Human Rights

Grief without remedy: The effort to stop the War Zone on Chicago’s South Shore Community

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chicago-gun-violence
Attribution: Getty Images  Chicago Murder
By Mark Clements (Associate Editor, The Debrief)
Overall, there were 762 murders in Chicago in 2016. It was the deadest year in nearly two decades. For example, in 2016 on Father’s Day weekend 12 murders were committed and Christmas weekend 12 murders out of 27 reported shootings. On New Year’s Eve, residents and activist the city carried 800 wooden crosses down the streets of downtown, as they called for an end to community violence. Time and time again-the (residents and activist) call has been met with over 145 murders since the start of 2017.
 
Chicago Police reports show that many of the homicides in Chicago were gun-related. In 2016, there were 3,550 shooting incidents and 4,331 shooting victims, and five police districts on the south and west sides of the city accounted for nearly two-thirds of the increase in murders, according to the Chicago police department.
On the south side of Chicago-the streets of the South Shore community have changed and it’s changing due to community violence for the past thirty years.  For example, late last month in March, eight people, and a fetus were killed as the result of this same tragic violence. The name Jerry Jacobs was not among the list of people known to community activists as a victim of the tragic gun violence that had taken place across the east side of Chicago. Police authorities believe his death may have been the catalyst for a quadruple homicide the following day.
Reports show Jacobs was shot by gunfire, ran to a hospital blocks away, afterward there was a serious need for Jacobs to be transferred to a trauma center much as 15 minutes away, it cost him his life, some in his family believe.
Jacobs was a murder that surprisingly had no mention by police. The community has been terrified, shocked to the core with grief and concern to end this latest wave of violence, said long time resident Betty Washington. “I have been in this community for over 48 years, and I cannot recall a time that would properly describe March 29th and 30th, it was like a war,” Washington said. Chicago police are yet to properly describe what happen to Jacobs a 37-year-old African American male, who has struggled to get his life in order. He was killed on March 29th at approximately 11:15 PM while walking down the street on 79th and Phillips.
 
The Recent Murder of Jacobs and Others
 Last week during a news conference (picture, below) with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, it was announced that Maurice Harris (19 years old) was responsible for the deaths of four people at the Nadia restaurant located 75th and Coles. They were identified as: Emmanuel C. Stokes, 28, Edwin Davis, 32, and brothers Dillon Jackson, 20, and Raheem Jackson, 19 each shot to death allegedly by Harris in revenge for the murder of his father Jacobs.
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Attribution: Chicago Sun-Times   CPD/Alderman Mithcell (left)
Tragically,  the double shootings that occurred at 7100 S. Yates, likewise a recent shooting located in South Shore that killed a 27-year-old male and a 23-year-old woman, left members of the Chicago police department processing the murder scene after murder scene. In total four different murder scenes. Left families of the victims shaken, terrorized, and hurting. At each scene police having to deal with traumatized families wounded to the core, offered little to no assistance from the city of Chicago.
During the news conference Brendan Deenihan, commander of Area Central detectives stated that Harris exercised his right to remain silent and that he was being charged with 4 counts of murder based off of identification by 3 witnesses.
 
“This argument appears to be weak and similar to how others were charged with serious offenses during the Jon Burge era of the Chicago police department,” said Val Love the aunt of a Chicago police torture victim that remain incarcerated based off of torture and false identification. When people are charged with offenses we must be certain that the right person is being charged and that the evidence supports that charge, and I am not confident of that in this case at this time, says Love.  For the record from 1972 until 1991 Burge tortured confessions from suspects inside interrogation rooms while using coercive tactics against witnesses to force them to cooperate with fabricated claims to support the police theory in the cases. Burge was fired in 1993 from the Chicago police department for acts of torture.
Relatives and friends of those that have been gun down on the streets of Chicago have been denied trauma treatment and other social services from the city of Chicago for decades. People barely able to walk as they have been traumatized through grief, losing someone to violence. In the most of Chicago’s crime-affected areas on the south side, there is no trauma center that is open, there is no grief counseling made available to them and often the families must accept the pain with all of its psychological associations and not receive one any meaningful form of treatment.
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Efforts to bring attention to the violence:
 
After the shooting of Jacob and others-I met with Chicago Alderman Greg Mitchell along with Pastor Greg Greer, who is President and Founder of Freedom First International. Our concerns involved the lack of response by the Alderman over the South Shore Community where this violence was occurring. At the time of this article (two days after the shootings), The city has offered the wounded family and community no healing and no services. Family and friends of the victims laid across the concrete pavement in anguish as they try to cope with their lost. This is a scene all across Chicago, however not on the same levels as Chicago’s southside.
 
