Final anti-violence vigil of the year to be held in Humboldt Park

Wind moved the discarded police tape was on the ground during the prayer vigil at Springfield and Grand Avenues on Tuesday night. Photo by Alex V. Hernandez / EXTRA.
Wind moved the discarded police tape was on the ground during the prayer vigil at Springfield and Grand Avenues on Tuesday night. Photo by Alex V. Hernandez / EXTRA.

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]embers of the Humboldt Park community are expected to meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the third and final anti-violence vigil of the year.

The’ll be meeting at the corner of Grand and Springfield avenues, the corner where Rolando Leon was killed on Dec. 12.

“Nobel Neighbors, Parents for Peace and Justice will end the year with our third and final vigil…We remember Rolando Leon, we remember the 25 friends, neighbors, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, murdered in Humboldt Park in 2014 and we will remember the 182 human beings lost in our neighborhood since 2011,” said a message sent to EXTRA regarding the vigil. “We won’t relent. Join community members, families, churches, and allies.”

At a press conference Monday morning at City Hall, Mayoral Candidate and Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia said the number of shootings in Chicago is up about 15 percent this year. With just a couple of days left in 2014, the city has had 2,506 shooting victims compared with 2,185 last year.

“That is what people in Chicago fear. That is the unknown. That is what keeps people young and old as prisoners in their own homes,” said Garcia. He also said that the city needs to hire 1,000 additional police officers.

In response to Garcia’s comments, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy held his own press conference Monday afternoon where he emphasized that overall crime is down 12 percent this year from 2013, although the number of shootings is up.

Moreover, a spokesperson for Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that while crime rates are too high and illegal guns are still an issue and the city’s lower murder rates and overall crime rates were arrived at via Emanuel’s emphasis on community-based policing.

The Humboldt Park community went from 14 killings in 2013 to over 24 killings as the 2014 year comes to a close, according to records from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. It’s the largest increase in the city.

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