(CBS) – Two hundred people rallied near Chicago police headquarters, demanding an end to the violence on East 35th Street.
Speakers said the June 23 murder of a 52-year-old innocent bystander as rival gangs exchanged gunfire on East 35th at Indiana Avenue was just the latest in a growing and disturbing pattern. Three others were wounded in the drive-by attack.
Wentworth District Police Cmdr. Terence Williams said he is dedicated to eradicating the problem.
“We’re going to do our part, you’re going to do your part and we’re going to win,” he said. “We’re not out here to lose. What happened the other day is not going to happen anymore.”
Third Ward Ald. Pat Dowell took the crowd door-to-door to the businesses lining East 35th Street with a message and a warning.
“You can’t just take our money, and use our money, and then take it somewhere else,” she said. “You have to invest in this community because we live here, we support you, and you know what’s going on on 35th Street.”
Dowell said if businesses balk at loitering crackdowns, residents should boycott them.
“Pass the message to them. Let them know. We ain’t afraid to call police,” community activist Andrew Holmes said.
Williams and The GAP Community Organization President Leonard McGee said their goal is to eradicate the problem, not to shift it somewhere else.
“It’s not pushing the crime south. It’s getting rid of the crime,” McGee said.