In response to the unconscionable attack on 71-year-old Fred Laguardia following Labor Day Weekend, IMAN helped mobilize a diverse group of religious and community leaders from the larger Marquette Park area to welcome home their beloved fellow citizen and pledge support to his family.
A community-organized press conference took place at 7045 South California Avenue, the site of Mr. Laguardia’s attack, during which family members and representatives from the larger community spoke passionately about the urgent need to stand together and stem the rising tide of violence in communities like Marquette Park, and other areas across the city.
Mr. Laguardia was mugged and shot by two assailants in the middle of the day on Tuesday, September 6th. The longtime Marquette Park resident was assaulted while tending to the lawn of a vacant property on the block. The attack occurred directly across from the park, a grim reminder of the work yet do be done to realize a more beloved community. “In the spirit of [Dr.] King, we want to make sure this is not just another community where acts of violence take place without people standing up,” IMAN ED Rami Nashashibi said. “The community is filled with people who work with one another, who are committed to have a peaceful neighborhood.”
Chicago anti-violence activist Andrew Holmes and his organization helped raise much of the $10,000 reward from groups and individuals across Chicago. The money will be used to encourage information leading to the arrest of Laguardia’s attackers. Other local institutions in support include: Beth Shalom Synagogue, Sisters of St.Casimir, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), Holy Cross Hospital, Maria Catalyst School, Ephraim Bahar Community Center, Chicago Islamic Center, St. Rita of Cascia Parish and more.