Singer John Legend meets with civic leaders to discuss Chicago’s youth violence epidemic

CHICAGO -- Grammy-winner John Legend performs at Ravinia Saturday but Friday he was in downtown Chicago joining forces with civic leaders who are trying to get a handle on youth violence in the city.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx brought together the panel that included Legend and she spoke at length about some of the numbers law enforcement is up against.

There were 764 homicides last year and  she began the conversation by addressing the disproportionate impact on young African American men.

By her count, four percent of the population accounts for 50-percent of Chicago’s murders.

“But in 2016, 19% of homicide victims were between the ages of 10 and 19 and 45%,” she said.  “Almost half, were between the ages of 20 and 29.”

Legend spoke  about his organization which is called Free America.

“We convene conversations like this around the country,” Legend said.  “We listen and we try to use my position to change the conversation nationally about these issues."

Five people were killed and at least 25 wounded in shootings last weekend.