East St. Louis hosts parade, rally to protest violence as summer approaches

Published: May. 28, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.(KMOV) - East St. Louis hosted its first City of Champions Youth Stop The Violence Parade and Rally Saturday.

The parade started at 89th and State Street and proceeded west on State Street.

“This will be an ongoing effort, this is the first of many,” said Angelia Bills, president of Eagle Productions, who helped organized the parade. “We want to give positive activities for our youth throughout the East St. Louis area.”

Bills said the parade ended with a rally giving youth the opportunity to sign up for summer activities. The goal is to curb violence, which tends to tick up in the summer months.

Parade goers don’t want to see any tragedies like the one the family of Truman Lee Smith experienced in February 2011.

Smith was making a delivery to the Fresh Warehousing business near 26th and McCasland in East St. Louis when he was shot and killed, according to authorities.

“They still haven’t caught who did it,” Jeanette Smith, 72, Truman Lee Smith’s mother, told News 4. “He said ‘I won’t be home early mom.’ He never did make it back home except to the funeral home.”

Jeanette Smith raised her son into his teens in Cahokia before moving to rural Missouri.

Anyone with any information on Smith’s murder is asked to call Illinois State Police or Crime Stoppers at 866-371-8477.