While the city of Chicago is preparing to open in a little over a week on June 11, 2021, shootings have increased 43 percent, according to the monthly crime statistics report released in April. In other words, the pandemic continues to interrupt many people’s lives and routines while crime in Chicago is not taking a break.
Celebrities all over the world are making commercials encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden declared June a “national month of action” on the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden is intent on at least 70 percent of the country to get a shot by July Fourth. Incentives for receiving the shot include “free food delivery, baseball tickets, Xboxes, and chances to win cruise tickets, groceries for a year, and free airline flights.”
Global Citizen, an anti-poverty organization, raised $302 million and secured over 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses before a benefit concert called “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” aired on May 8; it was co-chaired by Prince Harry and Megan Markle.
Pope Francis stated via video at the “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World” benefit concert that “a variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, the internationalism of vaccines. Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or intellectual property above the laws of love and the health of humanity.”
The pope also warned against the sick roots of evil and the virus of individualism, “which does not make us freer or more equal or more brotherly or sisterly, but rather makes us indifferent to the suffering of others.”
In Chicago and other cities in Illinois, incentives such as free haircuts, tickets to Six Flags, and concerts have been instituted. Gov. Pritzker also eluded to some sort of vaccination lottery.
Celebrities such as Joe Biden, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Sean Penn, and Pope Francis encourage Covid-19 shots while discouraging leaders from hoarding vaccines.
In the Meantime, Shootings Continue
A 15-year-old girl was shot while riding with relatives in the 500 block of Lake Shore Drive, Thursday, June 3, 2021, at around 11:45 p.m. CDT.
An unidentified person in a red Ford Expedition fired shots into the teen’s truck, hitting her in the stomach. She was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, then transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, in critical condition.
A 17-year-old boy was shot in Archer Heights on the Southwest Side. He suffered a graze wound to the head and was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he is in stable condition.
Thursday morning, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the foot in Lawndale on the West Side by two men in their 20s, at around 7:50 a.m. in the 3900 block of West Filmore Street. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition.
Someone in a dark-colored sedan shot four teens as they stood in the parking lot of a Subway restaurant at 6718 S. Stony Island Avenue in Grand Crossing on Chicago’s South Side on Sunday.
A 19-year-old man was shot in the foot, while a second 19-year-old was struck multiple times in the legs, police said. They were both taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center and are in good condition.
An 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were shot multiple times in their legs. The 18-year-old was taken to the University of Chicago Medical center, while the 17-year-old was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital. Both young men have been found to be in good condition.
The shootings are under investigation.
Although there have been lots of people shot and multiple fatalities in Chicago, Chicago Police Department Supt. David Brown says the number of homicides in May compared with the same month last year ended with fewer killings than any Memorial Day weekend in a decade.
Brown has announced a plan for community policing and the expansion of the department’s civil rights unit, as the city looks for ways to fight summer violence.
There was mention of liaisons between the police department and the LGBQ, homeless, religious communities, and interaction with the youth and all five department areas.
What has not been mentioned are incentives to help combat the violence. There are no celebrity commercials volleying for people to give up guns, such as free food and groceries, X-boxes, or other games, to entice people not to shoot their neighbors, and report those doing the shooting, etc.
Brown called Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s announcement of police, educators, library workers, and others sent to 15 police beats on the West and South sides, where much of the city’s violent crime occurred “a new approach.”
He says “Violence Interrupters,” a community group made up of former gang members and others, also played a major role in reducing gun violence.
Six people were shot in the past 24 hours, including the 15-year-old girl on Lake Shore Drive. If celebrities offering tickets or performing free concerts of peace and unity or some other kind of incentive was part of the plan, then the city could experience a shooting-free summer. Just maybe, it would make a difference in the fight against violence in Chicago’s hardest-hit communities.
Written by Brenda Robinson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Washington Post: Biden declares June a ‘national month of action’ in bid to boost vaccinations; by Derek Hawkins, Katerina Ang, and Reis Thebault
Chicago Tribune: Chicago To Move Up Full Reopening To June 11 With The Rest Of Illinois; Wrigley Field Will Be 100% Capacity For Cubs vs. Cardinals Series; by Alice yin, John Byrne, and Dan Petrella
NBC Chicago: 6 Shot, 1 Fatally, in Chicago Thursday
NBC Chicago: Four Teens Shot In Chicago Restaurant Parking Lot
ALETEIA: Pope to Concert: ‘I don’t dance and sing …’; urges vaccine equality in video message; by Antoine Mekary
NBC Chicago: Chicago Police to Announce New Strategy, Expansion of Civil Rights Unit
Featured Image Courtesy of Kate Gardiner’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Jernej Furman’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License