The office of Ald. Emma Mitts (37) says the group of signs posted on trees in Lafollette Park warning of sniper shootings in the area is a false alarm put up by citizens and that there are no gunman targeting residents.
Lafollette Park, 1333 N. Laramie, is in Mitts’ 37th Ward. The signs were posted on several trees in the park along Potomac Avenue, just east of Laramie, for more than a week. The handwritten signs printed in black marker read “Sniper Be Ware” and “Sniper Warning.”
Bettye Pulphus, chief-of-staff to Mitts, last Friday said the office received calls two weeks ago about the signs and that they alerted the Chicago Park District, who came out and removed them. Concerned residents in the area alerted Austin Weekly News of the signs last Friday. Pulphus said someone in the neighborhood is putting up the signs, and, apparently, replaced the ones that were taken down. She said there has been gang activity in that area and some shooting incidences, but there is no sniper. The alderman’s office had received calls complaining about the signs being up.
“This is just alarming folk. Someone is putting these signs up on their own, and we asked the park district to remove them, but someone put them back up,” said Pulphus.
She added that her office contacted the 25th District Police and that its Gang Unit was looking into gang activity, but also agreed that the signs should not be posted. She said officers have been telling residents not to put signs like that up.