It was a warm summer night on September 19. Families and friends were enjoying a basketball game at Cornell Square Park when shots were fired around 10pm. Almost two weeks later and 5 men have been charged with the mass shooting.
There were no fatalities, but 13 people were injured including a 3-year-old boy. Deonta Howard was shot in the ear and the bullet exited through his cheek when he was playing basketball. Thankfully, there was no brain damage but Howard will have to have plastic surgery for the next 15- 20 years. In an interview on September 26, Deonta made his first appearance since the shooting and sang “May the good Lord bless you” into the microphone. His strength is remarkable, but it is unfortunate that this type of violence isn’t shocking to many community members.
A name of a community has become the label for expected violence. Although the crime rate has decreased since 2012, the Englewood community still has a long way to go.Below is a map of Robbery alone in the last two weeks, most are armed. Superintendent McCarthy and Mayor Emmanuel have both used this mass shooting as a platform for gun reform. Both have agreed that if the men who carried out this crime had been put away longer for their previous crimes that this wouldn’t have happened. While the community is looking for change, events like this shooting put them in the negative light once again.
On September 12, 2013, R.A.G.E. spokesperson wrote in her Mrs. Englewood blog of all the positive activities happening in Englewood. What I found most interesting is that she wrote specifically about parks in Englewood and there underuse. The need for upkeep of parks is apparent but the need for safety is even more prevalent. Englewood can change but there are still multiple actions that need to take place:
- Harsher sentences for offenders
- Gun control
- More resources in the community
- Building positive relationships with youth
The list is short for now, but until these basic things happen we are leaving Englewood behind. This shooting on September 19 is a reminder that Englewood should be a priority.
Here is the data retrieved from Chicago City Data Portal showing the robbery crimes in the last two weeks.