A piece of turf in Englewood. Young black men and women hanging out. And cops with dirty hands, planting something, then covering it up.
Familiar words. You think you know where this story is going. But you don't.
"My name is Officer Davis. I work at the 7th District police station," says David Davis, standing beside his partner, Ja'Lance Hunt. "Our mission is to protect and preserve life. We would be glad to answer any questions you have. We're here today to help you plant, to put the flowers in the garden today. We go to all the schools in Englewood and we plant flowers, but we also act as the police too. OK? So who's going to show me how to plant?"
It was a sunny morning in West Englewood last week at the Southside Occupational Academy High School, 7342 S. Hoyne, a school for students with disabilities. Southside Occupational is a rare Chicago public high school that has its own dog, Louie, a mini-Goldendoodle.
"Everybody knows Louie," says Joshua Long, the principal.
It was the school's Earth Day celebration, with outside activities: food grills, art projects and planting their school garden. Officers Hunt and Davis greeted one group after another with enthusiasm, placing tiny seeds into their hands....
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