CHICAGO (CBS) — As it is after every violent weekend – especially when kids become victims – the question becomes, what now? And what can we do better?
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra was there Sunday as city leaders and restaurants went door-to-door for justice.
In the 6000 block of South Halsted Street in Englewood, 1-year-old Sincere Gaston was shot and killed on Saturday.
A day later, people from all over the city were knocking on doors, and business owners from all over the city were pooling reward money.
The group “I’m Telling, Don’t Shoot” said this is their problem, and all of our problem too.
“We’re putting out flyers to get the word out,” said business owner Pamela Blackman.
Door-knocking in the heat in a pandemic is uncomfortable.
“Not easy, but it’s necessary,” Blackman said. “We have to step up. We have to do something.”
The sweat was nothing compared with the tears over another young life lost. Sincere was shot in the chest and killed just one block away from where they knocked on the doors, and just 24 hours earlier.
“Sincere deserved to live his life and grow up in the Englewood that I know and love,” said Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th).
In the last few weeks, it has become a familiar headline in Chicago. Last Saturday, 3-year-old Mehki James was shot and killed in South Austin.
Also Saturday, an 8-year-old was shot in the 6600 block of South Wood Street in West Englewood, and hours after that, a 10-year-old girl, Lena Nunez, was shot and killed in the 3500 block of West Dickens Avenue in Logan Square.
“How come they aren’t marching now that all the babies got killed?” one man said.
Blocks away from where Sincere was shot, the pain and the anger was a shared one.
“We’re killing each other and we don’t even come out for each other,” said Englewood resident Andre Brather.
Parra asked the group what they thought the solution should be.
“I think there needs to be more police presence. I also think there need to be more business presence, there needs to be more clergy presence,” said businessman and activist Early Walker. “We can’t just put all of the blame on the police. We have to be willing to help.”
“It’s our fault that this is happening, not the police’s fault,” said activist Sean Howard.
The people who were knocking on the doors on Sunday did not know the children who were shot. But they were pooling their money together as they knocked on those doors.
“We want people to stop the ‘no snitching’ code,” Howard said.
The group handed out fliers to try to bring the assailants to justice.
“We’re all related in the sense that we’re all connected by community. We have to step up,” Blackman said. “We’re putting in the work and the money behind the words.”
So many different groups around the city have come forward with one goal – to pool money together and find Sincere’s shooter. As it stands, a reward of at least $50,000 in total has been amassed for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information many call Area One detectives at (312) 747-8380 or go to CPDTip.com. Tips can be provided anonymously.