This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," September 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: I'm Laura Ingraham and this is our “Ingraham Angle Special: Chicago Town Hall,” a City in Crisis. You got Ukraine aid and impeachment drama consuming the airways. It is easy to forget the crisis unfolding on America's streets and the problems being ignored as we retreat in our political corners.
Well, we were here in Chicago a year ago and at that time we promised the people in these communities and our office in general that we'd be back and not let the issues go. And tonight, we're here to fulfill that promise. We returned to assess how life has changed or not for the violence-plagued neighborhoods and whether the relationship between the communities and law enforcement, whether it's improved or worsened.
The city was brutalized by gun violence and bloodshed and what are political leaders doing about it? Last year, Democrat Rahm Emanuel was finishing his final year as Mayor and now Mayor Lorie Lightfoot is facing a number of serious challenges, a looming teacher strike, unacceptable level of gang and drug violence, and a city running out of patience.
We'll explore all of it with our live audience and expert panels. But I want you to understand what's happening in the area we are broadcasting from tonight. We're here at New Beginnings Church and it's situated in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on Chicago's Southside.
Do you see the red circles on that map? Well, those are the homicides that have occurred just this year alone. And children are too often the victims of the violence here in Chicago as our own Raymond Arroyo found on the south side of town.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAYMOND ARROYO, CORRESPONDENT: We're a few miles from tonight's Town Hall in Harvey. Now, the violence is intense and to give you a sense of just how intense the violence is, in the city of Chicago, there have been300 homicide plus just this year.
Over 1600 shootings, and to bring it home for people in this community, the house behind me belongs to Kentavia Laughful, she's 12 years old. Earlier this week, Kentavia was making plans for her birthday party. Her family was watching the bear's game, when around 9:00 at night, a group of men approached the house and bullets started flying, her family hit the deck and Kentavia didn't get up. A bullet pierced the front window and struck her in the back of the head. She died on her birthday. Member of this community are still shaken.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We heard it. My daughter was in the back of the house and I told her to get down. And I came out after they were out and they were crying and stuff and singing and hollering, that could happen to us. Just random shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone just -- I hear they're not sleeping well. It's just bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We shouldn't have to actually see this type of violence, ever. Pretty much all we can do is just pray.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been here all my life. It's just not like it used to be where I grew up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you bring the kids in early enough?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yeah. They stay right here, nowhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you blame for this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police presence, riding around, seeing what's going on in the community. Get out, meet the people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's affecting everyone at their core here. There's not a single thing of guns, you know, gun rights, whatever. It's not just a single thing of just that. It's a -- it's a gambit of thing, a lot of things that come into this spot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've been here over 50 some years. I raised my kids here. I am scared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: So far this year, homicides are tracking at a slower pace than they were in 2018. But they're still near the top for an American city, last year, exceeding the murder rates above New York and L.A. But for the people in these at-risk communities, the statistic, they don't mean all that much.
They're suffering from unacceptable levels of routine violence. Joining me now is Tony Robinson, Former Chicago Police Officer in the Violent Crimes Division, Former Homicide Detective, Joseph Moseley, and a Former Homicide Detective and 30-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, and Anthony Williams, Pastor and Activist here in Chicago.
Tony, I want to start with you. It's hard to watch that story. The facts, the promise of a young girl cut short needlessly. She's, one, though, of hundreds upon hundreds of African-American youth that get caught up in this type of violence. People watching tonight say what do we do? How do we stop this?
TONY ROBINSON, FORMER CHICAGO HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: Well, first of all we cannot police our way out of this. This has to come from the community. And being a homicide detective, it hurts me just as much when I can't solve that problem. When I cannot get members of the community, who knows not understand it, because they have to live there. They don't want to talk to the police.
We need to back our programs that we used to have on the police department like "Officer Friendly", "The explorer scouts". Take the youth, give them something to do. We have to really be involved with our community and our youth. When I worked there for 29 years, everybody that knew me knew I was a good cop.
And I worked my butt off. I continue to volunteer, go to the academy, talk to our young recruits. Policing is a state of mind, not a state of being. You can't just put someone off of the street and say you're the police. They complain about training. You know something? Do what you were trained to do. And everybody wants to yell about oh, we need more training, no.
Do what you were trained to do. Treat people with empathy. Be fair and understand that just because someone lives in a project or a torn-down neighborhood, they don't have that mentality. And it's just a very few people that's in our community that raises all of this confusion.
