WBEZ | gun violence http://www.wbez.org/tags/gun-violence Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Could Hospital ERs Provide Missing Data On Police Shootings? http://www.wbez.org/news/could-hospital-ers-provide-missing-data-police-shootings-114759 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istockER.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the past two years, Joseph Richardson has been trying to figure out how to keep young black men with knife and gunshot wounds from turning up again with similar injuries at Prince George&#39;s Hospital Trauma Center outside Washington, D.C.</p><p>Richardson is director of the Violence Intervention Research Project at the trauma center. When these men are admitted, he shows up at their rooms to ask them to take part in his ongoing study on risk factors for repeat violent injuries. Sometimes he finds them handcuffed to a hospital bed, guarded by a police officer or two. Richardson has to walk away. The patients are under arrest and off-limits to him.</p><p><a href="http://aasd.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Richardson,%20Jr./Joseph">Richardson</a>&nbsp;is also a criminologist and associate professor at the University of Maryland. And recently, in the context of a national discussion about police violence, he got to thinking about the lack of access that kept him from asking these men what happened. How many of those handcuffed shooting victims had taken a bullet from a cop, he wondered?</p><p>With&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/08/how-many-police-shootings-a-year-no-one-knows/">scant data</a>&nbsp;on how many people are shot by police across the country every year, Richardson sees potential in hospital emergency departments. As a researcher he might not have direct access to patients under arrest, but the doctors and nurses certainly do. He&#39;s proposing that emergency departments step in and capitalize on that unique access to compile an alternative data source.</p><p><strong>Doctors And Nurses Could Ask: &#39;Who Shot You?&#39;</strong></p><p>Richardson views police violence as a public health issue and believes health care providers have a role to play in addressing it. The concept seems simple: At some point during a patient&#39;s visit, emergency department staffers ask patients who shot them, record their answers and report the information to state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p><p>He&#39;s not suggesting doctors and nurses investigate their patients&#39; claims, or that this self-reported data would even be completely accurate. After all, in quite a few cases it could be impossible to know who shot you.</p><p>Even so, Richardson says that some data are better than none. Hospital-reported numbers along with those recorded by police and media outlets could help define the true scope of police shootings.</p><p>In December, around the time Richardson floated his idea in the<em>&nbsp;Journal of Urban Health</em>,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/fbi-to-sharply-expand-system-for-tracking-fatal-police-shootings/2015/12/08/a60fbc16-9dd4-11e5-bce4-708fe33e3288_story.html">the FBI announced plans</a>&nbsp;to expand its database on violent police encounters. For the first time, the agency will collect information on serious injuries, not just fatalities. But it will continue to lean on voluntary reports by local police departments.</p><p>Richardson is skeptical that the federal government can solve the data problem. &quot;There has to be a more pioneering, innovative approach to doing it,&quot; he says. That&#39;s what he&#39;s trying to figure out. He notes that information about people who survive police shootings is especially elusive. &quot;The only way we would know that is either the police would have to report that or the hospitals would have to,&quot; he says. &quot;Up to this point, neither entity has done it.&quot;</p><p>Richardson points to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19104090">2009 survey of academic emergency physicians</a>&nbsp;that found that almost all of them believed they&#39;d seen cases of excessive use of force by police but had largely failed to report them.</p><p>In interviews with the emergency department staff at Prince George&#39;s, he found that the overwhelming majority said the hospital has an ethical responsibility to record and report police-involved shootings. But doctors and nurses raised concerns about the logistics and consequences.</p><p>Some said it would be difficult to put into practice a standardized approach to collecting the information. Others felt patients weren&#39;t likely to open up to trauma staff &mdash; especially given the presence of police anytime a victim is under arrest. Still others worried they&#39;d be dragged into court to testify if they implicated the police.</p><p><strong>Can Hospitals Balance Care And Reporting On Shootings?