For a crowd of Go-Go music lovers at Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Prince George’s County, Maryland, on Thursday, the lyrics of D.C. legend Sugar Bear spoke to them.
As a few hundred county residents shimmied to the beat and tapped their feet, the artist lowered the music and turned to the crowd with an unmistakable message: stop the gun violence.
“If you see something, say something,” said Sugar Bear, the lead vocalist of famed go-go band EU. “That’s not snitching. That’s saving lives.”
Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said the musician approached her office with the idea of remembering victims with a concert.
Braveboy quickly jumped at the chance to work with the Go-Go legend. She named the event “Our Streets, Our Future” and invited 27 of the county’s municipalities to offer services for teens and young adults.
“A lot of people have no hope for a future,” Braveboy said. “When you have no hope, you do things like have guns and resolve conflicts using guns. We need to show our young people the way.”
One gun victim is 8-year-old Peyton “P.J.” Evans. He was shot and killed in August while he sat in a relative’s apartment on Brightseat Road in Landover. Last month, detectives arrested three men linked to P.J.’s murder.
“We have to show these young adults that there is something better in life than taking someone else’s life,” said Tiffani Evans, P.J.’s mother. “At the end of the day, how can we say that Black lives matter if we’re killing each other?”
Overnight on Thursday, Prince George’s County experienced its 100th gun related homicide, continuing to surpass the 94 homicides the county reported in 2020.