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Amid Carjacking Epidemic, Woman Asks Men To Stand Up And Keep Watch

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Every day lately, there are headlines about carjackings in Chicago.

Now, one woman is taking matters into her own hands to protect other women. As CBS 2's Jim Williams reported Wednesday, Afrika Porter of Hyde Park is turning to men to be part of the solution.

Within days, three of Porter's friends were carjacked in three different vehicles.

"Three of them had guns put to their heads while they were in their cars, you know, with their children and some by themselves - all within the last 72 hours," Porter said.

With three more Chicago carjacking victims in an epidemic of vehicles taken by force, Porter is determined to do something about it.

"Our presence is liberating. When you're present, that speaks volumes," Porter said. "So just -- Black men showing up and standing up and being present."

Porter is organizing Black men to keep a watchful eye in several South and West side communities. Starting Saturday, volunteers like artist Maxwell Emcays will simply stand near gas stations and on corners - hoping to prevent carjackings.

"My responsibility as a Black man is to stand up and defend Black women and to be an example for other young Black men and older -- to see what it's like to stand up and protect a Black woman," Emcays said.

Porter ran through a list of neighborhoods that have been hit by the carjacking epidemic, including "South Shore. Hyde Park, Chatham, Roseland, Englewood."

In Chicago Lawn, a 68-year-old grandmother was carjacked this past Monday afternoon. In Calumet Heights, a female Chicago Police officer was carjacked on Jan. 5.

Mark Quinn McDonald insists the volunteers will not be vigilantes.

"We're not the police. We're not going out to start any fights. We're not out there to be violent," McDonald said. "We're out there to be peaceful, and to show to our community we're here to support our community."

Records show many of the carjackers are teenagers. Porter believes her volunteers will be positive role models.

"History shows when the men stand up, the little boys sit down, and it's going to take grown men to bring our community back to where it should and what it should look like," she said.

Porter acknowledges carjacking is a citywide problem, and she encourages men to volunteer on the North Side too.
Any volunteers who want to stop carjackings should email Porter at

An interactive map at this link shows the change in the number of carjackings in Chicago neighborhoods between 2019 and 2020.

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