A foundation linked to Chicago rapper Vic Mensa plans to distribute tennis shoes to kids near the site where cops parked a “bait truck” full of shoes in hopes of catching would-be thieves. Authorities were widely condemned by the ACLU and local politicians when videos showing the operation in action went viral.
“We wanted to do something in response, but have a positive response,” Laundi Keepseagle, the executive director of Vic Mensa’s SaveMoneySaveLife foundation, said Thursday, according to The Chicago Sun-Times. “We don’t want to create conflict with the police, but we do want to take a step forward, and just showcase that acts like that aren’t acceptable in communities that we care for.”
Keepseagle said the foundation plans to station an “anti-bait truck” where shoes will be given away, along with food trucks, as part of a back-to-school event. The date of the event will be released after the foundation receives the shoes, Keepseagle said.
With hopes of selling at least 5,000 pairs of shoes, the foundation put the word out to shoe companies, athletes and other prominent figures asking for donations or assistance with the campaign, Keepseagle said.
Activist Shaun King promoted the drive on Twitter Thursday, asking people to order shoes for the anti-bait truck through Amazon. By Friday, over 4,000 pairs had been secured for the anti-bait truck.
Via Chicago Sun-Times:
No children were arrested in the sting after Norfolk Southern Rail police department positioned two sealed and apparently abandoned trucks in Englewood last month. A Norfolk Southern spokesperson said last week that “Operation Trailer Trap,” which was conducted with the help of Chicago police officers, was conducted in response to thefts from a nearby rail yard. A pair of viral videos pushed the operation into public view. One, taken by activist Charles Mckenzie, shows a group of men confronting police officers next to the bait truck.
Three men, ages 21, 36 and 59, were arrested for breaking into the trucks and removing merchandise. Burglary charges against all three men were dropped by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx “in the interest of justice,” according to office spokesman Robert Foley. Norfolk Southern released a statement last week expressing regret for the operation, and committing not to use similar tactics in the future. One of the arrested men, who was deaf, told police in sign language he had entered the truck to look for food, according to a police report.
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