Rev. Jackson, supporters to hold press conference at the Calahan Funeral Home to speak out against a surge in gun violence

Jackson: “Shootings/killings painful and disgraceful”

Chicago, IL – Alarmed at the daily shootings and killings in Chicago that so far have taken the lives of 157 people between January 1st and April 17th and 622 shootings, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and supporters including Father Michael L. Pfleger, Bishop Tavis Grant, national field director for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, ministers and college officials, are holding a 1:30 p.m. press conference, Wednesday, April 27th, at the Calahan Funeral Home, 7030 S. Halsted St., to call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to launch a united plan to combat rising violence.

Joining Rev. Jackson, Father Pfleger and Bishop Grant will be Rev. Janette Wilson, national executive director for PUSH Excel, Edward Calahan, owner of the Calahan Funeral Home, Bishop Shirley Coleman from the Englewood area, and Tonishea Terry-Jackson, dean, Enrollment Management at the Kennedy King College.

“The violence in the city of Chicago is undermining the civil rights movement,” said Rev. Jackson. “The dream of Dr. King was to have the communities co-exist and develop not engage in drugs, killings, guns, fighting over drug territories and early deaths.” Rev. Jackson said the fact that so far more than 157 people in Chicago have been killed as of April 17th is “painful and disgraceful.”

According to the police, the Auburn Gresham community is leading Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods by 14 homicides with most of the victims being young black males.

In his letter to Mayor Lightfoot, Rev. Jackson said, “We are in the midst of an urban crisis. The price of these killing fields is at a fever pitch… This crisis of guns in, drugs in, jobs, job training and trade unions out have contributed to record setting numbers (of shootings and homicides) in 2021 and starting off that way in 2022.”

In calling for a united plan, Rev. Jackson said there must be an all hands-on deck plan especially with the parents not just in Chicago but nationally “to stop these senseless acts of trauma.”

Bishop Grant said, “The recent rise in crime and violence in Englewood is most alarming particularly as we are attempting to recover from the pandemic. What we’ve seen most recently requires all of us from law enforcement to community leaders, churches and businesses to approach this with a comprehensive plan.” He added, “This is no time to fix the blame. We must collectively fix the problem.”

Referring to last weekend of violence, Saint Sabina’s Father Michael L. Pfleger said, “The 83-degree temperature gave us a ‘Taste of Summer,’” but he hopes the 6 who were killed and the 42 wounded, ages 16 to 65, are not signs of even more violence to come with warmer weather right around the corner.