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County puts restrictions on rooftop reverend

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Cook County judge cited safety concerns in issuing an order that prevents anyone under 18 from visiting Reverend Corey Brooks on the roof of an abandoned motel.

Reverend Brooks has camped out on the roof for two months to protest violence in the neighborhood.

Monday marks day 62 of the reverend's rooftop protest of gun violence. Despite the January weather and below freezing temperatures at night, Pastor Corey Brooks remains on the roof of an old motel, ministering and surviving best he can with exercise and visits from family and friends.

Last Thursday, a judge's order made enduring the rooftop nearly intolerable. The order prohibited anyone under 18 on the roof -- that included the pastor's son, daughter and the teenagers he mentors.

"Initially I was furious," said Brooks. "Initially I was really upset. Most of all, I was hurt."

The order also prohibits more than two on the roof in addition to the pastor, the use of a lift when winds are over 10 mph, and the owner of the building must provide other access to the roof.

"After getting the whole context, I feel a lot better about it today," Brooks said.

A city spokeswoman issued this statement:

"The mayor has spoken to Pastor Brooks and supports his efforts to bring attention to the issues facing the Woodlawn community. The city is working with Pastor Brooks to ensure his safety during the winter weather and to address his concerns over the building."

Pastor Brooks began his campaign November 22. He wanted to draw attention to gun violence and the need to combat the causes. He began a fund raising effort to buy the building and create a center.

Brooks wants to raise $450,000 to buy and raze the property. So far he has raised more than half.

Brooks said he is willing to endure new orders if it will provide solutions where there are far too many problems.

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