need to take a part, and the communities centers need to take the parts that's missing," said Chris Brown, whose son Christopher Brown was murdered in 2012.

She says each neighborhood has specific needs that aren’t being met.

"Our elected officials are the ones that we are supposed to get that message to, and they're supposed to kind of execute the different avenues,” Brown said. “As moms, we're just now understanding and getting disappointed at our elected officials and we're going to be taking charge."

Last month, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced a youth violence forum where she and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts will be able to listen to the concerns of the city.

VIDEO | Baltimore Mayor talks about plans to address city youth violence

That'll be just one step, members in the group say, in starting a change.

"I think too much of the time, they are invited into our meetings with the idea that we want them to speak. We want them to listen,” Brown said. “We want them to sit down at the table. We all have ideas that we have put together. We want to be heard."

The group is already planning marches, meetings and vigils through the month of May. They're planning on getting out in those same communities that so badly need change. For the group, it's a way to heal and a way to keep other kids from dying in the street.

Tekeya Mayfield raised her brother Michael since he was a child up until he was murdered last month . It’s a wound that is still fresh and only gets worse for her knowing that his murder was a case of mistaken identity.

"It's no different than any other mother who has experienced this, but whatever the situation was, if I had anything to say about it, I just wish you knew who you wanted," Tekeya Mayfield said, speaking out to the person who shot and killed her brother.

"For him to get killed the way he did, it is treacherous and it is devastating, and all I say, and all I continue to say is if Michael got shot, none of us are safe," Tekeya said.

The group is starting to move into action, taking a look at the problem neighborhoods and taking matters into their own hands.

"We're losing our kids every day to the streets,” Brown said. “They're not even able to grow old like we were. That's, that's what I see. My grandchildren, their children, we will lose generation after generation and it's important that we stop. I guess this cycle, it's repeating itself and we have the opportunity to stop this chain."

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