2 killed in Chicago as Memorial Day weekend begins, police promise show of force

Saturday, May 26, 2018
2 killed in Chicago as Memorial Day weekend begins, police promise show of force
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The unofficial kickoff of summer is often followed by violence in Chicago.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police promised a show of force over Memorial Day weekend, with at least 1,000 extra officers working to help curb the holiday violence.

The unofficial kickoff of summer is often followed by violence in Chicago.

"I was out seeing kids this morning. They got enthusiasm. They can see the goal line at the end of the year. We cannot have our kids have their childhood stolen from them. As we think about the beginning of summer, it cannot be met with anxiety," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

More than 1,000 extra police officers will be on the streets throughout the city this weekend.

"They will be hitting the streets with the latest training and tools to reduce violence and build trust within the communities that they serve," said CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson.

The Brave Youth Leaders at St. Sabina and Perspectives Charter Schools Calumet Campus know it's going to take more than police to stop the violence. They came together Friday morning in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, calling for peace.

"Some people can take the older generation as preaching to us, and even though that is not always true, but I do think young people listen to young people a little more. It's different when you hear it from your peers," said Anthony Lovelace, Brave Youth Leaders.

In Englewood, high school seniors marched in their graduation gowns, taking steps to set a path for other young people to follow: graduation over guns.

"Gun violence on the South Side in the city of Chicago in general is out of control. Students really need to feel like they have an opportunity. Our kids need to feel like they have opportunities to do other things than be sucked into the streets," said Kevin Sweetland, Camelot Education.

In Bronzeville, a missionary Baptist church started simply.

"We're going to start having movie nights on the lawn and other things where we bring the church out of the four walls and get out into the streets of the city of Chicago, and show people that the city of Chicago that there's a better way," said Pastor Barry Tidwell of Rain or Shine Missionary Baptist Church.

President Donald Trump once again tweeted about violence in Chicago Friday afternoon.

Adam Collins, spokesman for the Mayor's Office, quickly fired back, citing a 21 percent drop in gun violence in both 2017 and so far in 2018.

The Chicago religious community prayed for peace for the summer as the warmer weather arrived Friday.

The youth leaders of St. Sabina and Perspectives Charter Schools Calumet Campus led a rally and parade in Renaissance Park in the city's Auburn Gresham neighborhood Friday morning. They called for peace over the Memorial Day weekend and the rest of the summer.

They joined Chicago police in urging people to put the guns down this Memorial Day weekend.

"We took it upon ourselves as youth to go ahead and say, 'Look, I know we're cool. I now I might know you from somewhere, but even if it's just for this weekend, just for this summer, put the guns down,'" said Anthony Lovelace, St. Sabina Brave Youth Leaders.

"The most thing that I'm worried about is my little sister or my little brother being a victim and I'm taking care of them. Even my little sisters and brothers that's not even in my house, my 2-year-old and 5-year-old, maybe they want to go to the park. They'll be the next name. I don't want that," said Randell Watts, a Perspectives student.

But the holiday weekend got off to a bloody start overnight.

A 31-year-old man, identified as David Hudson, was found shot to death in the 800-block of North Cambridge Avenue in the city's River North neighborhood, police said.

Officers heard shots fired around 1:30 a.m. and discovered Hudson on the ground unresponsive. No one is in custody.

A man was killed and another was injured in a drive-by shooting in the 6800-block of South Morgan Street in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. A source said the victim was shot several times in the chest. Bullet casings piled up on the street.

The CPD, FBI and ATF conducted a series of raids overnight, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. Police said 100 people were arrested, 30 weapons were seized and a daycare facility was shut down. It was allegedly being used as a gun stash house.

CPD said the raids will continue Friday across the city.