Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Summer Jobs Reduce Violence among Disadvantaged Youth

This  is  the  author's  version  of the  work. It is  posted  here  by permission  of the  AAAS  for personal  use, not for  redistribution. The  definitive  version  was  published  in  Science Magazine, Vol 346, 5 December 2014.  Summer Jobs  Reduce Violence  among  Disadvantaged  Youth Authors:   Sara  B. Heller1* Affiliations: 1  University of  Pennsylvania  and University of  Chicago Crime  Lab. *Correspondence to:  Sara Heller, Abstract:   Every day, acts  of  violence  injure  over 6,000 people  in the  U.S. Despite  decades  of  social  science arguing that  joblessness  among disadvantaged youth is  a  key cause  of  violent  offending, programs  to remedy youth unemployment  do not  consistently reduce  delinquency. This  study tests  whether summer jobs, which shift  focus  from  remediation to prevention,  can reduce  crime. In a  randomized controlled trial  among  1,634  disadvantaged high school  youth in Chicago, assignment  to  a  summer jobs  program  decreases  violence  by  43  percent  over 16 months  (3.95 fewer  violent-crime  arrests  per 100 youth). The  decline  occurs  largely after the  8-week intervention ends. The  results  suggest  the  promise  of  using  low-cost, well-targeted programs  to generate meaningful behavioral change, even with a problem as complex as youth violence. One  Sentence  Summary:  A  Chicago summer jobs  program  for disadvantaged high school students reduces youth violence by 43 percent over 16 months.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why poor white Americans are dying of despair

I thought you would be interested in this article I found on MSN from The Week:

Why poor white Americans are dying of despair

Source - The Week

Poor white Americans are dying of despair. And racism is to blame. A recent social science paper found that middle-aged non-Hispanic white Americans (age 45-54) experienced a large increase in total mortality between 1998 and 2013.

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THE WATCHDOGS: A third of Chicago city workers make $100k or more





THE WATCHDOGS: A third of Chicago city workers make $100k or more


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Nearly one out of every three workers on the city of Chicago payroll made $100,000 or more last year — a far higher percentage of six-figure employees than in state or Cook County government. 

That's according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis that for the first time combines city workers' salaries, overtime and other extra pay.

Twenty-six city workers drew paychecks that eclipsed Mayor Rahm Emanuel's pay of $216,210, the analysis found. They included a police detective, two fire department ambulance commanders and two water department operating engineers.

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And 152 workers more than doubled their base pay through OT and a wide range of pay incentives — including "specialty pay" in the fire department and "baby furlough day" buybacks for police.

Altogether, city taxpayers paid $2.93 billion in 2014 to 35,761 city government employees, from lawyers and librarians to part-time crossing guards and student interns, according to records that Emanuel's administration refused for months to release.

A sizable chunk of that money — $256.1 million — was for "other" pay, according to the data City Hall eventually provided to the Sun-Times in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. That includes retroactive raises, duty-availability pay, uniform allowances, holiday pay, end-of-career compensatory time payouts and shift differentials.

Ninety-six percent of that "other" pay went to police and fire employees — the city's two largest groups of workers.

On top of that, the city spent $240.8 million on overtime. Police and fire personnel collected 67 percent of that OT. Ten employees made more than $100,000 apiece in overtime: four police officers, three water department operating engineers, two emergency call operators and a fire captain.

Emanuel posts city salary and overtime data separately on a city website. But when the Sun-Times sought the total amounts paid to all city workers, his administration refused, eventually agreeing to release the information only after the newspaper appealed to the Illinois attorney general's office, which helps enforce the state's open-records law.

Last month, Emanuel muscled a 2016 budget through the Chicago City Council that includes a $543 million property-tax increase to help shore up the city's severely underfunded police and fire pension funds. By a 35-15 vote, aldermen also approved a new, $9.50-per-household garbage-collection fee to bring in about $62 million, as well as a separate, $45 million property-tax hike to be transferred to the financially struggling Chicago Public Schools.

The benefits and overtime given to city employees — 90 percent of them represented by unions — are mainly the result of labor contracts that have been negotiated over a span of decades. The rationale has been that the workers should be compensated for their unusual schedules and the dangers many of them face.

