Fort Myers woman, community remember local lives lost to violence on her birthday

A Fort Myers woman took advantage of her birthday to remember the victims of violence in her community. Fort Myers police were there to bridge the gap between the police and community. In the middle of a nationwide movement, it’s often small moments like this that make a big difference.

Camelia “Gigi” Sehley lost her family to violence, so she decided her birthday would hold significance for others who have experienced her pain as well. And Fort Myers Police Department was there to support her when she turned 50 Friday.

“There’s so much hurt, so much going on in the community,” Sehley said. “And I’m like, ‘What better way to give back to the community?’ To let them know that, even though they say we’re divided.”

Sehley wanted her day to focus on local lives lost to violence.

“What other way to bring the community back,” Sehley said.

And she also remembered her loved ones lost to violence.

“So this is my brother, and this is my son Angelo,” said Sehley, as she share pictures of her loved ones.

Sehely had community with her on her birthday.

“For those that are born and raised here to know that we’re not just protesting for someone states away,” Kharizma Marion said. “We’re doing it or all black lives.”

FMPD officers showed up to Roberto Clemente Park to celebrate Sehley’s birthday and show support for her day’s mission.

“We want to engage with our community and show them that we are here standing with them as humans and not just police officers,” Lt. Nichole Greene said.

Sehley was not alone on her birthday as she remembered her loved ones. She supported other who were also thinking of those close and dear who were taken by violence.

“I lost my younger brother to gun violence,” Eunique McNight-Santiago said. “To lose him, it almost felt like I lost a part of me. So I feel like in his memory, I have to keep going.”

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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