Stop gang violence that killed Aliyah
"Six-year-old Aliyah Shell died last month after she was shot several times on the front porch of her home in the 3100 block of Springfield. Two Latin Kings gang members have been charged with murder."
(c) Chicago Sun-Times
Like Trayvon Martin, Aliyah Shell should be embraced as a symbol in the struggle against street violence.
The public outcry over the murder of little Aliyah, the 6-year-old shot to death while sitting on her porch last month has yet to translate into wide public demonstrations against violence in her Little Village neighborhood.
Political, religious and community leaders haven’t staged large, public events demanding that the gang violence be stopped.
But Mike Rodriguez, executive director of Enlace Chicago, a violence-prevention organization, told me the Little Village community has rallied around Aliyah at several events. He cited a vigil attended by about 800 people, a memorial at Gary Elementary School, where Aliyah was a student, and fund-raising to pay for her funeral.
At the recent marches against street violence in Chicago, protesters carried signs with Aliyah’s photograph, along with portraits of other victims of violence. All this is a good start, but there needs to be a more visible, public outrage over Aliyah’s murder.
Community members and police should send an unequivocal message that gang violence will not be tolerated. Particularly because there is a growing belief that some of Aliyah’s family members are gang-bangers.
I obtained a copy of an internal Chicago Police Officer Safety Alert, issued March 17, the day Aliyah was murdered, which warned officers that her killing might trigger more violence between the Latin Kings and the Two-Six.
The bulletin explains that the killing of a gang-banger on March 15 had made the conflict between Latin Kings and Two-Six “extremely violent.”
The alert also warned officers that a relative of Aliyah was an “active and documented” and “high ranking” member of the Two-Six.
That relative “was at the scene of the murder [of Aliyah] and was possibly the intended target,” the alert said.
Read the full story.
The present article was published on the Chicago Sun-Times on April 5th and was publiished with the Author's permission.
Posted in Chicago Global, Opinion