Chicago businesses being cited for mask violations as shootings and murders skyrocket in the city

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CHICAGO, IL – As shootings continue to plague the city of Chicago, city officials have been spending time on issuing dozens of fines to local businesses for failing to comply with the state’s indoor mask mandates.

Following the city’s reintroduction of an indoor mask mandate, Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection department has performed over 100 investigations into various businesses suspected of running afoul, issuing 20 citations and 16 warnings between August 20th and the 29th. Said businesses impacted ranged from restaurants, grocery outlets and even nightclubs.

After removing the mask requirement for fully vaccinated persons in May, the Chicago Department of Public Health said in August that the city’s mask rule will be reinstated – whether someone is vaccinated or not – and the reinstatement applied in August even extends to toddlers wearing face coverings:

“All individuals aged 2 and over, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask as of Friday, August 20, while indoors in public settings.”

“Masks are required in all indoor public settings, including bars and restaurants, gyms, common areas of condos and multi-residential buildings, and private clubs.

Similar to previous mask mandates, masks can be removed at restaurants, bars and other eating/drinking establishments by patrons when they are actively eating and drinking.”

CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says that this mask mandate “will only be temporary and we can bend the COVID curve,” adding that the current COVID case numbers are rising to alarming levels and measures need to be taken to address it:

“But with case counts now rising back to this level, the risk has increased for everyone, even those who are vaccinated. The time to act is now to prevent further spread.

Chicago residents who have not yet been vaccinated should get a vaccine as soon as possible—it will protect you and your loved ones from the risk of serious illness or even death.”

However, numerous shootings continue to occur in Chicago as the city clamps down on local businesses that fail to comply with mask mandates imposed by city officials.

Over the Labor Day weekend alone, at least 63 individuals were shot throughout the city, six of those victims being fatally shot.

ABC 7 reported that during the Labor Day weekend, as many as 8 of the gunshot victims were children, and one of those killed was a 4-year-old boy. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown noted that the children being hurt and killed within the city stems mostly from gang violence:

“It’s always some other offender, gang member, criminal network, some beef, and they’re targeting some adult, and young people are nearby and they are shot as innocent bystanders.”

Reports indicate that Chicago has already seen more shootings and murders in 2021 than that of the entirety of 2019. When it comes to children being shot throughout the city in 2021, at least 280 children have been injured – and 35 have been killed by gunfire.

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Police: 33-year-old man fatally shot while shielding daughter from gunfire in gun-controlled Chicago

(Originally published September 4th, 2021)

CHICAGO, IL- According to reports, 33-year-old Travell Miller’s last act before dying in an ambush on the West Side, was shielding his 7-year-old daughter from gunfire, possibly saving her life. 

On Thursday, September 2nd, Miller’s father, Joseph Gilmore, said in a statement:

“He was simply driving his daughter to school. He was talking to his mother [on the phone] as this guy runs up on the car. His mother hears the son say, ‘Dang man, what the (expletive).’ She hears commotion and then hears him say, ‘Mama, Mama, I’ve been shot.’”

According to authorities, Miller had been stopped in traffic around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 1st, in the 3000 block of West Chicago Avenue when the gunman got out of another car, walked up and opened fire. Miller was hit four times and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Gilmore said that a doctor told him that the location of Miller’s wounds show he had bent over to protect his daughter. Gilmore added:

“She’s traumatized. She’s devastated that she watched her father get killed.”

Police have released photos of the suspected attacker and the car he was driving, which was a silver two-door Grand Prix with no plates. Gilmore said:

“I pray that God serves them the same dish they gave my son.”

Detectives are reportedly investigating if the shooting stemmed from road rage. Gilmore said that he and his family have no other idea why Miller would have been targeted, adding that he had no enemies and had just moved to the neighborhood five days earlier.

Miller’s identical twin brother, Lavell Miller said news of his brother’s death has left him feeling “hollow,” adding:

“He wasn’t part of any gang life, criminal life. He wasn’t a troubled man, didn’t have any enemies. He was a brother, a father, a son. He was a partner.”

The brother’s “did everything together,” including moved to Miami, Florida to pursue careers in bartending. Lavell said:

“I introduced him to bartending, but when we did it together, it was ten-times magnified. I have a lot of family, but he was my twin brother. It’s a special bond and it’s a special thing.”

Miller came up with the name, “Bar-twin-ders” to market themselves as a bartending duo. Lavell said:

“I thought that was the right amount of corny.”

Lavell said that COVID made the job impossible in Miami, so they both moved back to Chicago. Lavell added:

“We talked about picking up where we left off. It’s been a financial struggle because of the pandemic. We know finally saw a way to navigate some success through this. We had plans. I was looking forward to us being a team for a very long time.”

