WBEZ | gun violence http://www.wbez.org/tags/gun-violence Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Police Make Arrest in Fatal Shooting of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee http://www.wbez.org/news/police-make-arrest-fatal-shooting-9-year-old-tyshawn-lee-113962 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/tyshawnleesign.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>CHICAGO (AP) &mdash; A South suburban man was charged with first-degree murder on Friday in connection to the slaying of a 9-year-old boy who police say was lured off a basketball court and shot in the head in an alley because of his father&#39;s gang ties.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Chicago police have charged Corey Morgan in the &#39;execution&#39; death of&hellip; <a href="https://t.co/DQZViMpW6W">https://t.co/DQZViMpW6W</a></p>&mdash; Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/670273047106949120">November 27, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said 27-year-old Corey Morgan of Lansing, Illinois &mdash; who has an extensive criminal history &mdash; had been arrested and charged. McCarthy said two other men, included one jailed on an unrelated gun charge, also were suspected of involvement in the death of Tyshawn Lee, who was shot in the middle of the afternoon near his grandmother&#39;s house.</p><p>McCarthy said the men&#39;s precise roles were still under investigation but that all were members of the same gang, which the police chief vowed to destroy, saying: &quot;That gang just signed its own death warrant.&quot;</p><p>Tyshawn was shot Nov. 2 in a slaying that shocked a city already grimly familiar with gang violence. The fourth-grader was hit in the head and back in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. McCarthy praised local residents, saying they overcame fears and risks of retaliation to come forward and offer tips to police.</p><p>&quot;If you have a monster who&#39;s willing to assassinate a 9-year-old, what is that person likely to do if they know that somebody&#39;s cooperating with the case?&quot; McCarthy said during a news conference.</p><p>He said the boy&#39;s killers approached him in a park where he was playing basketball with friends, spoke with him, and then walked him off into the alley. McCarthy called the killing an &quot;unfathomable crime.&quot;</p><p>Investigators said the dispute that led up to the killing had been ongoing for about three months between warring gangs and involved at least two other killings and several non-fatal shootings. Authorities said Morgan was a convicted felon with an extensive violent criminal history, but didn&#39;t provide details.</p><p>The law firm representing Morgan did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment on the case.</p><p>Detectives have not recovered the murder weapon, but they believe only one person fired because all the spent bullet casings were from a single gun, McCarthy said.</p><p>McCarthy said police were looking for a third man and believed he was still in the area. McCarthy called on the man, whose photo was released, to turn himself in.</p><p>&quot;Quite frankly, in a heinous crime like this, he&#39;s probably better off if we catch than somebody else,&quot; he said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/police-make-arrest-fatal-shooting-9-year-old-tyshawn-lee-113962 5 People Shot At Site Of Black Lives Matter Protest In Minneapolis http://www.wbez.org/news/5-people-shot-site-black-lives-matter-protest-minneapolis-113911 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/doualy-minn-shooting_wide-9a8c5559ac15271f490dcf4177c1250e6e44741f-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res457219630" previewtitle="Minneapolis police cordoned off a section of road in north Minneapolis late Monday night after five people were shot."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Minneapolis police cordoned off a section of road in north Minneapolis late Monday night after five people were shot." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/24/doualy-minn-shooting_wide-9a8c5559ac15271f490dcf4177c1250e6e44741f-s800-c85.jpg" title="Minneapolis police cordoned off a section of road in north Minneapolis late Monday night after five people were shot." /></div><div><div><p>Minneapolis police cordoned off a section of road in north Minneapolis late Monday night after five people were shot.</p></div>Doualy Xaykaothao/MPR News</div></div><p>Five people were injured last night as gunmen opened fire near the site of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.</p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/BlackLivesMatterMinneapolis">According to a statement posted to the group&#39;s Facebook page</a>, the men, whom they call &quot;white supremacists,&quot; opened fire after they were asked to leave and were then escorted away from the encampment.</p><p>Mark Vancleave of the&nbsp;Minnesota Star Tribune&nbsp;tweeted this video of a protester recounting the event:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">What happened: protesters shot at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/4thPrecinctShutDown?src=hash">#4thPrecinctShutDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/KgHoBD0D1I">https://t.co/KgHoBD0D1I</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/StarTribune">@StarTribune</a> <a href="https://t.co/Ip1f7cX1GU">pic.twitter.com/Ip1f7cX1GU</a></p>&mdash; Mark Vancleave (@mvnclv) <a href="https://twitter.com/mvnclv/status/669068218040913920">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Minneapolis police&nbsp;<a href="http://www.insidempd.com/2015/11/24/shots-fired-1400-block-of-morgan-several-persons-injured/">said</a>&nbsp;the five people suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the police are now<a href="https://twitter.com/MinneapolisPD/status/669056985829154816">&nbsp;searching for three white male suspects</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/11/24/fourth-precinct">Minnesota Public Radio reports</a>:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;Rumors about the nature of the shootings &mdash; and the shooters &mdash; spread quickly through the encampment. Twitter feeds, using the hashtags #Justice4Jamar and #FourthPrecinctShutdown that they&#39;d been using all week, lit up the Internet with theories of the shooters&#39; identities and police involvement.