</strong></p><p>Logistics aside, what looms over Richardson&#39;s proposal is a philosophical divide over the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/working-shift-ask-er-doctor-114674">role of the hospital and its staff.</a></p><p>As American College of Emergency Physicians board member James Augustine sees it, muddling a hospital&#39;s mission is bad for patients. &quot;The hospital is not a good place for legal and law enforcement activities to infringe on people&#39;s rights for health care,&quot; says the veteran emergency medicine doctor. &quot;In the emergency setting, this is not a priority.&quot;</p><p>But he doesn&#39;t dismiss the idea outright. The health care system plays a vital role in amassing data, he says. In fact, many trauma centers already collect reams of information and submit it to the National Trauma Data Bank. Stripped of names, it&#39;s used to track everything from auto accidents to clothing-related burns. It might be feasible to add information about violent police encounters to those data collection efforts, Augustine says.</p><p>David Livingston, chief of trauma at University Hospital in Newark, agrees that when it comes to collecting information, hospitals could help. &quot;Emergency departments are the canary in the coal mine of health in our communities,&quot; he says. &quot;They&#39;re a unique public health resource to gather data.&quot;</p><p>But there are serious limitations. Two years ago, Livingston and his colleagues analyzed more than 6,000 gunshot wounds treated at his hospital and found that his own trauma unit&#39;s database didn&#39;t account for nearly 20 percent of them. It turned out the emergency department, not trauma, had handled these relatively minor injuries and Livingston and his co-workers only discovered them when they scoured that department&#39;s billing records.</p><p>As for Richardson&#39;s proposal, Livingston says it could work in theory. &quot;Is it economically and logistically feasible?&quot; he asks. &quot;We&#39;d like to think it is, but I have my doubts.&quot; Getting detailed information would probably require dedicated staff, he says, and that&#39;s expensive. But he&#39;s quick to point out that similar data on cancer, heart disease, smoking, obesity and other conditions has been collected, with the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation footing the bill. &quot;In that respect,&quot; he says, &quot;Dr. Richardson&#39;s contention to put this on trauma centers is shirking the government&#39;s responsibility.&quot;</p><p>Still, Richardson suggests a place to start:&nbsp;<a href="http://nnhvip.org/">hospital-based violence intervention programs</a>. Only about 30 hospitals in the U.S. have these special programs aimed at curbing readmission for violent crimes, but Richardson sees them as prime candidates for pilot projects.</p><p>For University of California, San Francisco trauma surgeon Rochelle Dicker, who heads up the&nbsp;<a href="http://violenceprevention.surgery.ucsf.edu/">violence intervention program</a>&nbsp;at San Francisco General Hospital, keeping tabs on police violence seems like a natural extension of the work her team already does. &quot;Part of our responsibility as physicians is to not just to do the traditional &#39;treat and street,&#39; but to really get to the issues at hand and address violence in a more comprehensive way.&quot; In order to do that, she says, accurate information is key.</p><p>&quot;The work is provocative,&quot; she says of Richardson&#39;s proposal, and it will get people talking. &quot;I applaud the author for taking that first step and opening the door.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/02/04/465568899/could-hospital-ers-provide-missing-data-on-police-shootings?ft=nprml&amp;f=465568899" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 13:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/could-hospital-ers-provide-missing-data-police-shootings-114759 Artists Respond to Violence and Strife in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-21/artists-respond-violence-and-strife-chicago-114561 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Artists Respond.jpeg" alt="" /><p><div><div>Two artists who have created work that speaks to some of Chicago&rsquo;s underlying issues like police brutality and gun violence join us to talk about their work.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Garland Martin Taylor is a sculptor based in Hyde Park. Kristiana Colon is a poet and playwright as well as an activist with the Let Us Breathe Collective.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-21/artists-respond-violence-and-strife-chicago-114561 DCFS Inspector General: 8 State Wards Killed in Street Violence Last Year http://www.wbez.org/news/dcfs-inspector-general-8-state-wards-killed-street-violence-last-year-114406 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/laquan11.