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Motorcyclists ride in Chicago to stop the violence

  • Diamond Foster-Towns waves as her sister Dinah Towns-Wright gets a ride from Gregory Hughes in the 2700 block of W. Polk Street during the weekly motorcycle peace ride led by Ruff Ryders' Dawn Valenti in Chicago.
Diamond Foster-Towns waves as her sister Dinah Towns-Wright gets a ride… (Scott Strazzante/ Chicago…)
September 24, 2013|By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

The message is simple: Stop the shooting. Put down your guns. If you see something, say something.

And it’s a message that is spread by the Chicago Ruff Ryders, a group of motorcycle riders who have traveled as far as Gary, Ind., to come to violent hot spots in Chicago where shootings have been reported.

Tuesday is expected to be the last of the weekly rides that have occurred over the past two and a half months due to the weather, said organizer Dawn Valenti.

“When they see us, don’t be nervous. We’re there for them,” she said. “We as people who live in Chicago, we care about them, care about the neighborhood and we want them to be safe.”

The stop the violence ride begins at 7:30 p.m. at Washington Park and heads to Bronzeville where the group is planning to meet with Anjanette Albert, mother of Fenger High School student Derrion Albert who was beaten to death four years ago. The group plans to do a balloon release to honor his memory, she said.

Motorcyclists then will go to Auburn Gresham where a 29-year-old woman was killed last Thursday. There, they will engage residents and children and distribute fliers with phone numbers to report crime anonymously and to contact the police districts.

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