Chicago Residents: NATO Security Should Be For All

The Chicago Police Department has back up-- from all over the country--as world leaders meet in the city for the NATO Summit this weekend. 

In every direction downtown, police officers are out in full force to keep order as protest marches take place and tourists venture out to explore the city. Yet, a lot of Chicago area residents feel that the city is giving preferential treatment to the global summit. They feel that security should be dispersed throughout the city during this busy weekend.

David D. Grace, a 53-year-old activist and filmmaker who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago, says that children in the city's toughest neighborhoods are being slighted this weekend. As temperatures warm up and the threat of violence increases, he wonders if officers preoccupied with NATO will have time to respond to local matters.

"It's amazing to me that we can protect heads of state from other countries with thousands of law enforcement personnel, but can't protect our own children in their neighborhoods," Grace pondered. 

He and his cousin, Derek, co-produced the 2010 independent documentary, "On The Frontline: Taking Back Our Streets," which chronicled the work of community activists working to keep inner-city residents safe from violence. 

Darnisha L. McGee agreed that resources should be spread evenly. 

"I think the amount of money and manpower put in securing these dignitaries leaves much to be desired," the 28 year-old mother said. "What about the security of people that make sure Chicago exists by regularly paying taxes, working, living, and commuting around the city?"

According to the Chicago Tribune, 13 people were shot Friday night. One of the people, a 14-year-old boy, was fatally wounded in shootings across the city. 

The NATO Summit continues in Chicago until Monday.

~ Zack A. Isaacs

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