Chicago pastors march downtown Saturday after teen gathering violence
CHICAGO - There were no large or disruptive gatherings forming in and around Chicago's Millennium Park Saturday. What there has been - a larger police presence and others coming together to deter another teen takeover.
Half a dozen of Chicago’s most prominent African American churches collaborated in the march.
At Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road stood more than 500 black men in solidarity for a cause greater than themselves.
With signs in hand, men of all ages marched and spoke about solutions.
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"What I think will help them is each man take one, to learn there’s another way in life, and you don’t have to go that way", one participant said.
"We want to let young people know they’re supported, but there’s behavior accepted and not acceptable," Sen. James Meeks said.
The march down Michigan Avenue occurred as hundreds of police officers patrolled the area.
It comes one week after throngs of teenagers were seen running in the street, some vandalizing vehicles and city property. Two teens were shot, tourists were also attacked.
"Here’s something that’s been missing wealth of our presence. They need to hear from us, what’s the effect of the trauma, they’ve been experiencing", said Pastor Anthony Spencer.
The group marched two miles ending at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Organizing Pastor Charlie Dates said outreach efforts will continue.
For more information about youth summer jobs, visit https://www.salemchicago.org/.