INGRAHAM: We're going to get back to your son who is now a new police officer --
ROBINSON: God bless him.
INGARAHAM: -- in Chicago. You didn't even know he was applying for the academy?
ROBINSON: I had no idea. Thank you very much.
INGRAHAM: I want to go to you. You're an activist you've been engaged on this issue here as a faith leader as a community activist for years and years. People say, well, it's getting better, be patient. It's okay, it's getting better, it is trending better. Do you feel that? And do you understand what Tony says, it's not a policing problem, it's a community problem.
PASTOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS, CHICAGO COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: I lost a son to violence February 21, 2018, Jeremiah Williams. Violence is the number one problem of the 21st century. What we did -- our response was to talk with our State Representatives for nine days. We had a resolution passed.
Violence is a health crises, the next step is we're preparing to walk to Springfield on October 14 and the goal is to pass comprehensive legislation on violence as a help crises and a disease. The system of violence is overwhelming.
We all as citizens must deal with this --, the issue of violence is everyone's fight. History shows us that in America, where you want to come at justice on evil legislation. We can't legislate ourselves of this, police ourselves out of this, but we need civility right now. Civility is important. Violence ain't cool.
Civility is -- is powerful. This is the human health crises. No one is safe no matter where you live. So, we are working towards comprehensive legislation.
INGRAHAM: Involving what?
WILLIAMS: Comprehensive legislation will be under health care the CDC has said that violence is a disease. But it's not a contagious. We do not need vaccines. But we need comprehensive legislation. Same thing like cigarettes, it's almost in American not to smoke at a bar but you can't smoke in a bar anymore, why because it's the law.
It's the law that moves the needle. When Dr. King and others got together, we needed an end game. We're dealing with the demon of segregation, legislation. This is just one of many methods. I work towards solution. We know about the problem. But we came along and with our legislators, we're about to have a game changer that's going to deal with the issue of violence like never before.
INGRAHAM: Joseph Steve, police, trust, distrust level, community to police. Gallup poll showing this in Chicago, it's not great. It's not great. They either know someone or they, themselves, have had a bad interaction with police. How do you as a former police officer feel when you hear that?
Because as we heard from Tony, this is a -- this is a commitment to be a police officer in today's day and age, being outgunned and oftentimes understaffed, you're -- you're dealing with the difficult hurdles to clear, yet, the community needs you.
JOSEPH MOSELEY, FORMER CHICAGO HOMICICDE DETECTIVE: Well, I think the problem there is we misidentify what the real problems are. As my learned colleague said, you cannot legislate yourself out of this. You can't delegate your way out of it. However, we have to take a more holistic approach.
Understand that this is a mental health crisis. Understand that we're looking at another group of second generation crack babies, looking at learning disorders. So we have to look at this from a holistic approach and say what else do we do? And understand that a lot of police officers have a big misunderstanding of what their job is.
We are social workers. For all intents and purposes, for all of the rhetoric that you hear, we don't get out of the car with the gun out. You're supposed to get out there to help people. Plain and simple -- serve and protect not to protect and serve. And I think that message gets convoluted.
The other problem is that we have to have a paradigm shift within the police department. It has to have another face that says, listen; everyone is not your enemy.
INGRAHAM: ABC News reporting last week, dangerous week leaves Chicago police officers besieged by violence and laws. A veteran officer with the department's Fugitive Apprehensive Unit was shot and critically wounded on West Englewood early Saturday morning. The officer was serving a warrant to take him to custody accused of shooting a woman while riding a bike.
In the River's District hours earlier two other Chicago police officers were injured after being dragged by a fling vehicle outside of White Counsel near the city's Brownsville neighborhood his female partner was hospitalized in serious condition, with two collapsed lungs and fractured ribs.
I want to return now to the current leader of the city, Mayor -- excuse me, Lori Lightfoot. We invited her to be part of this Town Hall. We would have loved to have her here; the City Hall is just a few miles from here. I know she's very busy but she declined our invitation. That's okay.
But especially with the impending teacher strike, there's a lot going on. I do hope that she join us on the show another time back in Washington. The door is open. She has an open invitation. Yesterday Mayor Lightfoot did take time out of her schedule tough to assail U.S. Immigration officials.