We requested Alderman Mitchell to get more involved with his community and to reach out to the families that have been affected as the result of this massacre. It was our request that the first year alderman make attempts to gain a trauma center for his ward and to establish sound programs for both younger and older residents in his ward.
 
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Attribution: Facebook Mark Clements
 
The meeting went well and we look forward to change in the south shore community and also to establish a dialog between the community with their new alderman.
Also included in the conversation was the fact the relatives and friends of those that have been gun down on the streets of Chicago have routinely been denied trauma treatment and other social services from the city of Chicago for decades. People are barely able to walk as they have been traumatized through grief, losing someone to violence. In the most crime-affected areas on the south side, there is no trauma center that is open, there is no grief counseling made available to them and often the families must accept the pain with all of its psychological associations and not receive one any meaningful form of treatment.
 
Meanwhile, Harris who is held at the Cook County Jail has been informed that he will not be allowed bond and would be unlikely an attendee at his father’s funeral. The south shore community is in need of programs and jobs. It’s a community that has seen entire blocks abandoned with vacant lots. Unemployment, poverty, and ineffective drug treatment centers. When crime affect communities police and the city must step up and accept responsibility.
 
South Shore Chicago residents sit in fear knowing that they are receiving less protection from its police and it has really been visible the past two years. (mc)
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(Mark Clements is an Associate Editor for OneWorld01.com.  A Chicago police torture survivor, Board Member with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. A Board member of Illinois Fair Sentencing for Illinois Youth, and is also currently Chairperson over the Campaign to End Torture). Mark can be reached at twitter https://twitter.com/Prisonspeaks
 
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For immediate Release: Social Justice and immigrant activist to rally this Friday to make demand to the Trump Administration to stop illegal deportations

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For immediate Release: Social Justice and immigrant Activist rally this Friday to make demand to the Trump Administration to stop illegal deportations 

 

Greer Front Banner 2016

 
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April 7, 2017 at Broadview Immigration Processing Center (1930 Beach St., Broadview, IL)

A group of civil rights and immigrant activists will gather on this Friday morning to express fears over the direction President Donald Trump is taking the country with immigrant rights.

They fear families will be torn apart by deportation and blocked from reuniting with relatives seeking to flee war and oppression in other countries after the president signed a pair of executive orders tightening immigration measures.

“We are working to wake up those who refuse to believe that “making America great again”  means spreading a message of racial separatism and hate.  closing off our nation with walls, illegally detaining men, women, and children, stripping cities of federal funding and tearing families apart with deportations,” For the record Freedom First International is part of the group also participated in the massive Trump protest in Chicago that put 16,000. people in Downtown.” Gregg L.Greer President of Freedom First International.

 For the record:

At the start of this effort the Family members and Community activist-Leadership will hold a joint Press Conference (briefing) -This Friday/morning April 7, 2017 in Broadview, IL at 7:15 AM, people of faith, civil rights activist and others will join together in a prayer vigil-protest demonstration at Broadview Immigration Processing Center (1930 Beach St., Broadview, IL) to support those who are in the immigration deportation process, the families of those being deported, and to be a public witness to the injustices of our harsh (enhanced) immigration system. The event will be coordinated by members of several organizations who will join leadership on the ground. Stand with us!

 

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Recent initiatives to address

Recent- Change national perceptions of people of color and others about The Trumps immigration policy 

Key

WHAT:  Press Conference and Community Action requesting the Trump Administration to Stop forced immigrations. 