</p><p>&quot; &#39;I don&#39;t want to perpetuate rumor,&#39; U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who has joined the group throughout the week-plus demonstration, said after the shootings. &#39;I&#39;d rather just try to get the facts out. That&#39;s a better way to go. I know there&#39;s a lot of speculation as to who these people were. And they well could have been, I&#39;m not trying to say they weren&#39;t white supremacists. But I just haven&#39;t been able to piece together enough information to say with any real clarity.&#39; &quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>On Twitter, Black Lives Matter Minneapolis vowed to continue its protests:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">We are gunna need healers up here in the morning. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/4thPrecinctShutDown?src=hash">#4thPrecinctShutDown</a></p>&mdash; Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackLivesMpls/status/669083837918371840">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Wear all black tomorrow. 2pm at the precinct. We will not be intimidated. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/4thPrecinctShutDown?src=hash">#4thPrecinctShutDown</a></p>&mdash; Black Lives MPLS (@BlackLivesMpls) <a href="https://twitter.com/BlackLivesMpls/status/669111708296699905">November 24, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/19/456643663/after-night-of-clashes-protests-continue-in-minneapolis">As we&#39;ve reported</a>, demonstrators have set up a camp outside the Minneapolis Police Department&#39;s 4th Precinct to protest the fatal police shooting of a black man. Police say they shot Jamar Clark in the head because he interfered with paramedics who were treating his girlfriend. Demonstrators say this is yet another case of police using excessive force.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/24/457214142/5-people-are-shot-at-site-of-black-lives-matter-protest-in-minneapolis?ft=nprml&amp;f=457214142" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 09:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/5-people-shot-site-black-lives-matter-protest-minneapolis-113911 Amid Growing Youth Violence In Chicago, One Woman Offers A Safety Net http://www.wbez.org/program/weekend-edition/2015-11-23/amid-growing-youth-violence-chicago-one-woman-offers-safety-net <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/diane1edit_custom-d047dcd6695b373dc24bd52889c2fe27c73515d2-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res456781576" previewtitle="The youngest child remembered at Chicago's Roseland neighborhood memorial was just one year old."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="The youngest child remembered at Chicago's Roseland neighborhood memorial was just one year old." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/stones3edit_custom-5c7b923c2c79004121b200f7eeb5271f668d7371-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 454px; width: 620px;" title="The youngest child remembered at Chicago's Roseland neighborhood memorial was just one-year-old. (Peter Breslow/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>In a run-down stretch of Chicago&#39;s South Michigan Avenue, miles from the museums and skyscrapers, an army of foot-high paving stones stand on shelves along the street. It&#39;s a handmade memorial to honor the young people who have died at the hands of the city&#39;s street violence. A name is written on each of the 574 stones.</p></div></div></div><p>But they are not just names to Diane Latiker.</p><p>&quot;This is the first stone that went up, Blair Hope, coming home on the school bus, 14-year-old got on the bus, sprayed the bus, trying to protect his classmate, girls next to him, and he was killed,&quot; Latiker says. &quot;Arthur Jones, 10 years old, going to get some candy. Fred Couch, he got killed a couple of blocks from here.&quot;</p><p>Just last weekend, 20 people were shot in Chicago and one died. The city&#39;s had about a 20 percent increase in shootings and homicides in the first half of this year, and an epidemic of gun violence the past few years. Most of the killings have occurred in neighborhoods on the South Side, most of those victims have been African-American and many have been teenagers and younger.</p><p>On any given day, sirens and shots ring through the night. And in the morning, children, like the bright-eyed and bold 11-year-old boy Amari, often don&#39;t want to walk to school.</p><p>&quot;Somebody, they tried to jump me,&quot; Amari says. &quot;I was walking my little sister. They said they going to kill us and stuff. I don&#39;t know, I think they must have thought I was somebody they was looking for or something.&quot;</p><p>Amari is one of Diane Latiker&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/chicago-youth-organization-struggling-to-stay-afloat">Kids Off the Block</a>, a group she began in her home in the city&#39;s Roseland neighborhood in 2003.</p><p>In a neighborhood where people bolt iron doors and lash down their window shades, Latiker opened her door.</p><p>She and her husband have eight children, and she&#39;s become what amounts to an activist mother to her neighborhood. She invites young people into her house, and into her life.</p><p>She says she tries to make a difference with these kids on a personal level.</p><p>&quot;The only way I can help them is if I listen and know what they need,&quot; she says. &quot;Because they have so many issues and I just try to be on the personal side with them. And if a kid needs a coat to go to school, I try to find a coat. If he needs a way back and forth to school because of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-18/gang-truces-then-vs-now-113835" target="_blank">gang lines</a>, we gonna take him back and forth to school. We do traditional programs of course, like tutoring and mentoring and conflict resolution stuff like that, but I found out you have to get into their lives. You know, you have to. Because the only way to help them is to realize that they have a life worth living.