Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb

CHICAGO (AP) — Captured in a documentary that brought national attention to Chicago’s violence, CeaseFire deployed former gang members and felons to intervene in feuds that too often ended in fatal gunfire.

Now that operation has become another casualty in the financial meltdown enveloping Illinois, even as Chicago still struggles to contain the shootings.

Millions of dollars once slated for CeaseFire are halted as Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and majority Democrats argue over a state budget.

That’s led several programs around the state to shut down.

Supporters of the program featured in the 2011 film “The Interrupters” say Chicago and other communities need as much help as possible.

Autry Phillips runs a nonprofit agency that had to shut down its CeaseFire program. He says: “Our kids in our communities are still dying.”