Alderman calls for more security after woman fatally shot in Streeterville

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After a woman was shot and killed this past weekend in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, residents have called for gates to pedestrian walkways to the lakefront to be locked at night.

Police continue to pour through surveillance video trying to solve the crime. The victim's family Tuesday in Streeterville called for justice and residents called on the city to find a solution to what they believe is the source of not just this crime, but many smaller ones infecting the neighborhood.

Raven Lemons, 25, went to celebrate her birthday in Streeterville on Sunday with an expectation of safety.

"She just came down to meet a friend. She was down here maybe two or three minutes. They heard shots, they ran, her friend looked back and saw her laying on the ground," said Latrice Johnson, the victim's cousin.
Investigators said Lemons was standing near the steps that lead to a pedestrian underpass that connects Ohio Street to the lakefront when the shooting began.

"She was a real light. Whereever she was at, you wanted to be," said Jesse Smith, the victim's uncle.

Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting. But those who patrol the area and those who live there said the underpass has become a summer nuisance during the overnight hours. While the Lakefront Trail and the parks officially close at 11 p.m., the gates remain open, allowing people who congregate at the beaches late into the night to then walk into the neighborhood, bringing with them drugs, alcohol and now, gun violence.

"There's definitely been a tremendous increase in crime around here," said resident Patricia Carman.

Long-time residents remember a time when the gates were closed during the overnight hours. These days, they're only locked for maintenance and repairs. Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward is calling on the city to revise that policy.

"I think by locking these gates at midnight it gives people ample time to exit the parks, but then gives police an extra tool to better manage fewer access points between the Lakefront Trail and the neighborhood," Alderman Reilly said.
Alderman Reilly also called for increased police patrols, better lighting and additional pod cameras in the areas that surround not just the Ohio Street underpass, but also similar ones along the lakefront.

Lemons' family released this statement Monday:

"The family would like to express our gratitude for all of the prayers and support during our time of bereavement. Also, as a sincere memorial in honor of Raven, our deepest desire is that community leaders, teachers, preachers and the like, come together to find solutions to the challenges plaguing the Black community, such as gun violence, inequity in resources, like education, and mental health, so that her son could grow up to be the man and/or the productive member of society that Raven was rearing him to be."
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