4th of July Weekend Media Recap

The Holiday Weekend saw 100 shot and 18 killed in Chicago, a continuance of the tragic nationwide uptick in violence. According to Police Superintendent David Brown, Chicago’s homicides are up 56% this year from last versus 8% up in New York, 24% up in Los Angeles, and up to 40% in Houston. Whether or not this data is fair to analyze in a two year span with Coronavirus shaking everything up is up for debate. This weekend in Chicago coverage of young mostly black people jumping on cars and shooting off fireworks in the loop was the main story that played into the image of anarchy in American cities. Two police officers were injured and 61 people were arrested in the commotion. The actions of those involved do little to help the image of many on the right who see the solution to this as hard line jail sentences and even harder policing.

One very big story that pretty much every outlet covered over the weekend was the killing of University of Chicago student Max Lewis, via a stray bullet on the Green Line around 6 P.M. Thursday night. Fox32 published an article Monday saying that $45,000 had already been raised for the family and funeral expenses and this number was up to $68,000 by the writing of this article. It’s painful that when so many young people are killed by stray bullets in Chicago, only the highly notable are able to be written about. Also, this article seems to be exemplary of how much economics has to do with crime. If every family in Chatham and Englewood could quickly round up $50,000 for medical bills through their support system, quality of life and connections to high quality jobs would be plentiful. Also, imagine if Chicago’s schools were all bastions of high quality upward mobility opportunities like University of Chicago is; it’s hard to think that crime wouldn’t go down. If for example, Simeon was as funded as Whitney Young, what could change? Could all of our schools keep kids on an upward track like this young man?

The Chicago Tribune published their recap of violence in bulleted form, which was a difficult and lengthy list to process the amount of loss of life. The article, which only published a few names, seemed somewhat surprising to me, but I also realized how many of those shot were under 18 and the laws of publishing names is sometimes complicated. Another noticeable aspect of this article was just how few hospitals all these victims were taken to. This article alone seemed to mention about ten people all taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center. These few trauma centers on the South Side are getting tons of patients on these summer weekends. The community of violence not only affects those who lose friends and family, but also nurses and doctors who see those in their community die in their hospitals.

         The Mayor and Police Superintendent will be sure to have more questions to answer in the coming weeks.

Weekend Coverage
Weekend Reporting

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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