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article imageOp-Ed: Amari Brown: Fireworks for some, mourning for others

By Bill K. Anderson     Jul 11, 2015 in Crime
Chicago - They already tried banning the sale guns and it was deemed unconstitutional. What's Chicago to do in the wake of yet another child murder?
Questioned by Deputy Andrew Papachristos, a researcher specializing in urban violence in the United States, confirmed that for several years, crime has plummeted in Chicago. "It is wrong to say that this is the murder capital of the United States, the levels are historically low," he says. So why do the relentless shootings continue with high costs to all in these tragic times? As the homicide rate is calculated for the whole city, it takes into account the numbers of very quiet neighborhoods that lower the average. In neighborhoods like Humboldt Park, this rate is much higher than the national average.
What a twist of events when there is a story that would become almost commonplace in the United States, particularly in the city of Chicago. If only it didn’t lay such wake and wasn’t so tragic. Amari Brown, a child of age 7, died when shot by an unknown assailant Saturday, on the night of the 4th of July, while watching the fireworks fired during the weekend to celebrate Independence Day. He was hit by a stray bullet in the chest and then died on the way to the hospital.
The young boy was killed when he was surrounded by other children and his family, on the sidewalk in front of a house in the neighborhood of Humboldt Park. A 26 year old woman was also wounded. Vedia Hailey, the grandmother who raised Amari, responded a few hours later, stunned. She said that her little son was about to begin first grade, he loved playing sports and watching Ninja Turtles.
"It's crazy. Who shoots a 7 year old? He was hit in the chest. How can someone do that? To a baby? All the children are being killed. This is the madness." Ten people killed and over 50 injured in a weekend
According to the Chicago police, the bullet that killed Amari Brown was for his father, who was at his side. Antonio Brown is well known to police as he was arrested 45 times and he’s a part of one of the many gangs of the city. Since the death of his son, he refused to cooperate in the investigation and requests to be left to mourn.
Gerry McCarthy, head of the Chicago police did not hesitate to link the death of the young boy with the attitude of his father, and a legal laxity. He says that Antonio Brown was arrested in April for fleeing the police car. "He was placed in custody and returned to the street the next day. If Mr. Brown had remained in custody, his son would be alive. Quite frankly, he should not have been released." This was met with protests streets of Chicago, on July 6.
On July 5, the day of his death, the family of the young victim honored him during a vigil in front of the cameras. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, then came to meet them.
Amari Brown is however not the only victim of this weekend's festivities in Chicago. According to police statistics, 10 people were killed and over 50 others injured throughout the city, mostly on Saturday to 9 pm till Sunday at 5 am.
Among them, Vonzell Banks, 17, who was shot while playing basketball. The shot that claimed her life sounded a few meters from Hadiya Pendleton-park, named in memory of the young woman who was shot dead in 2013.
An assessment was made that there is need curb the flow of arms into our city, Chicago police immediately stressed that it is lower than the 4th of July weekend of 2014, during which 16 people were killed and 82 others injured. In 2014, 390 homicides were recorded, the lowest figure since 1965, according to police.
Gerry McCarthy still admitted to the press that "the system is broken." Despite an increase of one third of police officers deployed during the weekend, the police have not been able to stop the violence. "As long as people who have committed crimes aren’t being held accountable, we cannot stem the flow of weapons entering our city and we cannot stop the violence."
Since he began his tenure in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff of Barack Obama during his first term, tried to make the control of firearms in Chicago even more strict. The city already has draconian legislation (for the US) in the matter.
For Emanuel, "Violence in Chicago is largely due to a problem of arms" which, although they are difficult to buy in his city, can be obtained easily in the main cities and even neighboring states. The council had tried in 2013 to ban arms sales stores, which was deemed unconstitutional.
To get an idea of the damage, human and financial, firearms, we recommend this video by Mother Jones magazine, and that the accompanying investigation. There are now wristbands floating around urging people to "Never forget Amari Brown - 05.07.15"
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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