ICE has begun a major effort to remove violent criminal aliens from the street also adding to some of the problems here. The Mayor rather than welcoming the efforts chose to defend her city's sanctuary policies that hinder federal law enforcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LORIE LIGHTFOOT, MAYOR, CITY OF CHICAGO: We are not going to tolerate letting ICE terrorize our immigrant and refugee communities. We will never ever succumb to the racist, xenophobic rhetoric of ICE. We will continue to ban ICE from having access to any CPD data bases. We'll not allow any CPD officer to cooperate with anything related to ICE and it is immigration rates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Tony, so police officers I've talked to said that makes our lives harder because now ICE has to go to the communities to look for the criminals. These are not mothers and fathers working in restaurants, these are criminal aliens who are in the communities in gangs, pushing Florencia 13 all these other gangs, Latin Kings in these neighborhoods. Now ICE has to go there, they can't arrest them outside of a courtroom. Your thoughts on that, how does affect the job of police?
ROBINSON: Let me be perfectly clear for anybody in this audience, I'm a black man first, I'm a police officer second. I was a victim of the police brutality. That's why I joined the police department. Then I had to sue the police department to get on because I was discriminated against.
So all my career has been upholding the law and if someone is breaking law, I wouldn't care who they are, if they are illegal, if they are legal, I'm going to assist any of the other agencies that come in here.
INGRAHAM: Joseph, doesn't that just make sense? These are criminal illegal aliens who are running drugs, narcotics rings, gangs, inside the city. And the Mayor is saying, no, we will not cooperate with federal authorities here.
MOSELEY: I think for me the biggest problem is that people -- or that we -- all of us in this room use the term "common sense." If common sense was so common, there would be no need for this. So I'll leave it at that.
INGRAHAM: All right. All of you, Tony, Anthony and Joseph, thank you so much. Tony and Anthony I'm going to see you back here in the show when we take questions from our great audience tonight. Coming up, a tragic development regarding a young Chicago man who was featured on last year's Town Hall, plus, we talk to a man who has made it his mission to provide much-needed male mentorship leadership to Chicago's at-risk youth. Stay there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sad moment for me. As someone who cared deeply about the violence in Chicago. I felt a glimmer of hope last year when I interviewed a young man by the name of Little Greg. Gregory A Jennings was a young man I offered to get a job, he would get out of the life of crime, violence, drugs gang banging, he accepted.
GIANNO CALDWELL, CONTRIBUTOR: If somebody gave you a job, would you get out of the life? I have jobs and opportunities and resources. If you get a job, you would get out of the life and no longer be involve in the gangs? 100 percent on live national television. You said you'll get out of the gang if you have that opportunity?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, I would.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, we're going to make it happen.
CALDWELL: I stayed in touch with him via calls and text messages. Then I couldn't reach him anymore. Then I found out via media reporting that Little Gregg was gunned down right here behind me. Two men walked up and shot him in cold blood at 4:30 in the afternoon. Little Greg is lost but he's never forgotten.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: That was Fox Contributor in Chicago native Gianno Caldwell bringing a tragic update on a young man that we featured as you can see on last year's Town Hall. Another example of just how hard can be to escape the cycle of violence once you're in it here in Chicago. Without strong male leadership that's so critical in their lives, young men in the inner city are increasingly susceptible to being pulled into the gang life.
One man here with us tonight has made it his mission to help young people create a better future for themselves. Here now with me is Dr. Devon Horton, Former Principal of Phillips Academy High School and joining him our two stories, Brandon Lane, a Phillips Academy Graduate who has gang members in his family and Sedric Willingham, a Former Mentee of Dr. Horton and a victim himself of gun violence.
Dr. Horton, you saw that young man from our package last year almost pleading for an opportunity to leave the gang life. And one year later, he's dead. How do we solve this?
DOCTOR DEVON HORTON, FORMER CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: It's a -- it's a multiple layer approach that we have to -- in order to reach these young men. And I'm -- I'm going to speak really from an educational lens. And I really fail in that, working here in Chicago for 14 years, leaving six years ago, there was a -- there was a - we have to -- we have to give the students a sense of hope.
And it's not about reading and math as much as it's about giving them how to survive in life in general. So something that we currently do as Chief of Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, we actually have career education programs where, we have them here. But what's unique about what's happening there, students are getting trained and for UPS work for general electric work. And they have an opportunity to get the certifications required to get on to the field when they have the opportunity.
