Chicago pastor says young people create problems because they have no other options

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Just a few months into the year and Chicago has already had its most violent weekend of 2022.

This weekend we saw a brief warming in temperatures and an increase in crime.

In the most violent weekend this year, the city saw 44 people shot dead, 7 of them fatally.

Another crime explosion occurred in downtown Millennium Park, where another group of mostly young people gathered downtown and ended up creating chaos.

Video from around 9 p.m. Saturday night near Michigan Avenue and Millennium shows the crowd in action and ultimately 13 arrests were made.

Ten of them were minors, charged with crimes including disorderly conduct, mob action and curfew violations.

A handgun and a replica firearm were recovered. The Chicago Police Department anticipated the large gathering and deployed sufficient resources to manage the crowd and ensure public safety.

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Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church says teenagers are heading downtown due to a lack of other options.

“It’s very sad that our children are involved in these activities. So, number one, we need to be better parents. Number two, we need to be better community leaders and make sure that we call on our children to take responsibility. And we need to all continue to do the work to ensure that these types of events do not continue throughout the summer, because if they do, it will only continue to be a black eye on our city said Brooks.

Brooks is trying to raise millions of dollars to help keep young people busy by creating a new youth center. Centers like the one he hopes to innovate this summer, he says, will become a model for other neighborhoods to keep children from congregating on the streets and occupy their time with activities, sports or lessons.

Brooks has been on the roof for over 130 days and will stay there until he raises another $23.5 million.

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