It Has Come to this: Bulletproof Backpacks to Protect Children in Chicago Have Arrived


Bulletproof Backpacks to Protect Children in Chicago Have Arrived

Violence Interrupters and Children Will Demonstrate How to Wear Backpacks During a Press Conference Thursday at 10 AM Outside Chicago Police Headquarters

CHICAGO – Neither the Chicago Police Department nor federal officials shipped in by President Donald Trump have come up with strategies to stop the violence in the nation’s third largest city.

Former Illinois Gubernatorial Candidate Tio Hardiman, who is the founder and executive director of Violence Interrupters Inc., said it is time for citizens to take desperate and drastic measures to protect Chicago’s children.

Hardiman and children will demonstrate how bulletproof backpacks can save lives of children during a press conference on Thursday, September 16, 2020, at 10:00 AM, outside the Chicago Police Department’s headquarters at 3510 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.  

“We have no other recourse,” said Hardiman, who has been urging law enforcement officials to think outside the box to reduce homicides and shootings in Chicago. “Our elected officials have not found solutions to stop the gun violence.

Bulletproof vests have saved the lives of thousands of law enforcement officials across the nation. We must invest in saving the lives of our innocent children. The backpacks are just the beginning. We are requesting that our elected officials provide bulletproof baseball caps, bullet proof sweatshirts and any kind of body armor that can protect our children. Since we cannot stop the shootings, we need to take every measure to save lives.”

This year has been one of the deadliest for the city, Hardiman. According to various crime reports, approximately 550 people have been killed in Chicago and more than 30 of those murder victims were children16 years and younger. Dozens of more children have been injured by gunfire.

“During the press event, we will also call on Governor J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot to introduce measures that will provide body armor to protect our children,” Hardiman said. “The investment is worth saving lives.”

  • WHO:             Tio Hardiman, founder and executive director of Violence Interrupters Inc., Raymond 
  •                        Richards, CEO of Brothers Standing Together, Englewood community activist Joseph 
  •                        Williams, Dr. LaShawn Littrice of Black Lives Matters Women of Faith, and Ameena
  •                        Matthews, president of Pause for Peace; Children will be onsite to demonstrate how to
  •                        wear the backpacks. They will be joined by family and other concerned residents. Patrick
  •                        McCurdy from Tier One Protective Solutions, provider of the backpacks, will be available 
  •                        by telephone.
  • WHAT:           Press Conference
  • WHEN:           Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 10:00 Am
  • WHERE:        Chicago Police Department headquarters at 3510 S. Michigan Ave.

                      (Outside)   –About Tio Hardiman: Dubbed “Mr. Ceasefire”, Tio Hardiman created the award-winning Ceasefire initiative in 2004, and has been dedicated to combating problems of violence and corruption in the nation’s third largest city. Hardiman is also the creator of the critically acclaimed documentary, The Interrupters (2011), and decided to produce a second film called The Chicago Way in 2017 as pushback against Chicago political corruption, police brutality, and the continued gun violence.

Using his platform, Hardiman launched himself in the 2018 Gubernatorial race against Democrat powerhouses like JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy.

He ran his campaign on the principles of combating violence, racism, and the top-down corruption that has been taking place for decades in Illinois. On April 26, Mr. Hardiman launched the “Tio Mr. Ceasefire Hardiman Show on WVON 1690 AM in Chicago, which airs on Sundays between 6 AM and 7 AM. For additional information on Tio Hardiman and Violence Interrupters,

visit To schedule an interview with Mr. Hardiman, contact Jerry Thomas at (312) 414-4016, or [email protected]


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