Violent weekend gives meaning to anti-violence rally

June 4, 2012 6:57:35 AM PDT
After a violent weekend in which three people were gunned down, the anti-violence group CeaseFire held a rally on the West Side Sunday.

The rally was planned to kick off a week of events called CeaseFire Week but came on the heels of another violent weekend that also saw 21 others wounded by gunfire.

The youngest victim, Jamal Lockett, 16, was shot and killed on the city's South Side Saturday afternoon. On Friday night, 26-year-old Jermaine Arnold was shot and killed in University Village and early Sunday, 33-year-old Andre Brown was killed in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

The rally was held in the Austin neighborhood and while there was fun, food and games, the message was about keeping communities safe.

"Do good, look out for your little brothers, the cousins, the nieces and nephews," said rally organizer Karl Bell. "If you can look out for them, everybody will have a safe summer.'

"We are going to help them understand that violence is not good behavior and that it should not be the norm in the community," said Tio Hardiman of CeaseFire.

Lockett's death happened reportedly after a dispute about a bicycle. No one is in custody.

"It has to stop?," said Lockett's mother, Regina Demukes. "I just hate it happened to my son."

A 15-year-old girl was also shot in the 8700-block of South Saginaw, while a teen boy was struck by gun fire near Marquette and Hermitage, making the CeaseFire event geared towards educating youth about options other than gangs and gun violence an important part of taking back the streets.

"There really shouldn't be violence," said Teryn Chambers. "We're all just kids."


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