The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Albany Park Residents Lead March Against Recent Gang Violence

By Kelly Bauer | December 5, 2015 8:49am | Updated on December 7, 2015 8:33am
 Albany Park residents carried candles as they marched to show they won't back down in the wake of gang violence.
Albany Park Candlelight Vigil
View Full Caption

ALBANY PARK — Residents led a candlelit march down Central Park Avenue Friday night to show they won't tolerate a recent spate of gang violence.

Four people, including a juvenile, have been shot in the area in two days, and one man has died. Ald Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) organized the Friday night march, which attracted dozens of neighbors. Ald. Deb Mell (33rd), who also attended, said the people who live in the area will stay vigilant and called for more events like the vigil.

The march had attracted some criticism online with EveryBlock commenters saying the march appeared to be a way to honor injured gang members, but Ramirez-Rosa said that was not the point of the event.

"Residents wanted to send a strong message that we're united in the face of gang violence, that we are going to say 'no' to incidents of gang violence in our community," Ramirez-Rosa said.

Ramirez-Rosa encouraged attendees to act as the "eyes and ears" for police. He said his constituents have told him they wanted a consistent response to violence, and research showed events like the vigil or public police roll calls — like one that is planned for the area this week — were effective at limiting crime.

Resident Ed Prendergast said he lives a block and a half away from where the shooting happened and attended the vigil because the violence was "upsetting."

"I'm concerned about the community. This is crazy," Prendergast said. "We get they don't really shoot at us, but the bullets go wherever they want to go. They don't have a name on them."

Prendergast and fellow resident Suzie Harper said more police were needed in the area and that they need to respond more effectively. Prendergast said he's contacted police about gang activity and it's taken 15 to 20 minutes for officers to respond. Prendergast also thinks cameras should be added to the area.

Harper said she was walking her dog during one of the shootings and was close enough to hear the gunfire, but that hasn't changed how she feels about Albany Park.

"I am more vigiliant. I am more careful," Harper said. "But, I've been here 21 years, and I'm staying."

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: