CHICAGO (WLS) — Frustrated Northwest Side residents rallied Saturday to ask the city for help dealing with rampant drug deals and other safety problems.
Humboldt Park neighbors unified on the corner of West Division Street and North Lawndale Avenue to raise awareness about crime that they say has taken over the streets.
“If it’s too dangerous for the police, what are we supposed to do that live here?” a Humboldt Park resident named Sherri said.
Residents said drug dealers have paralyzed their community, leading to violence and a heightened sense of fear for the safety of their families.
“The drug dealers run unabated and unfettered,” Sherri said. “We just witnessed it today. They tried to kick us out of here.”
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It’s not a new issue, but neighbors said they have had enough.
“We’re talking about drug dealing and all types of illegal activity that’s occurring on a daily basis,” 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas said. “Where parents are having to dodge drug dealers in order to take their kids to school.”
Villegas helped organize the rally. He’s calling for an increased police presence in the community and for Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office to develop a public safety plan to address the rampant drug sales.
“We need the mayor, we need the superintendent to come out here and witness first hand what’s occurring on a daily basis,” Villegas said. “This would not be occurring. This would not be allowed in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, but it’s okay in Humboldt Park.”
One resident named Bobette has lived in the area since the late ’60s.
“It’s so violent here that we are afraid to go out of our houses,” Bobette said.
She said if not addressed soon, the situation will only become more dire.
“We shouldn’t have to move because the city doesn’t want to deal with this,” Bobette said. “The city just ignores all of this depravity and it’s spiraling down.”
ABC7 has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.