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Laquan McDonald, the teenager shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in October 2014, was one of eight wards of the state killed in street homicides last year, according to a newly released report by the watchdog of Illinois&rsquo; child welfare system. That number is more than twice as many as in any other year of the past five.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Denise Kane, the inspector general of Illinois&rsquo; Department of Children and Family Services, singled out the eight wards killed in street homicides in her latest annual report. She found that in the same time period the previous year, three wards were killed in street homicides.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Kane&rsquo;s report says wards killed in the state&rsquo;s 2015 fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, were teenagers, with the youngest being 14. In Illinois, wards can age out of the child welfare system at age 21.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some of the circumstances surrounding the lives of the wards who were killed in street homicides in Kane&rsquo;s latest report point to the challenges DCFS faces in providing services to older teenagers, including some who reject government services. The inspector general found that the mother of one 18-year-old ward who was shot and killed around 7:30 a.m. in August of 2014 had tried to place the teen in a DCFS shelter, but was unsuccessful. When he turned 18 several months before his death, the ward voluntarily left his residential treatment facility to live, unauthorized, in a relative&rsquo;s home, the report states.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A different 18-year-old ward of the state had been placed in a shelter after his adoptive parent made multiple, credible statements about wanting to kill the teen, according to Kane&rsquo;s report. He was largely missing from his shelter in the month leading up to his death in April 2015, and he had requested to return to his adoptive mother. &nbsp;That woman refused to accept him back, the report states. Three months before he died of multiple gunshot wounds, the teen ward became a father.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Kane wouldn&rsquo;t comment for this story, but she did include an unusually bold introduction to her report, &nbsp;telling Illinois&rsquo; governor and lawmakers they &ldquo;must have a collective conscience to remedy our social failings.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>She also wrote, &ldquo;When a ward is gunned down in the streets by an officer whose duty is to protect and there is no integrity to those reporting the incident, shame on us as a society.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Chicago police officer charged with killing McDonald has pleaded not guilty.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In a statement, Andrew Flach, a spokesman for DCFS, wrote, &ldquo;The Department is aware and concerned any time a child in the care of the state dies. However, the statistic should serve as a reminder that children in the care of the state are no more or less immune to the increased threat of street violence than any other child in the state.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold.</a></em></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 07 Jan 2016 10:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/dcfs-inspector-general-8-state-wards-killed-street-violence-last-year-114406 Will Obama's Action Create a Market for 'Smart' Guns? http://www.wbez.org/news/will-obamas-action-create-market-smart-guns-114399 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gunss.jpg" style="height: 464px; width: 620px;" title="Andy Raymond demonstrates the Armatix iP1, a .22-caliber smart gun that has a safety interlock, at Engage Armaments in Rockville, Md., last year. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images)" /></div><p>The notion of a gun smart enough to tell who&#39;s holding it isn&#39;t new.</p><p>Since the 1990s, inventors have been developing firearms geared with technologies that can authenticate their users &mdash; for instance by recognizing the fingerprint, the grip or an RFID chip &mdash; and stop working if held by the wrong hands.</p><p>Several manufacturers have tried to introduce Americans to the concept, but the market here has been&nbsp;<a href="http://fortune.com/2015/04/22/smart-guns-theyre-ready-are-we/" target="_blank">less than friendly</a>&nbsp;over concerns that they are unreliable and would lead to more gun control.</p><p>Supporters now hope that President Obama&#39;s new executive actions could turn things around.</p><p>In a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/05/462020685/obama-seeks-commonsense-gun-control-through-executive-actions" target="_blank">series of measures aimed at reducing gun violence</a>, Obama directed the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security to &quot;conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology that would reduce the frequency of accidental discharge or unauthorized use of firearms, and improve the tracing of lost or stolen guns.