Silent March Through Downtown Chicago Marks City's Deadliest Year in Decades
Marchers carried white crosses for each person killed this year.
December 31, 2016, 9:06 PM
• 4 min read
-- Hundreds of people marched silently in downtown Chicago on Saturday, carrying white crosses for each person killed in the city this year.
A spike in homicides this year has made 2016 the city's deadliest in nearly 20 years. Authorities say more than 760 people were killed in Chicago in 2016, up from the fewer than 500 homicides in the city last year.
According to crime statistics from the Chicago Police Department, a shooting has occurred every day in the city from February 2015 to December 29 of this year.
As the New Year approaches, Rev. Michael Pfleger, who organized the march, said he hopes the visuals of the demonstration along Michigan Avenue will encourage others to take action to prevent further violence in 2017. The two-foot-tall crosses, which were built by Aurora resident Greg Zanis, each bear the name of a person killed this year.
Among the victims is 17-year-old Elijah Jones, who was gunned down on December 6 in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood. Jones' grandmother walked in the march Saturday holding a cross with his name, according to ABC station WLS-TV.
The crosses will be placed in an empty lot on the city’s South Side following the march against violence.