More young people are killed in Chicago than any other American city

By: Kari Lydersen and Carlos Javier Ortiz
By: 
Kari Lydersen and Carlos Javier Ortiz

Since 2008, more than 530 youth have been killed in Chicago with nearly 80 percent of the homicides occurring in 22 African-American or Latino community areas on the city’s South, Southwest and West sides.

“Pour out your heart like water

For the lives of your children

Let justice roll down like waters

Righteousness like an everflowing stream.”

So sang a soaring chorus of voices—young and old—inside Hyde Park Union Church on Nov. 6. The songs were interrupted by a somber litany of names: Chicago youth killed since the school year started in 2008. The event was called “Urban Dolorosa,” a commemoration held at five different churches around Chicago in November casting the Biblical mourning of Mary for her son in the context of contemporary youth violence.

The scene is a painful and all-too-familiar reminder of the youth violence epidemic that has gripped Chicago, the home of more youth homicides than any other American city. Chicago has a homicide rate more than double those of New York City and Los Angeles.

“Pour out your heart like water

For the lives of your children

Let justice roll down like waters

Righteousness like an everflowing stream.”

So sang a soaring chorus of voices—young and old—inside Hyde Park Union Church on Nov. 6. The songs were interrupted by a somber litany of names: Chicago youth killed since the school year started in 2008. The event was called “Urban Dolorosa,” a commemoration held at five different churches around Chicago in November casting the Biblical mourning of Mary for her son in the context of contemporary youth violence.

The scene is a painful and all-too-familiar reminder of the youth violence epidemic that has gripped Chicago, the home of more youth homicides than any other American city. Chicago has a homicide rate more than double those of New York City and Los Angeles.

In Chicago, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed since 2008 and many more have been shot or have otherwise suffered violence—often at the hands of their peers and particularly in the city’s African-American and Latino communities. Nearly 80 percent of youth homicides occurred in 22 black or Latino communities on the city’s South, Southwest and West sides—even though just one-third of the city’s population resided in those communities. The rate of youth homicide in West Englewood on the city’s South Side, for instance, was nearly five times higher than the citywide mark.

Read more at chicagoreporter.com