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Monday, 17 September 2012

Tensions erupted at the funeral of slain teen rapper Joseph “Lil JoJo” at a funeral parlor about 5 1/2 miles north of Saturday’s protest.


09:14 |

 Chicago police had to clear the funeral home when mourners surged the casket, nearly tipping it over. Outside, some mourners smoked weed in the parking lot, and police ended up confiscating a loaded .45-caliber pistol. Lil JoJo’s funeral on Friday wound south to Mount Hope Cemetery, and police got calls of shots fired from a car at 115th and Kedzie. There also were reports of someone waving a gun out of a car window. Police closed down several blocks of 115th Street near Fairfield on Friday, and officers from Chicago, Cook County and Merrionette Park stopped cars outside the cemetery, searching people. A gang disturbance was reported at a gas station at 111th Street and Talman, where police found the loaded pistol. Brandy Von Vossen, 31, of Merrionette Park, who participated in Saturday’s march with her husband, Josh, 32, and their 1-year-old and 3-year-old children, said she witnessed Friday’s melee. “It’s pretty scary,” Von Vossen said. “Yesterday was pretty bad; we’ve seen cars pull up sideways in intersections blocking all traffic. My friend and her four-year-old son were screamed at during one of the break-of processions on Pulaski yesterday. “We can’t walk around in Merrionette Park anymore because these processions happen a couple times a week” Von Vossen said. James McGann, 42, of Chicago’s Morgan Park community, said the problem is “getting ridiculous.” “I don’t have a problem with funeral processions. I mean, who would,” McGann said as he marched. “We don’t even leave the windows open during the day because of this.” Sue Pfiefer, 35, said she’s been run off the road by one of the funeral processions. “I see it all the time, I just wasn’t aware everyone else was,” Pfiefer said. “(Friday) was dangerous, I tried to stay inside. Even with all the police cars with them (in the procession), they were still acting like that.” Bansley created a Facebook event a few weeks ago promoting the march. An estimated 250 people showed up at Saturday’s demonstration. The group started in Kennedy Park, marched south on Western, then west on 115th Street, and stopped 300 feet from the cemetery entrance, as per city ordinance. Attempts to contact the Troost family and O’Shea’s office were unsuccessful Saturday.


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