&quot;</p><div id="res456782016" previewtitle="Anti-violence activist Diane Latiker stands before the memorial for young people lost to violence in Chicago over the last several years. More than 500 stones honor the victims and there are hundreds more that still need to be added."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Anti-violence activist Diane Latiker stands before the memorial for young people lost to violence in Chicago over the last several years. More than 500 stones honor the victims and there are hundreds more that still need to be added." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/diane1edit_custom-d047dcd6695b373dc24bd52889c2fe27c73515d2-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 456px; width: 620px;" title="Anti-violence activist Diane Latiker stands before the memorial for young people lost to violence in Chicago over the last several years. More than 500 stones honor the victims and there are hundreds more that still need to be added. (Peter Breslow/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>In the beginning, she says she took a naïve approach.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;I thought everybody wanted to help the kids and the young people. So when I invited those kids into our house, I never thought it would go this far. I never thought all those other kids were out there,&quot; she says. &quot;When those kids, the ones I invited to my house, the nine, they went out there and told other kids, &#39;There&#39;s this lady can help,&#39; and they started coming.&quot;</p><p>Latiker works with about 50 kids at the moment. She receives support from local churches, city agencies and neighborhood groups, and has become well-known. The mayor of Chicago has paid his respects. She was one of CNN&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/archive11/diane.latiker.html" target="_blank">Heroes of the Year in 2011</a>.</p><p>&quot;There are two brothers up here, their mom lost them a week apart,&quot; she says, surrounded by the memorial stones. &quot;Shamiah Adams, 11; Antonio Smith, 9; Devonshay Lofton, 16; They all had lives.&quot;</p><div id="con456884754" previewtitle="related"><div id="res456884790"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>She can recall many young people who&#39;ve passed through her home, touched her heart and gone on to success. But she also remembers, just as sharply, a boy named Red who came to her when he was 15. She helped him get a summer job and he did better in school. But Red couldn&#39;t outrun the streets:</p><p>&quot;At 18, he got with the wrong crowd. He started dodging me, I couldn&#39;t find him. Next thing I know he&#39;s robbing people, shooting at people, throwing up gang signs, getting high,&quot; Latiker says. &quot;The last time I saw him was two weeks before he was killed. He said he didn&#39;t want to have anything to do with what I was talking about, he didn&#39;t believe in it. And he rode off.&quot;</p><p>She saw Red once more: dead in the street.</p><p>Now and then, another name rises to the top of the news. Three weeks ago, it was Tyshawn Lee, a 9-year-old boy who was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-tyshawn-killing-autopsy-results-met-20151118-story.html" target="_blank">lured into an alley and shot at close range</a>. Police say a gang wanted to terrorize Lee&#39;s father, who reputedly belongs to another gang.</p><p>Latiker has seen how gangs have begun to target the families of rivals, a cruelty she says she once thought was too brutal even for gangs.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t care how heartless you are, you couldn&#39;t imagine that &#39;I&#39;m risking my mother or that my four-year-old sister or brother is in danger coming from school because I made a decision&#39; &mdash; and you&#39;re still going to stay in it? Knowing that it&#39;s beyond you now and that your family is marked,&quot; she says. &quot;You couldn&#39;t have imagined that.&quot;</p><p>But she did imagine that an empty lot across the street behind all those names on stones could be a basketball court free from drugs and crime. A donor came forward to build it, and the hoops drew boys to her door.</p><p>Today, two 13-year-olds, Jaheim Elliot and Cinque Dunn, will receive Champions for Teens Awards.</p><p>Elliot&#39;s father died about five years ago, of a heart attack. Dunn&#39;s father was shot to death in the street two years ago.</p><p>They&#39;re both 8th graders who found Diane Latiker through playing on her basketball court.</p><p>&quot;I seen a whole full court basketball rim and then when I asked I came across the street and knocked on the door and asked could we play basketball and she said yeah...like a whole group of us ready to play basketball ... And she said we could come up here any time.&quot;</p><p>And they say she&#39;s helped a lot.</p><p>&quot;Diana&#39;s a grandma to me. She treat me like a grandma.&quot;</p><p>&quot;She takes care of us,&quot; &shy;&shy;Elliot agrees.</p><p>Their words touch Latiker.</p><p>&quot;When I&#39;m around Miss Diane I feel safe.&quot;</p><p>And they say she&#39;s helped a lot &mdash; that she&#39;s like a grandmother to them.</p><p>The boys and their friends play on as the sun comes down, and Diane Latiker looks on.</p><p>She has to add another 500 stones to the shelves on this lot, with more names of children who have died in Chicago&#39;s gun violence.</p><p>But for a moment she gets to watch five boys who have knocked on her door run, laugh and feel safe enough just to play basketball.</p></p> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 10:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/program/weekend-edition/2015-11-23/amid-growing-youth-violence-chicago-one-woman-offers-safety-net Family, city officials send message to community at Tyshawn Lee's funeral http://www.wbez.org/news/family-city-officials-send-message-community-tyshawn-lees-funeral-113733 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/TyshawnLee_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Family, <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/664147311145181186" target="_blank">friends</a> and officials from Chicago&rsquo;s South Side are remembering the short life of Tyshawn Lee on Tuesday.