(CBS) — Several hundred people turned out for an evening rally and march Friday from Saint James Episcopal Cathedral, just off the Magnificent Mile, to Stroger Hospital.
The protesters in the second annual “CrossWalk” attempted to put the spotlight on the growing toll of murdered children in Chicago.
The group said the murder toll involving children in Chicago since 2008 has risen to 806. Many wore signs, pinned to their backs, saying that 806 children is a number more than they can bear.
Some hoped to advocate for youth and volunteer for teen anti-violence programs. They heard from Catholic priests, Episcopal priests and bishops, evangelical ministers and from the parents of murdered children, such as Steve Pike. He lost his son Ricky nine months ago in a shooting he described as “casual and thoughtless.”
“Someone, for reasons unknown, pulled up beside him and fired a quick succession of shots,” Pike said. “Just like that, my son was taken from us.”
Ironically, Pike said, he identified his son at the morgue through a tattoo that read, “Love Life.”
“We may be cold in body, but our hearts and spirits are warm,” said Pastor Cy Fields of the west side New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church.
Protest leaders seek legislation that will curb the violence. They hope to make their point directly to lawmakers in Springfield during a day of lobbying on April 11.
Friday’s stops included Daley Plaza and Old St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church.