Activists have called for federal intervention in Chicago’s crime epidemic
The violence, which followed a deadly Father’s Day weekend, started Friday evening when a 42-year-old man was shot in the head while walking on the sidewalk in the Austin neighborhood, police said.
On Saturday night, a stray bullet flew through an apartment window in the Logan Square neighborhood and struck the 10-year-old girl, according to police spokesman Roberto Garduno. The girl later died at a hospital.
Preliminary information showed the gunfire came from a group who had been shooting at each other on the block, he said. No one was in custody Sunday.
Earlier Saturday in the Englewood neighborhood on the city’s South Side, a 1-year-old boy who was riding in the back of a car driven by his mother was shot when someone opened fire from another car. The mother suffered a graze wound to the head. The boy was identified as Sincere A. Gaston.
Police said the motive for the shooting was unclear.
Superintendent David Brown pleaded with the public for someone to come forward with details.
Around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 17-year-old Antiwon Douglas was killed. Police said he got into a fight before someone from a large crowd that was gathered in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side fired shots.
At least nine other people died in shootings through Sunday. The violence has prompted activists and local leaders to call for more state and federal support.
“It’s out of control where even innocent children are losing their lives,” said neighborhood activist Raul Montes Jr., who planned a Sunday-evening vigil on the city’s southwest side.
He called for federal intervention while a state legislator announced a new task force to address underlying issues.
“Violence is a result of poverty, and must be addressed with human services and support,” state Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, said in a statement. The group called on federal, state and city leaders for support.
A recent spate of shootings in Chicago and other cities has had officials on edge. Experts said non-suicidal gun deaths are on track to top last year, as America deals with a rebound in the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide protests against racial injustice and deeper political divisions in a presidential election year.
The pain of losing a child never goes away. Today, we lost more young people to the gun violence epidemic: a 17-year-old in Humboldt Park and a 1-year-old in Englewood. As a mother, I am tired of the funerals. I am tired of burying our children.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) June 27, 2020
“The pain of losing a child never goes away,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted Saturday. “As a mother, I am tired of the funerals. I am tired of burying our children.”
Her office announced Sunday that the multi-faceted approach to curbing violence in the coming months will include a $7.5 million street outreach program. Staff from the park district, schools and a transit agency will work to “broaden the city’s footprint in places where shootings and homicides have recently occurred.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Author: Bradford Betz