&quot;</p><p>In an address at the White House on Tuesday, Obama added: &quot;If we can set it up so you can&#39;t unlock your phone unless you&#39;ve got the right fingerprint, why can&#39;t we do the same thing for our guns? If there&#39;s an app that can help us find a missing tablet ... there&#39;s no reason we can&#39;t do it with a stolen gun. If a child can&#39;t open a bottle of aspirin, we should make sure that they can&#39;t pull a trigger on a gun.&quot;</p><p>But to Stephen Teret, longtime proponent of smarter guns and founder of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-gun-policy-and-research/" target="_blank">Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research</a>, this could be the key element: Obama also directs the agencies to &quot;explore potential ways to further&quot; the use and development of smart gun technology as well as consult with other agencies that buy firearms to see if smart guns could be considered for acquisition and &quot;consistent with operational needs.&quot;</p><div id="res462035317"><iframe height="555" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?embed=true&amp;id=2673821-2016smartgun-Mem-Rel" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="100%"></iframe></div><p>Teret says smart, or personalized, guns have faced a stalemated kind of supply-demand: Manufacturers best-positioned to make and market these new guns don&#39;t want to go all-in on the idea without a reassurance of big orders, while no big buyer would put in such an order for an unestablished technology.</p><p>In simplest terms, if federal law enforcement and the military start buying lots of smart guns &mdash; and that&#39;s a big if &mdash; Teret thinks it would be just the incentive that manufacturers, venture capitalists and other investors need to consider such guns as a viable product.</p><p>&quot;What today represents is blowing up the logjam that has been keeping us from moving forward,&quot; Teret says.</p><p>The impasse has a long history. A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/242500.pdf" target="_blank">2013 report from the Justice Department</a>, solicited earlier by Obama, listed numerous corporate and research projects in the U.S., Europe and Australia that tried to develop smarter gun technology, including from established gun-makers like Colt&#39;s Manufacturing and Smith &amp; Wesson.</p><p>Many of the projects fizzled out, facing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/03/18/174629446/can-smart-gun-technology-help-prevent-violence" target="_blank">numerous reservations</a>&nbsp;both from gun proponents and from opponents.</p><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>Will It Make Us Safer?</strong></span></p><p>One of the biggest concerns from law enforcement officers cited by that 2013 DOJ report was reliability &mdash; the concern that a battery-powered or computer-chip-driven gun wouldn&#39;t fire when it should.</p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nssfblog.com/nssf-statement-regarding-executive-actions-to-reduce-gun-violence-and-make-our-communities-safer/" target="_blank">National Shooting Sports Foundation</a>, the main firearms industry trade association, in a statement, says it has never opposed development of smart gun technology. &quot;How additional government research into this technology would advance it is unclear,&quot; the group says.</p><p>And the industry&#39;s big worry is that support for smart gun technology would turn into a mandate that all guns need to be smart.</p><p>In fact, New Jersey&#39;s 2002 &quot;Childproof Handgun Law&quot;&nbsp;has spurred much of the outcry over&nbsp;attempts to sell smart guns in the U.S., because it said that once &quot;personalized handguns are available&quot; anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.&quot;</p><p>The National Shooting Sports Foundation also says there are &quot;well-proven existing methods to secure firearms&quot; and that firearm accidents are at an all-time low.</p><div id="res462061142">The National Rifle Association, in its statement criticizing Obama&#39;s executive actions, didn&#39;t comment on smart guns specifically but generally argued that the presidential action would not have prevented recent mass shootings.</div><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vpc.org/" target="_blank">Violence Policy Center</a>, which advocates for gun control, also has no specific position on personalized guns but has argued that research dollars would be better spent on things that prevent gun violence, like better injury and death measurements, youth programs and public education about risks.</p><p>Spokesman Avery Palmer referred NPR to the group&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/Smart%20Gun%202013.pdf" target="_blank">2013 fact sheet</a>&nbsp;on smart guns, which runs through a variety of reservations about their effectiveness, including the possibility that it may attract more, not fewer, people to gun ownership.