City Hall requires police officers, firefighters and emergency communications operators to work nights, weekends and holidays. Streets and sanitation and water department employees get called in to work when, say, a snowstorm hits or a water main breaks.

Last year's brutal winter was a key reason that water department workers averaged $11,245 apiece in overtime, second only to fire department employees, who made an average of $11,488 in overtime. Streets and San workers averaged $5,930 apiece in OT.

Overtime isn't counted toward any city worker's pension.

Emanuel's staff says overtime offers taxpayers a better deal than hiring more employees, especially police officers.

Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a non-partisan tax policy and government research organization, is skeptical.

Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. | Rich Hein / Sun-Times file photo

"In light of the severe financial stress the city is under — and in light of the [Illinois] Supreme Court ruling that severely limits any changes to existing employees' or retirees' pensions — it is imperative the city's management look at overtime, look at extra pay and see how much of that could be eliminated through sufficient staffing and management," says Msall.

The Sun-Times' examination of city government pay shows that hundreds of city employees worked long hours, got special training and took advantage of some of the provisions in their contracts to pull down paychecks more lucrative than those of Emanuel's top managers. Among the findings:

• A total of 11,284 city workers made $100,000 or more last year, amounting to 32 percent of the payroll. In state government, 11 percent of employees made in the six figures, records show. In the Cook County government and medical system, that figure was 12 percent.

• The median pay for city employees was $86,102, compared to $60,878 for state government workers and $63,355 for Cook County government and medical system workers. The average pay for city workers was $81,964, compared to $58,284 for state employees and $67,066 for county employees.

Molly Poppe, a spokeswoman for the city's budget office, says the higher number of public safety workers on the city payroll explains those gaps.

"While the city's public safety personnel are compensated at a level commensurate with the vital role they serve . . . the city's remaining staff — 40 percent of the workforce — is paid at a similar level to county and state employees serving in non-public safety roles," Poppe says. "Further, the city salaries are reflective of the higher cost of living in Chicago."

• Sixty-one city employees — including the mayor and police Supt. Garry McCarthy — made $200,000 or more. Another 11,223 workers made $100,000 to $199,999.

(Breakdowns of some workers' pay are at the end of this story. To search the city data, see below.)

Click on the image to see the pay of all 35,761 city government workers.

• The 5,569 people who drew paychecks in the fire department, from battalion chiefs to firefighters and emergency medical technicians to clerical staff, were paid an average of $111,139 — the most of any city department. Building department employees ranked second, at $88,870. Police employees were third, at $88,040.

• The police department allows officers to accumulate compensatory time, which they can cash out when they leave the department. Five officers retired, each collecting between $105,105 and $162,739 mostly by cashing in comp time accumulated over decades.

• Unlike beat cops and detectives, police supervisors can cash in 200 hours of comp time a year, which allowed several top cops to boost their pay by about $11,000 apiece. Those supervisors also were paid about $9,000 each in "supervisors' quarterly OT."

• Police officers get between 20 and 25 vacation days a year, depending on their years of service. They also get between three and six "baby furlough days" — extra vacation time that has nothing to do with babies. The city pays officers who don't use those extra days, with some who cashed them in collecting more than $2,800 each. In 2011, the most recent for which figures were available, baby-furlough pay cost taxpayers nearly $7 million.

• City Hall spent $21.7 million on holiday pay — $17.5 million to firefighters and another $4.2 million to police officers. Cops and firefighters get 13 paid holidays a year — one more than other city workers get. Firefighters get extra pay for working holidays; police officers get a mix of pay and comp time.

"Daley days" are a benefit that dates to the City Hall tenure of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. | Sun-Times file photo

• Every month, 3,856 firefighters get two "Daley days" under a program begun in the late 1960s under Mayor Richard J. Daley to reduce the number of hours firefighters work. Those firefighters typically work eight 24-hour shifts a month, which averages 44 hours a week. Without Daley days, they'd work 10 shifts a month, or 55 hours a week. Firefighters summoned to work on their Daley day get overtime. If that Daley day comes on a holiday, they get 60 hours of pay for their 24-hour shift.

• Police officers and firefighters who have special training get paid for that expertise — a total of more than $40 million in 2014. Cops get extra pay when they're detailed to work for the Chicago Housing Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority or special traffic details — with those agencies or the state reimbursing the city. Firefighters get specialty pay for working as divers and for having hazardous-materials certifications, among other things.

