Crowd gathers to remember family, rally community

About 100 people attend event near burned home

October 20, 2002|By Liz Kay | Liz Kay,SUN STAFF

About 100 people gathered yesterday afternoon at Preston and Spring streets to remember the Dawson family, within sight of their burned-out home. Many of those who attended the rally, broadcast on X105.7 FM, were from outside the East Baltimore neighborhood where an arson fire took the lives of Angela Maria Dawson and her five children Wednesday.

Karmen Smith, 38, of Hamilton came with her children in tow. She described Dawson as a role model and called the event a "teachable moment."

"I wanted to bring them, to show them the kind of things the drug trade has done to our communities," she said, wearing a "Baltimore Believe" T-shirt. "I believe there's more with us than there is with [drug dealers]. They should not be able to strike fear or terrorize our communities like this."

Piles of teddy bears, balloons and flowers covered the sidewalk in front of the firebombed home at Preston and Eden streets.

Dawson's brother, John Robert Harrington Jr., spoke to the crowd about his sister and her family, saying he hoped that something good would come from gatherings such as the rally. "It's up to the community," he said. "If the community's not willing to get involved. ... These guys, they don't respect property. They don't respect themselves."

Others agreed. "From just talking, nothing happens. It has to happen in people's hearts," said Aki Murakami, 30, of West Baltimore.

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