Friday, July 8, 2016

Jim Constantine, Concerned About Conflict Between Police and Citizens, Is Doing Something About It, Starting with Prayer, Moment of Silence, Respect

Arlington Heights resident Jim Constantine and his family organized an impromptu memorial Friday at noon at Memorial Park at Chestnut Avenue and Fremont Street to coincide with a Dallas memorial. A small group observed a moment of silence and said The Lord's Prayer in honor of the five police officers who were fatally shot Thursday evening in Dallas.

Greg Padovani, 64, a local veteran from Arlington Heights who is active in many organizations such as the Veterans Memorial Committee of Arlington Heights, was also there out of respect. He said he attended the ceremony as "an act of solidarity to honor the people who defend us every day."

Constantine feels frustrated with the horrific events that have caused police officers and their families to suffer, and for citizens and their families to suffer when shooting deaths have occurred during police-involved shootings. He formerly lived in Dallas as a young adult after he was raised in the Hasbrook neighborhood of Arlington Heights. He still feels a connection with Dallas.

Constantine is driven to initiate action to put a stop to the conflict. He understands the bigger problems and economic and political issues that underlie the conflict and clash among police and Black Lives Matter groups. But today he primarily was driven to show respect for the police officers "who put their lives on the line for us" and to honor and "remember the thousands of police officer who do a spectacular job every day."

Immediately after the remembrance, an unidentified woman approach the group that was surrounded by cameras and dramatically asked organizer Jim Constantine why there was no remembrance for one of the thousands of young black men that have been killed by law enforcement in the United States.

After walking into a circle of news cameras, she told Chicago area media photographers, videographers and reporters from ABC 7 Chicago, NBC 5 Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, and the Daily Herald that she didn't authorize any of this video to be used for any purposes. The woman told the media members, while standing in a public park, that the media was not authorized to use her image or her voice in any way without written permission. She was promptly schooled by Chicago media on how Freedom of the press in the United States is protected by the First Amendment in the United States Constitution

A larger remembrance event is planned for Saturday July 9, 2016 again at noon.

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