INGRAHAM: These are life skills. These are skills to get out and work. Work, get a job. Where you can make -- a friend of mine is a FEDEX driver, makes a lot of must be, been there for ten years. Big money
INGRAHAM: Be there on time, show up, tuck your shirt in. Look at someone. These are common sense. Not to everyone. We all have to learn them.
HORTON: And yes, I think from the education side, we understand we touch these students every day. So more than the police, more than any other community organization, we have them in our buildings. And we have to find a way to collectively wrap our hands around as a group and as a team to support them.
INGRAHAM: Hope and knowing that someone cares about what happens to you in the next 24 hours. We want you back in school the next day. Sedric, in 2016, you were shot 13 times outside of a hospital. It was a random attack. You say this moment completely changed your outlook on life. Obviously, you're in a wheelchair as a result of this. What is your message to young kids toying with the idea of joining gang?
SEDRIC WILLINGHAM, SURVIVED BEING SHOT 13 TIMES: It ain't -- it ain't fun. It ain't as fun as it's cracked up to be or you think it is. It doesn't get you far. You either going to get -- something going to happen to you're going to be locked up. That's about it. So just -- just try to keep their head up, keep their trust in themselves. Don't trust anybody else. Don't believe what other people say. Believe what you see and what you know. That's what I tell them.
INGRAHAM: Brandon, members of your family have themselves gotten completely sucked into the gang life. You avoided it. There's a cycle in families, there's a cycle in a lot of things, alcoholism touches all families, drug abuse, it is part of this problem we'll get into. You managed to pull yourself out of that. You had a mentor. Sedric, you also ended up having a mentor. And Dr. Horton, how did you do it?
BRANDON LANE, PHILLIPS ACCADEMY GRADUATE: So, just like you said, mentor, Dr. Horton and I have other mentors, John Bernon and Cory Lee. Just those guys really believing in me. I said giving guys hope. He was a principal, but he was a father figure, a brother, a friend. He actually contacted me every day when I was in -- I graduated, what, two years ago my master's degree now.
Still contacts me to this day. So basically, you know, not just talk, taking action, actually help these kids and not just saying I believe in you. Show you believe in them. Give them something to believe in.
INGRAHAM: How important are male role models, Dr. Horton, especially in situations where young men are in fatherless homes. Moms trying to doing their best, I'm a single mother. But I have resources. A lot of moms don't. How hard is a fatherless situation for any person from any background?
HORTON: I will say this. I was raised by a single mother in the Robert Hills Housing Projects in the home. And that's what it was called. But I would say oftentimes our young men are over mothered and under fathered. So because of our work, it is so important to drive -- I talk to Brandon all the time and even Sedric about how do we give back and get back to the classroom and being educators because that's a direct pipeline to these young men.
There are so many young men that I had interactions with over my 20-year career. It's imperative, there's certain things that moms will call me and say, Mr. Horton, can you talk to Brandon about x, y, z, or whatever it may be and I can have certain conversations that mothers -- they try, they do a great job, but it's tough
INGRAHAM: I have that problem with my two boys. Again, I have resources. I'm eternally blessed. But I have to bring in male role models, father figures, godfathers. Sedric, how important?
WILLINGHAM: It's very important. You got to -- you got to have the right man to know what type of man you can be. If you don't have that role model then that's just going to be one of those things that you just get lost in trying to find out yourself, which is real hard without a father or -- I don't know -- I don't know that -- no other way, which other way you can become a man without actually seeing it.
INGRAHAM: Becoming a man, what it means to become a man today?
WILLINGHAM: A real man.
INGRAHAM: Thank you. When we were here last year, Democrat Rahm Emanuel was wrapping up a rocky time in the Mayor's office. Now a year later, successor, Lori Lightfoot is facing some equally serious challenges. Is she up to it? We'll speak to political underdogs in the city who say Chicagoans need to look for a different type of leadership going forward. Stay there.
JACKIE IBANEZ, AMERICA'S NEWS HQ: Good evening I'm live from America's Headquarter. I'm Jackie Ibanez in New York. A federal judge in California has blocked the Trump Administration from holding migrant children and their parents in detention indefinitely. The judge ruled that the administration cannot end a decades-old policy that holds children for more than 20 days.
