The local D.C. community paused to reflect on the life of Charnice Milton after a fatal event, still being investigated by the Metropolitan police, left the young journalist lifeless at only 27-years-old.
“Charnice was a talented reporter with an engaging manner that endeared her to her sources,” said Andrew Lightman, managing editor at East of the River magazine. “She was a valued member of the CCN news team completing several assignments a month. The organization will miss her contributions as will the communities of Wards 6, 7 and 8.”
Milton was killed after attending a monthly Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meeting on the evening of May 27.
On the District’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) website it stated “Officers investigating the sound of gunshots in the area of Good Hope and Naylor Roads, Southeast, located an adult female suffering from an apparent gunshot wound in the 2700 block of Good Hope Road, Southeast.” According to Police Chief Cathy Lanier, one person has been identified as a suspect in the homicide.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser commented on the young reporter’s life as well. “One of us our residents was gunned down . . . Charnice Milton was a very active resident in the District of Columbia, a reporter, she lived East of the River, she concentrated on issues that focused East of the River,” she said.
ANC 6C Commissioners and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander (D) also shared statements about her life and work.
Milton’s parents Francine Milton and Ken McClenton, along with religious leaders and a large crowd, honored the journalist’s life at the corner in Southeast where Milton was murdered on May 31 during a prayer vigil that was held in her honor.
“My baby was not shot by White policemen but by two Black men who were cowards and upon gang warfare in Wards 7 and 8,” McClenton yelled to the crowd. “Because of her, this place here is sacred ground.”
According to the Washington Post, McClenton hosts a show on BlogTalkRadio, where he said his daughter was used as a shield when she was killed.
McClenton was not only there to honor his daughter but also to give honor to those who were murdered by killers not yet found.
“Let’s deal with the real issue,” he said referring to Black-on-Black crime. “The community needs to open cold cases that have not been solved instead of foolhardy talk.”
During the vigil, McClenton dropped to his knees, wiping tears from his eyes. “From this day forward it is a battle and I will win it,” McClenton said as he and his companion Francine prayed, her hand clutching his shoulder.
Milton was an honors graduate at Ball State and Syracuse University where she received her master’s degree in journalism in 2011. She was a reporter for Capital Community News, writing articles for East of the River and Hill Rag magazines.
A silent vigil was also held by members of the press and the community to commemorate Milton on June 3 outside the Seniors Wellness Center, 3001 Alabama Avenue S.E.