A community meeting was held Thursday evening at a church on Chicago’s South Side, with neighbors seeking to address recent violence on 75th Street and to determine what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again.
The sanctuary of Salem Lutheran Church near 74th and Calumet turned into a discussion hall Thursday evening, as neighbors came together trying to come up with solutions to address the recent problems on 75th Street, with noise complaints and occasional bursts of violence taking place late at night.
“One time I went by there and I mean that boardwalk was shoulder to shoulder just filled with people and he [business owner] was saying that a lot of time it’s like that even when he’s not even open,” said Rodney Johnson, who is the president of 7400 Indiana Block Club.
One person was killed and nine others were wounded in a mass shooting near 75th and Prairie over the weekend. Neighbors complained about hundreds of people partying in the streets and blocking traffic the weekend before in the exact same area.
David Benifeld is part of Acclivius, a social group that works with residents to keep the peace.
“I think the public should know that we do this on a daily basis we’re not just here because an incident happened,” he said.
Some neighbors started a petition to remove the boardwalk on 75th Street citing safety and parking concerns. During Thursday’s meeting, the Greater Chatham Initiative announced plans to remove 40% of the boardwalk.
“We are going to be taking down a good portion of it so we’re just going to have to retool and reimagine what we’re trying to do,” said Alderman Rod Sawyer. “I still have a commitment to 75th Street, a walking friendly environment where people can come and dine but when it closes up though they have to leave.”
It’s unclear when a portion of that boardwalk is going to be taken down. Meanwhile, police still have not made any arrest in the mass shooting.