A rally to end gun violence over the weekend in Champaign also served as a tribute to a local gun violence victim. Michael DeArmond as among those leading a march of 35 people on the city’s north side Saturday, on what would have been his daughter, Desirie DeArmond Austin’s 25th birthday. The 35 participating wore T-shirts carrying Desirie’s photo, as well as the names of 17 others who lost their lives due to gun violence in recent years. The group marched from Champaign's Hazel Park to Martin Luther King Park in Urbana.
Community and law enforcement leaders in Champaign-Urbana hope they’ve successfully appealed to 11 more young people to turn their lives around. The CU Fresh Start Program held its second quarterly "Call-In" Thursday night, with hopes of deterring gun violence. The panel of those with a history of gun-related behaviors came face to face with family members of gun violence victims, like community leader Seon Willams. "When you act in an inhumane way, the suffering is just beginning," he said.
Community leaders in Champaign-Urbana have been working on the CU Fresh Start approach to gun violence for nearly a year. Thursday marked the program's 'Call-In', giving offenders with a background tied to gun crime a chance to connect to community resources and reform their lives. "We recognize that we can't arrest our way out of this problem," says Urbana Police Chief Pat Connolly.
Three law enforcement officers have been killed and three others wounded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Police say the suspect was shot and killed at the scene, but it's unclear whether he acted alone. A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation identified him as Gavin Long.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown says a suspect in the overnight attack that killed five police officers, wounded seven others and wounded two civilians said he was upset over the recent police shootings of black men and wanted to kill white people. The suspect who died in a parking garage has been identified as Micah Xavior Johnson.
A third suspect in the Allen Redding murder was arrested Thursday in Arkansas.
Champaign Police report that Micah J. Hopkins, 30, of Champaign, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon in Blytheville, Arkansas. U.S Marshals were assisted by Blytheville Police in making the arrested. Blytheville Police also picked up two people for questioning.
Police have already arrested Devon Craig, who is charged with Redding's murder, and his brother Paul Craig, who faces charges including unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and aggravated intimidation of a witness. Markeeta McFarland was arrested earlier this week on the intimidation charge. All three are from Champaign.
Champaign Police Lieutenant Robert Rea said in a new release that investigators are making progress in the case, with helps from other law enforcement agencies and tips from the public. "However, we still need the public's help", said Rea.
Anyone with information on the Redding murder is asked to contact Champaign Police at (217) 351-4545. Information can be sent anonymously to Champaign County Crime Stoppers at (217) 373-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.373tips.com, or by texting keyword "CCTIP" plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is willing to provide back-up for the Chicago Police Department. More than 50 people were shot in Chicago over the long holiday weekend.
Quinn said he is prepared to send the Illinois State Police to help address Chicago’s violence, but only if Mayor Rahm Emanuel asks for them.
“We are always ready to help in whatever district the city may request," Quinn said. "We’ve done that in many, many districts and I’m prepared to help the mayor and the police chief if they request it, wherever they need it.”
Quinn said the state police patrol the Metro East region on weekends, around East Saint Louis in Southern Illinois.
The numbers came from The Associated Press. The Tribune had higher numbers and included shootings from late Thursday.
The newspaper said that from Thursday night into Friday, three people were killed and 10 wounded; from Friday afternoon into Saturday, 20 people were shot, one fatally; from Saturday night into Sunday morning, four people were killed and 10 wounded; and from 2:30 p.m. Sunday to 3:30 a.m. Monday, four people were killed and at least 26 more wounded.
NPR's Cheryl Corley, reporting on All Things Considered, quoted Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy as saying his department had a plan prior to the holiday weekend that included putting hundreds more officers on the city's streets.
"And what were the results? A lot of shootings and a lot of murders, unfortunately," McCarthy said at a news conference.
He blamed the proliferation of illegal guns in the city for the violence.
"There's too many guns coming in and too little punishment going out," he said.
The Sun-Times reports that while homicides are at their lowest levels since the 1960s, shootings have increased since last year.