By Chinta Strausberg
After offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest of the killer of Oceanea Jones and giving police tips he had received, Father Michael Pfleger in mid-August said he is disappointed with the detectives assigned to this case because they have not followed through on clues that could solve this murder.
Referring to a previous week’s bloody weekend where 74 people were shot, 12 fatally, Pfleger said, “We’re praying that this weekend will not be the same. One of those shootings was right here at 76th and Loomis in an area called “the Complex.”
Pfleger was referring to the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Oceanea Jones who was shot Monday, July 30, 2018, near the 79th and Ashland gas station. On that fatal night, Jones was with her boyfriend when they were accosted by four men demanding to know which gang her boyfriend belonged to. Sensing danger the couple ran. Jones was struck several times in the back and died in a nearby alley. Police say neither Jones nor her boyfriend was in a gang.
After Father Pfleger posted a $5,000 reward, he received many tips, which he reported to the police.
According to Pfleger, “the Complex has been experiencing a number of problems over the last few weeks. There have been a number of parties there, a number of drug deals going on. This is the place we have to go” to pray for peace.
Pfleger said he is still getting information on the killing of Jones. “I am extremely disappointed with the detectives who are working on this case. If we get information, but if we don’t get detectives who are willing to work on this case and other cases like this, then that is the reason why we have 17 percent of solving of homicides in this city, which is embarrassing and worse than other places all around this country.”
Pfleger said police need to “deal with the real issues of this city. We will continue to put pressure on the detective division, and our Purpose Over Pain parents have requested a meeting, but you can’t tell all the time that people are not coming forward and giving information, and then when they do, your detectives do not follow up on it. That is not acceptable,” Pfleger said.
Father Pfleger late Friday night said he is disappointed with detectives working on the Oceanea Jones case because they allegedly failed to follow up on the tips he gave them–clues that could solve the murder of the 21-year-old woman.
The residents of the Complex thanked Pfleger for coming. He said some of them “are living in fear, and they try to get into their house in the afternoon and stay there until the morning. Nobody should have to live like that.”
Joining Pfleger on the march was Aalayah Eastmond, 17, a senior at the Stoneman Douglas High School and survivor of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting where 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student, killed 17 students and staff, injuring 17 others in Parkland, Florida.
“I am happy that I survived but 17 didn’t; so now I’m here being the voice for them …,” Eastmond said. Her mission is to “support Chicago youth and Chicago in general and to amplify their voices.”
Also attending the weekly peace march was Liz Dozier, then principal of Fenger High School when 16-year-old Derrion Albert was beaten to death by four teenagers, who were charged with first-degree murder.
Dozier is no longer a principal however, she works to get resources for education and safety for young people 13 and older on the South and West Sides of Chicago. So far, she has invested $30 million in local programs.
Jay Walker, a travelling missionary noted, “I go around city-to-city teaching people about God. Every city I go to I try to network with churches and congregations and help build the Kingdom.”
Other supporters came from Oak Park, the West Side of Chicago and Little Village.
The marchers began marching throughout the Auburn Gresham community, including stopping at 76th and Loomis, the site where Jones was killed.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson recently told reporters he will be cracking down on “large, outdoor, unsanctioned gatherings” in an effort to reduce gun violence.