• The city paid police officers $36.8 million and firefighters $14.6 million in duty-availability pay — compensation for the city's ability to call them in to work at any time.

After succeeding Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2011, Emanuel began negotiating with the city's public safety unions, whose contracts expired the following year. In 2014, the mayor inked five-year deals with the largest of those unions — the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 and the Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 — awarding them 11 percent raises over five years retroactive to July 1, 2012. Both deals expire on June 30, 2017.

The firefighters' union ended up endorsing Emanuel's re-election. The police union didn't.

"This was the second-smallest wage package in more than 30 years of formal collective bargaining for police and fire," says Poppe, who points out that City Hall has increased the wait time for new police officers to become eligible for duty-availability pay from one year to three and a half years.

Dean Angelo, Fraternal Order of Police president. | Sun-Times file photo

Dean Angelo, the president of FOP Lodge No. 7, defends the benefits police officers get, noting that high six-figure pay for cops isn't the norm.

"When it's one person earning $200,000 or more . . . I think it demonstrates the need for more bodies," Angelo says. "If you're earning that much, you're working a lot. I don't think it's a good thing for the individuals, their families or a good thing for the department."

Firefighters' union president Tom Ryan says taxpayers are "absolutely" getting "their money's worth" under his union's latest deal. Some ambulance crews, he says, are doing as many as 20 runs a day, and firefighters have to deal with a wide range of potential hazardous-materials disasters given Chicago's position as a transportation hub.

"We don't just go to fires any more," Ryan says. "When people are having the worst days of their lives, they call us, and we're there. . . . You've got the best damned fire department in the country."

Contributing: Data Reporting Lab editor Darnell Little


A look at some of Chicago's top-paid city employees last year, where the mayor ranks and other highlights of the Sun-Times' findings, with the highest-paid workers listed first along with how they rank overall in terms of total pay:

No. 1 — Lupe Pena, 25th District police commander (died in October 2014): $292,484

Salary: $104,575 before his death at 51

Overtime: $862

Other: $187,047 mostly for unused compensatory time paid to his family

No. 2 — Gary J. Basile, Fire Department captain: $286,453

Salary: $118,854 through Nov. 30, 2014, when he retired and began collecting a $93,381 a year pension

Overtime: $122,066

Other: $45,533, including $12,329 in specialty pay, $18,098 in retroactive pay, $8,503 in holiday pay and $3,270 for duty availability

 No. 3 — Garry F. McCarthy, police superintendent: $260,004

No overtime or other pay

No. 5 — David J. Ryan, police forensic investigator: $241,568

Salary: $103,503

Overtime: $79,846

Other: $58,219, including $49,060 for Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Transit Authority special employment, $3,220 for duty availability and $2,376 for cashing in baby furlough days

No. 6 — Brian J. McLaughlin, Fire Department captain: $240,731

Salary: $124,225

Overtime: $75,919

Other: $40,587, including $16,605 in retroactive pay, $12,329 in specialty pay, $5,500 in holiday pay and $3,270 for duty availability

No. 11 — William P. Marshall, Water Department assistant chief operating engineer: $229,409

Salary: $107,582

Overtime: $115,188

Other: $6,639

No. 17 — Salvador E. Avila, police lieutenant: $221,140

Salary: $117,072

Overtime: $39,862

Other: $64,206, including $33,715 for "saturation" and "roadside" special employment, $13,261 in retroactive pay, $7,038 in supervisors' quarterly overtime and $4,525 for cashing in comp time

No. 18 — Kevin E. Nitsche, Fire Department lieutenant-EMT: $220,745

Salary: $110,625

Overtime: $73,305

Other: $36,815, including $14,514 in retroactive pay, $10,979 in specialty pay, $4,898 in holiday pay, $3,270 for duty availability and $1,454 for continuing education

No. 23 — Edward W. Heerdt, police detective: $218,194

Salary: $87,818

Overtime: $109,560

Other: $20,816, including $11,004 for Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Transit Authority special employment, $3,220 for duty availability and $2,016 for cashing in baby furlough days

No. 24 — Daniel A. Kolakowski, Water Department assistant chief operating engineer: $217,068

