Mayor Emanuel & Garry McCarthy: Chicago's homicide problems begin at home

The city of Chicago is getting all kinds of press over the number of homicides in 2012. There have been at least 259 homicides thus far in 2012. According to the Chicago Tribune , 55% of the victims and offenders have gang affiliations and a large number of the victims had arrest histories. Andrew Papachristos, a sociologist from Yale, has researched the crime statistics in Chicago from 2005 to 2010 in the West Garfield Park and North Lawndale neighborhoods. He states "Murder occasionally is random, but, more often, he found, the victims have links either to their killers or to others linked to the killers. Seventy percent of the killings he studied occurred within what Papachristos determined was a social network of only about 1,600 people — out of a population in those neighborhoods of about 80,000."

So if 55% of victims and offenders have gang affiliations and the majority of the victims and offenders are linked directly or indirectly, then we need to start at the homes of the victims and the offenders. When small children are killed, who are they related to that is responsible for their death. My mother always said to me "Be wary of the company you keep." If you have family members that are affiliated with gangs and drugs, keep your children away from them. We all know that drug dealers and gang members have short life spans and most of these thugs don't take gun target practice.

Several years ago, the then Chicago Police Department Superintendent, Jody Weis, blamed a mother for her child being shot. The mother's boyfriend was a gang member and someone shot into his van and shot her daughter. Jody said that the mother was responsible because she chose to date a gang member and have him around her children. That mother demanded an apology and I don't think that she deserved an apology because he was right.

When people drive up to a car or home and start shooting, they don't care who else is in the crowd with their intended target. As long as parents keep criminals around their children, they will always be at risk. If your child is the criminal, you owe it to yourself and the rest of your family to be safe by not being around that person. Sometimes parents need to put their kids out on the street. It's called tough love! Too many of the parents are on TV or quoted in the newspapers saying that their son was a good boy, even after he has been caught on a surveillance camera committing a crime. Parents need to stop defending their bad ass kids and turn them in to police!

Every drug dealer and gang member has a parent who knows that they are criminals. When your child comes home with new clothes and money and they don't have a job, they are up to no good. A lot of parents in these impoverished neighborhoods are so hard up for money that they just look the other way and take the money. People have been poor since the beginning of time. Being poor doesn't mean that you have to be a criminal. When parents accept the money, they are enabling the criminal activity. They are also indirectly responsible for any other crimes that their child commits. If parents would take a hard line with their kids at the first sign of criminal activity, they could prevent someone else's child from being shot or killed. When parents turn in their bad ass kids to police, its a win, win for everyone. Your child can't harm anyone and no one can harm your child because drug dealers and gang members do not have a long life span. Your child may be in prison, but at least he will be alive.

Parents need to raise their kids. These killers didn't just wake up one morning and decide that it was ok to kill someone. They were bad as small children and the parents or adults responsible for raising them, did nothing. Mayor Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, we need parents to turn in their bad ass kids and we need more police!

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