HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The family of a Hagerstown baby killed in 2007 is working to keep his memory alive and help prevent other child abuse deaths.
In downtown Hagerstown, blue lights line the light poles, and flags and pinwheels have been placed around the city. As April is Child Abuse Awareness Month, the Myers family is trying to keep the memory of 4-month-old baby Justice alive nearly 16 years after he was killed.
“We miss him every day. You know, all of the little things that you missed out on to think that he would be 16 years old this August,” Nink Myers, Justice’s maternal grandfather, said.
Baby Justice Myers-Cannon was just 4 months old when he was killed by his mother’s boyfriend at the time. He was first found unresponsive in his crib and was rushed to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where he was put on life support and later died.
Floyd Bingaman, the man responsible for Justice’s death, would then receive the maximum sentence of 30 years for child abuse resulting in death. Justice’s family says that wasn’t enough. Myers explained that after Justice’s death, his family was devastated and angry. One of the officers involved with the case suggested the family work towards making a difference to focus their attention away from their anger.
“We started lobbying right after Justice passed away and it took us a few years to get it up to 40 years. Then in 2016, we got the Justice Reform Bill passed, and it’s now up to life.”
Now nearly 16 years later, the activist group Justice’s Supporting All Kids Endlessly (S.A.K.E) is working to bring awareness to child abuse by helping other families who are facing a similar situation and a similar pain. Justice’s S.A.K.E supports other organizations like Washington County Child Advocacy Center’s Safe Place, Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused, Micah’s Backpack, and nearby chapters of Bikers Against Child Abuse. Myers also says they have recently partnered to support infant bereavement efforts at Meritus Medical Center.
“Our unfortunate incident happened many years ago and that’s when our journey started and that’s been the cause behind the driving force of our family and what we do,” Myers explained.
We can’t bring him back. We can only try to make a difference and we’ve said all along that we would never let his death be in vain.Nink Myers, Baby Justice’s maternal grandfather
Justice’s S.A.K.E. will be holding their annual “Rock Me Don’t Shake Me” fundraiser on July 16th at Antietam Brewery. For more information, please visit the Justice’s S.A.K.E. website.