CHICAGO, IL– Since the Coronavirus began, school districts across the country closed their doors and required students to learn from home.
Despite this shift to virtual instruction, the taxpayers of Chicago still paid for individuals to stand on the streets as part of the “Safe Passage” program, regardless of the fact that they were not needed.
A reported $4.3 million was paid to adults who were meant to stand on street corners around Chicago schools, in order to ensure students are able to walk to and from school safely.
However, with Chicago school’s being virtual, the children were not walking to and from schools, making these adults, and this program, unnecessary for the time being.
The payments represent a percentage of what the 19 Chicago non-profits who operate CPS’ “Safe Passage” program will receive from city taxpayers this 2020-21 school year, which ends June 30.
In the 2018-2019 school year, the vendors collected $24.7 million, however because the 2019-2020 school year was cut short by three months, the vendors only collected $9.8 million, or roughly 40 percent of that amount.
— Ed Kilroy (@erkilroy4) November 20, 2020
Chicago’s Safe Passage program was created by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2009, after a 16 year-old student, Derrion Albert, was beaten to death on his way home from Fenger High School on the far South Side. The program was officially implemented in 2013.
Chicago City Wire reported that the program pays non-profits who pay an unconfirmed number of adult civilians to wear yellow vests and work two, two and a half hour shifts standing on street corners surrounding 159 CPS schools in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.
One of the lead vendors providing this service to Chicago Public Schools, and reaping the benefits, is the non-profit organization Ucan. Ucan is a youth home and “therapeutic day school” based at 3605 W. Fillmore in Homan Square, on the West Side.
According to reports, it received nearly one-fourth of the total spent, or $1.14 million this year. Ucan is the largest Safe Passage vendor, having collected $17.7 million from Chicago taxpayers over the past four school years.
Another Safe Passage non-profit is St. Sabina Catholic parish, which is located at 1210 W. 78th Street in Auburn-Gresham neighborhood on the South Side.
In January, St. Sabina’s pastor, Fr. Michael Pfleger, was accused of sexual abuse of minors, and is currently under investigation by the Chicago Catholic Archdiocese. It has received $1.63 million over the past four years, Chicago City Wire reported.
Additionally, AME3, located at 3620 W. Warren Blvd., in Chicago’s Garfield Park on the West Side, has received $5.22 million in Safe Passage funding since 2017. In August of 2020 however, the Internal Revenue Service revoked its non-profit status for failure to file a required Form-990 report for three consecutive years.
In 2016, AME3 reported expenses of $1,162,406 and taxpayer grants of $1,281,767 for its work on the Safe Passage program.
The Safe Passage people are still “working” while CPS is locked out
— Johnedelux 🇺🇸 (@johnedelux) November 16, 2020
AME3’s directors are not protecting the children of Chicago out of the goodness of their hearts however. The Executive Director, Harold J. Davis, reportedly made $103,800 for his work for AME3. The organizations Chief Operating Officer Monica Brown, who lives with Davis, reportedly made $76,800 in compensation.
AME3 received a PPP loan of $331,595 in April 2020, claiming it would use the money to protect 157 jobs.
Chicago City Wire reported that the Alliance for Community Peace, located at 509 W. Elm St., has received $3.6 million in Safe Passage funding since 2017.
Executive Director Dr. Walter B. Johnson, Jr. and Chief Operating Officer Phyliss D. Harrell are each paid $104,250 in salary, according to its 2019 990, which lists $1.63 million in government grants as its primary revenue.
The organization received a $92,196 PPP loan in May 2020, claiming it would use the money to protect seven jobs.
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Gun-controlled Chicago: Five killed, 20 wounded in weekend shooting incidents
March 2, 2021
CHICAGO, IL – The city of Chicago played host to a violent weekend, starting from the evening of February 26th through the 28th. Reportedly, 25 people were shot within the city during the timespan – five of who were fatally shot.
Furthermore, four of the victims shot during the weekend were juveniles.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) March 1, 2021
With regard to the fatal shootings, the first occurred around 8:45 p.m. on February 26th within the 6300 block of South Richmond Street.
Officials say that a 16-year-old boy was visiting a friend that evening when he’d gotten into some sort of verbal altercation with two other people within the apartment.
The 16-year-old boy had reportedly ran out of the apartment and headed down the street, where the two individuals he’d been arguing with pursued him and shot the victim numerous times.
The victim was reportedly rushed over to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was later pronounced deceased. Police did manage to apprehend the two suspects who allegedly shot the juvenile, with both of the suspects having been charged in the incident.
