CHICAGO — Residents on the South and West sides remembered George Floyd on Saturday and called for neighborhoods to come together to help stop crime in their neighborhoods.
Eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence — that’s the length of time a Minneapolis police officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
There were two groups — one in Bronzeville at 47th Street and Martin Luther King Drive where members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity stood motionless their hands clasped behind them.
“Our fraternity is built on fighting inequality and injustice,” James Ramos, an organizer, said.
The other group was at 87th Street and Lafayette Avenue where Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Ward) led this day of solidarity and service.
Both gatherings were about combating violence in crime-plagued neighborhoods. The message: Having close community groups and strong block clubs.
“You have to know your neighbors,” Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) said. “Don’t be a stranger. Ownership of blocks safety and the peace on our blocks.”
The groups wanted Chicagoans to know that they stand with them and support one another to make sure their voices are heard.
Also Saturday in Andersonville on the city’s North Side, a Black Lives Matter rally was held.
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) called on funds to be diverted from the Chicago police budget.
“You look at those funds and you decide can I better reallocate them for things that will yield better results,” Vasquez said. “And you invest it in housing, food insecurities, mental health.”