Last year, Hip-Hop Wired reported on numerous homicides in Chicago. Closing out the year there was an unspoken hope that the start of 2013 would bring about some form of change, but that has not been the case.
As of today, Chicago has had more shootings deaths than days in the month of January. Even worse, this is the second consecutive year the number has reached no less than 40. In comparison, New York City saw 14 murders in the same month.
The Midwest City is on track to surpass 2012's numbers, giving it the bloodiest January for the first time in 10 years. Community leaders and politicians alike have promised to work and put a dent in the violence, yet no solution has been found.
Continuing at this pace, Chicago is in line to easily exceed 500 homicides this year. “It's disappointing,” said Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “You don't throw out everything you're doing because you had a bad couple of days.”
Perhaps the saddest part of this horrid reality is that parents now have no choice but to be in fear for the lives of their children. Bullets have no names, ages, or even specific targets, and countless of youngsters have lost their lives as a result.
Among the latest was the story of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. Weeks earlier, the teen experienced what would end up being one of the biggest moments of her tragically short life by performing at President Obama's inauguration. She was gunned down after school in an area just blocks from the president's' Chicago home. Both she and a 16-year-old boy were hit.
Pendleton's story has gone the way of so many like her, faces immortalized in tragedy.
Prior to her death Pendleton had done her part to speak out against gun violence in her hometown. She participated in a PSA, telling a story that would later become her own. “So many children in the world have died in gang violence…from being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.
Given the clear ties to the president, the belief by some is that the situation in Chicago–and countless cities across the nation–doesn't get the attention needed to help bring about a cease-fire.
In hopes of continuing to shine light on what has become a war zone, Hip-Hop Wired takes a look at the 43 homicides that have occurred in Chicago over the month of January.
Photos: Facebook/Terrence Antonio James/Eric Clark