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Chicago activist calls on Black Lives Matter to help stem city's gun violence: 'We are losing too many kids'

Violence Interrupters executive director Tio Hardiman joined "The Story" Thursday to discuss the ongoing violence in Chicago and the Black Lives Matter movement.

"It makes no sense to me if we continue to stand up against the system but we will not stand up in our own neighborhood," Hardiman told host Martha MacCallum, adding that "we need to really do a lot of work in our own backyard right now in order to ... stem the tide of violence, gun violence [that] has taken so many lives here in Chicago, Baltimore and Philadelphia."

Hardiman also responded to Greater New York Black Lives Matter President Hawk Newsome's appearance on the same show Wednesday, as well as George Floyd's death in police custody and the subsequent demonstrations across the country.

"I'm one of the guys that was on the frontline when it came down to standing up against police brutality and excessive force," said Hardiman, who told MacCallum that he would like to meet with the leaders of Black Lives Matter. "And I understand where Black Lives Matter, what they're attempting to do. I understand that.

"But at the same time, we need help to do our best to stop gun violence in Chicago. The entire nation should be outraged when a three-year-old is executed on the streets of Chicago and a 13-year-old young young girl was killed on the west side [of] Chicago as well."

"Black Lives Matter, they're raising millions and millions of dollars," Hardiman added. "We should have a meeting and see how we can actually work together in order to stem the tide of gun violence in the inner city."

The activist asked why inner-city murders do not draw the same attention as the death of George Floyd in police custody.

"I understand the need to rise up against police brutality and excessive force, I'm with that," Hardiman said. "But at the same time, we are losing too many kids due to senseless acts of gun violence in Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Detroit.

"So my call to action for Black Lives Matter: We need to have a meeting so we can see how we can organize and unify together ..." Hardiman said. "That's what I'm talking about. That's my main message here today."

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