A rally took place in Chicago Thursday named “Operation Wake Up.” The event was hosted by the Chicago Police Department and gave voice to residents who are eager for change in response to recent incidents claiming the lives of two Chicago youth.
Operation Wake Up came in the wake of the drive-by shooting deaths of a two-year-old boy and one adult earlier in the week and gave voice to numerous black leaders in the city.
Alluding to the fact that there has been a cavernous animosity between minority groups and law enforcement, Glen Brooks. a Chicago Police Department coordinator, said of the event: “Here’s a fact: When it comes to violence and our children, there is no side. We are all on the side of righteousness and justice on this.”
“Nobody wants to see death and destruction visit upon their family, their neighbors or their communities,” Brooks added.
Many attended the event, which was held in the district where Lavontay White Jr., 2, his pregnant aunt, 20, and her boyfriend, Lazarec Collins, 26, were sprayed with gunfire while driving down a Chicago street. Both White and the man were killed.
One Chicago activist, Aleta Clark, made it a point to clarify at the event that the police were not involved or responsible for the death of the two victims. “Guess what? Not one police did it this time. We did it. Where’s the outrage?” Clark asked the crowd.
White’s aunt and her unborn child miraculously escaped from the crime scene and survived. The event was caught on a Facebook Live stream, which the victims had been recording at the time of the incident.
Clark went on to chastise residents of the community for their complacency over the deaths.
“And there is more people that stand in the [Air] Jordan line that there [are] out here in this community for this baby. This baby died for the decisions that we, as young adults, make,” she said.
Others held the same sentiment. One first responder, Andrew Holmes, shared that his 11-year-old cousin was also a victim of gun violence. “My message is to the community: Come together, block by block, neighbor by neighbor, friend by friend. It’s too many children been laid to rest early and we’re having family reunions every week.”
Last week, DML reported on two teenaged girls who were each shot in separate gun-related incidents in the city, just minutes apart. One of the girls fell victim to her injuries and died on the same day as two-year-old White and his 26-year-old companion.
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