CHICAGO—The nation’s third-largest city reached a new high over the extended holiday weekend as its top cop continues to boast an overall decline in violence.
Between Wednesday and Sunday, 12 victims were killed in shootings and at least 74 were shot in attacks across the city, including a 5-year-old boy who was wounded early Friday morning, and a separate police-involved fatality according to the Chicago Police Department.
“While to date we’ve had significantly fewer shootings and significantly fewer murders this year, there’s more work to be done and we won’t rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement.
The Cook County Medical Examiners office said that “it’s been an extremely busy weekend,” with the first fatality occurring Wednesday afternoon when 26-year-old William Jones was shot dead while sitting in a car on the South Side of the city, Chicago Police News Affairs said. The shooter is still at large.
Wednesday night, three men were shot in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side of the city. In one incident, 24-year-old Rayford Brown was shot in the back at around 6:50 p.m. by a gunman in a green vehicle. He later died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said. According to officials, survivors of the attacks were not cooperating with detectives.
Teen allegedly points gun at officers
Chicago Police fatally shot Christian Green, 17, Thursday about 1:10 p.m. on the South Side of the city after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers, reports said.
Shortly after noon Thursday, 36-year-old Cheodis Young was shot in the head on the South Side of the city and declared dead on the scene, police said. Less than two hours later, about 1:30 p.m., a man was shot in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago and taken to John H. Stroger Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:02 p.m., the medical examiner’s office said.
On Thursday night, officials said Marlon Obanner, 31, was shot to death in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of the city. At about 9:40 p.m., Obanner stood on a porch when two men on foot approached and sprayed the area with bullets.
Early Friday morning, a murder was reported to police in the Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side of the city. Police said 26-year-old Elliot Frazier was found with several gunshot wounds and pronounced dead on the scene, by the medical examiner’s office. By mid-afternoon, 20-year-old Shavonte Howard, who was shot less than 24 hours earlier, died at Mount Sinai hospital after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head on Thursday, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. Police charged two men in connection with Howard’s murder. Tommie Harris, 25 and Quintion Humphries, 19, were both charged with first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Among those wounded Friday was a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy, both of whom were shot at parks on the South Side of the city. Chicago police on Saturday charged a 24-year-old man in connection with the shooting of the 5-year-old boy.
According to Chicago Police, at about 6 p.m. Saturday, six people were hospitalized and one person left dead when two men fired into a group of people at a home on the West Side of Chicago. Terry Patterson, 49, was pronounced dead as a result of the incident, the medical examiner’s office said.
On Sunday evening, at least five people were shot in an apparent landlord-tenant dispute, police said. One individual is in custody and area detectives are investigating. After 3:30 p.m., two men were shot on the South Side of the city. One man, whose name was not known, was shot dead in the back, while the other is in critical condition, according to Chicago police.
Is hip-hop to blame?
As police scattered across the city to contain weekend violence, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition kicked off its 42nd annual convention, in which hip-hop artists Lupe Fiasco and Waka Flocka Flame spoke on a panel that addressed music and its role in influencing violence. “It doesn’t [influence violence],” said the Chicago-born rapper Fiasco. “It’s 50/50; my fifty is what I make and what I give you is all up to you. The other 50 is how you choose to use it. I can’t control what the reactions are going to be. I can’t control how you’re going to take it,” he said.
Waka Floka, who grew up in New York, told theGrio that he doesn’t feel personally responsible for any violence that may happen as a result of his lyrics. “That’s the parents’ job,” he said, to make sure music doesn’t negatively influence kids. “I use my music to express myself. I am a man of action and I feel like a lot of things I put into words, because I can’t put them into actions because of the consequences,” he said.
Chandra Gill, founder and CEO of Blackademically Speaking, noted that, “Our children, unfortunately, aren’t getting in schools, how to critically think. So unlike adults, they can’t break it down. So, of course, music influences. Social media influences. A bad teacher influences a child. The question becomes, ‘how can we now reverse the curse?’”
Rev. Jesse Jackson says music can reflect society and recycle it to a tune, however, “We need artists to be transformers. Don’t just reflect the ugly of the ghetto, which is deprivation. Change it.”
Renita D. Young is a Chicago-based multimedia journalist. Follow her on Twitter @RenitaDYoung.