Matthew Williams, 21, may have been raised in Virginia, but Chi-Town was always in his heart.
Williams, who moved back to Chicago in 2015, quickly began speaking out against the gang gun violence and police brutality that was crippling mostly low-income, Black and Latino areas in the city. During the past few months, Williams took part in marching against police brutality on Black Friday, joining rallies for slain black teen Laquan McDonald and took part in a rally outside Trump Tower, DNA Info said.
Sadly, this rising activist’s tragically life ended on Feb 6 by one of the things he fought so hard against—senseless gun violence. Williams’ funeral was held on Friday, says WGN Chicago.
On Saturday night, Williams was playing video games at a friend’s house on 71st and Calumet. The friend had recently gotten into a spat with a man earlier that day and it’s believed that the man retaliated by shooting up the home and fatally injuring Williams in the process. But whether the gunmen knew Williams was there remains to be seen, although WGN wrote that “word on the street is this was a hit and Williams was the target.”
Friend and activist Ja’Mal Green said that Williams, “wanted a new life. He wanted to experience something different. While he was here we started protesting, and he wanted to be involved.”
Green added that Williams always stood out from the pack.
“He’s always playing and having fun, but when it was time to be serious he’s super serious,” Green said. “He was a fun guy. And then when we got to the protest, it was just serious face. ‘We tired of this.’ The yelling, the chanting, the fists in the air … just a bubbly personality, but passionate about what he believed in.”
The day before he was shot and killed, Williams heartbreakingly Tweeted:
Earlier this week, a vigil was held for Williams in front the building where he was killed. Many, including his mother and sister, gathered to pay homage to this young man’s life.
Currently, the police have no suspects in this case, even though they believe that people in the community could help, but are afraid to. Green told DNA Info, “The “no-snitch rule has to be thrown out of our community…It’s time for us to really put our foot down. The only way things will stop is if we stop it. No one else can do what we need to do in our communities. Our kids are dying.”
High rates of gun violence have are not new or rare to the Windy City, earning it’s “Chiraq” nickname. With two months into 2016, there have 52 homicides so far and over 300 shootings, Global Grind pointed out.
Rest in power Matthew, you will not be forgotten.