CHICAGO — City aldermen, anti-violence organizers and clergy are coming together to help stave off potential gun violence over the Fourth of July weekend.
Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th Ward), along with groups like “I’m Telling Don’t Shoot,” local church pastors and others, hope to form a group of at least 800 people to scatter out to busy street corners in Englewood as a way to deter street violence. They said they’ll report troublesome activity to Chicago police.
That group will also include people who work for private security companies, like Kates Security. Company CEO Bill Kates said they won’t intervene or try to arrest anyone, but they’re standing at the ready to report threatening activity to Chicago police.
“I have a very well trained team,” Kates said. “We’re coming here to help the alderman and help the community.”
There has been an increase in shootings and murders in Chicago, June police statistics show. In less than two weeks, 5 children have been killed.
Philanthropist Early Walker pledged $50,000, through his new organization I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot, to find the killers of a 1-year-old boy and a 3-year-old boy.
“We are tired of losing our kids, we are tired of losing our babies,” said Walker.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot detailed her safety plan for the Fourth of July weekend at a news conference Thursday.
The mayor said the holiday this weekend will undoubtedly be different this year not just because of the pandemic but also because of the way violence is being approached — she says it’s not just a police problem.
“This has got to be an all hands on desk approach to community,” she said.