Chatham Park Event Honors Fallen Police Officer

(CBS) – The Chatham community this weekend is honoring the memory of fallen Chicago police officer Thomas Wortham IV, whose life was taken by senseless gunfire.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker went to Nat King Cole Park, where an overnight campout began Friday night in a show of solidarity against gangs, drugs and guns.

About 70 inner-city kids and young teens were doing what kids are supposed to do in the park: have fun. And on this special night they were interacting with adults who happen to be police officers.

Even the mayor was there to welcome the youngsters and to spread the anti-violence message.

For student Quiona Smith it was her fourth year.

“A lot of people judge this park based on things that happen here. But there are good things about this park and the neighborhood,” she says.

The annual Peace in the Park After Dark event is to honor officer Wortham, who was slain in a robbery across the street in 2010. This year on July 4th, a five-year-old boy was wounded in the park during a picnic.

Wortham’s father, Thomas Worthan III, said, “This is fantastic, this is wonderful, and I would hope this is duplicated throughout the city.”

Activities continue Saturday morning.

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