David Scott was enjoying the fruits of success. The property owner, whose family owns People Cab Company in Bellwood, was on the verge of becoming a McDonald’s franchisee.
In 2000, his life changed. Scott was carjacked and shot while driving in suburban Maywood.
“That’s why I’m so committed to this village,” the businessman said during an Anti-Gun Violence Dove Release on Oct. 23 held just outside of the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center, near 4th Avenue and Fred Hampton Way in Maywood.
Scott said he’s offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to the arrest of Dyanla “DeDe” Rainey’s murder. On Sunday, the businessman presented the award to Rainey’s mother and twin sister.
Rainey, 22, the star of the 2018 Marshall High School state championship basketball team, was fatally shot three times in the back on July 24 while standing in the driveway of her home on the 700 block of South 6th Avenue in Maywood.
Scott’s reward comes roughly a week after Marshall High girls’ basketball program hosted a charity game on Oct. 14 at the school in the East Garfield Park community to raise money for a reward in Rainey’s murder case.
Rainey is among the more than 30 victims of murder in Maywood within the last three years who were remembered during Sunday’s ceremony — each dove and paper lantern set upon a walkway in the park outside the pool representing a victim.
The mournful ceremony was made all the more somber by the fact that most of the victims’ murders have not been solved, said Phyllis Duncan, the founder of Mothers of Murdered Sons.
Duncan’s organization is a support group for dozens of parents who have lost children to gun violence. Duncan’s own son was murdered in 2005. Since then, Duncan said, she’s offered her support to families affected by more than 100 murders in Chicago, the suburb and across the country.
Maywood Mayor Nathaniel George Booker said despite the many homicides in the village, there’s been some progress “in the last 14 months.”
Booker lauded the establishment of a new police chief and command staff; the hiring of new personnel to work on unsolved homicide cases; the purchase of body-worn cameras, license-plate readers, radios and tasers; the creation of a homeland security department in the village; and the hiring of 11 new police officers, among other measures.
The mayor said the village is making strides in other aspects of community well-being, including mental wellness and health. For instance, he said, thanks to Congressman Danny K. Davis (7th), the Maywood Police Department has “secured over $621,000 for youth violence prevention programming.”
The Sunday gathering was hosted by the Maywood-Proviso Rotary Club. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, the club’s president, emphasized the importance of survivors like Scott using their testimonies to help others affected by gun violence.
“Every child of God has a unique testimony,” Yarbrough said, adding that even the choice of venue was symbolic, a testimony to the village’s legacy in all manner of fights for justice.
“There’s a reason why we chose this place to have this event,” she said. “Many people don’t know about Fred Hampton. They don’t know the bust is here or the pool is here or the street is here. This is where we come from time to time.”
Black Panther Party Cub Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. was inside his mother’s womb as she slept next to Fred Hampton Sr. on Dec. 4, 1969. Law enforcement agents conducted an illegal pre-dawn raid on the Black Panther Party chairman’s Chicago apartment that day, assassinating him and another Panther, Mark Clark, in a hail of bullets.
Chairman Hampton Jr. saw the Oct. 23 event as a counterweight to what he described as the cold and distant way of mourning and remembering that’s been creeping into the country in the wake of the pandemic.
“The reality is [after the pandemic] there’s going to be a different type of child we’ll see later down the road that comes up and gets used to this — the [lack of human contact], the gunshots and the funerals,” he said. “Even how we do funerals now, it’s stoic, it’s cold … This is a cold world, but we cannot become a cold people.”