That’s how Jarbon Hicks explains his mission as an outreach worker and life coach on Chicago’s South Side. Hicks, 44, who grew up in the city, noticed that he was behind the bar many times by saying “guns and shoots.” Now he is trying to prevent his history from becoming the future of others. “If
That’s how Jarbon Hicks explains his mission as an outreach worker and life coach on Chicago’s South Side.
Hicks, 44, who grew up in the city, noticed that he was behind the bar many times by saying “guns and shoots.” Now he is trying to prevent his history from becoming the future of others.
“If your feet aren’t on the ground, you can’t change what’s happening for any amount of money,” Hicks said.
This is an important part of the city’s broad approach to preventing gun violence in Chicago. This is what Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls a “government-wide approach” to public security.
By mid-June, the city had more than 30% more murders than 2019 and a nearly 60% surge in shootings during the same period, according to data released by the Chicago Police Department.
The murder rate of black Chicago people 9 times higher More than any other racial demographic, according to data released by the city’s Public Health Service.
The new government-wide strategy focuses on four “zones” throughout Chicago, stating that the city is causing an imbalanced amount of violent crime. Then, using schools, libraries, family support services, and other departments, the city is trying to use its resources to fight violence down to the block level.
The strategy was announced in late May, based on data from the summers of 2018, 2019 and 2020, Lightfoot said at a press conference.
“Historically, these 15 areas account for more than 50% of the violence in our city. Therefore, if we can make a meaningful difference in these areas, it will be meaningful to the security of the entire city. It will make a difference, “says Lightfoot. At the time.
The increase in city violence crimes reflects a national trend as gun violence continues to skyrocket until the summer months.
“Not only our young men, who are most likely to be victims, but also the perpetrators of the crime need to know as early as possible. Their fate is, while caring about someone’s corner spot. It’s not pre-determined to pick up a gun, go to jail, or die prematurely, “Wrightfoot told CNN.
“It doesn’t work to develop a strategy that relies exclusively or primarily on law enforcement agencies, and we know that. We tell the city police billions without other support to the community. Spent a dollar, and it doesn’t move the needle fast enough and deep enough or permanently enough. “
“Police must be different”
Despite its focus on more community support, police are still a major part of the government’s overall public security approach, even if it means “listen silently.”
“As a law enforcement leader or officer, if you are not active in reform, you are in the wrong business. We have to change the culture. We will stop altogether. Put it down. You can’t go back on the road. It used to be. ” “The police must be different.”
Some people wonder if “different” has little meaning. The Chicago Police Department employs approximately 13,000 police officers and is the second largest police officer in the country, despite being the third largest city.
“For example, there were 8,000 instead of 13,000 police officers, but more outreach workers, clinicians, life coaches, educators, and employment developers have stopped violence,” said CRED co-founder. Arne Duncan said. Former US Secretary of Education. “We must give them a reason to stop crime and drop their guns.”
Brown disagrees with the concept, but said that infrastructure is still not as effective as many would expect, especially in certain areas.
“If they get drug addicted, they can’t go to California and can’t get into that really nice swanky addiction treatment facility. They have to go to one facility-the line is a building. You make a promise, you’ll get it next month while you’re dealing with addiction. “
“That is, let’s withdraw policing before we get some of these solutions that seem to work without capacity or functionality,” he said.
As part of the latest wave of public security initiatives, the Chicago Police Department New foot tracking policy, The attention and controversial police 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez And 13-year-old Adam Toledo At the end of foot tracking.
This policy is subject to community opinion and independent oversight of federal consent decree, but prohibits foot tracking due to minor traffic violations, deploys police in a manner that discourages running, and Includes a ban on punishment for deciding not to engage or continue. Foot tracking.
This is being implemented in a tentative manner and is expected to be finalized later this year, within the compliance of the Federal Consent Decree and its independent oversight team.
“Because it doesn’t increase crime and doesn’t interfere with the performance of executives, let’s uncover those myths,” Brown said in an interview with CNN. “It actually makes us safer because the officers are safer because it is related to the foot tracking policy and the consequences of the fleeing criminals are safer.”
Nationwide surge in violence
Since January 2019, Chicago has experienced more mass shootings than any other major city in the United States. Cancer Violence Archive.. On the weekend, 12 mass shootings According to GVA data, 12 people have died and at least 60 have been injured across the United States. According to police, the victim had at least two children aged 10 and 15.
CNN defines a mass shooting as the shooting of four or more people, not including the shooter.
In First 3 months of the yearAccording to the report, homicide rates in more than 30 cities in the United States increased by 24% compared to the same period in 2020. National Committee on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice.. Gun assault surged 22%.
“It was the pandemics that changed in 2020, and we are still seeing the effects of those pandemics,” Lightfoot said. “We know how to fight this, but we have to use all the tools in the toolbox.”
Of Chicago’s 77 neighbors, 23 are more than 80% black and more than half suffer from “high levels of financial difficulty,” according to a report released by the Chicago Public Health Service. Every “government-wide” violence zone has at least one of the areas suffering from financial hardship, such as Rose Land, the birthplace of Hicks.
It is part of the reason the city has declared racism a public health crisis and wants to shift to investigating the root cause rather than responding.
According to the Chicago Police Department, Chicago’s homicide rate improved slightly until June, up only 4% from the same period last year. This is compared to January, when the number of homicides at that time increased by 34% compared to January 2020.
Outreach in “very dark hours”
The danger is as high as human life, and the people working to maintain it are not immune.
“It started with a pandemic and then the murder of George Floyd,” said Duncan, co-founder of CRED. “The next six or eight weeks were, to be honest, the worst six or eight weeks in my life. I killed staff, three young men, and one 20-month-old baby. Male. (That) was killed, and it was just a very dark time. “
Just before CNN interviewed Duncan and Hicks, a 16-year-old boy who said Duncan was “just beginning” to engage in their program was shot dead.
It’s a reality that adds urgency to outreach workers like Hicks.
“I had a situation where I knew (the mediator) was called and didn’t come out, and a few hours later the individual was trapped or perhaps shot,” Hicks said.
Duncan said the only way to make a meaningful change is to build from scratch. Duncan also pushed back the negative stereotype that some men and women faced to look like history and black men.
“Many of our staff once shot people. You can perceive them in some way, but (but) they are literally lifesaveres every day. We are in this fight without them. Can’t beat, “Duncan said.
“Men who look like that, men who live in these neighborhoods are giving everything they have, and I don’t want to be emotional to say this-they make peace and the next generation I’m giving you everything you need to save. That’s the answer. “
“We value the real thing. That is, I don’t. I don’t admire this. I don’t even post on social media about what I did. It’s not about me,” Hicks said. Says. “If you want to be on the street, yes. If you want to change, that’s what we are here for.”
Ray Sanchez and Peter Nickeas of CNN contributed to this report.