CHICAGO - Glen Brooks, a Chicago Police Department area coordinator, stood in front of a sometimes hostile crowd for the third time this week, calling on the community to help curb the city's gun violence.
"There is an evil out here, if we do not organize and become powerful it will continue to spread," he said Thursday night, speaking in the parking lot of an auto parts store on the city's West Side.
"It will continue to take our young men and turn them into something no parent could ever imagine."
In the wake of three fatal shootings of young children — aged 2, 11 and 12 — in recent days, the department held a series of interventions aimed at convincing those in violent neighborhoods to become more involved.
The police also want to overcome years of mistrust that has led to hostility with the city's minority communities, which see the police as having used excessive force against its members for years.
Discriminatory policing practices in Chicago's minority neighborhoods have "eroded CPD's ability to effectively prevent crime," a January report from the Department of Justice said. The rate of solved murders in Chicago regularly lags the national average.