The Justice Department will appeal and the Supreme Court could weigh in. Meanwhile, 35 people have been charged in a massive Medicare scam targeting seniors involving kick backs and bribes to doctors who then send patients to expansive genetic testing companies.
The tests were unnecessary and many clients never received their results but their Medicare accounts were billed. The Justice Department says the scam cost the Medicare program more than $2 billion in bogus charges. I'm Jackie Ibanez, now back to “The Ingraham Angle,” for all of your headlines, log on to foxnews.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's a great need across the country for federal leadership in particular to step up and come forward with a real plan to deal with the gun violence that we're seeing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: Welcome back to a special “Ingraham Angle” town hall from Chicago, a city in crisis. Now, many in the city feel that that kind of deflection from Mayor Lori Lightfoot doesn't do a lot to help the continued scourge of gun violence and end it. As we mentioned earlier, we asked the mayor to appear, but like her predecessor, Rahm Emmanuel, she declined. But that doesn't mean the folks of Chicago won't seek solutions on their own, and two of them looking to flip the political script in this city and in the state join me now.
Jesus Solorio is the state chairman of the Hispanic Republican Assembly of Illinois. He's also running for Republican Ward Committeeman. And Dr. Willie Wilson, a Chicago businessman who is running against Dick Durbin for the Senate. Dr. Wilson, it is great to see you. And Jesus, thank you so much for being here.
INGRAHAM: Dr. Wilson, your story, like so many of these stories, is both so inspiring and so tragic. You've gone into business and done fabulously well. You've worked your tail off, incredible work. But your son, Omar, was tragically shot and killed within 24 hours of being released from prison. Now, you didn't even want to bail them out, but eventually you relented. He was released from prison, 24 hours later he was dead. You named your business after him, Omar Medical Supplies. And you're here today to tell us what can we do and what can you do and others in the business community to try to give these kids a way out of the life of drugs and gangs?
DR. WILLIE WILSON, CHICAGO BUSINESSMAN: I think what you have to do is that we have to bring economic development, jobs, contracts, things of that nature. We have to put our family, our kids first. The city has made an investment, but they haven't made the investment within the African- American community or Latino communities as they do other communities, right? It you changed this whole situation around, it would be different. Now, I have nothing against sanctuary cities or nothing like that, but if you're going to invest in a sanctuary city, invest into your city you have right now today with black folks and Latino folks.
INGRAHAM: Black and Latino folks probably want a sanctuary of their own that's safe from gun violence, correct?
WILSON: Yes. But if you bring them from outside and come in, OK, I haven't nothing against sanctuary cities, but if you're going to focus on sanctuary cities, focus on what's here.
INGRAHAM: But their idea is sanctuary cities is illegal alien criminals, not people working in a restaurant, but criminals, they'll not work with ICE or federal authorities to get them off of the streets. They're not going to help. That does not help Chicago. I have to take issue with you, but that's not helping make life easier for police or the people. They have enough problem with gangs. They don't need any more problems.
WILSON: What does happen in Chicago. You take the tax dollars that the African-Americans pay in Chicago, Latino people pay in Chicago, it goes to the white community, doesn't get to our community. You close down 50 schools in the city of Chicago.
INGRAHAM: That was a disaster.
WILSON: You don't close not one white school down. Let me tell you this, if I were to close 50 white schools down, they would have me hanging on State Street and Madison.
INGRAHAM: So it's a very segregated city, Jesus. It's the second most segregated city next to Detroit, I believe, in the United States. People feel that. General crime has gone down in the state, as it has in the country since about the 80s, but crime is disproportionately affecting the minority communities. And I think Dr. Wilson is getting at that as well. What could be done, what could you do as a Latino, a Republican, wants to get to politics -- this is a Democrat state, run by Democrats, it's been run by Democrats for decades and decades in Chicago.
JESUS SOLORIO, ILLINOIS HISPANIC GOP ASSEMBLY CHAIR: Correct. So Republicans in the city of Chicago are few. And what I would like to encourage the new mayor is to come and speak to us, right, because we are in these communities, we're being affected by crime -- we're being affected by the high taxes and the corruption that's going on. We may be a small number, but we are a constituency that have ideas, right. We believe in limited government, we believe in low taxes, like Dr. Wilson said. We need economic opportunities. And I think that's what's been missing from the Democratic platform. We need jobs.
INGRAHAM: All right, guys, thank you so much for your perspective. Again, we're not going to hear it anywhere else.
