CHICAGO (CBS) — The shooting death of a young woman on Ohio Street this past weekend has community activists and a candidate for Governor calling for new thinking in the effort to stop gun violence.
Raven Lemons, 25, was killed on East Ohio Street Sunday morning, downtown, celebrating her birthday. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
Her uncle Jessie Smith said her family is hurting now. He said the fact that this shooting occurred on East Ohio Street shows such things are not limited to the poorest neighborhoods.
“This gun violence is not just immune to our neighborhoods,” he said. “When it happens downtown, it lets you know it can happen anywhere.”
Members of Raven Lemon’s family were in tears standing across from where she was killed on East Ohio street in the wee hours of the morning. And minister Joseph Pughsley, who knew the 25-year-old woman, was anguished and angry about the gun violence.
“This should never happened, she was just celebrating her birthday, doing what she do best, having fun and enjoying her life and she was ended,” Pughsley shouted. “And I’m sick of this.”
Anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, who recently launched a Democratic campaign for Governor, said people in the neighborhoods must take the battle against gangs and guns into their own hands. He said the African-American community must unify to stop the violence, and not let others decide on easy answers.
“The black community must unify in big numbers and address their own people right now,” Hardiman said. “We don’t need money for a new program. The police don’t need more money. The police were doing a lot of overtime four or five years ago and the homicides still increased.”
He said the community need to think outside the box for solutions.
“Sometimes the police will always say it is always gang related, but you have a lot of poor impulse control, interpersonal conflict, and you have a lot of people who have some mental health issues that are out here killing people,” he said.
But Hardiman is backing legislation to make it easier to trace bullets to who bought them.
Ward 42 Ald. Brendan Reilly says he sent an email to neighbors and city leaders requesting, among other things, more police department cameras, an increase in beat patrols and, in the summer months, gating off a high-traffic underpass to the lakefront overnight.
“That will cut down, I think, on a lot of illegal activity that occurs,” he says.