WHERE:  Broadview Immigration Processing Center (1930 Beach St., Broadview, IL)


WHO:
 Freedom First International_Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Violence Interrupters, Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois and others.  

WHY: Family and activist will address concerns that situation may be growing more volatile due to negative community pushback. 

Many folks nationally believe that the Trump administration’s-policy is both Illegal and unconstitutional. 

PHOTO/STORY OPP:  Civil Rights Organizers and Community Folks who want change nationally in the wake of growing criticism of the Trump Immigration Policy.

AREA of INTEREST: Public Safety/ National Policy Reform against_unfair immigrations in Chicago, IL., and Nationally.

Contact (s):     

Lead Activist-Media Advisers

Gregg L, Greer, 404 992-8954 gregggreer72@gmail.com

 

For immediate Release: Family of High Profile Rape Case (victim) will make a plea to Local Officials for Protection

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Stacy Elkins

Elkins (right)-victim mother. said she’s shocked by people’s actions, especially of those 40 people (Daily Mail)

 

The Family members and Community activist-Leadership will hold a joint  Press Conference calling for City Officials including the Mayor of Chicago, City Police Officials and also the Illinois Governor to give protection and relocation to the family to shield them from a continued cloak of threats and harassment from the local community due to the case being highly provocative and the high level of negative pushback coming from the community.

Violence Interrupters President-Tio Hardiman, Freedom First International and SCLC Chicago President -Pastor Gregg L. Greer, and various family members including Reginald King (the Uncle of rape victim  Deahvion Austin) The family is now in fear for their lives, and we want the officials to react “before more family members are hurt.”

The group is also calling on men in the community to help with protection.

 Deahvion Austin was The15-year-old girl who was gang-raped during a Facebook Live video after she went missing from her home has been reunited with her mother.  

Chicago Police said the teenager was found after five or six men (boys) were suspected of sexually assaulting her.

About 40 people viewed the attack on Facebook while it was happening on Sunday but none of them reported it to police, according to department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

The girl’s mother Stacey Elkins, and uncle alerted police to the incident after showing them screen grabs taken from the video.  

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Recent initiatives to address

Recent- Change Perceptions of People of Color the poor and others about Chicago Community Violence  

Key

WHAT:  Press Conference and Community Action asking for further Protection for Rape Victim and Family

WHERE:  1400 South Avers Chicago, IL Chicago, IL. 60623 at 10:00 am (Street Corner)


WHO:
  Violence Interrupters, Freedom First International_Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois and others.  

WHY: The issue of Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful acts like rape in this case are sometimes held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. Family and activist will address concerns that situation may be growing more volatile due to negative community pushback.

PHOTO/STORY OPP:  Civil Rights Organizers and Community Folks who want change in Chicago in the wake of last years overwhelming and historically high community violence totals-(Rape Included).

AREA of INTEREST: Public Safety/ National Policy Reform against_Violence in Chicago, IL

Contact (s):     

Lead Activist-Media Advisers

Tio Hardiman, 773 391-9072

Gregg L, Greer, 404 992-8954

 

For immediate Release: Guns Don’t Die Children Do_Chicago (Prayer Vigil) Press Conference and Prayer Vigil

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For immediate ReleaseGuns Don’t Die Children Do_Chicago (Prayer Vigil)

Press Conference and Prayer Vigil

Sunday-March 19, 2017   62nd and Aberdeen Chicago, IL (Corner)

 Chicago, IL. at 11:00 am

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When 30,000 Americans die each year due to gun violence, it is time to acknowledge that we are suffering from a modern plague. When schoolchildren are gunned down by single shooters with a high-capacity magazine, we suffer from a modern plague. And, when criminals can buy weapons without having their backgrounds checked, we suffer from a modern plague.

This Vigil will be part of our early effort to “Prevent the critical Issue of Gun Violence” for 2017 in areas in Chicago where this plague is taking young lives in abundance. (This corner is where a three year old is in critical condition after being shot in the head in an apparent accident.) The goal is to stop unnecessary loss of life!