And in moments, we will give you an exclusive look inside a Cook County Department of Corrections prison where felons are turning their lives around with the help of local pastors. Our Chicago town hall, a city in crisis, continues in a moment.
INGRAHAM: A key ingredient to breaking the cycle of violence here is reaching out to prison inmates. You met FOX News contributor Gianno Caldwell, author of the new book "Taken for Granted" earlier in the special. He has an exclusive look now inside of the Cook County Department of Corrections where local pastors have taken it upon themselves to help felons turn their lives around so they don't make it back in once they're released. Here's what he found.
GIANNO CALDWELL, AUTHOR: And you guys are being held as you await trial. What is it that you've noticed in your time in the life in the '90s up to now with some of the younger generation that you're seeing coming in to the Cook County jail?
GREGORY ANDERSON, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, CORRECTIONS INMATE: A lot of families now are -- they don't have parents. They don't have mothers and fathers. In this society, you've got government officials telling you dos and don'ts, what you can't do with your own child when some fathers, a lot of fathers are incarcerated for decades, for a long time, they never coming home. And you've got young kids raising themselves. They turn to rappers, et cetera, to be their guide.
CALDWELL: You believe the government has allowed for the violence to spur in a way because you can't discipline your children?
ANDERSON: When I was going to school, you stood up and you said the Pledge of Allegiance to America. Today, you get in trouble if your child goes to school and does that. And this second chance program, this is kind of -- it's crazy. We in jail and yet we have people coming here to try to help give us insight, motivate us to want to do better, build lives for ourselves and our family members when we want to come out. Forget what the street done taught you, because look what it got you.
CALDWELL: Would you all agree that it's time to start snitching.
ROBERT LEE JACKSON, JR., COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, CORRECTIONS INMATE: Standing up and doing what's right is different than snitching. I think people need to understand the difference between telling and -- telling what's right and snitching. It's a major difference between the two.
CALDWELL: So you agree that the communities should work with the police and they should be telling on those who are committing the crimes?
JACKSON: We have to work together if the crime rate is going to drop. If you want these murders to stop, there has to be -- we have to hold each other accountable. They need to see men like us come into the communities and say, see what we've done? See the things that we've done, and see where it landed us? It landed us in prison, but there's a lot worse things than prison, like an early grave. I want to be the solution and not the problem when I return back to society. I want to be an asset and not a liability when I return back to society.
CALDWELL: Thank you all so much for spending this time.
JACKSON: Thank you.
ANDERSON: Thank you.
CALDWELL: Yes, sir.
INGRAHAM: Joining me now is the director of that program, Dr. Eddie Kornegay of LWCC Prison Ministries. Also here is Pastor Corey Brooks, founder of New Beginnings Church where we are tonight. Dr. Kornegay, the rise program is helping inmates reform their life. So what kind of results are you seeing?
DR. EDDIE KORNEGAY, DIRECTOR, R.I.S.E LWCC PRISON MINISTRY: Well, what we're seeing is a really transformation in terms of the possibilities and hope and the hope that people have in a place where you wouldn't necessarily see that. And so our programming begins with the idea that re- entry begins prerelease. And Pastor Winston started with this declaration that we're going to turn jails into boarding schools. And so we've taken that concept and with that marshaled all of the resources at Living Word Christian Center Prison Ministry and Living Word Christian Center has and taken them into the jails. So it's not just our ministers that go in. It's also professionals that have expertise that go in and teach business and leadership, financial literacy, critical thinking and decision-making skills, to a population that is oftentimes left out, misunderstood, and deemed to be lost. But we understand that they are the solution, and they're not the problem.
INGRAHAM: Dr. Brooks, we were at the Indiana women's prison recently, featuring a similar program. When you hear about it out when you're not really focusing on this issue, you might think, these are convicts. They have to do their time. We're babying them. But I think what you see, those two men, very well spoken. They don't want kids to get in the cycle of violence, and citing fatherhood, men, and what our previous guests said, to learn to be a man today. Where are you learning your skills? All of us, those types of skills, to be a woman, to be a man, who is your role model? That's inspiring.
