Exasperated Shiller “Equally Concerned” About Uptown Violence

Alderman avoids constituents during "peaceful protest"

She gives up!

A frustrated, North Side alderman threw up her hands and walked away from a meeting with her constituents after they confronted her about North Side violence, according to several eyewitness reports.

Residents say Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) has been ambivalent and unapproachable, and staged a "peaceful protest" timed with the her attendance at an Olympic Bid committee town hall meeting at Truman College on Monday night.

Shiller said she is "very concerned" with the level of violence in her ward, and said she hopes it could be eliminated altogether, but pointed out that statistics show that crime is down compared to year's past.

"We've had a very good response by the police, and I think we will continue to do so," Shiller said.

Last week, video was posted to the Internet which showed what appeared to be about a dozen people in "near riot-like gang fighting," running back and forth in the street, yelling and breaking bottles.

The violence escalated Sunday morning, when three people were shot while driving through an alley.

Shiller made no comment about the violence or the shooting. 

"I have been out of town and my staff has been very much available," Shiller told the throngs of people gathered at the Olympic town hall.  "Many of you have talked to them. Some of you have not."

"You lie!" someone shouted, and then Shiller threw up her hands and left the room.

"It's just a small group of people trying to get me out of office," she said.

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