After 2 mass shootings, North Lawndale community marches with CPD

A Lawndale resident called the rally “beautiful,” and said it’s exactly what the community needs to move forward.

SHARE After 2 mass shootings, North Lawndale community marches with CPD
Resident, activists, and Chicago police brass march down Douglas Boulevard on Friday, July 23, 2021 in North Lawndale, site of two mass shootings earlier in the week.

Resident, activists, and Chicago police brass march down Douglas Boulevard on Friday in North Lawndale; the neighborhood was the site of two mass shootings earlier in the week.

Anthony Vázquez/Sun-Times

Top officials with the Chicago Police Department joined residents in North Lawndale Friday for a rally and peace walk just days after two mass shootings, minutes apart, shook the West Side neighborhood.

“We want to send a message that violent offenders will not be tolerated in this neighborhood and throughout Chicago,” Police Supt. David Brown told reporters at the rally.

“We want to put our foot down, place our flag in this post and say the community and the police department are working together. We’re coming together for peace.”

Faith leaders, elected officials and activists gathered at Douglas Boulevard and Christiana Avenue, where five people were shot Wednesday evening. Damarion Benson, 15, among those wounded in the attack, died later at Stroger Hospital.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown speaks about community engagement and anti-violence efforts during a rally and march for peace in North Lawndale on Friday, July 23, 2021.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown speaks about community engagement and anti-violence efforts during a rally and march for peace in North Lawndale on Friday.

Anthony Vázquez/Sun-Times

Minutes after that shooting, three teenagers and two men were shot blocks away outside Herzl Elementary, near Douglas and Ridgeway Avenue, police said. They included a 14-year-old boy who was getting into a car with his dad. The other victims were ages 15, 17, 19 and 22.

Supt. David Brown didn’t announce any new arrests or details on the investigation into the shootings Friday. He urged community members to work with detectives to build trust with each other.

“We are safer when we work together, both the community and the police department,” he said.

Lawndale resident Floyd Vaughn III called the rally “beautiful,” saying it’s exactly what the community needs to move forward.

Community members, activists, and police officials link arms in prayer outside Theodore Herzl Elementary School, 3711 W. Douglas Blvd. in Lawndale during a march for peace on Friday, July 23, 2021.

Community members, activists, and police officials link arms in prayer outside Theodore Herzl Elementary School, 3711 W. Douglas Blvd. in Lawndale during a march for peace on Friday.

Anthony Vázquez/Sun-Times

“We need the police to show a cohesion and the people to show that we need to police our own community as well,” he said. “I love it. It doesn’t get any better.”

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After the rally, the group marched down Douglas Boulevard, chanting “We are winners,” “We are North Lawndale” and “Unity.” The march stopped outside of Herzl Elementary, where they formed a circle, then prayed.

“It is going to take all of us together, we are our brothers’ keeper, we are responsible for one another, and we have to be accountable for one another,” Reshorna Fitzpatrick, pastor of Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church, told the crowd.

“Let’s stop blaming the youth and help the youth.”

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