BACKGROUND FOR: Teyonna Lofton, shot in her neighborhood, police would not respond
Teyonna Lofton, 18, graduated from high school the morning of May 31, 2020. She spent much of the day watching celebratory car parades and taking pictures with family. Excited to start college at Louisiana State University in the fall, Teyonna is a proud graduate and Vice President of the Honor Society of Chicago’s Perspectives Leadership Academy On the evening of May 31st, Teyonna decided to go out to get something to drink from a local gas station around the corner from her home. Due to COVID-19, the gas station had locked its doors and were allowing only one customer at a time. A line of patrons stood socially-distanced outside the store.
Security footage from the gas station shows a white vehicle driving onto the scene and an individual opening fire on the customers who were waiting in line. As people hit the ground, you can see Teyonna had been shot. The bullet ruptured a main artery in her left arm. Teyonna repeatedly called the police, but they hung up and no one came to the scene. She managed to reach her mother who drove her to a nearby hospital. Teyonna underwent numerous surgeries to treat her injuries and is in therapy to learn how to use her hand again. The recovery will likely push off her college plans but she is determined to attend in the near future. With medical bills mounting, this Chicago teen wants answers.
It’s Teyonna’s mission to ensure that her community receives the help it needs to prevent shootings like this in the future. She’s channeled her advocacy through BRAVE Youth Leaders, a violence prevention youth council of the Fatih Community of Saint Sabina whose mission it is to cultivate leaders and develop youth into leaders and agents of social justice.
Teyonna and her community are not giving up. Nor should we.
Demand victim’s compensation for Teyonna
Sample Letters and addresses to use
You may use all or part of the sample letter, insert your own sentences after reading the overview above, or copy and paste the letter into an email message. Handwritten letters can be very powerful, but other methods of communication are also effective.
State Attorney General Kwame Raoul
Attn: Crime Victim Services Division
100 West Randolph Street, 13th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60601 Date:
Dear Attorney General Raoul,
Teyonna Lofton is a proud graduate and Vice President of the Honor Society of Chicago’s Perspectives Leadership Academy. On the evening of May 31st, Teyonna was shot along with others in a line while waiting outside a gas station.
She has received no information from the police about the shooter and was not well-informed about victim’s compensation benefits to which she is entitled. Teyonna is one of many individuals who experiences everyday gun violence in her South side of Chicago community.
I demand accountability for the crime to which Teyonna was subjected, and I request that your office provide Teyonna with victim’s compensation and other information as outlined in the Illinois Crime Victim Compensation Act.
I will be watching this case closely. Yours sincerely, Your first and last name
(it is most effective to have a return address here, but if you are uncomfortable with that, at least put your city, USA).
This letter in Word format here or see below to download it for copying, editing or printing. Your computer may ask you to save it first.
WRITE TO THE ILLINOIS STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Tell him to provide Teyonna with the victim’s compensation she is owed.
State Attorney General Kwame Raoul Office of the Illinois Attorney General Attn: Crime Victim Services Division 100 West Randolph Street, 13th Floor Chicago, IL 60601
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @KwameRaoul
(Salutation: Dear Attorney General Raoul)
LET TEYONNA KNOW YOU CARE
Send her a letter or greeting card to let her know that you’re thinking of her – we’ll collect the messages through the Saint Sabina Church in Chicago.
c/o Saint Sabina Church 1210 W 78th Place Chicago, IL 60620
Letter writing Tips download below