As outraged residents in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood held an anti-violence march Thursday after a particularly heinous killing of a young mother amidst another wave of shootings, members of Congress said they were convening a summit on urban violence. One state lawmaker demanded that the National Guard be called in to stop the “mayhem.”
The shooting of Georgina Randle, 30, was yet another murder that brought collective shock, as she was shot and killed while her two children watched—one of five people shot in Chicago in the past seven days.
Randle and her kids had just moved back to Chicago six months ago after living in Missouri.
“She always had life in her, she was adventurous, she loved doing things like going out on her birthday,” Randle’s brother, Jezre-El Bradley, told the NBC affiliate.
Police arrested Wynton Collins, 28, shortly after the shooting, for which he is being held bond in connection with Randle’s murder.
According to police, Collins, a security guard, stopped to reload while shooting Randle and her son threw one of his toys at him to get him to stop.
“Most of us knows everyone that’s been shot, and we knew Georgina that’s been killed, and it’s affected us deeply. So we decided today that we’re going to protest and march because we’re tired of this senseless violence,” the Rev. Robin Hood said.
Randle’s family says they are praying for the shooter.
“I’m praying for his family because it was senseless and that’s a life wasted,” Randle’s uncle, Jimmy Bradley, said.
Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, appeared at a news conference in the Capitol Visitors Center to unveil plans for the national summit, which is expected to draw participants from across the country. The event will be open to the public and will take place on July 25 and July 26 at the 6,000-seat Jones Convocation Center. Also in attendance were Illinois Democratic Reps. Danny Davis, and Robin Kelly, as well as several African-American Democratic House members from other states.
Davis said Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department officials would be invited to attend, in addition to federal officials, leaders of national organizations, psychiatrists and local gang leaders.
“We’re trying to take a comprehensive approach,” Davis said, “recognizing there’s no one panacea.”
Davis said he and Rush represent districts with the largest concentration of gun violence in the Chicago area.
Rush cites the dismantling of public housing projects as part of the reason for the spate of violence—the “forced migration” of 20,000 families had led to “unintended consequences” when they relocated to other communities throughout the city.
Davis said it was poverty, unemployment and the loss of good-paying industrial jobs that was responsible.
“My district alone has probably lost more than 200,000 good-paying, industrial jobs over the last 40 or 50 years,” he said.
According to Rush, the three Democratic House members from Illinois and the Congressional Black Caucus are spearheading the summit.
“This is an initiative that emerges out of the angst and the anger and the pain that’s being occasioned on our constituents,” Rush said.
State Rep. Monique Davis asked Gov. Quinn to call in the National Guard “to protect our children so they can go to the park and swim and play and have a childhood.” She said the governor has not responded.
“Every single day we wake up in the city of Chicago, some child, some young adult, some African-American male has been murdered,” she said yesterday. “This is not acceptable. I’m hearing from mothers that they are afraid to go outside,” she said. “Hospitals are overburdened with 70 gunshot wounds in one day. Ambulances are so busy people are driving victims in their own cars.”
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