Lake County residents rally against police

September 6, 2008 8:48:26 PM PDT

Participants marched to end the violence they say comes at the hands of those sworn to serve and protect the public.

"We are organizing here together to get our community together so we can police our community because, unfortunately, it's not as safe as it has been because police don't keep the peace," said march organizer Chris Blanks.

Residents began their rally in North Chicago just a block from where Gloria Gibson says her 21-year-old nephew, Aaren Gwinn, was killed during a traffic stop roughly four months ago. She's disappointed elected officials and community leaders had little to say about the shooting.

"All the big preachers and religious leaders, they close their eyes to things, and people in authority close their eyes to things. It's not right," Gibson said.

The life of Jeffrey Lewis was also celebrated Saturday. He's the 17-year-old who was shot to death allegedly after he attacked an officer with a hammer. Police were called to the high school student's Waukegan home to break up a fight between him and his older brother.

Relatives dispute the chain of events, saying Lewis never attacked police. They've hired Chicago attorney James Montgomery Jr. to possibly file a wrongful death lawsuit.

"My son's gone now. You can't bring him back, but my thing is that I hope and pray that it happens to no other mother or father again," said Margaret Rollins, Jeffrey Lewis's mother.

Waukegan police say the incident is under independent review and that the officers involved used the necessary force.

"Whether the force is being used against the officer or another person at the scene, the officer's number one concern is the defense of life," said Wayne Walles of the Waukegan Police Department.

Marchers say their protest is not over.


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