Aunt of Chicago teen found burned to death in garbage can pushes for witness protection funding
CHICAGO - Chicago police often say that witnesses are critical to solving a case, but sometimes witnesses are afraid to come forward.
Now, some victims of families are pushing for funding for "Witness Protection."
Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently proposed $20 million for the state's long-neglected witness protection program, which was created under a nearly-decade old state law.
Essentially, the program will pay for moving and relocation expenses of witnesses.
On Wednesday, the aunt of murdered 15-year-old Demetrius Griffin demanded that lawmakers act quickly on the measure.
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Griffin was found in a burning trash can in 2016.
"Went looking for him — found him burned alive. Now do you tell me that when someone is burned alive, you cannot hear them hollering and screaming? When you touch a hot skillet, you holler out. When an iron hits your arm, you holler out. So, someone heard them," said Rochelle Sykes, aunt of the 15-year-old.
Families and faith leaders say that they are concerned when violence ramps up this summer in Chicago, witnesses will continue to be too afraid to come forward.