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Recent initiatives to address

Recent- Change Perceptions of People of Color the poor and others about Chicago Community Violence

Key

WHAT:  Guns Don’t Die Children Do_Chicago (Prayer Vigil)Press Conference and Prayer Vigil

WHERE:  March 192017 11:00 a.m at 62nd and Aberdeen Chicago, IL (Corner)

  Show Map

62nd and Aberdeen Chicago, IL (Corner)

WHO:  Violence Interrupters, Freedom First International_Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois and others. (Please note this group has been on the frontlines of Chicago Violence for the past three years and more).

WHY: The issue of gun violence — more specifically, Chicago’s gun violence — is by no means a new issue. However, President Trump has singled out the city, even threatening to send in the federal troops, as a part of his “law and order” campaign. The current discourse coming from the White House focuses on more police, more prison and increased criminalization of Black and Latino communities as a solution. Unfortunately, this narrative of retribution fully incorporates the Fraternal Order of Police viewpoint without considering the concerns of the community.

PHOTO/STORY OPP:  Civil Rights Organizers and Community Folks who want change in Chicago in the wake of last years overwhelming and historically high community violence totals.

AREA of INTEREST: Public Safety/ National Policy Reform against_Violence in Chicago, IL

Contact (s):     Gregg L, Greer-Lead Activist-Media Adviser 321 355-0598gregggreer72@gmail.com

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For Immediate Release: Chicago Activist and Civil Rights Leadership will Rally for PEACE- give away coats in opposition of violence for Holiday Season

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CHICAGO, IL-Social Justice organizations and activist will stand together for a Peace rally on December 4, 2016 at 12 noon- The PEACE RALLY/PRAYER VIGIL is scheduled to remember citizens slain by gun/ community violence. The event will be held from 12-1 p.m. on intersection of 79th and exchange, Southside of Chicago . The Main sponsors are The Zakat Foundation and Freedom First International, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Violence Interrupters Inc and others.

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In addition multiple “coats will be givenaway,” for those in need-to serve and support the community effort for keeping the city “safe and secure.” The south shore are is considered to be one of the top ten deadliest neighborhoods with 20 homicides and 120 total shootings year to date.

QUOTEAs the year draws to an end, we look to remember those whose lives where lost of our South Shore community and plan for a better future. On Sunday, December 4th, from 12-2 p.m. Zakat Foundation of America in collaboration with Freedom First International other organizations are taking over an intersection in South Shore that has been rife with violence, and reclaiming the space for positive use. We wish to promote community through reflection, thought-provoking entertainment, and good will. 
Ubuntu: We Stand For Peace is about not only our shared losses as a community, but how we can claim shared ownership to minimize the blood-shed in South Shore. 

##‪#‎glg###

Recent initiatives to address

Recent –Change Perceptions of People of Color the poor and others about community violence.

Key

WHAT: Peace Vigil to combat growing gun violence on Chicago’s SouthSide “We Stand for Peace.”

WHERE: 79th and Exchange  Intersection, Chicago, Illinois 60611

WHEN: 12/04/2016 from 12 noon- 1:00pm

WHO:  Zakat Foundation of America,Freedom First International_Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and others

WHY: Much needed public effort to combat Chicago community violence / police violence/ gun violence 

PHOTO/STORY OPP:  Civil Rights Organizers in Opposition of those who commit community violence

AREA of INTEREST: Public Safety/ National Political Policy 

Contact (s):  

Gregg L, Greer-Media Adviser 321 355-0598, gregggreer72@gmail.com

  Marcus Knight-Lead Organizer-708 233-0555 Marcus@zaket.org

For Immediate Release: Community Activist Leadership to hold Press Conference/ Are preparing Legal Battle against Mayor Rahm Emanuel for misuse of funds

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breaking_news

For Immediate Release: Community Activist Leadership to hold Press Conference/ Are preparing Legal Battle against Mayor Rahm Emanuel for misuse of public funds and his position. 

