Community members, candidates speak out against gun violence in Chicago

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Residents across the south and west sides of Chicago are calling for an end to the rash of deadly violence in the city Thursday. 

Members of the Black Community Collaborative spoke out during a rally in Auburn Gresham Thursday, across the street from where 14 people were shot two days ago outside Rhodes Funeral Services.

“What happened here two days ago was a tragedy should not have occurred and it’s something that happens perpetually in our community,” said Natasha Dunn, Black Community Collaborative.

The bloodshed continued Thursday as a 35-year-old man driving near Van Buren Street and Springfield Avenue in Garfield Park was shot and killed by someone in another vehicle just before 1 p.m.

Avalon Park Church Pastor Anthony Williams’ son was shot and killed in 2018. Williams called on lawmakers to pass House Resolution 433, which would identify high-violence communities and prioritize state dollars to fund programs that address underlying causes of crime and violence. 

“We can no longer as citizens sit idly by and allow innocent lives to be lost in the city of Chicago,” Williams said.

Republicans running for office also spoke about the ongoing gun violence Thursday.

“More people have been killed in Chicago than the two combined wars that my buddies fought in. My friends who laid their lives down did not go to die there so Americans can tear each other apart here,” said Sargis Sangari, candidate for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in the U.S. House.

Republican candidates say they’re against defunding police, with one saying Chicago needs 5,000 more cops on the streets and tougher sentencing for gun offenders.

“We have to stop the mayhem, and holding people accountable, working with police doing the right thing,” said Anthony Beckman, a candidate for the 2nd District in the Illinois Senate.

Asked how they feel about President Trump sending federal agents to Chicago, people at the rally Thursday said they welcome it, wanting all the help they can get to curb gun violence and even to help Chicago police solve some of the many murders which remain unsolved.

“What ever happened to protecting women and children? So far this year in seven-and-a-half months, more children under 10 have been murdered than in the previous two years combined,” said Theresa Raborn, a candidate for Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House. “Parents are afraid if I send my child out are they going to come back in for dinner?”

Members of Black Community Collaborative also called on Mayor Lightfoot, Chicago Public Schools, Department of Human Services and other city and county leaders to meet with them immediately.

“You can’t piecemeal this situation. this Situation is systemic and in order for us to address it and do it right we have to have all the key players at the table we have to dismantle the system that created this violence we are tired,” Natasha Dunn said.


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