Salary: $109,607

Overtime: $105,042

Other: $2,419

No. 27 — Mayor Rahm Emanuel: $216,210

No overtime or other pay

No. 29 — David J. Doggett, Fire Department chief helicopter pilot/EMT: $214,484

Salary: $131,981

Overtime: $44,363

Other: $38,140

No. 78 — Lisa Y. Jamison, OEMC police communications operator: $194,520

Salary: $80,086

Overtime: $113,934

Other: $500

No. 190 — Scott F. Slavin, police sergeant: $180,707

Salary: $105,609

Overtime: $18,734

Other: $56,364, including $14,658 for "saturation" and "roadside" special employment, $10,179 for cashing in comp time, $8,698 in retroactive pay, $6,001 for supervisors' quarterly overtime, $3,220 for duty availability, $2,443 for cashing in personal days and $1,629 for cashing in baby furlough days

No. 300 — Homero Padilla, Water Department plumber: $175,745

Salary: $96,728

Overtime: $78,885

Other: $132

No. 325 — Lisa P. Schrader, mayoral chief of staff: $174,996

No overtime or other pay. Schrader left the administration this year

No. 575 — Thomas Czerniak, firefighter: $167,538

Salary: $82,389 through Nov. 13, 2014, when he retired and began collecting a $68,686 a year pension

Overtime: $25,768

Other: $59,381, including $32,529 for cashing in unused vacation time, $10,890 in retroactive pay, $4,433 in specialty pay, $3,955 in holiday pay and $3,840 for duty availability

No. 582 — Russell B. Modjeski, OEMC police communications operator: $167,313

Salary: $66,215

Overtime: $100,598

Other: $500

No. 1,045 — Mark W. Rashin, Water Department hoisting engineer: $157,837

Salary: $97,193

Overtime: $60,644

No. 1,293 — Rebekah C.M. Scheinfeld, transportation commissioner: $153,609

No overtime or other pay

No. 2,307 — Roberto J. Abreu, Transportation Department traffic signal repairman: $141,023

Salary: $94,480

Overtime: $44,903

Other: $1,640

No. 2,602 — Nicholas A. Tassone, Water Department construction laborer: $137,927

Salary: $78,224

Overtime: $59,703

No. 3,383 — Michael J. Mancari, Streets & Sanitation supervisor of lot cleaning services: $131,665

Salary: $119,471

Overtime: $12,194

No. 3,551 — Stephen McNamara, Aviation Department foreman of electrical mechanics: $130,511

Salary: $96,797

Overtime: $33,618

Other: $96

No. 17,881 — (median city pay) Shannon S. Hodrick, Water Department construction laborer: $86,102

Salary: $78,141

Overtime: $7,961

Friday, November 6, 2015 Video: President Obama interviews David Simon, creator of the great US series “The Wire”

Video: President Obama interviews David Simon, creator of the great US series "The Wire"

Video: President Obama interviews David Simon, creator of the great US series "The Wire" The Wire's famous chess scene was a metaphor for both the drug trade and urban politics in general. , widely considered the greatest American television show ever, in which I learned more about urban politics, crime, and public health than I did in other courses actually devoted to those subjects. US president Barack Obama, clearly a fan of the HBO show, apparently sees it as a similarly useful paradigm ..."the-wire"-tv-tv-series-television-war-on-drugs-the-wire-urban-politics-urban-crime.html

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With violence, education at crisis, Chicago Urban League to focus on youth


With violence, education at crisis, Chicago Urban League to focus on youth


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File Photo.

With its 2016 centennial just around the corner, the Chicago Urban League is ramping up its focus on youth issues in a city where rampant violence claims young lives daily and public dollars for education continue to dry up.

That's the theme at this year's 54th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner expected to draw 1,500 of the city's movers and shakers to the Hilton Chicago Saturday night, for an event annually scrutinizing the state of black Chicago and League efforts to address challenges.

"We have made it our business, since 1916, to reach, teach, mentor and inspire young people," says Interim President/CEO Shari Runner. "We do this with the knowledge that building on the victories of the past requires that we make a significant investment in our future. Today, that investment is needed now more than ever."

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"We continue to work with law enforcement and community stakeholders to enhance the safety of our neighborhoods and to develop a police force that reflects and respects our communities. We continue to fight for a fair and equitable state funding formula that allows our schools to offer all children access to computers, art, music, and athletics, at a minimum," she says.