</p><p>The fact sheet also says the group opposes the use of any federal tax dollars in support of smart gun research. Asked whether that meant the group also opposed Obama&#39;s smart gun initiative, Palmer said the center didn&#39;t yet have enough detail on the proposal to determine the group&#39;s position.</p><p>Teret at Johns Hopkins says that firearm accidents have indeed been declining and smart guns aren&#39;t a panacea to gun violence. He compares his current advocacy to his earlier work to get air bags installed in cars, despite concerns about their risk and effectiveness.</p><p>&quot;No one can tell you with any level of certainty how many of the 33,000-plus [annual] gun deaths will be avoided by personalized guns,&quot; he says. &quot;But I certainly have absolute confidence that it will be enough deaths that will be avoided that makes this worth it.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://alltechconsidered" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 06 Jan 2016 23:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/will-obamas-action-create-market-smart-guns-114399 Looking at Violence in America with a Financial Lens http://www.wbez.org/news/looking-violence-america-financial-lens-114164 <p><div id="res459739514" previewtitle="Ambulances lined up following two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Ambulances lined up following two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/14/gettyimages-166670675_custom-699c9514041c52ed49383c2ae11e6fba8f4e3454-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Ambulances lined up following two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)" /></div><div><p>Pain, grief and emotional loss follow mass shootings in America, and there are also other costs that add up to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/true-cost-of-gun-violence-in-america" target="_blank">violence&#39;s financial toll</a>. It&#39;s Ted Miller&#39;s job to crunch numbers on social ills like mass shootings. He&#39;s a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pire.org/staffmember.aspx?cid=306">health economist</a>&nbsp;with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.</p></div></div><p>For example, when then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in a 2011 incident that left six people dead and 13 injured (including Giffords), her medical costs alone were well over $500,000, he says.</p><p>&quot;I haven&#39;t calculated [the incident&#39;s cost] totally, but we would figure that each death was worth about $7 million,&quot; Miller tells NPR&#39;s David Greene. &quot;The way we look at that is we have interviews where people have been asked how much they would pay to reduce their chance of being killed or injured in a violent incident. People actually pay that. When you look at housing prices, we pay more for housing in safe neighborhoods.&quot;</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><strong>On what goes into the calculations</strong></p><p>We&#39;re looking at the value of a human life, not the cost of a human life. We look at the wage loss, we look at the household work loss, we look at the value people place on their pain and suffering, loss,<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/how-terrorist-attacks-can-change-nations-psyche-114090" target="_blank"> quality of life</a>. Fatality is a lot cheaper (medically) than surviving. Makes a real difference if you have insurance.</p><p>The Boston Marathon is interesting because people who were uninsured who were injured in that bombing, who were from Massachusetts, could even after the fact buy health insurance, whereas people who are not from Massachusetts couldn&#39;t.</p><p><strong>On the difference, in medical cost terms, between dying and surviving</strong></p><p>The pain, suffering, loss, quality of life and lost wages is far larger if you die than if you live. Although some people will live as quadriplegics, some people will live with severe traumatic brain injury. There are people who, when you ask them, say that&#39;s a fate worse than death.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_360696474530.jpg" style="height: 167px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was severely wounded in a 2011 shooting that killed six in Tucson. She pushes for raising awareness around the issue of gun violence against women on state and federal levels. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)" /></p><p><strong>On serving the public health</strong></p><p>I think of my numbers as giving people the numbers they need to save lives.</p><p>Let me take the example of the cost of a bicycle helmet. I&#39;ve looked at the savings from bicycle helmets. That&#39;s resulted in laws being passed in some places. For a lot of legislatures, [it] builds a legislative case. When we say a child seat returns more in medical costs savings alone than the cost of the seat, that makes it easier to pass a law requiring kids to be in child seats going back to when we didn&#39;t have those laws.