Two men have been charged in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy in the Marquette Park neighborhood after the three got into an argument at an apartment the boy was visiting on Friday, Chicago police say. https://t.co/SLHQ7B7r8Q
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) March 1, 2021
Just before 10:00 p.m. that same evening, police say that a 32-year-old man was shot him in the head by an occupant inside of a white sedan while the victim was sitting in his car at a gas station at the corner of 111th and State street.
The passenger inside of the victim’s vehicle rushed him over to Roseland Community Hospital, which then the victim was later transported to University of Chicago Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased by the morning of February 27th.
Moving on to the early morning hours of February 28th, one man was killed and another was injured in a shooting that occurred at approximately 12:17 a.m. along the 0-99 block of East 91st Street.
According to police, the victims were shot outside following some sort of altercation, with the deceased victim being shot in the back and the injured victim being shot in the torso.
Hours later at approximately 3:55 a.m., a 32-year-old man was found having suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his back outside of a residence within the 9100 block of South Emerald Avenue.
Another victim was reportedly fatally at approximately 11:12 a.m. that same day, with the victim having suffered a gunshot wound to the head within the 1400 block of North Mayfield Avenue.
Reportedly 19 others were non-fatally injured in various shootings in Chicago during the same weekend.
Around 6:30 p.m. on February 26th, a 34-year-old man was shot in the left leg within the 1000 block of East Marquette Road in the Woodlawn community.
Around 11:30 p.m. that same day, a 20-year-old woman was walking outside the Lake Meadows apartment complex along the 500 block of East 33rd Street. After hearing a series of gunshots, the woman had realized that she’d suffered a gunshot wound to her leg.
At around the same time that evening, a 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg while walking down the 5400 block of South Loomis Boulevard. While the victim didn’t see the shooter, he suspects that the gunfire may have gun from a vehicle passing by.
On the morning of February 27th, a 45-year-old man was reportedly shot several times while sitting inside of his vehicle at around 7:15 a.m. within the 2200 block of West 19th Street.
At around 2:00 p.m. that same day, a 51-year-old man was shot in the left knee by someone who was inside of a gold Toyota Camry along the 7900 block of South Dobson Avenue.
Slightly before 9:00 p.m. that same day, an 18-year-old man was shot in the back while among a group of friends within the 8100 block of South Maryland Avenue.
Roughly 2-and-a-half hours later, a 22-year-old man was shot in the arm while walking along the 8100 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue by a suspect dressed in all black.
On the morning of February 28th, a 30-year-old man was shot in the arm by an unknown assailant at around 4:04 a.m. while he was standing outside within the 7400 block of South Racine Avenue.
Minutes later at around 4:18 a.m., a 28-year-old man was shot in the arm as he was driving down the 7700 block of South Loomis Boulevard by an assailant inside of a black vehicle.
Approximately two hours after that incident, a 28-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl were shot in the mouth and hand in the 3300 block of West Douglas Boulevard following some sort of altercation in the area.
We can not have nice weather I swear. Fools been shooting up since yesterday. There were so many shootings into the wee hours of the morning. Annnnnddd they’re still going strong 🤦🏾♀️ #Chicago #DifferentBreed
— Kema (@KdotTeague) February 28, 2021
At 12:40 p.m. that same day, a 48-year-old man was shot while he was sitting inside of a vehicle along the 200 block of West 38th Street.
Slightly over two hours after that shooting, a 35-year-old man was shot in the right leg within the 1700 block of North Mayfield Avenue.
Just over 30 minutes after that incident, a 16-year-old boy was shot in his left thigh while he was on the sidewalk along the 10500 block of South Sangamon Street.
At approximately 4:53 p.m. that evening, a 37-year-old man was shot in the face in the 700 block of North Spaulding Avenue as he was driving northbound.
Following that incident, a 22-year-old man was shot in the head at around 6:45 p.m. while the victim was parked inside of a vehicle along the 6200 block of South Park Shore East Court by an assailant inside of an SUV.
At approximately 8:27 p.m. that evening, a 46-year-old man was shot multiple times in the leg along the 3400 block of West Flournoy Street.
As for the final reported shooting incident from the weekend, a 32-year-old woman was shot in the back at approximately 11:10 p.m. while she was sitting inside of her apartment in the 6700 block of South Stewart Avenue.
Reportedly, the bullet had burst through her apartment window when it struck her in the back.
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Author: K. Winters