"Every day I spend at the Chicago Urban League, I am reminded of something that you don't see enough of in the media: There are thousands of young people who want to succeed. They just lack a pathway to get there. We all have a role to play to create those pathways," adds Runner.

Runner took over from former chief Andrea Zopp, credited with exponentially expanding League programming and collaborations during her tenure. Zopp stepped down in May to run for the U.S. Senate in the March 2016 primary against Tammy Duckworth, and a nationwide search for a new figurehead continues.

Shari Runner. Provided Photo.

Runner says the work of the historic civil rights organization and others like it that advocate for the black community — in the League's case, through education, economic development and social justice programs — remains critical, with racial disparities still rampant in 2015.

"Six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, too many of our schools remain underfunded and unable to provide a quality education to our children. Fifty years after the Voting Rights Act, access to the ballot is under attack across the country," she says. "And 52 years after the Civil Rights Act, disturbing videos of law enforcement officers using excessive or deadly force with a person of color have become part of the daily news."

The two Chicagoans receiving this year's coveted Edwin C. "Bill" Berry Civil Rights Award — named for the civil rights activist who steered the league from 1956-1970, and convinced Martin Luther King to come to Chicago in 1966 — are steeped in chronicling history.

Timuel Black a 96-year-old educator, author, political and civil-rights activist and griot of Chicago's black community, worked alongside King in the 60s and was heavily involved in King's Chicago Freedom Movement. As president of the Chicago chapter of A. Phillip Randolph's Negro American Labor Council, Black spearheaded Chicago's participation in the 1963 March on Washington.

Timuel Black. Provided Photo.

Black's grandparents were slaves, his parents sharecroppers who came to Chicago in the Great Migration that Wilkerson's "Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" covers in 545 critically acclaimed pages.

Wilkerson, the first black woman ever to win the Pulitzer in journalism, chronicled the 55-year phenomenon during which some 6 million blacks left the South for the North and West in a book picked up by Hollywood writer/producer Shonda Rhimes for development into a multiple-part TV series.

Isabel Wilkerson. Provided Photo.

"The Chicago Urban League has uplifted and inspired generations of people since 1916. Just as we were there for the children who arrived here from the Jim Crow South in 1916, we will be here for young people who need us in 2016 and beyond," says Runner.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Father of slain boy believes son targeted but denies connection to slaying - Chicago Tribune

News  Local news  Breaking News

Father of slain boy believes son targeted but denies connection to slaying

Tyshawn Lee, 9, was killed in a shooting at 4:15 p.m. Monday in the 8000 block of South Damen Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood. Police said the child was shot in the head and back.

Jeremy GornerDawn Rhodes and Peter NickeasContact ReportersChicago Tribune

Father denies connection to slaying of son, 9

Chicago police are looking into whether a 9-year-old boy was killed in retaliation for his father's alleged role in a gang rivalry that resulted in at least two recent slayings on the South Side and the wounding of a reputed gang member's mother, law enforcement sources have told the Tribune.

But while the father of Tyshawn Lee said he believes his son was targeted, he denied anyone had reason to kill the boy in order to retaliate against him.



In an interview Tuesday night with the Tribune, Pierre Stokes denied anyone would have a motive to kill him, but if they did, there was no reason to take it out on his son because he's out in public in the neighborhood all the time. If anyone wanted to harm him, they could find the opportunity, he said.

"I'm not hard to find," Stokes said.

Tyshawn was on his way to his grandmother's home from Scott Joplin Elementary School when he was shot multiple times Monday afternoon, police said. A basketball he always carried with him was found nearby.

The Tribune, quoting law enforcement sources, reported online Tuesday that police are looking into whether Tyshawn was killed in retaliation for recent gang shootings. Just days apart in October, two reputed members of rival gangs were shot on the South Side, one fatally. A female companion also was killed in one of the shootings and the mother of a reputed gang member was wounded.

CAPTIONFather of slain boy believes son targeted

Father of slain boy believes son targeted

Tyshawn Lee's slaying an 'execution'

Community leaders speak against violence that killed 9-year-old South Side boy

Emanuel on shooting of Tyshawn Lee and Kaylyn Pryor

Tyshawn's mother asks for help

Police are investigating if Tyshawn may have been shot in retaliation for the slaying of Tracey Morgan, a 25-year-old parolee, because of his father's alleged gang ties.