</p><p><strong>On the financial cost of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/tally-mass-shootings-us-114040" target="_blank">shootings in San Bernardino, Calif.</a></strong></p><p>Probably about $125 million for San Bernardino. [The shooters left 14 people dead and 21 others wounded.] Perhaps more telling is the total cost of firearm injury is $235 billion a year. So $125 million is less than a day&#39;s firearm injuries on average.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/15/459673828/looking-at-violence-in-america-with-a-financial-lens?ft=nprml&amp;f=459673828" target="_blank">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Tue, 15 Dec 2015 09:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/looking-violence-america-financial-lens-114164 Spike Lee Declares An Emergency In 'Chi-Raq' http://www.wbez.org/news/spike-lee-declares-emergency-chi-raq-114054 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/cr_d01_001951446574522_wide-744b31997c353995d7ca5d730b36d00f7f4facce-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res458191115" previewtitle="Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata, a Chicago gang leader's girlfriend who rallies women to swear off sex with their men until they end their violence."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata, a Chicago gang leader's girlfriend who rallies women to swear off sex with their men until they end their violence." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/02/cr_d01_001951446574522_wide-744b31997c353995d7ca5d730b36d00f7f4facce-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Teyonah Parris as Lysistrata, a Chicago gang leader's girlfriend who rallies women to swear off sex with their men until they end their violence. (Parrish Lewis/Courtesy of Roadside Attractions)" /></div><div><p>Answering one kind of madness with another, Spike Lee&#39;s&nbsp;Chi-Raq&nbsp;approaches the plague of gun violence in Chicago with a staggering disregard for propriety. Just the title alone &mdash; a reference to a fatality rate that&#39;s exceeded that of American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan over the same period &mdash; was enough to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/17/spike-lee-chiraq-backlash-mayor-rahm-emanuel_n_7089574.html" target="_blank">raise the ire</a>&nbsp;of the city&#39;s image-conscious elite, but that&#39;s merely a throat-clearing for the operatic fantasia to come. With Aristophanes&#39;&nbsp;Lysistrata&nbsp;serving as an audacious starting point, Lee&#39;s musical/satire/feature-length editorial lurches from genre to genre and tone to tone with as much freewheeling spontaneity as possible for a film where the dialogue is almost entirely in verse. It&#39;s a teeming repository of idea&mdash;by turns somber and profane, whimsical and hectoring, inspired and inexplicable.</p></div></div><p>This is how Spike Lee starts a conversation. Twenty-six years later, he&#39;s still Mookie, tossing the garbage can through the Sal&#39;s Famous window in&nbsp;Do The Right Thing, fearlessly provoking a response. The&nbsp;click-clack&nbsp;of reaction pieces can be heard over virtually every scene in&nbsp;Chi-Raq&mdash;and from all over the political spectrum, too&mdash;and Lee hasn&#39;t considered his arguments rigorously enough for the film to survive them all. But he wants the audience to think about the cycle of violence on Chicago&#39;s South Side and the array of contributing factors that perpetuate it. At the same time, he&#39;s made a thoroughly unruly work of art that sets the realities of the streets against the artifice of Greek theater and a cartoon gangland that recalls&nbsp;The Warriors.</p><p>Reaching back to Lee&#39;s three earliest films,&nbsp;Chi-Raq&nbsp;could be described as a fusion of the dodgy sexual politics of&nbsp;She&#39;s Gotta Have It, the music and intra-racial disputes ofSchool Daze, and all-points sermonizing of&nbsp;Do The Right Thing. Co-scripting with Kevin Willmott &mdash; whose brilliant mockumentary&nbsp;C.S.A: The Confederate States of America&nbsp;imagines what might have happened if the South won the Civil War &mdash; Lee structures the film around Aristophanes&#39; outrageous premise of sex as a leverage for peace. The electric Teyonah Parris, previously seen in&nbsp;Dear White People, stars as Lysistrata, a beautiful woman who takes decisive action after witnessing a pair of shootings.</p><p>Lysistrata&#39;s boyfriend, Demetrius Dupree (Nick Cannon), who raps under the name &quot;Chi-Raq,&quot; heads up a purple-clad gang called the Spartans, and he looks for revenge after Cyclops (Wesley Snipes) and the rival Trojans, wearing orange, open fire during one of his club shows. When a stray Spartan bullet fells an 11-year-old girl and Lysistrata sees the anguish of the child&#39;s mother (Jennifer Hudson, whose own personal tragedies are brought to the surface), she persuades the wives and girlfriends of gang members, as well as other women in the community, to withhold sex until the men come to their senses.