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Mourners arrive to St. Sabina Catholic Church for funeral of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Chicago Mayor Emanuel here. <a href="https://t.co/vJcK96TaLL">pic.twitter.com/vJcK96TaLL</a></p>&mdash; Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/664124283401187330">November 10, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Police believe the nine-year-old was lured into an alley last week where he was executed because of his father&rsquo;s alleged involvement in an ongoing gang conflict.</p><p>Hundreds gathered at Saint Sabina&rsquo;s in Auburn-Gresham to offer their remembrances --<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-tyshawn-mother-pleads-her-south-side-community-113645" target="_blank"> and messages to their community</a>.</p><p>The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><div><em>&nbsp;A Chicago priest says the funeral for a 9-year-old boy who was killed in an alleged gang execution marks &quot;a new low&quot; for the city.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>The Rev. Michael Pfleger presided over Tuesday&#39;s funeral for Tyshawn Lee, who was shot in the head in an alley on Nov. 2 as he headed to his grandmother&#39;s house.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Chicago police say the death was the result of two gangs fighting in a string of retaliatory events dating back months.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>The boy&#39;s body arrived at St. Sabina Church on Chicago&#39;s South Side in small red casket. Pfleger, an anti-violence activist, told mourners that it was &quot;a new low for Chicago&quot; and that the city &quot;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gun-violence-high-despite-tough-city-laws-113726" target="_blank">has to face itself</a>.&quot;</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Mourners included Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and actor-rapper Nick Cannon.</em></div></blockquote><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente was there this morning.</p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 17:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/family-city-officials-send-message-community-tyshawn-lees-funeral-113733 Chicago gun violence high despite tough city laws http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gun-violence-high-despite-tough-city-laws-113726 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1110_chicago-vigil-624x417.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The death of a 9-year-old child, allegedly at the hands of Chicago gang members, has shocked the country and prompted many to call for tougher gun laws. But gun supporters say Chicago<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-09/superintendent-garry-mccarthy-discusses-strategies-curb" target="_blank"> already has tough laws</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Mourners arrive to St. Sabina Catholic Church for funeral of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Chicago Mayor Emanuel here. <a href="https://t.co/vJcK96TaLL">pic.twitter.com/vJcK96TaLL</a></p>&mdash; Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/664124283401187330">November 10, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/10/chicago-gun-violence-laws" target="_blank">Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</a> Robin Young talks with a researcher and a Chicago journalist about where guns used in illegal activities come from, and how laws in surrounding communities may affect the availability of guns on Chicago streets.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-tyshawn-mother-pleads-her-south-side-community-113645" target="_blank">RELATED:&nbsp;<font face="inherit"><span style="line-height: inherit; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit;">Justice for Tyshawn: Police launch &lsquo;Operation Wake-Up&rsquo;</span></font></a></strong></p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 13:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gun-violence-high-despite-tough-city-laws-113726 One random day, 10 kids shot dead in America http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-09/one-random-day-10-kids-shot-dead-america-113710 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/younge_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><header><div><figure><div id="file-93268"><div><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/younge_1.jpg?itok=uF-GuBcB" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Gary Younge's new book is called A Day in the Death of America. (Courtesy Haymarket Books)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div></div></figure></div></header><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-07/one-random-day-10-kids-shot-dead-america" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><p>Younge picked a random day, November 23, 2013, and tried to chronicle the lives of all 10 Americans under 19 who were killed by guns that day.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I set about trying to find out who they were,&quot; Younge says. &quot;I approached all of their families, and wherever it was possible their pastors, their baseball coaches. ... Most of these kids died with a paragraph or two.&quot;</p><p>Younge&#39;s book isn&#39;t slated to hit the stands until 2016. But in it, he laments how in America, a child&#39;s death at the hand of a gun has become &quot;white noise.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a book that you wouldn&#39;t be able to write anywhere else in the Western world,&quot; he says &mdash; and he&#39;s not referring to publishing freedom.</p><p>Far fewer children die from guns in Europe&nbsp;than in the US. In Britain, for example, Younge says it would take 10 weeks to reach the toll on children taken by guns in one day in the US.