Stokes did not talk specifically about whether he was a gang member but said he disagreed with what police have said about him. He also expressed frustration with Chicago police, saying investigators seem more interested in him than in finding who fatally shot Tyshawn.

"They're more worried about me. Why are you worried about me, not the killer?" Stokes, 25, said outside his residence in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. "I'm not the killer. Worry about the killer."

But Stokes said he felt guilty that he was not at his son's side when he walked to his grandmother's house.

"To be honest, I feel bad," he said. "I feel like it's my fault."

Stokes said his son, who lived with his mother, didn't go trick-or-treating on Halloween because of the recent violence in the neighborhood. Instead, Stokes said, he bought his son candy from a Family Dollar store.

Karla Lee talks about her son Tyshawn Lee, 9, who was fatally shot in the Gresham neighborhood Nov. 2, 2015, in Chicago. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

"I didn't want to risk it," he said.

On Monday night, Chief of Detectives Dean Andrews said he could not rule out that the boy had been targeted. Law enforcement sources said Tuesday that Tyshawn may be the latest victim of a violent gang feud.

Tracey Morgan, a 25-year-old parolee, was fatally shot Oct. 13 after leaving a "gang call-in" meeting, an anti-violence effort by Chicago police and other law enforcement. His mother, who was also in the vehicle, was wounded by the gunfire. Police were investigating if Morgan, a reputed member of the Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones, was followed by a rival gang member who also attended the meeting in a Chatham church.

Five days later, a member of the rival Killa Ward faction of Gangster Disciples was wounded in a shooting near 78th and Honore streets in Auburn-Gresham that also left 19-year-old Brianna Jenkins dead, according to police.

Even with the level of violence Chicago is experiencing this year — homicides and shootings are both up 18 percent through Oct. 25 compared with a year earlier — it is rare for young children to be targeted by gangs. Police said a gang member fatally shot 9-year-old Antonio Smith Jr. in a Greater Grand Crossing backyard in August 2014 after thinking the boy had shouted a warning to gang rivals.

In other cases, children have been the innocent victims of violence intended for a relative targeted by gang rivals. Police said 7-year-old Amari Brown was fatally shot at a Fourth of July celebration this year in an apparent attack on his father, a reputed ranking gang member.

Aliyah Shell, 6, was fatally shot in March 2012 as she sat in her mother's lap on the front porch of their Little Village home when reputed Latin King gang members opened fire on the home because a rival Two-Six gang member lived there. In June 2009, Chastity Turner, 9, was washing her pit bull outside the Englewood home of her father, an admitted Gangster Disciple, when rivals from a faction opened fire and killed her.

At a vigil Tuesday afternoon for Tyshawn, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, the activist pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church, said "street codes" have changed from when gangbangers had an understanding that killing a rival's mother, grandmother or child was off-limits.

"What kind of an individual shoots bullets into a 9-year-old baby ... multiple shots?" Pfleger said while flanked by other clergy, anti-violence activists and community members. "That's not a drive-by. That's not a spray of bullets. That's not an accidental shooting. That is an execution."

At a later news conference outside Area South police headquarters, Tyshawn's sobbing mother, Karla Lee, clutched a photo of the beaming fourth-grader in her left hand and a football under her right arm as she begged for anyone with information about her son's killing to come forward.

"Please find whoever did this to my baby," she said. "I love my son. He was supposed to play ball. That's all he did, play ball and play his video games. He never hurt nobody. I don't know why this happened. If anyone knows anything, please, please."

"Please put the guns down," Lee said. "It's taking too many young lives. I'm only 26. This is my only baby."

By Tuesday afternoon, reward money had climbed to $20,000 for information leading to Tyshawn's killer, according to Dawn Valenti, a crisis responder who is assisting the family.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said anyone with information on the shocking slaying of a child so young had "a moral responsibility" to come forward.

"I believe fundamentally in the goodness of human nature, but there is evil in the world," Emanuel told reporters at a hotel groundbreaking near Midway Airport. "And whoever did this, there is a special place for them. I hope they never see freedom. I hope they never see daylight.

