Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More about the Harlan shooting

This was posted at Chicago Breaking News last night but I didn't see this until I checked out the EveryBlock feed this morning so here's a little more:
A 17-year-old boy was grazed in the head by a bullet in a shooting on Chicago's South Side this afternoon, officials said.

At about 3:30 p.m., police were called out to the crime scene near  95th Street and Wabash Avenue, said Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.
It is unclear of the young man was actually a student at Harlan according to Mirabelli.

Grazed in the head, if this kid is in trouble I hope that dangerous moment will cause him to turn his life around!


  1. I would like to suggest that the alderman send out e-mail blasts whereever there is a shooting near a school. Parents and students would appreciate the information, I'm sure. We can't continue dreaming that schools are safe.

  2. The shootings around schools are a very troubling problem. As an example, we have changed our Ward and nearby schools to a universal dismissal time, instead of staggered dismissals as they had when we were in school, all of the classes (not extracurricular activities) dismiss for the day at the same time. We stopped the band and cheerleaders from accompanying the team to away games some time ago and now have ceased having any non school spectators present. We have metal detectors in the schools and dozens of anti-violence seminars, speakers, mentors, and programs throughout the year. We've had CTA stage buses at the bus stop so when the students exit the building, they can quickly get on a bus and head home.

    At dimsissal time at Harlan, the school officers are in the car or on foot monitoring the children. There are 2-4 additional marked and unmarked Police cars driving the perimeter trying to anticipate a fight about to erupt to prevent any incidents. Park district staff helps keep the students flowing away from the school and school security officers patrol the inside of the building pushing kids out and the outside, again directing them to the buses. At 95th & State because we have so many school children converging on that station to take trains, we have additional CTA police and Chicago Police Officers. We have an agreement (which is not always honored) with the gas stations that they will keep their doors locked for 1 hour at dismissal time, to prevent our kids from milling around and others from hanging there waiting for the students to get out of school. We've installed 2 additional cameras along that corridor and of course the schools have metal detectors. So what happened this week? A young man who was walking home westbound on 95th St. was shot when some young people from 103rd drove up to 95th St. to finish some nonsense that had started over the weekend. Reports after the incident from Corliss indicate that at one point 60 kids were seen walking towards Harlan. No one bothered to call the police when they saw a moving mob, however. Ironically a police car had just driven that block and was turning around for another pass when it occurred.

    From what I understand most of the incidents involving shootings at our schools occur when non-students looking for trouble drive to the schools because that's where unarmed targets can be found in large numbers, at the schools at dismisal time. So we are trying everything we can think of but we simply have no way to get the guns from the gang bangers. Any ideas on this would be greatly appreciated.

    We hold monthly safety meetings at Harlan (with CTA, CPD, CPS and Chicago State Police)and Robeson. The other schools do the same. In March we're having an area meeting with CPD, CTA, the Principals, the safety officers at the schools and others to look at regional solutions. We've closed streets near the elementary schools at dismissal, but how do you close 95th Street? Some have suggested creating a new law that says you can't loiter near a school during the morning and dismissal hours, but that has some constitutional questions to be resolved and it doesn't stop the drivers. We can't search every car that drives near the school i.e. 95th St for Harlan and 69th St. for Robeson, so the only solution is to get the guns. If people think an email blast is necessary I will certainly do so, but the transformation of public housing and Renaissance 2010 (closing Calumet,Englewood and others and sending their students across the City to other high schools) have sent kids to schools that are miles from their homes, so most of the children attending Robeson and Harlan are not residents of the 6th Ward. The young man who got shot lived in the 21st Ward for example. But I'm here and I'm listening and I am seriously concerned about the safety of all our children. Feel free to contact me through this blog or at with your suggestions.


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