The Security Guard Killed At The Chicago Southside ALDI Store Was One of My CVS Alumni

Tonight was supposed to be a happy night for me and all of our collective CVS (Chicago Vocational) High School Alumni who were having our much anticipated ALL SCHOOL ALUMNI Sock Hop Dance tonight at the school gym, bringing the classes together various generations of classes from the 70's, 80's, 90's, but the happiness turned to sadness earlier today when the CVS ALL ALUMNI PAGES on Facebook started getting the posts that one our alumni, Reginald Lanier from the Class of '76 was the security guard killed in the robbery attempt of The Chicago Southside ALDI store on 90th & Halsted.

I was a freshman at CVS in 1976 while Reginald was a Senior, so our classes were connected, so I for one did not go the CVS ALL Alumni Dance at the school tonight for I felt that I would not be good company since this death would have been the third death in one week I have had to adjust to. Just sad to think that Reginald just lost a nephew to gun violence and openly stated he did not feel safe as a security guard in that area, knowing how these desperate acts of violence come as a result of the desperate economic conditions in the community. Nope, he did not feel safe and in less than 3-4 months on the job, his fears of safety are over in the worse way with his untimely and senseless shooting death at his place of work at the ALDI's on 90th & Halsted.

This incident is even sadder when it finally reaches home with someone you know, but the fact of the matter is that these desperate economic conditions in our streets today resullt so many senseless acts of violence that come as a result of someone losing their concsiousness and do something desperate and deadly trying to resove their desperate economic situation. Aned so while, I an others mourn the loss of a classmate on a night that was supposed to be full of joy, the conversation consuming people at the dance tonight will be the irony of this latest loss that happen to hit our fellow alumni on our planned happy alumni night reunion. And I have noit read the rest of the posts tonight so I do not yet know if Reginald was planning to be a part of tonights reunion, but all we do know is that this senseless and deadly acts  of violence just took his nephew this week, and today it leaves his 20 year old honor student daughter without her father who is now dead trying to secure others.

The reality is that its personal for us tonight, but before this weekend is over, these desperate acts of violence trying to resolve a desperate economic situation will impact some other families before this weekend is up, and we must brace ourselves for what may be to come as we approach these holiday seasons of Thanksgicing and Christmas when the desperate attempts to address ones desparete economic conditions are going to be deadly yet again.

So for now, our CVS Alumni at the dance tonight have to grin and bear the death of our CVS alumni Reginald Lanier and thank God for what's left in his daughter and that she carry on his legacy and avoid the same tragic and life threatening environments.

My apolgies to my fellow CVS alumni who I had planned to see tonight, after three deaths this week, I didnt feel like good company. Much rather reflect than dance. But I know throughout the dance, there will be much comforting going on still. So hats off to the hundreds who got the word on the alumni page that we lost an alumni, but hundreds of you showed up tonight to party anyway and remember the good times, before we have to assemble again later as alumni to mourn the loss. God bless our CVS Alumni Reginald Lanier and thank God for his life and for the many who are still alive today because he died. God grant us all the strength to get us through. All of our classes salute you tonight as our CVS family member.

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  • "knowing how these desperate acts of violence come as a result of the desperate economic conditions in the community"

    You have my condolences for your lose. But I think you are wrong about the reason for such behavior. These individuals did not commit robbery, murder or become criminals by default they made a choice to become criminals. They know nothing of tough economic conditions or a shortage of jobs. You actually have to be in search of employment to know those things. These two are instead in search of victims, so far, it is known that they target Aldi because they have hit at least two. I'm sure once they are caught, we will find out that they are, in fact career criminals not men trying to feed families.

  • In reply to Rae728:

    Rae, thank you for your kind words, but I guess we are no different that anyone who has different experiences and can look at an issue and have a difference of opinion. I've visited enough jails and heard enough testimony in my life not to be able to change what I hear in confessions, sentencings etc to have heard ENOUGH of "I was doing what I had to do to survive or feed my family." I can disagree and debate, but it didnt change their belief and it certainly didnt change the outcome of the situations when they were caught.

