Chicago violence prompts calls for street gang truce on 28th anniversary in shooting death of 7-year-old boy at Cabrini-Green

The fatal shooting of Dantrell Davis, 7, prompted a truce between Chicago gangs for several years

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Family calls for Chicago street gang truce on 28th anniversary of Cabrini-Green boy's death
Call for a street gang truce in Chicago come on the 28th anniversary of the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Dantrell Davis, who was shot to death while walking to school with his mom

CHICAGO (WLS) -- In 1992, the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old Near North Side boy resulted in a Chicago street gang truce.

Now 28 years later, the family of Dantrell Davis is calling for another truce in hopes of stopping the violence in the city.

Davis was shot to death at Cabrini-Green as he walked to school with his mother. A stray bullet fired by a gang member from the public housing high rise led to a truce that lasted a few years.

While the gang leader responsible, Anthony Garrett, was sentenced to 100 years in prison, Davis' mother said she suffers a life sentence of grief.

"I go through pain every day. It doesn't change, you just learn to deal with it," said Davis' mom Annette Freeman.

Freeman said she does take some solace in knowing that her son's death brought about a truce among gangs to put down their guns and help keep children safe.

Maurice Perkins with the Inner City Youth Foundation helped broker that truce.

"It hurt, and it hurt us all. We said we'd do something about it and we did," Perkins said.

Despite skepticism from some city's leaders, the commitment to nonviolence among gang leaders lasted for several years. Perkins said it proves that reducing gun violence is possible.

However, with the recent spike in gun violence across the city, he's hoping to bring gang leaders to the table once again.

"Everybody should be outraged with our babies falling like that," he said.

If Davis lived, he would be 38 years old today.

His mother believes he would have been a boxer like his grandfather, but instead his mother is the one fighting for peace.

"That's one thing about my black men, they don't play about hurting babies and they felt the responsibility of stepping up and stopping it," Freeman said.

The buildings that once made up Cabrini-Green are long gone, but the memory of Dantrell Davis remains. His mother hopes the lessons of his death remain as well.