by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times
CHICAGO — The never-ending violence of gangland Chicago continues to reign terror in the hearts of residents. Last February terror struck the West Pullman area with the stone-cold shooting of two 11-year-old children. Sadly, this is not the first nor last time minors will be reported as shot at, wounded, or murdered.
In response to the tragic shooting of 11-year-old Ny-Andra Dyer, who was shot in the face at a West Pullman gas station, Chicago Police have launched “Operation Just Cause” to target gang violence. Police sources commented that OJC is based on the strategy to deploy CPD resources in response to identified gang warfare and when CPD officers and civilians are targeted or caught in gangland crossfire.
The February shooting of Dyer has now become part of a list of shootings and homicides plaguing the West Pullman area. As of March 7th, an 11-year-old boy was wounded in the left arm at 119th and Eggleston while in the “safety” of his mother’s car. The following day police were called to a double homicide at 119th and Michigan.
CPD targeted saturation of high crime areas was proven effective under former Chicago Superintendent Phil Cline and Garry McCarthy. According to published CPD statistics under Cline and McCarthy there were 700 less murders and 10,000 fewer shootings in a four-year period. It should be noted that shootings are up over 50 percent this year.
The cowardly shooters of 11-year-old Dyer have yet to be apprehended and there is a $40,000 reward for information that will help bring the shooters to justice. CPD believes Dyer was caught in the crossfire of the intended target, a common drug dealer from a rival gang.
Will “Operation Just Cause” prove to be a successful strategy as seen under Cline and McCarthy? Time will tell. Time will not tell for the trauma felt by two 11-year-old children caught in the crossfire of criminal gangs fighting to deal drugs— their lives are forever scarred. Time will tell if the residents of Chicago will continue to support the actions of Mayor Lightfoot and her continued decline in effective leadership.