PASTOR COREY BROOKS, NEW BEGINNINGS CHURCH: Absolutely. It's very much needed. In our society, we need to have individuals who are incarcerated who are being inspired, not only being inspired, but also inspiring others to live a better life. It's important that we have mentors that are coming alongside. It's important we have churches like our church that is trying to minister to the marginalized. We have a not-for-profit called Project Hood, helping others attain a destiny. And it's all about focusing on individuals, making sure that they get jobs and not going to jail. Making sure that they replace their guns with hammers. Making sure that they get jobs and opportunities and contracts, because we believe when individuals have those opportunities, they can turn their lives around. And they don't have to wait on people to come and save them. They can do it for themselves.
INGRAHAM: And thank you for hosting us in this incredible place. You're right smack dab in the middle of one of the most dangerous neighborhoods where we are right now. The faith aspect for all of us, society in general, this community, how critical is it that we have a spiritual renewal? A government program can't give you a hug, can't be there at night, can't check in at the end of the day. How important is the faith aspect?
KORNEGAY: It's extremely important. In fact, there is no solution outside of faith. Everything begins with faith. You have to stay in faith. And you have to --
INGRAHAM: Both of you, thank you so much for being here tonight and being an example to young men and women. We need hundreds of thousands of you in all walks of life all over this country. And we just salute you. Thank you so much.
KORNEGAY: Thank you.
BROOKS: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: And coming up, last year we met the aunt of Demetrius Griffin, a 15-year-old burned alive after a gang tried unsuccessfully to recruit him. He was trying to resist them. At the time, there were no arrests. She's here again with Demetrius's mother to give us an update on the search for his killers. Stay there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROCHELLE SYKES, AUNT OF TEEN KILLED BY GANG: They burnt him alive in a garbage can. He wasn't in a gang. He didn't do drugs. That was my only nephew. He was 15 years old. Two years, $10,000, nothing.
INGRAHAM: Let me give you a hug.
ROCHELLE SYKES: Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
INGRAHAM: I'm so sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: That's from our town hall last year. The woman I shared that hug with is Rochelle Sykes. Her nephew Demetrius Griffin was murdered by a vicious gang. And at that time, no arrests had been made after two years of investigation. And one year later, have Demetrius's killers been brought to justice? Joining me now is Rochelle Sykes and Polly Sykes, Demetrius's mother. Rochelle, it is good to see you again.
ROCHELLE SYKES: Nice seeing you.
INGRAHAM: And Rochelle, I didn't meet you last time. You couldn't be with us.
POLLY SYKES, MOTHER OF TEEN KILLED BY GANG: : That was difficult.
INGRAHAM: I know. Polly, tell us. No leads in this investigation?
POLLY SYKES: We have no leads. We need as much help as we can to bring the killers to justice. That's why it's important for us to keep the story here so we can get help. All kids' lives matter to me. And my son was viciously taken from me, burnt alive in the garbage, and no mother should have to deal with that. So it's kind of hard for me right now.
INGRAHAM: Polly, there are no words. Rochelle, one in six murders are solved in this city, one in six. It's the lowest solving murders rate in the country, it's the worst clearance rate in the country. How does that make everybody here feel?
ROCHELLE SYKES: It makes me feel horrible. It makes me feel that we as people don't value life, don't value children, we don't value any values anymore. Demetrius was a loving sweet kid. He was 96 pounds, he was four- nine. They burnt him beyond recognition. I had to get dental records to identify him. We were -- we had no service, no way to say goodbye. We had to take him straight from the morgue to the grave. We had to have a memorial service.
What we keep doing, and it's been three years. There hasn't been any -- nothing. Nobody has said anything. Nobody has turned in anything. Nobody -- nothing. We need to stop waiting until it hits our doorstep. We need to say something if we see something.
INGRAHAM: Everyone. Everyone in society, the no snitch thing, if it's wrong, report it. And Polly, you see a lot of coverage of other crimes around the United States, and they're serious, whether mass shootings in other states and other communities. Do you feel like it gets the coverage here in Chicago or other cities like us, St. Louis, Detroit, Oakland? Does it get the coverage? This situation, is this acceptable to anyone?
POLLY SYKES: No, it's not acceptable to anyone. No, I don't feel you have the coverage of it. Like you said, we need to stick together, we need to speak out. Silence is just the worst thing ever. These are our kids, and they are important to us.
INGRAHAM: Thank you for being here. You almost didn't come, and we really, really appreciate it. I never forgot Demetrius, not one day since last year. And it's a $15,000 reward?
ROCHELLE SYKES: Yes.
