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Friend Accidentally Killed Teen Activist While Firing at a Vehicle in Chicago, Prosecutors Say


Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois say a defendant accidentally shot a well-known local activist in the head. The shooting of Caleb Reed, 17, by friend Genove Martin, 18, was a “tragedy on so many levels,” Judge John F. Lyke said according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

The victim was shot on July 31 and died Aon ug. 2 in the West Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Reed, a junior at Mather High School, was known as an activist and leader of the group Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE). He and others pushed for the removal of police from schools.

“My sophomore year of high school I was arrested for attending a basketball game because I didn’t have my ID,” Reed said in a June press conference joined by Chicago aldermen Rod Sawyer and Jeanette Taylor. “I sat in a police station for six hours. I knew it wasn’t right at all, but inside I was angry, confused.”

Now Reed is gone, and a friend is charged with allegedly killing him.

Prosecutors said there is surveillance footage of Martin, Reed, and two other friends walking. In this story, a gray Chevy Malibu drove past them slowly. The vehicle stopped, according to this account. Martin allegedly took out a gun, fired at the vehicle, and ran while firing behind him. That is when he shot Reed, prosecutors said. It was after this that at least one individual in the vehicle returned fire, authorities said.

Martin is charged with first-degree murder. Judge Lyke said Tuesday he did not think prosecutors had enough evidence likely to convict on that charge. In any case, he ordered that the defendant remain in jail on a $300,000 bail. In court, Martin’s attorney said the defendant planned on beginning college in the fall, and said that it would have changed his life.

Reed’s brother Jermaine Pleasant and sister Jasmine Bradley spoke to Block Club Chicago back in early August when there was no arrest in the case.

“Growing up, he depended on Jasmine and me,” said the 25-year-old Pleasant. “And with him gone now, I feel like I lost my son in a way. My two kids just turned two and three and when they ask about what happened to Uncle Caleb, it’s going to eat me up inside.”

[Screengrab via WGN9]

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