Gang wake attracts police task force to south Oak Park


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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

A wake for a reputed gang member at a Berwyn funeral home on Roosevelt Road, July 12, attracted a Chicago Police Department helicopter and a visible police presence in southwest Oak Park Thursday evening.

A group of 14 police officers in bulletproof vests and several squads and unmarked cars pulled over vehicles in Berwyn and south Oak Park that the evening, after license plate checks revealed they belonged to admitted gang members.

Members of the West Suburban Drug/Gang Enforcement (WEDGE) task force were on patrol, said WEDGE spokesman and Riverside Police Chief TomWeitzel.

"WEDGE was requested by the Cicero and Berwyn police departments," said Weitzel. "Our officers recognized active gang members who were coming there, and members of other gangs who might show up to pay their respects. We knew that could escalate," Weitzel said. "We were there to identify them and ensure that there wasn't any other spillover as a result of the wake and funeral."

Cesar Munive, 22, was shot after a gang fight in a Cicero alley near 13th Street and 56th Court by a Cicero police officer around 7 p.m. on July 5, after Munive allegedly pulled a gun and pointed it at an officer. The Illinois State Police are performing an independent investigation of the shooting, Weitzel said. WEDGE responded to a rumor that Munive's gang, the Cicero Latin Counts, would retaliate by shooting a police officer, Weitzel said.

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