Local

Coalition hoping to stop Chicago violence

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Chicago's increasing problem with gun violence has taken another pair of lives after two people were killed and another six wounded in shootings this weekend.

Now a coalition of anti-violence activists are reaching out to community members and proposing solutions to stop the violence.

The latest outbreak of violence includes a fatal shooting near 116th Street and South Wallace.

Shots were fired at a known gang member driving in a car. The vehicle crashed into a porch, and the driver had a gunshot wound to the chest and was shot dead.

The incidents are prompting anti-violence organizations to step up and send a message to communities.

"Between the killings in Chicago, the school strike, Chicago is the epicenter of an urban crisis," said Rev. Jesse Jackson. "We need and deserve better"

The group UCAN held a workshop with local officials, including Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy showcasing their mentoring programs and initiatives they say really work to keep kids out of trouble, like Chase Larkin.

"After being in a program, seeing all of the African American males that were successful and talk about what they went through, it helped me change my way of thinking," Larkin said.

With a possible Chicago Public School teacher strike looming, some parents are worried their kids will have nothing to do but hit the streets and get into the wrong crowd. But Superintendent McCarthy says police are prepared.

"We have contingency plans in place, we've worked with CPS, we know exactly what they are going to be doing, we know exactly what we are going to be doing," McCarthy said.

Young people are also turning to social media sites like Facebook and YouTube, posting violent videos in hopes of rich and famous.

"A lot of young people are under the assumption that the more violent they become, and post violent videos they may end up getting a record deal," said Tio Hardiman, CeaseFire Illinois Director.

Leaders are urging parents to try and take a stand against violence.

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