    Funny, I was just watching reruns of The Untouchables where the FBI did nothing but track and catch career criminals and you'd find them all in church and relationships, children in private schools, paying for good homes, donating to community causes, owning community businesses, yet all the while victimizing the very communities they live. Several HONOR STUDENTS from highly ranked Charter schools were caught in the flash mobs robbing people downtown, for they could wait to buy what they wanted from their own allowances? Lives are ruined doing something absolutely stupid and illogical in our minds, but for what? -- Robbing people for money and valuables and reselling for what? solving their economic problem.

    Anyway, I thank you for your expression

  • I have worked within the criminal justice system for 18 years on the west & south sides of Chicago. Right now I work in the Woodlawn area. My experience indicates there are more career criminals than those trying to feed families. Last year Officer Thomas Wortham was murdered when a car of young men approached to rob him of his motorcycle and other belongings. One of the offenders, who was shot & killed by the victim's father, had a Facebook page that listed his hobby as "robbin". He was not any kind of honor student, he had long history of robbery and other crimes. He didn't say he was trying to provide for a family, he said his hobby was "robbin". Raymond Harris, the man who allegedly robbed and murdered Virginia Perillo in Bridgeport last month, was a career criminal who could stay out of the system. In 1993, he committed an armed robbery, vehicular invasion and burglary. He was released in 1997. Three weeks later,in 1997, he brutalized a woman by beating and raping her for several hours, after breaking into her home. He slashed her throat and then set her legs on fire. He received 30 years, for attempted murder and aggravated arson, of which he did 13 years. He was paroled in May of this year. He had a job and girlfriend yet he made a choice to rob and murder a 73 year old woman. Career criminal. Officer Michael Bailey was coming home from work and wiping off his car at about 6 in the morning when two guys in a car, approached and attempted to rob him at gun point. They didn't count on Officer Bailey returning fire and fighting for his life. He emptied his weapon before he expired. The offender, when arrested, was a known drug dealer & gang member. He wasn't looking for a job. He knew nothing of the economic downturn of which you speak. Don't confuse the flash mob phenomenon with stick-up men. They are not the same. The subjects that killed Reginald Lanier are stick-up men and honorable about them, they are just criminals.

  • Sorry, *The subjects that killed Reginald Lanier are stick-up men and there is nothing honorable about them, they are just criminals"

  • In reply to Rae728:

    Rae, as I mentioned at the outset, you've been working in the system for almost 20 years and I have worked in the grassroots movement for 40 years including prison ministries and so I will accept your point of view, but it certainly won't stop assailants from claiming the desperate economic conditions - nor will it stop my work nor yours.

  • Bummer.

  • If I read this again about someone working in the grassroots and with criminals I will scream. Most of the men locked up are career criminals. No education (not my fault, they were cutting class, being cool, smoking weed), zero desire to obtain skills so they chose to rob and steal or hustle. Now I am not judging, but there are women who truly desire men like that. Hustle all night and lay up all day. Fine, but now that career choice will not work. You need a college degree or some skills that will obtain employment. The men who rob and kill, even though they are 17-20 get zero sympathy from me. We all have choices. Yet the poverty pimps who get grant money will always jump on the side of the criminal to keep the money coming in. Always lying about some truce that is set up or how they keep the streets calm. Whatever man. Bring back the death penalty.

  • In reply to livefreechicago:

    Sorry for seeing your reply late, but one of the things that bothered me and does not fit the stereotype of what "career" criminals are supposed to be is the fact that it was reported that one of the suspects may have been college educated, member of a college fraternity, committing to society and absolutely shocked friends, family and colleagues that he could have been involved in such a violent act.

    After visiting the criminal courts building just yesterday and looking at highly educated people with advanced degrees coming before the judge was stunning and does not fit ANY of the criteria you outlined.

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