They spoke in the streets of West Lawn, where a 3-year-old boy was shot and killed Friday in an apparent road rage incident.
“It makes no sense that someone can do such a cold-hearted thing to such a small child that can’t even defend themselves,” said Cherish Smith, a Chicago 8th grader.
The child, Mateo Zastro, was riding in a car driven by his mother. His three siblings were also inside.
“We have elected officials that need to be held accountable who are getting pay raises off the backs and blood of our children. They’re campaigning around crime but are not out here standing,” said Cherish’s mother, Zerlena Smith-Members.
She, along with other community members, are calling for more police funding to hire additional officers.
“Make sure we have police officers out here that’s able to do their job take the shackles off of them. They need to be able to chase, patrol and go after these criminals,” said Smith-Members.
“Everybody shows up when the police kills somebody but nobody shows up when a 3-year-old baby has been murdered,” said Tio Hardiman, the president of the group that organized the event, Violence Interrupters Inc.