Chicago’s national notoriety and prevalent crimes are widely known, but the hard facts concerning the violence often elude mainstream media headlines and news reports.
Lives are taken, families are broken, and those left behind are desperately looking for justice. Far too often there is no justice offered by the city’s government so individuals take matters into their own hands, perpetuating the cycle.
Here’s how Fox News describes the vicious cycle:
As Chicago’s crime rates live up to their national notoriety, a closer look at the problem Grieving families and fractured communities often feel like they’ve been forgotten by authorities when investigations dry up and no one is held accountable for the violence. Hurt siblings, relatives and friends, unable to cope, sometimes turn toward crime themselves as the cycle continues.
Democrat Congressman Danny Davis, who represents Illinois’s 7th congressional district, said the brutality is taking too much of a toll on the community and its residents: “We can’t survive another year of mayhem. The stress and strain of it is so great. Everyone seems to be on different pages and there are constant crosses and difficult situations to bear.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that children are often caught up in the crossfire of the violence and more than 1,600 kids have been shot since 2011.
“Chicago’s violence doesn’t have an age limit,” the report reads as it describes 1,665 children have been shot in the past seven years.
According to the report, there have been 83 shooting victims under the age of 17 so far in 2018 and nine of the incidents resulted in a homicide. Two others were killed in incidents not associated with a shooting.
In 2017, the number of shooting victims under the age of 17 was 246 and 38 of them resulted in a homicide. In 2016, the number of shooting victims was 325 and 36 resulted in a homicide.
Prior years show similarly eye-popping numbers: in 2015, there were 248 shooting victims; in 2014, there were 285 shooting victims; in 2013, there were 166 shooting victims; and, in 2012, there were 259 shooting victims.
These are children.
Here’s more from Fox News:
Sixteen-year-old Damarcus Wilson was the first to die. Nine days after the new year, Wilson was walking with his 17-year-old friend on a frigid and foggy Chicago night. It was around 8:30 p.m. when someone in a dark-colored vehicle opened fire. A single bullet hit the teenager in the back – ending his life within minutes.
A month later, Larenzo Smith, 15, was walking in his south Chicago neighborhood around 5:20 p.m. when someone approached him and started shooting. Smith was hit in the chest and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Each month this calendar year, at least one minor has been shot and killed in Chicago. In every month, there have been multiple shootings.
The children affected by the shootings are often with intended targets and are unintentionally struck.
One Chicago resident summed up the unintentional and often fatal consequence: “It’s sad because children aren’t allowed to be children. They’re not allowed to walk with their parents, they’re not allowed to enjoy their life. You know, they’re in the middle of what’s going on out here in this world. These innocent babies have nothing to do with it.”