Gilmore said that Miller grew up with his family in Maywood and was a star wrestler at Proviso East High School. He studied graphic design and loved video games. Gilmore added:

“All he wanted to do was treat the world like the sandbox it is. He wanted to be the guy who was paid to test video games.”

Miller’s passions adapted as he grew into adulthood and had his first daughter when he was in college. She was given to adopted parents in Minnesota, but he stayed close with her and saw her every year. Lavell said:

“I just want people to know he was a good man. I don’t want him to be just another hashtag or photo on a T-shirt. I want people to know he was a real legacy and that was the most important thing to us – your life resume.”

Miller’s family is pleading for help in finding the suspect who killed their son. Gilmore said:

“That was my boy. That was my son. My first born and I want anybody that was out there to show us some love. You can’t say nobody saw that happened. It was 7:30 on two main streets.”

Police have asked anyone with information on the murder to call detectives or submit a tip anonymously to cpdtip.com.

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Little sisters, 6 and 7, among at least 48 shot and six killed over the weekend in gun-controlled Chicago

(Originally published August 17th, 2021)

CHICAGO, IL – Two sisters, ages 6 and 7, were among those shot – one of which fatally – during the weekend spanning from the evening of August 13th through the 15th in Chicago where six victims were killed and at least 48 others were injured in shootings.

A family in Chicago’s northwest side are grieving the loss of their 7-year-old daughter and are praying for their 6-year-old daughter, who is currently fighting for her life at an area hospital, after the pair were shot while sitting inside of a car on August 15th.

Michael Broughton, the girls’ father, said his family had just spent the morning of August 15th at church and had decided to swing by and visit some of their relatives who live within the 6200 block of West Grand Avenue.

Broughton said they had finished up their visit at around 3:00 p.m., which his daughters were already in the car, and they were going to go grab some food and then head home. Then, the shooting happened.

The grieving father said his 7-year-old daughter, Serenity, was shot through the heart during the drive-by:

“They shot her in her heart. She didn’t even get a chance to fight.”

The family’s other daughter, Aubrey, remains hospitalized. Reports indicate she was shot in the chest and right armpit.

One witness to the shooting, identified only as Alberto, described the sounds of the gunfire going off during the incident:

“Like a machine gun going off, like, you know what I mean, like two people shooting at each other or something.”

Broughton is struggling to come to terms with the incident, commenting that he’s not some sort of miscreant that’s out running the streets and causing trouble:

“I’m not no gangbanger. I’m not out here doing the wrong thing. I’m a CTA worker. I’m a bus driver.”

Regina Broughton, the grandmother of the young girls, says she feels “lost” after the shooting, saying that there’s nothing someone can do to ever prepare for an event such as this:

“I’m lost, I’m lost…I mean they were my life, my everything. How do you prepare yourself for something like this? She was a beautiful child. Her spirit was beautiful, innocent, everything about her was innocent.”

The grandmother of the young girls is urging for the responsible parties to come forward:

“Come forth and take responsibility. Whoever sees this, turn them in, it was a child, she didn’t deserve this. If you have any kind of heart, step forward do what you’re supposed to do, and do what a decent human being should do.”

Aubrey is reportedly alert and talking, which Broughton said that he had to share the news with her that her sister was gone:

“I wouldn’t think she understood, but I had to tell her because she was thinking that her sister was in another room and she was going to see her.”

Local community activist Andrew Holmes is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that can lead to an arrest and conviction in the shooting of these young girls. Another community activist, Ja’mal Green, is also offering an additional $5,000 reward in the case.

The fatal shooting of Serenity Broughton was among at least five others fatally shot in Chicago during the same weekend.

The first fatal shooting transpired on August 13th at approximately 5:15 p.m., where an 18-year-old male that was standing along the 5100 block of West Fullerton was shot in the chest, leg, and back by a suspect in a passing vehicle.

Police say that the victim was pronounced dead at the scene and the investigation is ongoing.

Hours later at approximately 8:34 p.m., Illinois State Police said that a shooting that happened on the Eisenhower Expressway near Damen Avenue resulted in three victims being shot, one of who was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

On August 14th at approximately 12:40 p.m., a 59-year-old man was shot while driving along the 1200 block of North Pulaski. Officials say that he was struck in the upper back and right arm and was later pronounced deceased after being taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Later that evening at approximately 8:15 p.m., a 25-year-old man was shot while standing on the sidewalk within the 800 block of East 54th Street. Authorities say he was shot in the torso by someone in a white-colored vehicle. The victim was later pronounced deceased after being transferred to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Slightly before 2:00 a.m. on August 15th, two individuals were shot in the 7500 block of South Street. Lawrence. Of the two individuals shot, authorities say a 33-year-old man was pronounced deceased after being transferred to University of Chicago Medical Center.

Chicago police are actively investigating all of the aforementioned cases, with no reports of suspects being apprehended as of this writing.  

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