</p><p>Samuel L. Jackson turns up as Dolmedes, the one-man Greek chorus who introduces the verse and ties the disparate story threads together, and John Cusack and Angela Bassett both do vital work as an activist priest and an intellectual, respectively, who lend their voices to the cause. Among the root causes batted around are the macho intransigence of gang leaders, faulty and corrupt institutions, mass incarceration, high unemployment and poverty, and Lee tosses in up-to-the-minute talk about Sandra Bland and the church shooting in Charleston, S.C. &quot;THIS IS AN EMERGENCY&quot; scream the opening titles in big bold letters, and&nbsp;Chi-Raq&nbsp;seeks to stay right in the moment.</p><p>Lee&#39;s compulsion to jam every idea he has into the frame gives&nbsp;Chi-Raq&nbsp;an instability that often sacrifices coherence for vitality. Though&nbsp;Lysistrata&nbsp;is a satire, Lee&#39;s film uses it mainly as a conceptual hook, so elements that are completely absurd and outrageous, like Lysistrata&#39;s bizarre encounter with a neo-Confederate officer, are juxtaposed with scenes where Cusack and Bassett sound off earnestly about the issues of the day. They may share the same subject, but they don&#39;t share the movie that comfortably.</p><p>Then again, a little misbehavior is the point. The fantasy and realism of&nbsp;Chi-Raq&nbsp;may go together like plaids and stripes, but Lee isn&#39;t one to let perfect be the enemy of good. If nothing else, the film asserts the value of trying something and failing rather than retreating to safe spaces. It turns candor into the highest possible virtue.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/03/458188846/spike-lee-declares-an-emergency-in-chi-raq?ft=nprml&amp;f=458188846" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 04 Dec 2015 13:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/spike-lee-declares-emergency-chi-raq-114054 A Tally Of Mass Shootings In The U.S. http://www.wbez.org/news/tally-mass-shootings-us-114040 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/162794264_custom-3b62828a10c18845096110a38494b3a089a8aad6-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res458325480" previewtitle="Pictures of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims are displayed as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaks during at a 2013 Senate hearing. Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino, which killed at least 14 people, was the deadliest since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook, which left 26 people dead."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Pictures of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims are displayed as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaks during at a 2013 Senate hearing. Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino, which killed at least 14 people, was the deadliest since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook, which left 26 people dead." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/03/162794264_custom-3b62828a10c18845096110a38494b3a089a8aad6-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Pictures of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims are displayed as Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California speaks during at a 2013 Senate hearing. Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino, which killed at least 14 people, was the deadliest since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook, which left 26 people dead. (Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>The shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., was the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/12/02/the-san-bernardino-mass-shooting-is-the-second-today-and-the-355th-this-year/">355th&nbsp;mass shooting</a>&nbsp;in the U.S. this year &mdash; or more than one per day on average so far in 2015 &mdash; according to groups monitoring such attacks in recent years.</p></div></div></div><p>The San Bernardino case, where at least 14 people were killed, wasn&#39;t the only mass shooting on Wednesday. A 34-year-old woman was killed and three males, ages 17 to 52, were injured by gunfire&nbsp;<a href="http://scmpd.org/metro-investigates-fatal-w-33rd-street-shooting/">in Savannah, Ga.,</a>&nbsp;earlier in the day. Police believe at least two shooters were involved in that incident, but no arrests had yet been made.</p><p>One common definition of a mass shooting is when four or more people are killed or injured (and that&#39;s what we&#39;re using for the purposes of this article). Here are some key figures compiled by groups such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shootingtracker.com/">ShootingTracker.com</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls">Gun Violence Archive&nbsp;</a>and&nbsp;<a href="http://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/">Everytown for Gun Safety</a>.