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Chuy Joins Humboldt Park Murder Victims Vigil

By Darryl Holliday | March 27, 2015 12:24pm | Updated on March 30, 2015 9:21am

HUMBOLDT PARK — A series of community-driven vigils in Humboldt Park that have stretched throughout the last year was joined Thursday by mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia.

The meeting took place on a vacant lot at the corner of Grand and Springfield avenues, an intersection where 28-year-old Rolando Leon was shot and killed Dec. 12, 2014.

On Dec. 23, 2014, a vigil, hosted by local community groups and churches including Nobel Neighbors, met at the very same spot with Leon’s family to call for peace in the community.

Garcia asked neighbors to focus on the reason why the ongoing vigils have been necessary in Humboldt Park. As in previous meetings, several families with young men and women lost to gun violence were in attendance.

Becky DeaKyne, an outspoken critic of Chicago's violence epidemic, stood beside Elizabeth Ramirez to ask how he and opponent Mayor Rahm Emanuel could find justice for their children, both shot and killed in Chicago.

“What could you tell me as a mother losing her child?” Ramirez asked Garcia. Emanuel was not present at the event.

“We’re sick and tired of marches and we’re sick and tired of vigils when these kids are out here getting killed for no reason.”

“I, too, live in a neighborhood that has had more than its share of this kind of violence,” said Garcia, a Little Village resident. He added that if elected, he would hire a police superintendent who embraced restorative justice.

DeaKyne said she hoped fighting violence in Chicago's streets would be a priority for candidates and voters in the runoff election April 7.

"We need a mayor who’s going to hold the police accountable,” DeaKyne said, noting that the murders of both women’s sons were still unsolved. “If I go to a job and only produced at 30 percent, do you think I could keep my job?” she added, referring to a recent report of Chicago’s homicide clearance rate.

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