"Speak Out" Held in Memory of Anthony F. Anderson Sr., Slain by Baltimore Police

"Speak Out" Held in Memory of Anthony F. Anderson Sr., Slain by Baltimore Police

"Justice for Anthony Anderson Sr." banner displayed at speak out. Photo by Bonnie Lane.

The East Baltimore Peoples Assembly held a “speak out” in memory of Anthony F. Anderson Sr., who was brutally killed by three BCPD officers on September 21, 2012. It took place on the corner of Montford & Biddle streets. The speak out was an opportunity for victims and anyone touched by police abuse and brutality in Baltimore to share their story.

The Reverend Cortly “CD” Witherspoon declared the lot where Anderson’s life was taken as sacred ground, calling it “Anthony Anderson Field.” Witherspoon, an organizer with the Baltimore Peoples Assembly, has taken up the cause against police brutality, fighting to see that police who murder people face criminal charges.

Around fifty people gathered on the site of Anderson’s murder to speak out and give support to his family. The first to speak was Renee Washington. Washington’s fiancé was also murdered by the BCPD.

Reggie Crocker, who was a good friend of Anthony F. Anderson Sr., was next to testify. Crocker, who lives in the neighborhood, has now become a community activist. He is reaching out and helping others intimidated and harassed by the BCPD.

Marcella Holloman retold the tragic account of the murder of her son, Maurice Johnson. Johnson was killed by the BCPD on May 19, 2012.

Ursula Pearson is an elder with A Potter’s Chance Ministry in Manassas, Virginia. Pearson grew up with Anthony F. Anderson Sr. and performed his eulogy.

“I don’t care if you are the President, the Pope or a preacher. If you commit a crime, you got to pay,” she declared.

Nakia Washington talked about her boyfriend being murdered by the police. She spoke of her pain while showing love and empathy for the Anderson family.

“We stood on Rudy Bell’s spot. How many more spots do we have to stand on before justice is done?,” she asked.

Sara Chambers is a resident of the neighborhood where Anderson’s murder took place. Chambers told the assembly about her own interaction with the BCPD. She was strip-searched by officers. Strip searching is a common occurrence in Baltimore, according to Chambers.

“Just because you have a badge and a gun doesn’t mean you’re above the law,” she stated.

Sharon Black continued the discussion on the issue of women being illegally strip-searched. She recalled accounts of two women from Anderson’s neighborhood who were abused by BCPD. Black was arrested at City Hall along with Witherspoon a few months ago while trying to deliver a letter to the mayor.

 

Leon Anderson thanked people for coming out and supporting him and his family. Anderson said he had to stay strong and help his mother.

The East Baltimore Peoples Assembly will hold a candlelight vigil for Anthony F. Anderson Sr. on October 21, 2012, one month after his murder. The assembly vowed to continue their fight until the three BCPD officers responsible in Anderson’s death are charged with murder. The officers are Greg Boyd, Michael Vodarick and Todd Strohman.

Bonnie Lane writes for  Baltimore's newest street paper, Word on the Street. She has an associate of arts degree in public relations/journalism. Lane is a full-time writer, advocate and activist for the homeless and the 99%.