WASHINGTON (7News) — “Cease Fire Don’t Smoke the Brothers and Sisters” is a catchy name that calls for peace in the streets.
Associates of the organization said they are lamenting last week’s death of football player and actor Jim Brown. Cease Fire members said that in the 1990s and early 2000s, Brown supported them financially and sometimes rode to potential crime scenes with them to try to calm disputes.
READ | All-time NFL great running back, social activist Jim Brown dead at 87
7News asked them about the present crime surge of carjackings, robberies and homicides.
“Do you worry about getting in your car?” 7 News’ Sam Ford asked Tyshaun Cho’zon, son of the Cease Fire’s founder.
”I don’t worry about getting in my car,” Cho’zon said after an extended pause. “I am aware of my surroundings, but not afraid, because I was a part of the problem at one time, as well.”
His father Al-Malik Farrakhan complains, “The government doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing!”
And the youth nowadays involved in crime, he added they're “raising themselves, but they seem to have become more vicious. They’re hurting even though they got everything.”
Many of the activists in Cease Fire were men with criminal backgrounds themselves who stepped in to work with youths who were often the shooters and victims in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“We have so many arrogant people in positions, that they will let this stuff continue to fester, and this crime is like cancer,” said Jauhar Abraham, who went from Cease Fire to co-found the group Peaceaholics. “If you don’t treat it early and well, it’s gonna spread.”
They raised questions about the effectiveness of the District’s anti-violence programs that are a part of D.C.’s budget.
READ | 2 men dead after being shot at in car in Southeast DC, police say
“We had contacts all throughout the city that would call and say something is getting ready to happen,” Farrakhan said. “We’d be there to squash it before it happened.”
Farrakhan said they financed their program by selling bottled water and T-shirts.