&nbsp;</p><p>Younge is&nbsp;now an editor at large for <em>The Guardian&nbsp;</em>based in London. He lived in the US for the past 12 years. When he returned to Britain last summer, he was startled by how much more&nbsp;violence afflicts youth in American cities.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I&#39;d been back maybe three weeks at <em>The Guardian</em>, and there was a story of a boy who&#39;d been killed in a knife attack,&quot; he says. &quot;My colleague was appalled and said, &#39;This is the seventh child to have been killed in a gang-related attack in the country this year.&#39; And coming from Chicago I thought, &#39;Wow, in Chicago that&#39;s a bad holiday weekend.&#39;&quot; &nbsp;</p><p><em>Younge is the author of four other books, most recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.haymarketbooks.org/hc/The-Speech" target="_blank">The Speech: The Story Behind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.&#39;s Dream</a>.</em></p><p><em>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-07/one-random-day-10-kids-shot-dead-america" target="_blank"> via PRI&#39;s The World</a></em></p></article></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-09/one-random-day-10-kids-shot-dead-america-113710 Justice for Tyshawn: Mother pleads with her South Side community http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-tyshawn-mother-pleads-her-south-side-community-113645 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Operation%20Wake%20Up%20Karla%20Lee.jpg" style="height: 333px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Karla Lee speaks to a crowd at a Chicago Police Department community meeting on Tuesday night near Dawes Park on the city’s South Side. Lee’s 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was shot to death in an alley near his home Monday. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)" />Karla Lee wasn&rsquo;t supposed to be there--no one expected her to attend Chicago police&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-04/cpd-holds-community-meeting-information-tyshawn-lee-shooting-death" target="_blank">outdoor community meeting in Gresham</a> Tuesday night, near where her only child was killed the night before.</p><p>Surrounded by few family and friends, the 26-year-old put on a brave face, walked up to the microphone at Dawes Park and delivered a somber but strong message.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;My son did not deserve to die. He was a good kid. He told me that, &lsquo;Mom when I grow up, I&rsquo;m going to buy you a house when I make it to the NBA,&rsquo; because he loved playing ball,&rdquo; Lee said before about a hundred people sitting in white chairs nearby. &ldquo;I just want justice for my son. Whomever knows anything, please let the police know. Please. He&rsquo;s my only baby.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Lee&rsquo;s 9-year-old son Tyshawn was shot multiple times in an alley near his grandmother&rsquo;s house on his way back from school Monday afternoon. He was less than a block from where he lived on the 2000 block of West 80th Street.&nbsp;</p><p>The next night, the Chicago Police Department launched Operation: Wake-Up!, hoping to spur neighbors to get involved in finding whoever killed yet another Chicago child.&nbsp;</p><p>Police were in full force, walking the streets around the park and patrolling the alleyways with sirens blaring and lights flashing. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t do these things every day. We do these things when someone has crossed that line in our community that should never be crossed,&rdquo; said Glenn Brooks, area coordinator for CPD&rsquo;s community policing program. &ldquo;Last night, someone came into this community and crossed that line. We just not going to sit idly by. We&rsquo;re not going to sit as a community.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Sixth District Cmdr. Rodney Blisset would not provide many details on the investigation. Some published reports speculate that Tyshawn was targeted as a &ldquo;retaliation killing,&rdquo; for his father&rsquo;s alleged role in a gang rivalry.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;The investigation is ongoing,&rdquo; Blisset said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m hoping tonight that some people will give us more information. I&rsquo;m not saying people have been silent but we need some more information.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><div><em>Michael Puente is a reporter with WBEZ. Follow him on Twitter @MikePuenteNews.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-tyshawn-mother-pleads-her-south-side-community-113645 Idaho school district buys guns, trains teachers to shoot http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-26/idaho-school-district-buys-guns-trains-teachers-shoot-113494 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Garden Valley School, a rural K-12 school with just 200 students, voted to purchase rifles and ammunition for self-defense..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_94853"><p><img alt="Garden Valley School, Garden Valley, Idaho. (gvsd.net)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/10/1023_garden-valley-school1-624x371.jpg" style="height: 297px; width: 500px;" title="Garden Valley School, a rural K-12 school with just 200 students, voted to purchase rifles and ammunition for self-defense. (gvsd.net)" /></p><p>In reaction to school shootings like the one in Roseburg, Oregon earlier this month, some have called for reexamining &ldquo;gun-free zones&rdquo; on campus. But one K-12 school outside of Boise, Idaho has taken a different tack, arming itself and training some staff members how to use a gun.</p></div><p>Garden Valley School District, a rural district with just 200 students, voted earlier this year to purchase four rifles and 2,000 rounds of ammunition for self-defense.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young speaks with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.idahoednews.org/news/garden-valley-hires-greg-alexander/#.Vio7uX6rRQI" target="_blank">Greg Alexander,</a> the district&rsquo;s principal and superintendent, as they enter their first school year under the new policy.