Communities plagued by violence hope for a Summer of Peace

CHICAGO –  The Summer of Peace Block Party brought food, music and a safe place for kids to play to Renaissance Park Friday night; It may sound like a simple thing, but for many families it's not.

“I have to keep a close eye on my children, so they're with me at all times,” said mother Savoia Anderson. “Tonight I felt like we were able to celebrate without any problems.”

Earlier Friday Father Michael Pfleger of Saint Sabina Catholic Parish, which organized the block party, joined neighbors on the far South Side to door-to-door and offer a reward for any information that helps police find the person who killed 19-year-old Arshell Dennis. The son of a Chicago police officer was visiting his sick mother from college when he was gunned down.

“We must use our strength as a community to punish people who shoot and kill, to put them in jail and make the streets safer,” said  Fr. Pfleger.

Part of the mission also includes giving kids and families a safe space where moms and dads can breathe a little easier.

“I can't tell you how many kids I talk to who say they can't play outside anymore,” said former U.S. Secretary of Arne Duncan at the block party. “It's a crisis but we can do a lot better and I want to be part of that solution”

Today, the family of Arshell Davis spent time planning his funeral. The search for a suspect continues, and Friday morning anonymous donor doubled the amount of the reward $5,000 to $10,000.