By Mark Clements (Associate Editor, The Debrief)
Overall, there were 762 murders in Chicago in 2016. It was the deadest year in nearly two decades. For example, in 2016 on Father’s Day weekend 12 murders were committed and Christmas weekend 12 murders out of 27 reported shootings. On New Year’s Eve, residents and activist the city carried 800 wooden crosses down the streets of downtown, as they called for an end to community violence. Time and time again-the (residents and activist) call has been met with over 145 murders since the start of 2017.
Chicago Police reports show that many of the homicides in Chicago were gun-related. In 2016, there were 3,550 shooting incidents and 4,331 shooting victims, and five police districts on the south and west sides of the city accounted for nearly two-thirds of the increase in murders, according to the Chicago police department.
On the south side of Chicago-the streets of the South Shore community have changed and it’s changing due to community violence for the past thirty years. For example, late last month in March, eight people, and a fetus were killed as the result of this same tragic violence. The name Jerry Jacobs was not among the list of people known to community activists as a victim of the tragic gun violence that had taken place across the east side of Chicago. Police authorities believe his death may have been the catalyst for a quadruple homicide the following day.
Reports show Jacobs was shot by gunfire, ran to a hospital blocks away, afterward there was a serious need for Jacobs to be transferred to a trauma center much as 15 minutes away, it cost him his life, some in his family believe.
Jacobs was a murder that surprisingly had no mention by police. The community has been terrified, shocked to the core with grief and concern to end this latest wave of violence, said long time resident Betty Washington. “I have been in this community for over 48 years, and I cannot recall a time that would properly describe March 29th and 30th, it was like a war,” Washington said. Chicago police are yet to properly describe what happen to Jacobs a 37-year-old African American male, who has struggled to get his life in order. He was killed on March 29th at approximately 11:15 PM while walking down the street on 79th and Phillips.
The Recent Murder of Jacobs and Others
Last week during a news conference (picture, below) with Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, it was announced that Maurice Harris (19 years old) was responsible for the deaths of four people at the Nadia restaurant located 75th and Coles. They were identified as: Emmanuel C. Stokes, 28, Edwin Davis, 32, and brothers Dillon Jackson, 20, and Raheem Jackson, 19 each shot to death allegedly by Harris in revenge for the murder of his father Jacobs.
Tragically, the double shootings that occurred at 7100 S. Yates, likewise a recent shooting located in South Shore that killed a 27-year-old male and a 23-year-old woman, left members of the Chicago police department processing the murder scene after murder scene. In total four different murder scenes. Left families of the victims shaken, terrorized, and hurting. At each scene police having to deal with traumatized families wounded to the core, offered little to no assistance from the city of Chicago.
During the news conference Brendan Deenihan, commander of Area Central detectives stated that Harris exercised his right to remain silent and that he was being charged with 4 counts of murder based off of identification by 3 witnesses.
“This argument appears to be weak and similar to how others were charged with serious offenses during the Jon Burge era of the Chicago police department,” said Val Love the aunt of a Chicago police torture victim that remain incarcerated based off of torture and false identification. When people are charged with offenses we must be certain that the right person is being charged and that the evidence supports that charge, and I am not confident of that in this case at this time, says Love. For the record from 1972 until 1991 Burge tortured confessions from suspects inside interrogation rooms while using coercive tactics against witnesses to force them to cooperate with fabricated claims to support the police theory in the cases. Burge was fired in 1993 from the Chicago police department for acts of torture.
Relatives and friends of those that have been gun down on the streets of Chicago have been denied trauma treatment and other social services from the city of Chicago for decades. People barely able to walk as they have been traumatized through grief, losing someone to violence. In the most of Chicago’s crime-affected areas on the south side, there is no trauma center that is open, there is no grief counseling made available to them and often the families must accept the pain with all of its psychological associations and not receive one any meaningful form of treatment.
Efforts to bring attention to the violence:
After the shooting of Jacob and others-I met with Chicago Alderman Greg Mitchell along with Pastor Greg Greer, who is President and Founder of Freedom First International. Our concerns involved the lack of response by the Alderman over the South Shore Community where this violence was occurring. At the time of this article (two days after the shootings), The city has offered the wounded family and community no healing and no services. Family and friends of the victims laid across the concrete pavement in anguish as they try to cope with their lost. This is a scene all across Chicago, however not on the same levels as Chicago’s southside.
We requested Alderman Mitchell to get more involved with his community and to reach out to the families that have been affected as the result of this massacre. It was our request that the first year alderman make attempts to gain a trauma center for his ward and to establish sound programs for both younger and older residents in his ward.
The meeting went well and we look forward to change in the south shore community and also to establish a dialog between the community with their new alderman.
Also included in the conversation was the fact the relatives and friends of those that have been gun down on the streets of Chicago have routinely been denied trauma treatment and other social services from the city of Chicago for decades. People are barely able to walk as they have been traumatized through grief, losing someone to violence. In the most crime-affected areas on the south side, there is no trauma center that is open, there is no grief counseling made available to them and often the families must accept the pain with all of its psychological associations and not receive one any meaningful form of treatment.
Meanwhile, Harris who is held at the Cook County Jail has been informed that he will not be allowed bond and would be unlikely an attendee at his father’s funeral. The south shore community is in need of programs and jobs. It’s a community that has seen entire blocks abandoned with vacant lots. Unemployment, poverty, and ineffective drug treatment centers. When crime affect communities police and the city must step up and accept responsibility.
South Shore Chicago residents sit in fear knowing that they are receiving less protection from its police and it has really been visible the past two years. (mc)
(Mark Clements is an Associate Editor for OneWorld01.com. A Chicago police torture survivor, Board Member with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. A Board member of Illinois Fair Sentencing for Illinois Youth, and is also currently Chairperson over the Campaign to End Torture). Mark can be reached at twitter https://twitter.com/Prisonspeaks