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South Side preacher offers thoughts on gun violence

Bishop Larry Trotter offered his congregation some tips for dealing with police officers during a traffic stop. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

A South Side preacher on Sunday condemned gun violence, slammed the mayor and governor for not doing enough to curtail it and offered congregants tips on how to stay safe when pulled over by police.

“I have some concern that enough isn’t being done by the mayor and the governor,” Bishop Larry Trotter said. “People can’t live normal lives. . . . People don’t want to go outside. Kids can’t go outside.”

“Come on bishop!” shouted a woman in the front row. “Say it!”

“And I’m calling for the mayor to not just get up and have a sympathy speech but to make some changes in our community,” Trotter said before hundreds seated in pews at Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago, 8621 S. South Chicago Ave.

“That man you elected as governor, he seems to not care either. And Chicago is a part of Illinois,” he said.

Trotter described Chicago as “The Wild West of America” in an email inviting media to his church.

Early Walker, who owns of a towing company in Dixmoor, told congregants he had a message painted on the sides of his trucks last week: a child holding up a palm accompanied by the words “Enough. People wake up. Stop the violence.”

“People say, ‘Hey, but you’re just a towing company.’ But it’s got to start somewhere,” Walker told congregants.

He later added: “If one person could possibly drive by and possibly look at the truck and possibly think, and that might change their mind . . . it’s worth it.”

Roylette Luckey with granddaughters Nevaeh (left), Mariah and Heaven. Early Walker is on the right. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times
Roylette Luckey with granddaughters Nevaeh (left), Mariah and Heaven. Early Walker is on the right. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Roylette Luckey said she was left to raise her four grandkids when her daughter, Nycole Mister, 28, was shot and killed outside a bar in September of last year.

“It’s hard for me to do what I’m doing. Combing hair every day now. Giving them a bath. Getting them to school. It’s hard,” she said.

And the fact that it’s not safe outside for her grandkids to play makes it harder, she said.

“We have to do something to get them to go back outside to play jump rope and hopscotch and things like that. Nobody wants to go outside anymore.”

Trotter offered a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to interacting with a police officer during a traffic stop:

• “Be respectful. . . . Don’t make any sudden moves. Keep your hands on the steering wheel.”

• “Turn on the interior lights of your car so they don’t make a mistake between a cellphone and a handgun.”

• “Don’t lie to the the policeman. It’s generally a bad idea.”

“Every cop is not bad,” he said.