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Push for parents, community to step up after large group of teens, deadly chaos downtown

Push for parents, community to step up after deadly chaos downtown
Push for parents, community to step up after deadly chaos downtown 03:11

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Marion Richardson, 17, is accused of shooting and killing 16-year-old Seandell Holliday right next to the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park this past Saturday.

We learned Monday that Richardson lived with an older brother. His father is dead, and his mother lives out of state. It all highlights a bigger issue some teenagers face in problems at home.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported Monday night, there is a push for parents and the community to step up.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot found it odd that so many teens came downtown Saturday evening without adults. It is one of the key reasons she is moving the weekend curfew up to 10 p.m., and also restricting the times when unaccompanied minors may be in Millennium Park.

But we dove Monday night to the question of just why so many youngsters are roaming unsupervised across the city.

The scene of teenagers kicking vehicles, starting fights, and disregarding orders of Chicago Police downtown have left so many disturbed.

"First thing I thought was like, where are their parents, and do they know where they are - and why do they have so much freedom?" said Alexis Lias.

Lias is a single parent to four sons, including Alex Ousley.

"It's crazy to me how all these kids are getting a hold of guns – because I ain't even held a gun a day in my life," Ousley said.

Ousley, 20, avoided street influences living in the Pullman neighborhood on the city's Far South Side, and now is a college sophomore in Arkansas.

"College has been really good to me," he said. "You know, I've experienced new things, met new people."

The mother and son watched what unfolded over the weekend, questioning if those running the streets causing chaos understand the consequences.

"Either you're going to do something to the parents, or you're going to put these kids somewhere where they're listened to, and they're shown that it's not acceptable," Lias said.

Lias and her son credit Diane Latiker and her nonprofit Kids Off the Block to saving Ousley and so many others.

Latiker – known as Ms. Diane – showed us stacks of heavy bricks that bear the names of children and young adults murdered since her organization started 19 years ago.

While Ms. Diane does not justify what we saw over the weekend downtown, she points out the rage, lack of respect, and missing programs have been boiling over in Pullman and other parts of Chicago for years.

"We deal with this every day," she said.

And until everyone comprehends what happens in one community affects all of Chicago, she said the violence – and unfortunately – those bricks with the victims' names on them – will pop up.

"Alienating them – and telling them they can only come down at a certain time - where do you think they going to go?" Latiker said. "Anywhere they can find. There'll be a new spot next week."

It is believed in some cases that the teenagers are sneaking out when many of their parents are working late-night shifts – leaving many of the parents unaware that their teenagers are roaming.

Meanwhile, Ms. Diane sand social media is playing a key part in all the recklessness that we're seeing in the downtown area – with teenager trying to get so many likes and attention.

But Mayor Lightfoot has put young people and their parents on notice – saying the city will not accept such conduct.


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