</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>Why was the decision made to arm the school?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Our first responders are sometimes up to 45 minutes away&hellip; We have 95 percent of our families with weapons, because it&rsquo;s a hunting community. So those students grow up &ndash; I just sat through a class with fifth graders doing hunter safety&nbsp;&ndash; it&rsquo;s all part of the community and the culture that weapons are present. So knowing that students would be contacting parents, they would end up being the first responders&hellip; then they&rsquo;re going to be down there in a moment and we&rsquo;ve got to be sure they know we&rsquo;ve taken care of their kids. Safety is our utmost concern.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Don&rsquo;t you worry that arming teachers is adding an element of danger?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Teachers have the option to be a part of the training and be a part of the trained staff, and we have a detective who has come in to help us with all of our training and has done a great job with getting the teachers and administrators on board understanding the seriousness of what the weapons can do. It&rsquo;s a respect value. We&rsquo;re taking teachers that know and respect weapons to help with securing the facilities. It&rsquo;s not saying, &lsquo;hey I&rsquo;m going to take a teacher that doesn&rsquo;t want to be a part of it or doesn&rsquo;t feel like they could make those decisions in those moments,&rsquo; but the local county sheriff&rsquo;s department participates in the training so there&rsquo;s a collaboration between us so we can at least get things situated and under control before they get there.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Do you worry about a liability if something does go wrong?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Yes I do, I won&rsquo;t deny that we wouldn&rsquo;t be concerned about that. But the difference is, when you grow up, and many of our teachers have grown up in a similar rural setting, the ones that are a part of this are ones that have grown up around weapons and go hunting, they recognize that when a gun is fired, it hurts and it kills. It&rsquo;s one of the 10 commandments of firing, you don&rsquo;t put your finger on the trigger until you&rsquo;re ready to fire. I think that&rsquo;s the difference. I&rsquo;ve been in other settings, other districts, where the kids don&rsquo;t grow up hunting but there&rsquo;s guns around and that&rsquo;s more a gang setting. And that&rsquo;s where you see accidents around guns, because the kids don&rsquo;t respect the weapons. Us having secured weapons, our hope and our plans, is that we&rsquo;re deterring those kinds of situations. It&rsquo;s not just one teacher, it&rsquo;s multiple, so in that same sense, we would be able to protect ourselves from that particular person.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Do you worry that someone will want to challenge your claim of safety?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Some people would say we have a target on our back, but I also think &ndash; yeah, obviously we are worried. I didn&rsquo;t get into this profession of education just for me or a couple of kids, I got in it to make a difference. And in all reality I think this is one way to make a difference in our community to say, we don&rsquo;t have the same situation another district does with the police station across the street from the school, and the others have a resource officer at the school all the time. There are those reasons not to, but in our situation, with the distance being so great, it matters us to do this, and I appreciate you asking.&rdquo;</p><h4>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/23/idaho-school-arms-teachers" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></h4></p> Fri, 23 Oct 2015 10:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-26/idaho-school-district-buys-guns-trains-teachers-shoot-113494 Texas prof: I'm quitting now that state lets kids carry guns to class http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-12/texas-prof-im-quitting-now-state-lets-kids-carry-guns-class-113302 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_821697735255.jpg" style="height: 385px; width: 610px;" title="In this Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, file photo, professor Ann Cvetkovich waits to speak during a public forum as a special committee studies how to implement a new law allowing students with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms into class and other campus buildings, which will take effect in August 2016, in Austin, Texas. Despite a federal law requiring them to have detailed emergency plans, colleges across the country vary widely in how they prepare for campus shootings and inform their staffs and students. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Daniel Hamermesh is an economics professor emeritus who has taught at the University of Texas at Austin&nbsp;since 1993. This week, he&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2015/10/07/citing-concerns-with-campus-carry-professor-emeritus-to-withdraw" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;that he would withdraw from his position next fall after the state passed a &ldquo;campus carry&rdquo; law, which will allow concealed handguns in classrooms, dorms, and other campus buildings.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to bear the increased risk of facing a student in my office that gets disgruntled and pulls a gun out on me,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">Hamermesh, 72, says he will pursue teaching and academic opportunities at other institutions because his fear of being the target of on-campus gun violence has been &ldquo;enhanced&rdquo; with the new law, which goes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&amp;Bill=SB11" target="_blank">into effect in August 2016</a>&nbsp;&mdash; the 50th anniversary of a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/an-ex-marine-goes-on-a-killing-spree-at-the-university-of-texas" target="_blank">mass shooting at UT Austin</a>&nbsp;that left 14 dead and 31 wounded.