"This person is not an individual. They're not a human being. Because when you do what you've done to a 9-year-old, there's a place for you, and there is no humanity in that place."

An autopsy Tuesday determined that Tyshawn had indeed died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

At the scene of the shooting Tuesday morning, three men gathered to clear a proper place for a makeshift memorial for the boy. They scraped away weeds and trash from a small slab of dirt next to a garage in the middle of the alley in the 8000 block of South Damen Avenue.

They laid down three stuffed animals, a small Bible, a bouquet of flowers wrapped in pink paper and a basketball still in its package.

"I woke up this morning and it was just something weighing heavy on my heart," said Antwan Burns-Jones from the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood. "I just had to do something."

"When I saw what happened, I couldn't even eat," said David Lee, also of Auburn-Gresham, who is not related to the boy's family. "It's just disgusting for them to kill a child in the street."

Burns-Jones, Lee and another friend, William Moore, stood at the site for more than an hour, trying to understand how a boy close to the age of their own children could have been so coldly gunned down steps away from his home.

"It could have been my son," said Moore, of the Kenwood neighborhood. "It's a child. That's really what should wake Chicago up. It makes it even more disheartening. I've been to Iraq, I've been to Afghanistan and stuff like this still affects me."

Blood spattered the pavement between the mouth of the alley on 80th Street and the midpoint of the alley near a garage. The smudges of dark red trailed from the middle to the left side, then right to where a scrap of red crime scene tape remained.

"I wish I had something to clean that up because he doesn't deserve to be out here like that," Burns-Jones said.

Nearby, Frank Graham walked alone up and down Damen Avenue, holding white signs with messages in black lettering, urging community members to rally and find Tyshawn's killer.

"Get off your couch and get involved," one sign read. Another said: "Don't criticize. Help us fix it."

"All I see out here right now are cops and reporters," said Graham, 25. "That's crazy. It makes me wonder do black lives really matter? Do we care enough about our own lives enough to stop what's going on in our communities?"

Graham, who said he has nieces and nephews about Tyshawn's age, said he took the day off from work to demonstrate, feeling it wasn't enough to simply share stories of Tyshawn through social media.

"There's only so many times you can see this on the news and just go about your day like nothing ever happened," he said.

At the vigil Tuesday afternoon, Annette Nance-Holt, whose son Blair Holt was fatally shot on the Far South Side in 2007, said all of Chicago needs to be angry about what happened to Tyshawn, not just people in the immediate neighborhood.

"We have to take back this community one by one," she said. "We're going to have to take each block back."

For others at the vigil, the slaying of such a young child brought back their own trauma.

"It's like PTSD," said Johneece Cobb, whose nephew, Edwin Cook, was shot to death in January in the West Englewood neighborhood. "I can't see it without reliving it. The minute I heard about (Tyshawn) I just started shaking and crying."

Edward Ash, who lives in the row of single-family homes along Damen just across from Tyshawn's street, said his grandson heard on the bus that a woman was shot to death. Ash had to tell him that, in fact, the victim was a little boy younger than he was.

"All I can do is continue warning him to be careful and don't fool around. Just keep walking," said Ash, 84, sitting on the stoop outside his home. "I hope he'll listen."

More than 100 people showed up late Tuesday for the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy or CAPS gathering after the Chicago Police Department held a press conference steps away from where Tyshawn was gunned down, urging the community to get involved.

"What we are doing today is called an 'Operation: Wake Up,'" said Glenn Brooks, area CAPS coordinator. "Now, we don't do these things every day. We do these things when someone has crossed that line in the community that should never be crossed."

Sheronda Nicholson, 41 was there with her son and said she hoped the community will learn to speak up.

"Start being a parent," she said. "Talk to your children."

Nicholson said that parents need to know what their kids are doing and teach them right from wrong.

"Too many parents are letting the streets raise their children and that is the main reason why there's so much lives lost," Nicholson said. "We can't blame the police at all. It has to start at home. If they're doing their job at home, it would make it a lot easier on the police. A lot of these kids don't have guidance, they don't have their fathers, and their mothers not doing nothing."

Chicago Tribune's Grace Wong, Carlos Sadovi and Alexandra Chachkevitch contributed.


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Homicide Crime Law Enforcement Michael Pfleger Chicago Police Department