Anti-Police Brutality Activist Works With Cops To Stop Gun Violence | WBEZ
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Anti-Police Brutality Activist Works With Cops To Stop Gun Violence

A Chicago activist is cooperating with South Side police officers to stop gun violence just after his release from electronic monitoring for allegedly hitting a cop and trying to disarm one.

Ja’Mal Green, 20, was among 19 people arrested in downtown Chicago during July 9 protests of fatal police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Green was involved with tussles between police and protesters outside the city’s annual Taste of Chicago festival and along Michigan Avenue, a tourist shopping destination.

Green was charged with five felony counts: two of aggravated battery to a police officer, two of aggravated battery in a public place and one of attempting to disarm a cop. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing officers.

Green, who denies all the allegations, spent three days locked up. After supporters posted $35,000 in bail, he spent the next week with a home curfew and electronic monitoring. Cook County Judge Marvin P. Luckman lifted those restrictions in a hearing on Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, the police department led a rally in the Englewood neighborhood near a porch where Tacarra Morgan, 6, had been injured in a drive-by shooting.

Area South police coordinator Glen Brooks Jr., a civilian, emceed the rally and urged neighborhood residents to sign up for the department’s community-police beat meetings. The rally’s attendees included Eric Washington, deputy chief of community policing, and Larry Watson, commander of the Englewood police district.

After Watson and others addressed the crowd, Brooks introduced someone else.

“Usually when you see me and the next speaker, we’re standing in the middle of the street with a lot of noise going on around us and people protesting up and down Michigan Avenue,” Brooks said.

“But today,” Brooks continued, “we’re right down here in Englewood and we’re down here for one reason only. It’s to try to find a way to ensure that each and every one of our babies stays safe and alive.”

Brooks handed Green the microphone.

“Like he said, usually you see me on TV downtown holding the police accountable, holding the politicians accountable,” Green said. “But we got to hold ourselves accountable right here as well. Right now I’m coming to you guys to say it’s time to actually put in the work to get these killers off the street as well. And it’s not going to happen unless we do it together.”

Green says he has been trying to stop community violence for years.

The next court hearing in his criminal case is August 5.

Chip Mitchell is WBEZ’s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter @ChipMitchell1 and @WBEZoutloud, and connect with him through Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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