by Jaylah Roberts-Coleman
As of right now, 467 people have been shot in Chicago, and of those 467 people 102 of them died. Chicago is already known as the “murder capital”; being a Chicago resident, on the south side, I hear police and ambulance sirens daily. It’s sad to say that everybody I know, on a personal level, knows or is related to someone who was shot, and even killed, including myself.
Memorial Day weekend of 2012 changed my life forever, and still haunts me today. It was a warm sunday and my stepdad decided to barbeque and invite family and friends over. When my grandfather arrived he asked if my mother had heard from our cousin Tasha. He also said “You know Jaylin got shot last night right?” Jaylin was Tasha’s son name, and he had come home for summer break from college. As my mother called Tasha panicking, she immediately said, “Jaylah we gotta go.”
Not knowing if he was okay or not, me and my grandfather hopped in the car and left with her. As we drove to the hospital, so many thoughts ran through my mind. And when we arrived, the tone of the waiting room assured my thoughts were on point. When we walked in, everyone looked like they were worried and not too optimistic. When Tasha and my mom said I couldn’t go back to the room to see him that it was serious. I knew nothing good was coming out of this situation.
Jaylin was shot leaving his friends house; him and three of his other friends were walking down the porch steps when someone drove by and shot at them. As he tried to duck, he actually got shot in the head, and one of his friends was shot in two different place. Jaylin died two days later. He was one of the 40+ people shot, and 11 people who died that weekend. This is just like the recent shooting in West Englewood, where the three year old boy was shot while playing outside with a male relative. In both instances, they were minding their business and just trying to enjoy their day.
According to Chicago Police Spokesman Jose Estrada, the boy [whose name has not been revealed] was standing on the sidewalk in the 5600 block of South Wolcott Avenue at 3 p.m. Saturday when someone fired shots, hitting the boy in his right leg. Of course, the police don’t believe he was the intended target, which is still unknown. The violence is becoming more and more senseless by the day. The young boys neighbor says that kids has “grown used to violence”, which I believe to be true, as a young woman in Chicago.
Another incident, in February, that caught my attention was a young man being shot and killed at a party in the Chatham neighborhood. There are two reasons this stood out to me. For one, I live in Chatham, and there were a lot of police driving past the close main street by my house. The second reason it stood out to me is because it happened at a party. No one goes to a party thinking that they are going to get shot. You go to enjoy yourself, and the fact that you can’t even party in peace is crazy to me.
The real crazy thing is that as I’m writing this column, I hear sirens outside my window. Chicago, Chicago, I hope for peace one day.