CHICAGO (CBS) — A community in deep grave said a piece of artwork helped them heal. Now a group of young activists is desperately trying to find a space to hang a mural to a murdered friend.
CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov dug into why they are hitting one hurdle after another.READ MORE: Man Shot, Critically Wounded In Grant Park Near Roosevelt Road
It’s a mural without a home, a tribute without a space. For those who helped create the memorial to teenage activist Caleb Reed, it’s more than art. It’s work from the heart.
“I want people to really feel the emotion that we put into this painting and the love that we had for Caleb,” said Meyiya Coleman, Reed’s friend.
Coleman is a member of Voice of Young in Chicago Education or VOYCE.
Reed, 17, was also a member. He had spoken out against Chicago police officers in pubic schools about a month before he was shot and killed near Emerson Park. The tragedy was compounded after his friend Genove Martin was charged with killing him.
Prosecutors say Martin was firing at a car that appeared threatening when he accidentally shot Reed in the head.
“You shouldn’t use a gun to protect yourself, but the harsh reality is that’s what we have to go through in our African American community,” said Coleman.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Weekend Warmup
So for young fellow activisits, the mural was cathartic.
“The reason it’s so important is because so when other young people look at it that they know that they have a voice as well,” said Derion Smith, another VOYCE member and friend of Reed.
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) is trying to help find a space.
“Where we’re at now is trying to find if there are private owners, anybody with a building or space would be wiling to,” he said.
Vasquez said he is ideally looking for a space near Mather High School where Reed went to school, but so far there have been roadblocks, or in this case, wallblocks.
Bureaucracy makes hanging it on a public building complicated. He is now approaching owners of buildings along Lincoln Avenue, which has its own challenges.
“The city doesn’t have a registry of who building owners are, so we have to do the detective work,” he said.MORE NEWS: Watchdog Report Says CPD Has Taken Few Steps To Fix Problems With Records Management In Court Cases
“We’re still not giving up. We’re still going to find a home for this thing,” said Smith.