CHICAGO (CBS) — One issue Chicago’s new mayor said she’ll focus on is the fight against summer violence.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on communities to become more engaged in that fight.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley reports, one high profile priest has a simple plan to help.
Father Michael Pfleger went door-to-door, distributing what he hopes will become the signs of summer. In a bold red, green and yellow design, the signs simply states: We Report Violence.
“We want our children to know we’re going to be looking out for them this summer. We’re going to be watching out for them this summer. We’re going to be their protectors on our blocks this summer,” Pfleger said. “They don’t just have to look for a police car. They can look for a neighbor.”
It’s an intended antidote to the toxic combination of indifference and fear that’s hindered cooperation with police in high-crime neighborhoods.
The 2006 murder of Pam Bosley’s son, Terrell, is still unsolved.
“The people are punks who are shooing our children,” said Bosley. If they see these signs in the window, they’re going to know that block is united.”
And unity, said Pfleger, can overcome concerns about retribution.
“When one speaks up…it’s a target. But when ten people on that block speak up, there is no target,” Pfleger said.
As she made the rounds in a tour of City Hall offices, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said…
“We want to encourage people, in whatever form they feel comfortable, to step up and take ownership of public safety.”
A new flag raised outside Pfleger’s St. Sabina parish reads “Demand Justice.” But like Lightfoot, Pfleger is demanding, or at least encouraging, a more responsive community as well.
“We’ve got to move beyond this police department here, community here. We need each other,” Pfleger said.
He added that a donor is paying for as many of those “We Report Violence” signs as needed. At least 5,000 have already printed and another 10,000 are on the way.
As for the long-awaited details of Mayor Lightfoot’s summer violence plan, the mayor said she’ll unveil those details on Thursday.