Gun violence, community outrage, threatens to impact 75th Street business corridor

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — After nine people were shot and one killed in a mass shooting last weekend along a busy South Side business corridor, community members gathered Thursday in search of answers and change.

Recent gun violence along the 75th Street Business Corridor have left dozen of South Shore community members outraged. Amid the ongoing violence plaguing the city, leaders came together to discuss how to work with law enforcement to combat crime.

The brainstorming comes after a mass shooting just after 2 a.m. Saturday in Chicago. According to police, a group of people in a parking lot were near 75th Street and South Prairie Avenue when two men started shooting.

Kimifer Miles, 29, of South Shore, was killed. Nine others were wounded. Dozens of residents like Cassandra Walker were left distraught over the violence.

“I think it takes the whole neighborhood to work together to solve these problems,” the Chatham resident said. “I want to go to church peacefully. I want to cook in my backyard peacefully without getting shot.”

The shooting happened along an area a busy city corridor revitalized with a new boardwalk, created with recycled plywood from this summer’s civil unrest. The space features artwork and places for outdoor dining on the street’s 11 restaurants. It’s an area that residents hoped would bring the community together.

“This was an effort to change the negative situation, pick up some things and then make a positive piece,” said Alicia Spears, co-chair of Greater Chatham Initiative.

But instead, community members now worry it’s attracting the wrong kind of crowd. As a result, part of the boardwalk is expected to come down.

“It is with a heavy heart that we witnessed the unbelievable craziness that happened on the boardwalk with the ultimate destructive act of 11 people that were shot,” said Nedra Sims Fears, Executive Director of Greater Chatham Initiative. “It really broke my heart.”

Police are still searching for suspects in the shooting.

Neighbors worry if this continues, businesses along the stretch of 75th will suffer even more especially following the pandemic.

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