They came to mourn a high-ranking member of the Black Disciples street gang, but four men who attended the funeral of Lawrence “Big Law” Loggins wound up in jail on gun charges.
The men were arrested as the Chicago Police Department has put a focus on preventing retaliatory shootings after Loggins was killed Feb. 6 in what law enforcement sources suspect was a hit related to a power struggle inside one of the city’s biggest and oldest gangs.
Loggins’ funeral was held Feb. 16 at the massive House of Hope church on the Far South Side. A procession of hundreds of vehicles drove to Oak Woods Cemetery, where he was buried.
Video of the procession shows a major police presence.
The Concerned Citizens of Chatham even posted a “travel advisory” about Loggins’ funeral on its Facebook page about the “gang-related funeral” of a “well-known leader” and the “high-risk funeral procession” to the cemetery.
“This is not cause for panic, nor to empty the streets, but to increase awareness of the situation,” said the posting, which gave the route of the procession.
A woman replied on Facebook that she’s a relative of Loggins and feared the posting was “setting me and my family up to be slaughtered” because rivals might ambush them.
“My cousin died bringing the very ones shooting up your neighborhood peace,” the woman wrote.
She couldn’t be reached for comment.
Tio Hardiman, former director of Ceasefire Illinois, has said Loggins worked as an “interrupter” for the anti-violence group.
The Black Disciples once boasted 4,000 members in Chicago, but in recent years the gang has splintered into autonomous, drug-dealing factions. According to the police, the gang has been responsible for hundreds of murders over the years.
Loggins was trying to consolidate the gang under his leadership, according to police sources.
But community sources in Englewood, where Loggins lived, said the gang’s elders didn’t answer to him and noted that many of them were conspicuously absent from his funeral.
On the day he was killed, according to police sources, Loggins held a meeting at which he chastised his younger subordinates. The police suspect someone upset over Loggins’ heavy hand in running the gang might have ordered his killing, sources said.
But community residents familiar with the gang have another theory: They say they think the shooting was ordered by a gang elder still angry over Loggins’ fatal shooting of Gregory Freeman in 1989. Freeman was related to Jerome “Shorty” Freeman, the notorious “king” of the gang, who died in 2012.
Loggins, 46, was convicted of killing Gregory Freeman in Lowe Park on the South Side. Loggins was released from prison in 2009 and had no arrests since then.
He was shot in the head as he stood outside a sport-utility vehicle in the 7100 block of South Union Avenue, police said. A man wounded in the shooting told the police the shooters ran away through an empty lot and took off in a gray Infiniti sedan.
No one has been arrested.
The police said they don’t know of any killings carried out as revenge for Loggins’ death. That could lend credence to the theory that someone in the gang with a long-held grudge was getting even with him over the 1989 killing and that the gang’s elders decided that justice was served, sources said.
On Feb. 10, a rival Gangster Disciples member named Donavin “Lil Don” Kyle Harris was killed in the 6600 block of South Harvard in Englewood. There was talk on social media that the 20-year-old Harris was killed because he had taunted the Black Disciples about Loggins’ killing. Police officials said they’re aware of that possibility but haven’t confirmed a connection.