Mocha Reign Hair and Body Art Studio on S. Adams St. held a Black Lives Matter candle light vigil Monday to remember those whose lives have been lost as a result of police brutality.
The Vigil started with an open discussion lead by Gen. Heshima Malkia, of the New Black Panther Party Tallahassee chapter. Malkia briefly spoke on the Black Panther Party’s mission statement.
“(The vigil) is about collectivism, it’s about getting out in the community (and) it’s about letting our brothers and sisters know their presence is known and strong,” Malkia said.
She also expressed her appreciation for Beyoncé’s super bowl performance this year and how it related to the Black Panther Party.
“Even Beyoncé, God bless her soul, she gave us a shout out, and she did a very good job at that,” Malkia said.
Pastor Randolph Ferguson Sr., passionately discussed being a strong component of the Black Lives Matter Movement long before it became popularized on social media. Ferguson also talks about his position on violence within and against the black community.
“I’m against black on black crime, I’m against white on black crime,” he said.
He also expressed his displeasure with the attitude in the black community.
“Everybody is mad when a white man kills a black man, but nobody says anything when Pookie kills Day-Day. All I hear is ‘Naw, he deserved it.’ No he didn’t deserve it because that only perpetuates the problem,” Ferguson said.
Tia Simmons, owner of Mocha Reign, spoke on why she decided to organize this vigil.
“I’m a victim. My father was killed in June by a black man,” Simmons said.
She also added that Black Lives Matter is not only about police brutality, but also black on black crime.
“The issue is not just with the white cops, but is with the black community as well. We fight and kill amongst ourselves, we need to come together and make a change” Simmons said.
Cases of gun violence and police brutality constantly make headlines. Recently, 6-year-old King Carter was fatally shot outside of a Miami-Dade apartment complex while playing with friends.
In a separate incident, a Memphis Police officer was caught on camera kicking and hitting a suspect with a baton, as he lay curled up on the floor during arrest.
The event ended with a candle lighting ceremony and prayer from Pastor Ferguson.