(Press Conference-at City Hall-2rd Floor  )

 ***** Media Advisory *****

A press conference to Chicago lay out the case against Mayor Rahm Emanuel usage city funds to pay off nonprofits, faith leaders, community activist, and social justice workers “as if those funds were his special personal slush fund.” In the wake of the Laquan McDonald shooting fallout- Rahm Emanuel’s effort was coordinated to quiet any opposition that directly resulted with Emanuel trying to turn around all negativity and harm done to his looming political image in the wake of the McDonald shooting and also growing public disapproval ratings—In addition to growing citizen mistrust in the Chicago police stands out amongst other major problems that Rahm tried to quell-which ignited his misuse of public funds.

The activist investigating the issue, seriously question if the local community is aware of the selfish and disturbing use of diverted City of Chicago funds by the Chicago Mayor. The funds in question under normal circumstances should have been used for awarding independent non-profits and civic organizations primarily to better the city through scholarships and city programs.  

Many who understand that the established culture at Chicago City Hall- under Emanuel has long been able to avoid real accountability — and also we should mention Emanuel’s avoidance of sworn depositions — because City Hall bureaucrats, like those in the Chicago Police Department, continue to operate under the unwritten policies protection of policies, practices and legal standards aimed to shield the Mayor from potential harm.

For our effort-more specifically-they we want to send a clear message, that simple says, “we still haven’t forgotten, and we are prepared for a legal show down.” Leading Social Justice organizations involved are Chicago Violence Interrupters, Freedom First International, The Chicago SCLC, Tree of Life Justice League of IL along with a growing list others. Join us!

Additional Reference: 

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2016/10/21/1585511/-Chicago-Mayor-Rahm-Emanuel-used-city-funds-to-payoff-activist-after-the-Laquan-McDonald-fallout

##‪#‎glg###

Recent initiatives to address

Recent – Demand Justice, Request Mayor to resign and also the Chicago community to get involved.

Community Violence Prevention on the Chicago (South-side) and abroad

Change Perceptions of People of Color and others in the political system in Chicago

Key

WHAT: Press Conference to discuss Dissatisfaction with the Mayor and broadcast official misconduct 

WHERE: City Hall (2nd Floor) • 121 N LaSalle St, Chicago, Illinois 60602

WHEN: Monday, OCTOBER 24, 2016 at 10:00 a.m

WHO:  Civil Rights Leader Gregg L Greer, Civil Rights Leader Tio Hardiman, Freedom First International

WHY: Much needed public effort to combat Chicago Official Corruption 

PHOTO/STORY OPP:  Civil Right Organizers fighting against official corruption 

AREA of INTEREST: City Hall Reform

Contact: Gregg L, Greer-Lead Activist-Media Adviser 321 355-0598 or gregggreer72@gmail.com

A Faith Commentary: If God Gave you five minutes to Live by!

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Greer Front Banner 2016

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Attribution: CNN.COM /Getty Images
If God gave you five minutes to live by, what would you do in those last moments. Would you try to fulfill any dream that you have always wanted to complete?
Would you spend that time saying goodbye, to your family members? Or would you spend that time traveling finding the worldly exotic pleasures-that made you happy in life? After all was said and done would you wait until the last minute to “get it right with God.” 
 
The Christian Faith dictates, that followers should not wait until the end of their lives to obey, honor, and empower your faith. One reason why we all must react is because no one knows the appointed time the end will come. Much like the corporate manager who puts the junior manager in charge of the office while he is away. As people of faith we must plan for this very important moment at the end of our lives by taking charge of our lives until our leader(God) returns. Tragically, most people don’t prepare for the moment when death catches up to them but God ask us to proceed with eternity in mind.
 
Stories of those who have had a deathbed conversation, show that if you look mostly at elderly people, you will find that they always tend to take the end of days more seriously and are better prepared. In truth none of us know when were going to die, perhaps we’ll live until old age or maybe you’ll die in a tragic car accident tomorrow. (Hope not!)
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Attribution:Moodymag.com
 
If you haven’t done so, make your life right with God Today-Tell him that you are sorry for all sin. Then make every effort to obey him. Regardless of the circumstances. When it’s over all that really matters is what you’ve done.

Key Question: What immediate steps can you take to incorporate these changes right now into your life.

(glg)
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