STOP THE VIOLENCE RALLY
November 26, 2011
12 Noon - 3 pm
LEFT: Ygnacio “Notch” Bermudez, Justin Christian and Big Perm at one of their events.
Photo by Brandyn Armstrong
LANSING, MI -- Ygnacio "Notch" Bermudez was a young 35 when he died on November 10, 2011. He was born May 16, 1976 in Lansing, Michigan. His mother, Ruth Lopez, tearfully said that her son was her best friend.
His obituary read, “Ygnacio loved to be with his family and always had a houseful of kids around him. He had a great sense of humor and turned everything into a pillow. He was generous, extremely caring and always wanted to help others. He was a loving brother and great friend to many people.”
Many of Bermudez' friends and family spoke of him as a soft-hearted man with a sense of humor who turned his life around and appreciated the close relationships that he had with others.
Anitra Hernandez writes that Notch was bigger than life. "He had the biggest heart of any person I've ever known. He was an inspiration to everyone that really knew him. His love for God was unwavering. Everything that I know about God I learned from him. Some people may have thought that he was this tough person, but in reality, he was the most sensitive person I knew and was never ashamed to cry and let his emotions out. His love for his children was unconditional. The kind of love that is so strong it hurts. There were no words to express how much he is going to be missed. I will try my hardest everyday to be that kind of person that he would want me to be for his children. I know that he wants them to know the Lord and I am going to make that happen, so that we can all be together again when God calls us home. I know that he is not physically here but he is here in spirit and he will always be here in our hearts. I know that his soul is at peace now. He struggled in this world, as we all do, but God was always first in his heart. I love you forever, Ygnacio, nothing will ever stop that."
Surviving are his significant other, Anitra Hernandez; daughter, Elaria Bermudez; 2 sons, Elijah and Kyshaun Garea; grandmother, Deifina Lopez; father, Ygnacio and wife Olivia Bermudez, Sr.; mother, Ruth Lopez; 2 brothers, Joseph Bermudez and Isydro Lopez; 2 sisters, Amiee Bermudez Lara and Yolanda Lopez; 3 nieces, Savanna, Sierra and Guadalupe Lara; 3 nephews, Joe Bermudez, Jr., Sirilo Bermudez, and Dominic Jones; great-niece, Arianna Ruiz; great-nephews, Rolando Ruiz III, Isaiah Vimolsathit.
He was also a father figure to Angelo Flores, Neicio and Eric Lopez, Jr. and Willie Vincent. Funeral services were held Wednesday, November 16, at 11:00 a.m. at the Tabernacle of David, 2645 Holmes Road, Lansing with the Rev. Phillip R. Moore from New Life International Church of Okemos, officiating. Interment will follow in East Lawn Memory Gardens, Okemos.
Over 400 people paid their respects to Bermudez. Those in attendance spoke about him as a legend and recounted that he gave many people in the music industry opportunities that they would not have had.
Bermudez was a promoter of local events and comedy shows that primarily catered to the urban population. On the morning of November 10, 2011, he was shot multiple times in the 400 block of East Michigan Avenue shortly after 2 am. He was deceased when police arrived on the scene.
As of the printing of the newspaper, 35-year-old Richard Anthony Strong is still wanted on open murder, felony firearm and felon in possession of a firearm charges. Police say Strong should be considered armed and dangerous. Strong is 5'11" and weighs about 170 pounds.
According to his record with the state of Michigan Department of Corrections, Strong has a history of drug charges. He served sentences for possession of cocaine in 1996 and delivery/manufacturing of cocaine in 2004.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Strong is encouraged to call 911 or leave a message with Detective Steve McClean at 517- 483-4612. Anonymous text message tips can also be left at 847411, begin your text with LPD517 then leave your message.
A Time For Healing
The community is coming together to have a rally on the Capitol steps on Saturday, November 26th from 12:00 pm to 3 pm. There will be speakers who have been impacted by violence, including Councilperson Carol Wood, whose mother died after being beaten in her home in July of 2007. Irma Menchaca, a social worker in Grand Rapids Public Schools who works extensively with the Juvenile Justice Program at Grand Valley State University is also slated to speak. There will also be inspirational speakers and performances.
Local businessman and owner of B-Unique Designs, Brandyn Armstrong, said, “It is time for the city of Lansing and Michigan to understand how the violence is affecting our families. The rally will not solve our all of our problems quickly but it will give us an opportunity to find out where we need to start.”
Armstrong said that the urban community needed to take action regarding the violence. On Sunday, October 13, 2011, he gathered Justin Christian, Sam Perez, Rina Risper and Big Perm to begin mapping out a plan to help with the violence that has occurred.
Sam Perez who reflected after the funeral said, “It is a hard day when you see a man that you cared for a whole lot be buried in the ground. But all the people that came showed how much he was loved and touched so many lives. So on that note, we as the next generation, the young people, we have to stand up and make a change. If we do not this city will go down the drain. We have to unite and stop the violence cause the city leaders are not doing anything about it and at some point the people like me who are in the streets have to make an effort to change.”
Risper, Big Perm and Armstrong will be speaking on violence and its impact on Lansing Online News Radio at WLNZ 89.7 on Monday, November 21 at 7 p.m. or watch the Webcast on Ustream.tv . Log on to http://lansingonlinenews.com/. Also on the same program will be John Edmond, father of Amaia Edmond, who was killed in July of 2010 .
Big Perm said, “I think my words will have the biggest impact if you see me for what I am. I don't want to be looked at as a political figure or a preacher or anything like that. I'm just a regular person that's from the same place as people like me and experiencing the same things as most of the people who are like me are. Outside of seeing that some things are wrong and trying to help fix it, I'm no different than most.”
Big Perm added, “Hip-hop was not the reason why Notch was murdered. He was murdered because there was a personal issue with that person. This guy would have killed him no matter where it was.”
Those desiring to make contributions to the Bermudez' children's care can make them to Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home at 900 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912. On line condolences may be made at www.grlansing.com.
This was printed in the November 20, 2011 - December 3, 2011 Edition