INGRAHAM: It's $20,000 now.
INGRAHAM: It's $20,000, someone can tell us about this murder.
We have some time for some questions from the audience, some points. I think we can go to Marlene (ph) first. Marlene (ph)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I'm Marlene, hi, everyone. I feel your pain. I lost a brother to gun violence. And it was the most heart-wrenching thing to ever go through, oh, my gosh, it was. But, for me, it's not a questionable statement. It's like we need the foundation of love and unity and peace. We need to get along with each other. That's what it is. We need to get along.
And getting along is back in the day we had the big mama, we had people looking out for each other. And that's what means the most to me. My brother was love and kind, he went to school, went to college, wasn't in a gang. And he just got caught in a crossfire, and he died instantly, got shot in the head. And we only found one killer. We did. And what makes us grounded and keeps us excited, we hold the legacy. And our legacy is to love one another, have peace and unity and stop hating. And I always tell people, the reason we don't like each other or because we don't get along with each other --
INGRAHAM: We have to care about each other as fellow Americans.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
INGRAHAM: I want to go back to the panel, and thank you so much for that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're welcome.
INGRAHAM: Panel, when you've heard these two stories. Two women, two tragic stories. Let's go to you. A lack of love, unity, role models, fathers, in some sense enough police, enough support for the police. It's a lot. It's a lot. We didn't talk about drugs, we didn't touch on drugs in this situation. But drugs have been a part of a lot of the violence, either selling them, pushing them, being on them, getting on them because of this situation. How important is that?
TONY ROBINSON, FORMER CHICAGO HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: It's very important, because I always believe, some of the mothers here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My heart goes out. I've seen it, when you have children come home with $400 sneakers on, they been out all night long, don't go to school, they become the head of households. And a drug kid will tell you, listen, why should I go to school when I can make $200 or $300 a day and come home? Everything, the foundation starts at the home. Drugs is definitely the scourge of any community, but it became an epidemic when it started to go to other communities. It's always been here in the black community.
INGRAHAM: Joseph, on this issue, we have a lot of pain across this country. We have opioid deaths, meth. Now the push is to legalize drugs. Legal drugs is going to solve our problem, we're not going to have any of this violence. You're seeing a lot of terrible violence in communities where drugs are legalized, because they're always figuring out a way to bring in cheaper, more powerful stuff to undercut the legal sales. That's where we are now.
JOSEPH MOSELY, FORMER CHICAGO HOMICIDE DETECTIVE: For lack of censorship, I'll not repeat what I was thinking in my mind. But I will say this, that it's not just an opioid epidemic. In one community it's an epidemic. In another it's a scourge. But particularly in our community, we're seeing the second and third generation of crack babies. We're also seeing a large influx in the number of kids who have learning disabilities. We don't talk about that in terms of how people get attracted to what brings them to the gang. A lot of them are looking for someone to love them, someone to help them, someone to accept them. And that's what you find happening in a lot of these communities, particularly in ours.
INGRAHAM: Anthony, there's hope here. There's hope in this room tonight. There's hope that people that came here tonight to tell their story, to share their pain, and to demand action from within ourselves and from our leadership.
PASTOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS, CHICAGO COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: I want people to know we have put violence on trial in Illinois. Violence is on trial in Illinois.
WILLIAMS: And we are turning pain into policy. Pain into policy. I am a grieving father. It don't feel good when you lose your child. It affects your DNA. I want every citizen here, I need everybody in America to be very patriotic, help us pass comprehensive legislation on violence as a human health crisis and a disease. We will all be eliminated from this planet if we don't get control. Legislation is very key right now. We need people to walk with us to Springfield.
INGRAHAM: Thank you very much. Thank you for being here, panel. Stay tuned. We'll be right back.
INGRAHAM: Last year, I said we wouldn't stop covering the violence ravaging one of America's greatest cities and the people trying to solve it. I meant it. Chicago will not be forgotten. And I hope we did our small part tonight to prove that.
I want to thank everyone in the audience who joined us tonight. You have busy lives, special thank you to all of you. Special thanks to Corey Brooks, Pastor Brooks, and the New Beginnings Church for making this evening what it was.
INGRAHAM: We love being here. We're coming back. That's my pledge to you. And thank you all for being here tonight. We really appreciate it.
Shannon Bream and the "Fox News @ Night" team take it all from here.
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