"We report violence" signs aim to discourage South Side crime

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer in Chicago, but it is also known as a time when violence often spikes.

As the city and police prepare their prevention plan, a prominent South Side pastor has launched his own initiative.

Father Michael Pfleger said police can't solve Chicago's violence problem on their own, echoing a theme we've heard from Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Wednesday ,Father Pfleger encouraged residents on the south Side, and all over Chicago, to help discourage the shootings by being willing to step up and report crime when they see it.

It's a sign for residents and a sign to criminals that violence won't be tolerated this summer, but instead reported.

"This is a new day in Chicago and I think this is got to be a new day in the community. We are standing up, and we're speaking out, and we are going to report," said Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.

Armed with signs that say "we report violence," Father Michael Pfleger took to the streets outside his church to hand out thousands city-wide.

"We're asking upstairs and downstairs, put these signs up in the front window," said Father Pfleger.

"I tell my kids, speak up. You've got to. That's why the stuff is going on around here, because everybody want to be silent, so I don't know but I do my part," said Angela Barney, who hung a sign in her house.

"Usually these people that are doing the shootings, they are punks. So if they know if the block is united together and they are standing together, they're not going to come in your block and do anything," said Pam Bosley with Purpose Over Pain.

On his 70th birthday, Father Pfleger raised a new flag outside his church saying "demand justice." He hopes and prays it won't be a violent summer and said to make that happen, police and the community both have their do their part.

"That bridge between law-enforcement and community is a long way from being built, but we can't wait for that bridge with the summer coming ahead of us, and warm weather and violence still going on all over the city," said Father Pfleger.

Wednesday afternoon Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she encourages this kind of community involvement, reiterating that it will take more than police to tackle violence in Chicago.
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