13-year-old Amariah Jones was in the parlor of his home in Chicago’s West side, showing my mom a new dance Tik Tok, when a stray bullet went through the front window, broke the girls neck and got stuck in the TV. On the street a random bullet also wounded boys 15 and 16 years old, sitting on the porch of the house. The Amariah was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, writes USA Today.
“Imagine that you have a 13-year-old sister, who hadn’t even started to live, and you must dress her up for the memorial service. You must choose her clothes, style her hair and pick out a casket. You have to choose the photos — says 27-year-old Mercedes Jones. I just don’t want to deal with reality. My sister is no more.”
The heartbreaking death of Amariah was one of many during a bloody summer season across the country. In several cities escalated skirmishes amid social and economic turmoil caused by the crisis in public health and movement, calling for racial justice and children increasingly caught in the crossfire.
Sister said that Amariah dreamed of becoming a lawyer: “She would fight for what he thinks is right”.
Amariah Jones. Photo: a video frame YouTube/CBS Chicago
Children are dying in the streets
Amariah was one of the 12 minor, shot in Chicago last month — many of them played outside, rode in the car, or sitting on the sofa and many others were injured.
Three year old Bellows, James was killed two hours earlier of Amariah, about a mile from her home. He was sitting in the back seat of dad’s car on the way home from the barbershop. That weekend, 104 people were shot in Chicago, 15 of them fatally, including three minors. Dozens of others were shot for the following weekend.
“Children are dying in the streets for the fourth weekend in a row, said pastor Marshall hatch, who attended several funerals. — Something is tragically wrong in what we do and what we value. People are depressed this is what it brought”.
Portrait Bellows James in the hands of the protesters. Photo: a video frame YouTube/CBS Chicago
The most deadly weekend in Chicago took place in late may amid protests and looting, when a gunshot injured 85 people, 24 of them died.
The overall level of crime — including violent crime — is low in the U.S., but the number of murders this year in Chicago, new York, Atlanta, D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Charlotte (NC), Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Kansas city (mo).
13 July, when the country’s largest city for the first time in a few months noted the absence of deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours, new York observed a minute of silence Davella year-old Gardner, Jr., who was fatally wounded in the stomach, sitting in a wheelchair at a picnic in Brooklyn the night before.
“You can never look away from something like that, and take it cold, — said the mayor bill de Blasio at a press conference. — We will never give up on our children.”
According to police, as of 5 July, the number of shootings increased by 53% compared to the same period last year in new York.
In Atlanta, where 8-year-old Scoria Turner was mortally wounded in independence Day, according to police, the incidents of firing increased by 23% compared to last year.
In Chicago, according to police, the incidents of firing increased by 46% compared to the same period last year.
“Of Devon will not be there”
In Washington, D.C., where the murder of 11-year-old Devon McNeal rocked the city, the number of murders increased by 24% compared to the same period last year, and the number of attacks with dangerous weapons increased by 1%, according to police. The boy was shot when he got out of his mother. At this time, two groups were shooting at each other.
“Devon was in the middle, and shot him, said the boy’s grandfather, John Ayala. — There are times when you want to break. But I’m holding because I should”.
According to Ayala, Devon was the star player. He started playing when he was 6 years old. The boy dreamed of playing in the NHL and to buy mom a big house.
“At a young age he learned how to be a role model,” said Ayala.
Ayala and his wife had planned to take the Devon and other grandchildren in the annual trip to Orlando in those fateful weekend, but canceled the trip because of the pandemic.
“Our 8 year old granddaughter was crying, saying that next time we go on a journey of Devon will not be there,” said Ayala.
Collage portrait of Devon McNeal. Photo frame YouTube video/WUSA9
The researchers say that the increase in violence with use of firearms is the result of three main factors: the typical surge in summer of fire, pandemic coronavirus and nationwide social unrest.
Violence is concentrated among African-American and Latino children and adolescents. Each year, about 3,000 children and adolescents receive gunshot wounds, according to the web system of the National center for injury prevention and control injuries. According to the researchers, black children and teenagers, particularly 14 times more often than their white peers to die as a result of murder with a deadly weapon.
“Now everywhere stress. People stay at home. People don’t work. There is social unrest. All of this can lead to the deterioration of the epidemiological problem, and that is what is happening with violence, ‘ said Charlie Rainsford, Director of science and policy at Cure Violence, a Chicago nonprofit group that fights violence with weapons. — It is a contagious problem.”
Demetris Whately, community activist South Side Chicago from CureViolence, says the violence has touched his family. His 14-year-old niece were shot and wounded in the arm and thigh, when standing at the bus stop with friends. 22-year-old nephew Whately was wounded in both hands, with fractures.
Whately believes that the closure of parks, beaches, bars and clubs, because the pandemic causes people to spend more time on the street in a quarter where it is easier to find and identify targets for attacks.
“It’s about social inequality”
The pandemic has exacerbated the root causes of violence with a firearm, such as income inequality, said hatch, pastor of the West side. Violence is “the despair and depravity that accompany the fact that people are less valued, they are not investing”.
Data analysis showed that in Chicago and across the country coronavirus disproportionately affected communities of low income and minority. Many of the same black and brown communities EN masse were left without work because of the economic consequences of an outbreak.
Superintendent of the Chicago police Department David brown said that the high level of poverty in areas in the South and West of the city contributes to the violence.
“We are talking about the lack of opportunities. It’s not a police problem. We are talking about social inequality,” he said.
The researchers say that the increased incidence may be related to the increase of arms purchases. A study conducted at the University of California at Davis, showed that in the United States significantly increased the violence with use of firearms is associated with increased purchases of firearms during a pandemic.
According to the study, from March to may, was purchased more than 2 million firearms, which is 64.3% higher than expected. In may, the level of interpersonal violence with a firearm has increased significantly: 17% more injuries than expected. The researchers estimated an increase of 776 injuries in comparison with what one would expect if there was not an increase in procurement: it is 7.8% more for the three-month period.
Christopher Herrmann, a former police officer in new York and associate Professor in the College of criminal justice, John Jay, said antipolitician sentiment across the country also contributed to the increase.
“At the beginning of the pandemic police were called heroes because they were employees of the first line. After the incident with the Floyd, the police quickly turned from heroes to villains,” said Herrmann.
This encourages the police to a more “non-confrontational approach,” he said, creating the mindset: “I’m not going to do any proactive work, because I’m more concerned about the risk to fall in trouble or in the first lines of the news.”
“There are limits”
On Saturday, July 18, dozens of young people have gone through a few blocks on the South side of Chicago to demand more resources to combat the use of weapons. One protester held up a sign with pictures of young people killed as a result of the use of weapons, and the words: “there is a limit. I am tired of seeing my friends in coffins and urns”.
Jones is difficult to get out of bed every day. She never returned to work after the murder of his sister. She’s trying to raise his 7-year-old son in the same area where her sister was mortally wounded.
“I don’t know what to tell my 7-year-old child who wants answers to what he doesn’t know”, she said.
According to Jones, Amariah always wanted to have a bracelet with charms Pandora. Her funeral Jones bought this bracelet.
“When it’s her birthday or Christmas, I want to fill this bracelet up to the end and put in some place in her memory. All that she missed, ‘ said Jones. — I want her to know that we’re still proud of her and we are still going to celebrate her life. In those days, when she would have to finish high school or College, I’ll be there and I will attach the pendant to her bracelet. Just to let her know.”