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I worry about the feeling of tension this would engender because somebody might do something, and you&rsquo;re always going to be on alert,&rdquo; says Hamermesh. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need to put up with that. Life is short, I don&rsquo;t need the money that much, so I&rsquo;d rather do other things.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">UT Austin currently educates about 51,000 students and boasts a teaching staff of about 3,000. Hamermesh says that the campus carry policy may deter both groups from pursuing educational and academic opportunities at the school, which was founded in 1881.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Why take even a slight risk with an opportunity at UT when you can go elsewhere?&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s going to cost the university.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_907794901423.jpg" style="height: 417px; width: 600px;" title="Professor Ann Cvetkovich speaks during a public forum as a special committee studies how to implement a new law allowing students with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms into class and other campus buildings, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The law takes effect in August 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Hamermesh isn&rsquo;t the only member of the University of Texas college system that is against this law. UT Chancellor Bill McRaven, a former Navy admiral, spoke out against the law before it was adopted last spring. And the president of UT Austin, Gregory L. Fenves, is also against the measure.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Right now, the [UT Austin] president is holding a bunch of forums and has a committee designed to decide what they can limit in terms of the places where you can&rsquo;t carry guns,&rdquo; says Hamermesh. &ldquo;But a general limit saying no guns in offices, I don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s going to happen, and similarly, no guns in classes, I don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s going to happen. You can&rsquo;t do that politically given what the legislation was passed as. I&rsquo;m sure that President Fenves would like to do more limitations than what is in fact politically feasible.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Faculty members are concerned that the new campus carry law may have an impact on course curriculum and learning environment, says Hamermesh.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A lot of people, especially in the Humanities department, are terribly concerned &mdash; why express something that might be controversial [and may make] a student really, really upset when there&rsquo;s an increased of having a student pull a gun on you?&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It makes it a less desirable place for learning and it makes it less of a learning environment.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Furthermore, Hamermesh argues that professors should be able to set the terms of their classrooms &mdash; not lawmakers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It impinges upon my freedom to operate my classroom exactly as I want,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I view my classroom and my office as my castle, and I don&rsquo;t like the legislature telling me what can go on in my castle.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">While some faculty members and students are &ldquo;pro-gun,&rdquo; Hamermesh dismisses those who argue that the campus carry law will empower educators.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to have a gun,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to be involved in shooting at someone who happens to draw first. I&rsquo;m probably too old to draw fast anyway &mdash; my reactions are slow &mdash; and having a gun would just make my life worse in so many ways.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Others in the community have similar feelings. A Takeaway listener named Victoria from Austin called in with this message:</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&#39;m very much against young men having guns on a college campus. The overwhelming perpetrators of gun violence is young men ages 18 to 30. Putting guns in the hands of immature, emotional, stressed out young men is just a bunch of bad decisions waiting to happen.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-12/texas-prof-im-quitting-now-state-lets-kids-carry-guns-class" target="_blank"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 16:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-12/texas-prof-im-quitting-now-state-lets-kids-carry-guns-class-113302 Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-violence-programs-shut-down-chicago-shootings-climb-113266 <p><p>Captured in a documentary that brought national attention to Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;violence, Operation CeaseFire deployed former gang members and felons to intervene in feuds that too often ended in fatal gunfire on the city&#39;s streets.</p><div><p>Now that operation has become another casualty in the financial meltdown enveloping Illinois, even as the city still struggles to stop shootings.</p><p>Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner froze money for CeaseFire, featured in the <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/interrupters/" target="_blank">2011 documentary &quot;The Interrupters,&quot;</a> as Illinois began running out of money because Democrats passed a budget that spent billions more than the state took in.</p><p>The program was cut off before receiving all of the $4.7 million it was budgeted last fiscal year, and it has gotten no state funding this year as the fight between Rauner and Democrats who lead the Legislature drags on and several programs in&nbsp;Chicagoland elsewhere in Illinois shut down.