Video of the beating death of Derrion Albert: Warning – graphic violence
Community organizing has not stopped Chicago’s teen violence epidemic. The Olympics will not solve this long-festering problem, either.
The family of Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old fatally beaten Thursday in an after-school mob melee in Roseland, struggled Friday to understand how their honor roll student’s life could have ended in such violence.
“Derrion has never been in a fight in his life,” said Joe Walker, Derrion’s grandfather who raised him. “He never raised his voice. Not in 16 years have I had one day of trouble.”
Walker broke down several times speaking about his grandson, proudly showing off the awards he received at Christian Fenger Academy High School for excellent attendance and being on the honor roll. Derrion had just started his junior year.
“We were crazy about him,” Walker said. “He was the type of grandson everybody wished for.”
Monique Bond, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman, said Derrion “basically was walking along unprovoked, and unbeknownst to him he was about to walk into this conflict. I don’t think he even saw them coming.”
Three thugs were charged in Albert’s beating death today.
Tip of the iceberg:
The Chicago public school system has about 407,000 students in 666 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district and has been plagued by violence in recent years. During the 2007-2008 school year, at least 20 students were killed, including 18 by gunfire. The year before, more than 30 students were killed, again most by gun violence.
The Atlantic has a brief, but devastating piece on how business at one funeral home in Chicago is booming as a result of out-of-control violence in the city’s schools and neighborhoods.
Flying to Copenhagen isn’t helping.