’What is wrong with Chicago? Every day somebody is getting shot.’
That statement from Roseland resident Theodore Willis the night his great-granddaughter Tanaja Stokes was shot and killed outside her family home on South Indiana. Willis is right ’ every-day someone is shot and killed in Chicago ’ 43 last month in the 31 days of July.
But Police Superintendent Jody Weis maintains that violent crime isn’t out of control and is being hyped by headline-grabbing news media outlets
This summer Chicago enacted a tough new handgun law following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that made the city’s 28-year-old hand gun ban unenforceable.
But that didn’t stop Steshawn Brisco and another suspect from riding up on bicycles and allegedly opening fire on Tanaja Stokes and her playmates with a .40 caliber firearm. Brisco showed no remorse in his comments to police stating that ’we didn’t care, we let the whole clip go.’ Brisco was free that night because he was on felony probation from a previous gun conviction.
Chicago needs to look at what Richmond, Virginia has done to reduce its homicide rate, which once had been one of the highest in the U.S. That city created Project Exile, which shifts illegal gun possession offenses to Federal Court, where there’s a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison under The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968. That program might have kept a Brisco off the street the night of Aug. 11.
Project Exile was put together in the late 90s by the U.S. Attorneys office there in cooperation with the Richmond Commonwealth attorney and federal, state and local police organizations.
The City of Atlanta, when faced with the same issues as Richmond, created FACE 5, which employed the same strategies with again positive results. FACE 5 was brought about by the coordination between the Fulton County District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney for Northern Georgia.
We should do the same here in Chicago. One would think that Mayor Daley could arrange a meeting involving federal, state and local authorities to put together a version of Project Exile or FACE 5.
We need to make our neighborhoods safe again so a girl can jump rope in her front yard without ending up in the morgue.
Illinois Deserves Better.