Thousands in city stand up to crime at National Night Out

Thousands in city, suburbs stand up to crime at National Night Out

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Thousands of residents across the city of Chicago and the suburbs stood up to crime at Tuesday night's National Night Out event.

One of those neighborhoods is northwest suburban Niles, where one Chicago mother is using her daughter's tragic death to send a message powerful message to gangs.

Nortasha Boyd-Stingley attended her first National Night Out at 71st and King, where her 19-year-old daughter, Marissa, was killed in June. The college sophomore was on summer break from Central State University in Ohio. Her mother says Marissa was in a car with four other people when another car pulled up to them at a light. Words were exchanged and shots were fired. A bullet hit everyone in the car, but Marissa was the only one killed.

Stingley says she came for the very reason National Night Out was started for in 1984 – to meet people in the watch group and talk with police officers about why her daughter's case is unsolved. Stingley says she doesn't want other parents to feel her pain.

Other residents across the city are concerned about the safety of their streets too.

Drug dealing, gang banging and shootings dominate the headlines near Englewood homes--an area known for high crime. But at National Night Out, that wasn't the case. And residents are hopeful it stays that way.

"I wish every night could be a good night for the kids, so they could play in the park, play in front of their homes," one resident said.

In Lincoln Park near 61st and Damen, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says he wanted to walk with the neighborhood residents to build a relationship and let them know that together, police and residents can lower violent crime.

"We took on the biggest problem first and we're staying, we're not leaving," McCarthy said. "We're going to make sure we do everything in our power as a police department, with the support of the mayor to do whatever we can to make Englewood a better place to live. That will inspire civic engagement."

535 people were shot to death in Chicago last year. Through July of this year, that number stands at 232.

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