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COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISCUSSES GUN VIOLENCE WITH RESIDENTS

8/9/2017, noon | Updated on 8/9/2017, noon
“Someone told me ‘people are being shot in the morning in broad daylight and it’s not even curfew hours.’ But ...
Cook County Commissioner Richard R. Boykin, Chicago Police Commander Kenneth Johnson (7th District) and other local leaders held a State of Emergency Tour on July 25, 2017 at Antioch Baptist Church to address gun violence in Chicago. Photo Credit: Christopher Shuttlesworth

COOK COUNTY COMMISSIONER DISCUSSES GUN VIOLENCE WITH RESIDENTS

By Christopher Shuttlesworth

According to statistics released by Cook County Commissioner Richard R. Boykin’s office, more than 2,000 people have been shot in the city of Chicago and 400 people were killed in Chicago in 2017.

In Englewood, one of the top five violent crime areas in Chicago, more than 150 individuals were shot in 20 17.

In the heart of Englewood at Antioch Baptist Church located on 6248 S. Stewart Ave., officials came together to address Chicago’s gun violence epidemic as they sought to offer solutions.

Boykin, Chicago Police Commander Kenneth Johnson (7th District) and other local leaders held a State of Emergency Tour at the church and were joined by residents in the community.

During the meeting, Boykin said gun violence knows “no boundaries” but the solution to gun violence is rooted in the principles learned in church and in the home, Boykin said.

He voiced key survival tips which included families making sure their children are home before the streetlights come on; participating in activities outside of the home including enjoying things like the forest preserves. It’s also important for parents to le t children know they love them, he added. “Someone told me ‘people are being shot in the morning in broad daylight and it’s not even curfew hours.’ But I said there are a lot of young people being shot after curfew, he said, adding, “someone’s child is actually pulling that trigger…someone’s child is involved in the violence that’s occurring in our streets. Maybe that particular child is seeking love that he didn’t get from his home so if we tell our children we love them, then that might help keep them out of the system.”

Boykin explained that Alderman Edward Burke of the 14th ward and Alderman Raymond

Lopez, 15th ward recently introduced a new ordinance that allows Chicago police to give

parents citations who don’t try to prevent their children from carrying an illegal gun.

“I think accountability is good,” he said. “If a parent knows if their child is carrying a gun then that parent should be held accountable. A lot of the kids say I’m packing because I have to protect

myself so these guys won’t jump on me. Well, we have to make sure that children aren’t carrying

guns because carrying a gun illegally is a bad thing,” he continued.

Boykin said he grew up in Englewood on 68th and Halsted, at a time when he said seeing people

with guns was rare.

“When I was coming up, we used to bo x it out,” Boykin said. “Occasionally someone would

pick up a bottle and hit someone in the head, but it was rare that someone would shoot someone. But now, there is such a proliferation of guns and drugs in our community, you can get the guns off

the trains or [from] a house on the street corner,” he added Commander Johnson, who has served on the Chicago Police force for 31 years, said the true beginning of his education on what it means to