Chicago violence: Community leaders call for gang peace treaty ahead of 4th of July weekend

21 aldermen demand special meeting with CPD Supt. Brown

Liz Nagy Image
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Community leaders call for peace ahead of holiday weekend
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An on-the-ground initiative "Peace Over The East" starts in earnest again this weekend and is hyper-focused on the hot streets of South Shore.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Community leaders came together on Chicago's South Side Tuesday night to call for a peace treaty between rival gangs after a violent weekend in the city ended with dozens of people shot.

During one of last weekend's mass shootings, surveillance video captured the moment half a dozen people scrambled for their lives when a group of gunmen unloaded indiscriminately into the crowd standing on a South Shore sidewalk Sunday afternoon. It was just one of two mass shootings within a few miles, and a few hours.

RELATED: 17 shot, 2 fatally, in mass shootings in South Shore, Marquette Park, Chicago police say

"I see the lady down here shaking and shivering. I ran out of the restaurant to try and help her and the security guard ran across the street. I went to the other victim trying to help," said a witness named Nicole who declined to share her last name.

RELATED: 74 shot, 6 fatally, in weekend violence across city

That was one of two mass shootings that hit 17 people and killed two in a matter of hours Sunday. It was the city's bloodiest weekend so far this year.

"Nobody is going to come save us," community organizer William Calloway said. "It's going to take everybody that's standing next to you to save us. Nobody is going to come save us, but us."

Their on-the-ground initiative "Peace Over The East" starts in earnest again this weekend and is hyper-focused on the hot streets of South Shore.

"We need proactive," Calloway said. "We need people to go talk to prospective shooters."

When the gunshots go off, they say, it's already too late.

"Police Supt. David Brown needs to appear before city council, whether public safety committee or full body, and explain what his plan is to keep people safe in city of Chicago," said Ald. Raymond Lopez, 15th Ward.

Lopez is one of 21 Chicago City Council members now demanding the police superintendent answer questions heading into a historically violent holiday weekend.

RELATED: Chicago police superintendent points finger at courts amid violence surge

Councilmembers want to know about how officers are going to be deployed - are units going to be taken from neighborhoods and spread out across the city? How will officers use technology, like the ShotSpotter alert system? And will officers again be forced to cancel days off and work extended overtime shifts?

"So hopefully now we can get a direct answer to see how CPD's policies are impacting public safety and are they working or not," Lopez said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded Tuesday night on WTTW, saying: "The police department does regular briefings with aldermen, certainly with the public safety committee. Unfortunately, we need to make sure all those aldermen are coming and participating in those briefings."

In South Shore, community organizers are planning to take a block-by-block approach as they try to stop crimes before they start.