CPD hosts 'Operation Wake Up' after mass shooting in East Garfield Park

FOX 32 NEWS - In the 3300 block of West Maypole, people were running for their lives Friday night after a shooting left one dead and six others wounded.

And on Monday night, community members joined together to try and save lives by sitting. They were there to partner with police as part of 'Operation Wake Up' to take back their neighborhood.

“There's many people on this block, in this community who have been fighting this fight for years, years, but they can't do it alone,” said Glen Brooks, CAPS Area Coordinator.

Nancy Coleman is a 19-year resident of the block.

“I'm scared to walk from my house five minutes away to my job, you know in fear that I might be caught in crossfire because it's nowhere to run,” Coleman said.

She is hoping gatherings like this will help her neighborhood.

A mile west, a group of former gang members turned ministers were praying to bring peace to the corner of Pulaski and Washington.

“God I ask that you would look down on Chicago, we need you God like never before,” one of them prayed as they stood in a circle holding hands.

It's an area the group's leader once dealt drugs, but now offers hope. As he put it, he's trying to “clean up where he messed up.”

“So I thank God for that, because he has given me another chance to pour back into his people, so that's what it's about, Young Ministers United is about reaching those that are lost,” said Anthony Clay, the group’s president.

He says they have been gathering almost every Monday night at 7:00 PM for the past five months, reaching out to people and trying to impact lives.

“When we reach out to the young people, the ones that people say can't be helped, you know what they do when we hug them they break down. The ones that are saying they're really, really tough gang members that there really hard-core, like I was, they break down. Because it's the love and the compassion that we have for God’s people that overwhelms them,” Clay said.

Back on Maypole, the alderman had the following warning.

“For those who wish to just come here and occupy this block as if they are some terrorist force, we must put them on notice that this land belongs to the people,” said Alderman Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th Ward.

Nancy Coleman believes these gatherings can bring about change.

“I think they do make a difference, you know a lot of people are probably scared to speak up you know about what's going on, or even scared to just come out here and have a presence. But it's our community and if we don't do something to take our community back then other people that don't even live over here come over here and just take over,” Coleman said.

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