Three ex-felons are hitting Chicago’s streets to fight against violent crimes.
Derrick House, Frederick Seaton and Napoleon English are all too familiar with the city’s violence. Each of them have spent time in prison; two for murder.
Instead of working against the system, they’ve joined forces with Ceasefire to help prevent the rise of future felons.
This year, the number of homicides in Chicago shot up 39 percent in the first six months compared to 2011.
This Friday, the Chicago Police Department and Ceasefire are joining forces to combat the crime.
Ceasefire began in 2000 as a public health initiative to prevent street violence. The organization was often scrutinized for recruiting ex-felons and gang members into their program.
"Eighty percent of the homicides in Chicago are black on black homicides," said Tio Hardiman, the executive director of Ceasefire.
Hardman grew up in the city’s gang-riddled Henry Horner Housing complex. He believes in the organization’s mission of keeping a guy from “crossing the line.”
The city has a long history of high homicide numbers. Twenty years ago, Chicago had a total of 900 homicides in one year.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel believes that this year’s effort to fight violence is taking a more aggressive approach by boarding up vacant buildings, creating after school programs and using legal RICO statutes to prosecute gang leaders.
There are over 100,000 gang members in the city.
City officials explained that the gangs that exist today do not have the top-down, structure of some of the notable ones of the 1970’s. Instead, they describe the current gang activity as anarchy.
"There is no gang structure on the west side," said Fred Seaton. "It's just cliques."
"You have these renegade factions, anybody might shoot you now-a-days," said Hardiman.
"In order to stop this violence we have to have some jobs," said Patricia Bradley, a concerned citizen. "Some of our young people are so full of rage and hate that you don’t know where to start," Bradley noted.
Last year, Ceasefire reported that they worked with over 1,000 high-risk youth for over 48,000 hours. The organization believes that their work is making a heavy impact.
"I never feel hopeless," Derrick House said. "Never. I’m like, can’t give up on 'em. You can’t give up on 'em."
Ceasefire said that they’ve seen a 20-percent reduction in homicides and shootings between January and May of this year.
"In order to stop a homicide you have to have the ability to intercept a whisper," Bradley said, "it only takes about five seconds to pull the trigger."
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31