George Floyd's brother joins Toni Preckwinkle, former NBA player to unveil Cook County violence prevention funding effort

CHICAGO (WLS) -- George Floyd's brother and a former NBA player joined Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to unveil a Cook County violence prevention funding effort Friday afternoon.

"I don't want us to go back to our regular routine and forget that people need justice," said George Floyd's brother, Po.

Po said he hopes that his brother George did not die in vain as he lent his voice to the choir of those calling for Chicago's neighborhood violence to end.

Former NBA player and activist Stephen Jackson to joined Preckwinkle at the Austin Peoples Action Center on Chicago West Side.

Friday, the Texas native shared his concerns at the "Let Our Kids Live" rally on the city's West Side.

"Black lives must matter to black people period," said one of the event organizers.

EMBED More News Videos

George Floyd's brother was one of the speakers at the announcement of a new Cook County anti-violence initiative Friday afternoon.



"In Chicago there is a public health crisis called gun violence," said Ariel Rainey, founder of Hustle Mommies.

The effort was organized by a collaborative of community groups with the support of local officials following the mass shooting on 79th Street and the recent gun violence that has claimed some of Chicago's children.

"We've had to bury four families, four babies," said Cynthia Williams, the Austin People's Action Center director.

Lawanda Jones' 13-year-old daughter Amarie died after she was struck by a stray bullet while she was sitting inside her home.

"She was an awesome child. She had so many dreams and it was snatched away," she said.

The group said disparities in eduction, housing and jobs go hand in hand with addressing gang and gun violence.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle pledged $5 million to fight the violence through the county's Justice Advisory Council.

The new $5 million investment to the Metropolitan Family Service initiative aims at reducing gun violence. The funding will allow the Communities Partnering 4 Peace program to expand and extend violence interruption ad prevention work in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Trained partners will focus on known hot spot areas across the county and will empower individuals in those areas to maintain peace in those hot spots.

The effort comes as President Donald Trump announced a new federal anti-crime initiative Wednesday afternoon. The initiative is aimed at combating violence in American cities, including expanding a federal law enforcement presence in Chicago.
There will be hundreds of federal agents sent to Chicago to fight crime, Trump said.

Trump spent much of his "help is on the way" announcement Wednesday zeroing in on Chicago crime statistics, rattling off death tolls and killing records set and broken.

"We cannot continue to live this way ad our children cannot continue to die this way," Preckwinkle said.

While for some, it seems hard to see an end to the bloodshed, Po Floyd vowed the keep his brother's sacrifice alive and the momentum of the moment it created to bring about real change.

"These are our kings and queens. We don't need them killing the kids before they get a chance to live," Floyd said.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.