</p><p><strong>462:&nbsp;</strong>The number of people&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/us/how-often-do-mass-shootings-occur-on-average-every-day-records-show.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=b-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">killed so far this year</a>&nbsp;in mass shootings. The injury toll is 1,314. The shootings have taken place in 47 separate states.</p><p><strong>3 Years:</strong>&nbsp;The San Bernardino shooting is the deadliest since the 2012 massacre at<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/after-newtown-shooting-mourning-parents-enter-into-the-lonely-quiet/2013/06/08/0235a882-cd32-11e2-9f1a-1a7cdee20287_story.html">Sandy Hook Elementary School</a>&nbsp;in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 students and six adults.</p><p><strong>281:</strong>&nbsp;The number of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/past-tolls">mass shootings</a>&nbsp;last year.&nbsp;<a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/123027/heres-why-no-one-can-agree-number-mass-shootings">There&#39;s debate</a>&nbsp;on how rapidly the rate of such attacks has been rising because the numbers can look very different depending on the standard that&#39;s being used.</p><p>The definition of four or more killed or injured has been used only in recent years by private research groups, which rely on media reports. The&nbsp;<a href="http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44126.pdf">Congressional Research Service</a>&nbsp;tracks shooting cases in which four or more people are killed and, by that standard, the annual figure has tended to range only slightly, from about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/03/us/how-often-do-mass-shootings-occur-on-average-every-day-records-show.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=b-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;_r=0">20 to 22 cases</a>&nbsp;per year from 1999 to 2013. Some observers say this shows that the number of mass shootings has been a chronic problem for many years, and that the only real change is the amount of media attention they receive.</p><p><strong>57:&nbsp;</strong>The percent of cases in which a current or former partner or family member was among the victims. Women account for 50 percent of the victims in mass shootings, compared with only 15 percent of overall gun homicides, according to&nbsp;<a href="http://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/">Everytown for Gun Safety</a>, based on media reports from 2009 through July.</p><p><strong>2 out of 160:</strong>&nbsp;The number of mass shootings that involved more than one gunman, according to an&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-active-shooter-incidents/pdfs/a-study-of-active-shooter-incidents-in-the-u.s.-between-2000-and-2013">FBI report</a>&nbsp;released last year, covering the period from 2000 to 2013.</p><p><strong>Around 11,000:</strong>&nbsp;Roughly the annual number of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm" target="_blank">gun-related homicides</a>&nbsp;in the U.S. The figure has been declining gradually over the past two decades. The vast majority of gun deaths are not mass shootings, which account for well under 5 percent of all shooting deaths.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/03/458321777/a-tally-of-mass-shootings-in-the-u-s?ft=nprml&amp;f=458321777" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 03 Dec 2015 14:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/tally-mass-shootings-us-114040 Man Accused of Threatening University of Chicago Released http://www.wbez.org/news/man-accused-threatening-university-chicago-released-114012 <p><p>CHICAGO&nbsp;(AP) &mdash; A 21-year-old charged with posting threats to kill white students or staff members at the University of&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;who was motivated by the police shooting of a black teenager is out of jail.</p><div><p>A federal judge agreed Tuesday to put Jabari Dean under house arrest in the custody of his mother. The engineering student will be allowed to attend classes at the University of Illinois at&nbsp;Chicago.</p><p>Release conditions include Dean staying off the Internet.</p><p>His mother expressed concern at Tuesday&#39;s hearing about her son&#39;s job prospects because of the arrest.</p><p>The University of&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;closed Monday after learning of the threat.</p><p>Dean was arrested Monday. Authorities say Dean, who is black, posted the threat after prosecutors charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder in Laquan McDonald&#39;s death and released the video of the shooting.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 01 Dec 2015 13:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/man-accused-threatening-university-chicago-released-114012 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