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/caught-middle" target="_blank"><strong>Hear stories of everyday people Caught in the Middle of Illinois&#39; budget impasse.</strong></a></p><p>Meanwhile,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;has seen a roughly 20 percent increase in shootings and homicides so far this year compared with the same period in 2014. That included a July 4 weekend that left 48 people shot, including a 7-year-old boy who police say was killed by a shot intended for his father, described as a &quot;ranking gang member&quot; by officers.</p><p>None of those holiday weekend shootings occurred in two police districts covered by a Ceasefire-affiliated program that managed to fund itself for the month of July.</p><p><a href="http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/shootings" target="_blank">The same area saw nearly 50 shootings in August.</a></p><p>Operation CeaseFire supporters say&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;and roughly a half-dozen other current or former CeaseFire communities need all the resources they can get.</p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_136363581679.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 225px; width: 300px;" title="In this Sept. 30, 2015 photo, Autry Phillips, left, director of Target Area Development in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood, talks with area resident Justin Garner, 27, during a walk along 79th Street. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner froze funding for the anti-violence program Operation CeaseFire because of the state budget crisis, forcing Target Area and other organizations to shut down the program at a time of year when shootings spike. (AP Photo/Sara Burnett)" /><p>&quot;Our kids in our communities are still dying,&quot; said Autry Phillips, executive director of Target Area Development, a nonprofit agency on&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;South Side that had to end its CeaseFire program. &quot;We&#39;re going to do what we can do, but we need funding. That&#39;s the bottom line.&quot;</p><p>Even before the freeze, Rauner proposed cutting CeaseFire funding by nearly $3 million this year.</p><p>His spokeswoman blamed Democrats who have refused pro-business changes sought by the former venture capitalist and first-time office holder, such as weakening labor unions.</p><p>&quot;The governor has asked for structural reforms to free up resources to balance the budget, help the most vulnerable and create jobs,&quot; spokeswoman Lyndsey Walters said this week. &quot;Unfortunately, the majority party continues to block the governor&#39;s reforms and refuses to pass a balanced budget.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The Interrupters&quot; aired as part of the &quot;Frontline&quot; documentary series on PBS and at film festivals across the U.S. The film featured<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXmm0MZLGxY" target="_blank"> three former gang members working to &quot;interrupt&quot;&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;violence</a>, though programs using the model have been implemented in cities nationwide and overseas.</p><p><span style="font-size:9px;"><strong><em>The following video contains explicit language.</em></strong></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SC1EOm4o_0A?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p><p>CeaseFire uses an approach founded by an epidemiologist who argued violence should be attacked like a disease &mdash; by stopping it at its source. It&#39;s overseen by <a href="http://cureviolence.org/" target="_blank">Cure Violence</a>, an organization based at the University of Illinois at&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;School of Public Health. Researchers say CeaseFire has reduced gang involvement, shootings, and retaliatory killings.</p><p>But it hasn&#39;t been universally embraced. In 2013,&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ceasefire-program-shrinking-due-funding-woes-108673" target="_blank">opted not to renew</a> a one-year, $1 million contract for CeaseFire programs in two neighborhoods. The decision followed <a href="http://www.wbez.org/despite-agreement-top-cop-not-big-fan-chicago-anti-violence-group-100027" target="_blank">criticism by&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police</a> that CeaseFire staff weren&#39;t sharing information or working closely enough with them. Some program members also were getting into trouble of their own.</p><p>Today, programs are operating in six&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;neighborhoods. More than double that number have shut down in the city and in other Illinois communities, including East St. Louis and Rockford, because of funding cuts, said Kathy Buettner, Cure Violence communications director.</p><p>Target Area&#39;s grant was $220,000. Combined with another eliminated grant that helped ex-offenders leaving prison, the state dollars made up 21 percent of the agency&#39;s annual budget, Phillips said.</p><p>In July, Target Area used an anonymous donation to train several hundred people on how to prevent conflicts from escalating into violence. The neighborhood into which they were sent during the July 4 weekend saw none of the dozens of shootings and killings that plagued the city over those days, Phillips said.</p><p>The following month, when funding was gone and programs had ended, there were 46 shootings in the same area.</p><p>Inside Target Area&#39;s office, a large laminated map of the neighborhood hangs on a wall, dotted with stickers of various shapes and sizes that mark the locations where violence has occurred.</p><p>The biggest, red dots indicate the sites of multiple shootings. Phillips sees each one as a failure &mdash; a person his organization couldn&#39;t help.</p><p>&quot;I hate the dots,&quot; he said.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Oct 2015 12:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/anti-violence-programs-shut-down-chicago-shootings-climb-113266