Police quickly arrested a cop killer. Families of murdered Chicagoans ask: What about us?

FULLER PARK — A group of mothers, fathers and loved ones of Southwest Side murder victims have a message for the Chicago Police Department: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

The group gathered Tuesday afternoon outside the Chicago Police Department’s Zone 1 homicide unit, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave., to demand that police complete investigations into the deaths of their loved ones with the same urgency that she did so for the fatal shooting of Officer Luis Huesca.

A third of all murders recorded in 2023 in Chicago occurred within the boundaries of Zone 1, according to Chicago Police Department data.

“Some of these mothers have been waiting for justice for two years. Officer Huesca’s mother, all she needed was 10 days,” said Baltazar Enriquez, director of the Chicago Mothers and Families United for Justice Committee, a committee of the Little Village Community Council.

Enriquez denounced the “toxic police culture” that leaves cases unsolved and families’ calls for justice unanswered.

“If there is no action, there is no resolution,” Enriquez said.

Behind him, around thirty parents and relatives of homicide victims held photos of their loved ones next to posters demanding justice.

Among them was Luis Molina, the father of 9-year-old Ariana Molina, who was fatally shot outside the family’s home in Back of the Yards last month.

“What’s the difference between a cop and my daughter?” » said Luis Molina.

Luis Molina, father of Ariana Molina, was one of about 30 people who asked police to investigate the murders of their loved ones. A relative of Dexter Reed Jr. joined the group. Credit: Francia García Hernández/Block Club Chicago

Molina said his family is still recovering from the mass shooting that left 10 others injured, including three other children. Two seriously injured children, ages 1 and 8, remain hospitalized after undergoing more than five surgeries each, Molina told Block Club.

Meanwhile, police have not provided the family with answers, he said.

“They didn’t tell us anything,” Molina said in Spanish.

Police previously said the mass shooting was gang-related and “not a random act of violence,” something Molina repeatedly refuted Tuesday.

“No one in my family was a gang member,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Like Molina, Juanita Arias on Tuesday called on police to step up efforts to solve the unsolved shooting death of her son, Adam Moreno, who was killed “in broad daylight” in Brighton Park in September, she said. declared.

Juanita Arias remembers talking to her son at 2 p.m. that day. Around 3:50 p.m., he was dead, she said.

“I can’t sleep at night,” Juanita Arias said. “I need answers. That’s all I need. Just tell me something. Don’t give me any detour.

Heraclia Gonzalez holds a photo of her son Miguel Angel Guel-Gonzalez, who was fatally shot during a drive-by in 2021 in McKinley Park. Credit: Francia García Hernández/Block Club Chicago

Other heartbroken parents waited longer for answers.

Heraclia Gonzalez lost her son Miguel Angel Guel-Gonzalez, 22, more than two years ago. Guel-Gonzalez was shot and killed in McKinley Park on Dec. 2, 2021, the Sun-Times reported. He was returning home from working at a local hospital, his mother said.

The detective assigned to her son’s case told her the registered gun owner was identified and taken into custody, then released, she said. But when Gonzalez shared her story with local news agency Univision, police told them they had not made any arrests in the case, she said.

“I don’t understand why the detective would play with my feelings like that,” Heraclia Gonzalez told Block Club.

Chicago police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The mothers of murdered Kobe Puga and Jesus Brant Jr. are among the families waiting for Chicago police to conclude an investigation into their children’s killings. Credit: Francia García Hernández/Block Club Chicago

“We just want someone to step in our shoes,” said Lisa Brant, the sister of Jesus Brant Jr., who was fatally shot in early 2022. “Someone who has a higher power, who sits on a higher chair, which has the possibility of giving us a kind of peace.

Beside him, his mother Francisca Brant held a sign reading: “Just a few moms seeking justice.”

“We are here at peace, but inside we are broken,” Brant said.

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