More than 70 shot, at least 12 killed in Fourth of July weekend Chicago shootings; WVON radio calls for peace

July 8, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Since the start of the long weekend Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reports gunfire across the city left at least 12 people dead and 74 wounded.

WVON radio hosts reached out to Chicago listeners Monday morning and called for police to be more proactive, but they also put the blame on city residents.

"Start raising your kids. You can't blame [Chicago Police Supt.] Mr. McCarthy because you raised a fool," said WVON's Perri Small. "There's got to be some better parenting out here."

While he didn't specifically blame parents for the violent weekend, Supt. Garry McCarthy says there are ways that residents can help reduce crime. McCarthy says new technology will allow the department's community police program to share information, such as crime alerts, with residents on Twitter. In addition, neighbors can also send pictures of a crime directly to 911.

"This will help our responding officers to understand and actually have eyes on the ground to the incidents that they are responding to," said Supt. Garry McCarthy.

"I think CPD is desperate, they are into public relations rather than good police. Unfortunately, PR is not going to stop shooting in Chicago," said Phillip Jackson, Black Star Project.

Phillip Jackson, with the anti-violence group the Black Star Project, says there is no immediate police solution. Jackson says stopping violence is about changing human behavior, which he says is a long term investment.

"I only blame police for pretending they can stop shootings, when really they can't. Families can stop crime," said Jackson.

Community activist Wallace "Gator" Bradley also joined radio hosts in asking gang members to call a truce in order to protect children like 5-year-old Jaden Donald, who was recovering Monday from a serious gunshot wound after being caught in gang crossfire while watching Fourth of July fireworks at a South Side park.

Darrell Chambers, 24, is charged in the shooting. A judge denied bail for Chambers, who is facing three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

"WVON is putting this on our backs. We're going to take our part in being responsible for trying to reduce the crime in the community," radio personality Matt McGill said.

WVON made a similar call for peace in 1992 after 7-year-old Dantrel Davis was shot and killed by gang gunfire. Davis' mother, Anette Freeman, called into the WVON radio show Monday morning.

"I am in the community because I still have baby cousins, nephews and families out there. Just because my only son is dead does not mean I don't still have children," Freeman said.

"What we have going on in Chicago right now is a bunch of people that feel disconnected from authority and community," McGill said. "Hopefully, WVON will be the cohesive unit to bring the bad and good kids together and, hopefully, stop all of the violence."

Despite the spike in violence over the weekend, police say so far this year, there have been 202 homicides, which is down from 275 for the same time last year.

That, however, does not mean people feel any safer.

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