Shootings and murders seem to occur in Chicago more frequently during the weekend. According to Chicago Police Department’s 2011 Murder Analysis Report, there were 433 murders in the city that year. The 2011 total was 0.7 percent lower than the total in 2010, and 53.3 percent lower than the total in 1991. Many of the children dying on the streets of Chicago attend Chicago Public Schools (CPS). In 2009, 36 students were killed and their murders were related to gun violence.
The Englewood community is one of the common places the most violence happens in the Midwestern city. A great deal of news coverage that pertains to the violence in Chicago includes coverage in Englewood, yet the media doesn’t shed light on the positive aspects of the community.
Since the increase in violence, many major news networks decided to participate in a drive-along with the city’s police officers in efforts to show the high crime areas. During a drive-along, law enforcement discussed information about the neighborhood they protect.
Recently, FOX News Network introduced a special report about Chicago violence. There was a round table discussion that consisted of people who either sell drugs or are a part of the gang life. The camera only focused on those who wanted to show their faces, while others either covered their faces with their hoodies or the camera only showed their hands. It was difficult to believe anything said by the drug dealers and gang members because most of them were laughing throughout the interview. Many of them didn’t even make sense.
During the course of the discussion, only two of the young men said something that was thought-provoking.
“We want to have a fresh pair of Jordan shoes and money in our pockets, and that’s why we sell drugs.”
The sad part is most of the men in the room were young black men between the ages of 17 to 25.
Black victim percentages remained relatively stable, while Hispanic victim percentages increased slightly and Caucasian victim percentages decreased slightly. According to the same Chicago Police Department 2011 Murder Analysis Report in 2011, 90.1 percent of murder victims were black males and between the ages of 17 to 25. Most of the crimes in 2011 took place on the weekend by 50.8 percent. With the changing seasons most of the major crimes happen in the July and September months with 26.8 percent. The same year, the majority of murders was the result of an altercation and affiliated with street gang activity. Murder victims in 2011 were between the age of 19 and 24 years old.
This past year, a 17-year-old Chicago native and local rapper named Chief Keef gained notoriety for his music, in which he discusses gangs and violence in his city. After watching an interview with Chief Keef, he kept saying that “Chicago is bad and dangerous now.” I find that interesting since he is part of the problem, rather than a part of the solution. In his music video, he walks around with a hand gun and points the gun to the camera. Young fans who reside in Chicago and other parts of the world might think it’s cool to walk around with a gun. Chicago artist Kanye West, who ironically spoke out against violence in his hometown, showed support for Chief Keef with his remix to “I Don’t Like” and added him to his new album.
*Photo from http://cureviolence.org/