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‘It broke my heart’: B.C. man’s brother and cousin killed amid U.S. protest violence

Protesters holds placards Saturday afternoon, May 30, 2020 in Chicago, I.L., as they join national outrage over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody on Memorial Day in Minneapolis. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

A Vancouver Island man says his heart is broken, after his brother and cousin were killed amid chaos in Chicago over the weekend.

Chicago was one of several U.S. cities where demonstrations over the in-custody death of George Floyd, a black man, escalated to violence.

Dionte Jelks said his brother had gone to pick up his cousin and then drive back to his mother’s house when it happened.

READ MORE: George Floyd death: Derek Chauvin charges upped, all 4 officers now facing charges

“They were stopped at a streetlight and there was mayhem and chaos going on on the South Side of Chicago, and all of a sudden a blue SUV pulled up and shot ’em,” Jelks told CKNW’s Jill Bennett Show.

“Among all the chaos, they were just shot dead right there in the car.”

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According to the Chicago Sun Times, the shooting happened around 1:40 p.m. CDT Sunday in Calumet Heights, on Chicago’s South Side.

An investigation into the killings is underway, but Jelks said he hasn’t been informed of any suspects so far.

Jelks said there needs to be change, and he’s fed up just like everyone else.

“My people, people in general, people of colour, everybody. We are sick, we are tired, we are traumatized of not getting justice,” he said.

When asked about whether the violence in the United States is concerning, Jelks said he wasn’t too “fearful” at first.

READ MORE: Retired officer, ex-college athlete among those killed in U.S. George Floyd protests

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“I didn’t think it would escalate as it did. Usually there is a protest and the flames die out within a day or two and then it’s back to status quo but I didn’t really think that this would pick up and this would happen,” he said.

He’s hopeful change is on the horizon.

“Week after week, there have been senseless killing of unarmed individuals, and you know with the George Floyd murder, it was just enough is enough,” said Jelks.

“Now, there are celebrities speaking out, a lot of people are speaking out so I am hopeful that, you know, this movement has enough steam to continue on with change that we are looking for and not just another incident that we are just going to over look in a couple of years.”

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He said that the conversation needs to continue surrounding systemic racism and how its role has contributed to the decline of people of colour in Canada and the U.S.

Jelks left Chicago and moved to B.C. in 2010, becoming a school principal in the town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island.

He still has family that resides in Chicago.

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“I dread phone calls from Chicago because it’s not good news, and it just broke my heart to hear that my little brother and cousin are gone,” he said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.

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