Derrion Albert, Percy Day, and Tyrone Williams

I won’t go into detail about how those three had their lives taken. I’m pretty sure most know the stories. I know most have seen the brutal video of Derrion Albert’s murder. Chicago is a cutthroat city. Gangbanging originated here. I don’t mean Larry Hoover’s Gangster Disciples, but Al Capone. This is a city that almost embraces that reputation a little too much…especially in poorer, more heavily minority-populated areas. You HAVE to be aware of your surroundings here. Certain colors, or even wearing your hat tilted a certain way here can get you robbed, beaten, or worse, killed. In certain communities, life is dictated by the gang that occupies that area. Certain high schools are basically divided because of it. There was a time when this violence and heinous activity existed only amongst gang members. Lately, it’s affected innocent children. Two warring gangs, shooting at one another, taking the life of an innocent child. A gang member boarding a bus, exiting one, or in front of a school, opening fire, and taking an innocent life. An innocent child walking home from school and being jumped for walking through the “wrong” neighborhood. This senseless violence needs to stop. There is no honor in taking an innocent life. There is no honor in pulling a gun on an unarmed person. There is no honor in committing a vile and heinous act and hiding in cowardice. This violence has plagued our city, in certain parts, before I was born; it’s not brand new. However, now, it happens more frequently, and the victims get younger and younger. Mayor Daley is hell-bent on landing the 2016 Summer Olympics for the city of Chicago. Don’t get me wrong, it would be great for this city to host such an event. But, why has the problem with youth violence gotten so much worse? Why is Police Superintendent Weis not deploying a gang task force to try and resolve the issue? Why does the Chicago Police Department seem to conveniently arrive on the scene after the killing is over and done? Where is the school security, and the teachers? Why do students stand by and become spectators? Why aren’t more parents parenting? Why are fathers not stepping up to the plate? Why are mothers allowing their children to run the household? These are questions asked everyday, but not answered. It’s sad when anyone is murdered, but to hear, read about, and actually see it is genuinely heartbreaking. To know that these young people will never get to graduate from the eighth grade, or high school, or college, is almost downright depressing. To know that they’ll never go to their senior prom, or be able to get married and start families of their own is truly sad. 34 children were killed during the 2008-09 school year, which was 34 too many. When will it stop? When will Daley and Weis make a more concerted effort to stop the violence? You’d have to think that if this violence plagued more affluent areas, it would garner more attention. Is it a matter of race? Partly, yes. But, similar to the Hurricane Katrina debacle, I believe this is more about class. Yes, the people in these communities have a responsibility to raise their children to respect others and value education. To respect their community, as well as themselves. It takes more than just a few willing people. It does indeed take an entire city, especially a large metropolitan one like Chicago. I’m not saying people in Lincoln Park should necessarily feel obligated to help people in Englewood raise their children, but we should ALL be conscious of what is going on. It should affect all of us to hear that yet another young life has been taken. There are so many that are solely focused on the possibility of hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, that they’ve forgotten to take care of home first. It’s possible that people all over the world have seen the video of Derrion Albert’s murder, or read about Tyrone Williams and Percy Day’s. Do you think that’s a good look for the city of Chicago? I grew up on the south side of Chicago, 86th and Champlain, 2 blocks west of Cottage Grove, in Chatham. I love my city. I think it’s the greatest city in the world. Despite the corruption, gangs, violence, and killings, I truly do. But I’m not afraid to admit that those four things are putting a constant strain on my heart. I have a lot of friends that have moved elsewhere; especially those with kids. And you know what? I honestly can’t blame them. This city has become almost too expensive to live in, and the violence on the south, west, and some parts of the north side has left some with no choice but to leave. To make matters worse, even some of the OGs look at the chaos that is modern-day gangbanging and look down on it. They too, see it as senseless. Even they can’t find any validity in blindly opening fire into a crowd of people. Or jumping someone because you don’t recognize them. Or robbing someone just because you feel like it. I doubt that gangs will one day, in unison, realize how much pain they’ve caused ALL of us. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Chicagoan and have lost a relative, or are in LA reading this. YOU have been adversely affected. Just ask yourself: What can I do to make it better, even if only a little bit? P.S. I miss Karen!!! P.P.S. #shoutout to all the families that persevere despite dealing with the tragedy of losing a loved one, especially our youth…


  1. Real people say & do real things. Nice to hear everybody who knows what happens out here doesn’t approve of this bullshit. You are right about it being everyone’s fault, we don’t deal with it anymore because we are no longer in the situation. We all are wrong. We should all care for our future by doing something for the next generation and so forth. Real talk

  2. The one thing that hurt the most was that the person who was recording this could have saved a life.I’m glad that it was “all caught on tape” but I would have much rathered THE GROWN MAN(I believe) recording to have picked my little brother up off the ground when he got hit the first time. &He laughed???? How was that even close to being funny!!?? I never in my life want to see anything like this AGAIN!!

  3. I didn’t experience anything like this growing up, as you know. But I watch the news and read newspapers, and it breaks my heart to see young children lose their lives while less pressing issues are tended to. Fuck Mayor Daley, Supt. Weis, and shitty parents.

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