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FULLER PARK — A group of Southwest Side mothers, fathers and relatives of murder victims have a message for the Chicago Police Department: “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

The group rallied Tuesday afternoon outside Chicago Police Area 1 Homicide Department, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave., to demand police resolve the investigations into their loved ones' deaths with the same urgency as they did the fatal shooting of Officer Luis Huesca.

A third of all murders recorded in 2023 in Chicago happened within the Area 1 boundaries, Chicago Police Department data shows.

“Some of these mothers have been waiting for two years for justice. Officer Huesca’s mother, all she needed was 10 days,” said Baltazar Enriquez, director of Mother and Families United for Justice Committee of Chicago, a committee of the Little Village Community Council.

Enriquez decried the “toxic police culture” that leaves cases unsolved and families' pleas for justice unanswered.

“If there is no action, there is no resolution,” Enriquez said.

Standing behind him, about 30 parents and relatives of homicide victims held pictures of their loved ones next to posters calling for justice.

Among them was Luis Molina, the father of 9-year-old Ariana Molina, who was fatally shot outside the family’s home in Back of the Yards last month.

“What’s the difference between a cop and my daughter?” Luis Molina said.

Luis Molina, father of Ariana Molina, was among approximately 30 people who demanded police investigate the murders of their loved ones. A relative of Dexter Reed Jr. joined the group. Credit: Francia Garcia Hernandez/Ecoglobalsociety

Molina said his family has yet to recover from the mass shooting that left 10 others wounded, including three other children. Two children who were critically wounded, ages 1 and 8, are still hospitalized after undergoing more than five surgeries each, Molina told Block Club.

Meanwhile, police have not provided the family with answers, he said.

“They haven’t told us anything,” Molina said in Spanish.

Police previously said the mass shooting was gang-related and “not a random act of violence,” which Molina refuted then and again on Tuesday.

“None of my family members were gang bangers,” he told reporters Tuesday.

Like Molina, Juanita Arias called on police Tuesday to work harder to resolve the unsolved shooting death of her son, Adam Moreno, who was killed in “broad daylight” in Brighton Park in September, she said.

Juanita Arias recalled talking to her son at 2 p.m. that day. By 3:50 p.m., he was dead, she said.

“I can't sleep at night,” Juanita Arias said. “I need answers. That's all I need. Just tell me something. Don't give me the runaround.”

Heraclia Gonzalez holds a picture of her son Miguel Angel Guel-Gonzalez, who was fatally shot in a 2021 drive-by in McKinley Park. Credit: Francia Garcia Hernandez/Ecoglobalsociety

Other heartbroken parents have waited longer for answers.

Heraclia Gonzalez lost her 22-year-old son Miguel Angel Guel-Gonzalez more than two years ago. Guel-Gonzalez was shot and killed in McKinley Park on Dec. 2, 2021, the Sun-Times reported. He was on his way home from work at a local hospital, his mother said.

The detective assigned to her son’s case told her the registered gun-holder was identified and held in custody but later released, she said. But when Gonzalez shared her story with local news agency Univision, police told them they had not made any arrests in the case, she said.

“I don’t understand why the detective would play with my feelings like that,” Heraclia Gonzalez told Block Club.

Chicago Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The mothers of slain Kobe Puga and Jesus Brant Jr. are among the families waiting on Chicago Police to conclude an investigation on the murders of their children. Credit: Francia Garcia Hernandez/Ecoglobalsociety

“We just want somebody to put themselves in our shoes,” said Lisa Brant, the sister of Jesus Brant Jr., who was fatally shot in early 2022. “Somebody that has a higher power, that sits in a higher chair, that has the possibility to give us some sort of peace.”

At her side, her mother Francisca Brant held a sign that read, “Just some moms looking for justice.”

“We’re here peacefully, but inside we’re broken,” Brant said.

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