While Chicago’s homicides are still [barely] stacking up at a slower pace than the craziness of 2016, events this past week have confirmed that even if theumbers are down, the overall problem is still rampant throughout the city – and still affecting those with no connection to the gangs behind most of the violence.
At the start of this month, 15-year-old Diego Villada died at the hands of two people in an alley. Villada, unaffiliated with neighborhood gangs, had become a victim in an “unseen turf war.” The boy’s death sparked community support for his family in their grief, and a walk for peace centered around nearby schools will be held this weekend by “friends and neighbors,” per DNAinfo. Still, a young Chicagoan with no violent streak is still dead.
Over the past couple days, an 11-year-old, two 12-year-olds, and a 15-year-old – all also removed from gangs and, until now, street violence – were shot. The boys are in stable condition, per the Chicago Tribune, although the 11-year-old’s stepfather died from the same shooting. Altogether, this past weekend and start to the week have left several dead and around 20 wounded from shootings, including those children.
And while the violence facing the city’s youth is perhaps the most tragic, the most high-profile homicide this past week was of Raymond Miles, a 66-year-old West Chesterfield man who was shot to death while his girlfriend was shot in the leg on their way to the gym. The most shocking part of the story is that Miles is a Cook County Associate Judge.
The killing of a judge, the first in Chicago since at least the 1980s, shocked his relatively peaceful community and the judicial system he worked for, with special care for kids and a “fair” head on his shoulders, per the Tribune.
In another hallmark of Chicago’s violence, Miles had previously fallen victim to violent crime in the city; two years ago he was attacked following a traffic collision.
In none of these shootings have suspects been apprehended.
The stories remain the same: kids shot, lawlessness, no leads from the police, only words from lawmakers, and a recurrent systemic violence that can’t seem to leave anyone alone. It is, as one of Miles’ colleagues told the Tribune, “difficult to fathom.”
Homicides this year: 164