Chicago was hit hard by gun violence in 2012, and it turns out the crimes occurred in specific places. A report in the New York Times, details just who (typically Black men) tend to be the shooting victims in the nation’s third largest city, and where the shootings occur.
As previously reported, 40-year-old Nathaniel T. Jackson became the Windy City’s 500th homicide for 2012. However the final death toll stopped at 506 before the start of 2013.
Many of the shootings have occurred on the city’s West and South sides. “It’s two different Chicagos,” noted Rev. Corey B. Brooks Sr., who led the service for James Holman, shot to death last month. At Holman’s funeral another victim, 21-year-old Sherman Miller, was shot and killed in front of the church where the ceremony was being held. The location, St. Columbanus Catholic Church, is the same place where President Barack Obama fed the homeless after his first election win, in 2008.
While police have classified many of the shootings as being gang-related, Brooks pointed to the racial divide in the city. “If something like that had happened at the big cathedral in downtown Chicago, or up north at a predominately white church, it would still be on the news right now, it would be such a major thing going on.”
Violence at funerals is nothing new to Chicago. During the funeral held for up-and-coming rapper Joseph “Lil JoJo” Coleman, crowds got out of hand, nearly knocking over the casket holding the teen’s body. Months later aspiring rapper, Joshua Davis, was killed allegedly for wearing a sweatshirt honoring Coleman.
Over 80 percent of the shootings in Chicago occurred in the 23rd police district, while nearby areas like the business district reported no killing for the entire year. “I don’t go out at night,” said Jess Martinez who owns a business on the South Side. Martinez was robbed a few years ago and recalled having a gun put to his head.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stressed the importance of unity in the city, calling for all residents to see the violence as an epidemic regardless of where they reside. “ A child shot is a child of the City of Chicago,” he said during an interview. “Don’t anybody think that it’s ‘over there.’ It’s a tear on this city.”
The exact explanation behind the shooting sprees may not ever be pinpointed, but in addition to gangs, hot weather over the summer months earned some of the blame.
No arrests have been made in the deaths of Holman or Miller.