Rewards worth $6K offered in beating death

September 29, 2009 (CHICAGO) Four teens have been charged in the murder of Derrion Albert. But police are looking for more suspects.

VIDEO: Rewards worth $6K offered in beating death
VIDEO: 4 teens charged in fatal beating
THE ORIGINAL REPORT: Teen beaten to death in Roseland mob fight

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said the greatest aid so far in the department's investigation of the beating death of Derrion Albert is the amateur video taken of the fight. But they need more help.

"I'm glad there was a video cause it helped bring four people to justice. There's some more to bring but it's sad that for whatever reason people choose not to get involved this code of silence, 'don't snitch' is controlling people's lives," said Weis.

Weis was joined by clergy and Chicago Public School officials who say they are looking to prevent more violence between the communities that feed Fenger High School by increasing patrols before and after classes and by offering free bus service to some students.

Weis also said Mayor Daley expressed concern about the incident from Copenhagen.

"It's not about the Olympics. It's about a young man who died he was killed at 16 years old. And that's unacceptable in any city," said Daley.

The fourth teenager charged with Albert's murder was in court on Tuesday. Prosecutors say 18-year-old Eugene Bailey is on tape punching Albert in the face, rendering him unconscious. But that's not what bailey's mother said she saw on the tape.

"I seen the clips. That's not my baby," said Ava Greyer, Eugene Bailey's mother.

Also speaking out is Eugene Riley's mother. The 18-year-old is among those charged. She admits it is her son on tape, but says he was only trying to defend himself.

"The young man that lost his life wasn't just standing there. He was fighting also," said Sherry Smith, Eugene Riley's mother.

Superintendent Weis is investigating reports that officers who first arrived at the fight failed to take action.

The U.S. Secret Service is enhancing the video tape to help Chicago police identify everyone involved in the fight. Those people could also be charged.

What can be done to end the violence?

The beating death of Derrion Albert has residents in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood wondering what can be done to stop the violence that has gripped their community, as well as others across the city.

In these situations it's always the big question: What can be done to end the violence? Some believe bigger police presence. Others think after-school programs, jobs or community centers would help.

But there is a school of thought that says it's time to stop blaming others and it's time for parents to take responsibility. Angela Rogers came to Fenger High School Tuesday to take her 16-year-old daughter out of school. She says it's time for her child to transfer because she believes Fenger is not safe.

"Three girls jumped on her inside this school. She's been in like four fights here, and she needs an education," said Rogers.

Some students believe the beating death of Albert was the culmination of tension that has been brewing ever since kids from the Altgeld Gardens housing project were forced to go to Fenger after their high school, Carver, was converted into a military academy two years ago. There has been an ongoing feud between Altgeld Gardens students and Fenger neighborhood kids.

But not everyone is accepting that as an excuse for the violence.

"To blame the school system is taking the responsibility off where the responsibility should lie. The responsibility of these young people lies with their mothers and fathers," said Harold Davis, CPS contractor and Roseland resident.

Davis grew up in Altgeld Gardens. He now has a contract with Chicago Public Schools to renovate school auditoriums. He does so by hiring local high school kids.

Others in the Roseland neighborhood think jobs will help. Some business owners and ministers are getting together to come up with a plan to offer jobs to 16-to-21-year-olds.

"We are committed to creating jobs for the youngsters who have nothing to do in this community," said W. L. Lillard, business owner.

Maurice Fulson runs a community center. He fears, once the story becomes yesterday's news, the promises from business leaders and ministers will not be kept.

"Stop talking about it and do it. There's enough clery out here. They can build $1.5 million churches, they can build all that, but they can't build a recreational center. Why don't they try?" said Fulson.

In the meantime, those business leaders plan to meet Friday to come up with a plan to provide jobs to the youth in the Roseland community.

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