The inspiration for this piece is 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee who was killed in a Chicago alley this week, although a mere child Tyshawn was targeted by gang members for the evil deeds of his father. Law enforcement authorities relate that the child was lured into the alley where he was killed by numerous gunshots to the face and back.
Law enforcement officers are fairly certain that Tyshawn Lee was murdered as part of extended conflict between two of Chicago’s oldest gangs — the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones. Officers’ believe the Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones killed Tyshawn because his father Pierre Stokes, 25, belongs to the Killa Ward faction of the Gangster Disciples.
According to Garry McCarthy, “Tyshawn Lee was murdered in probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I’ve witnessed in 35 years of policing.”
Apparently, the dysfunctional and illogical rules and regulations of gang life, particularly when it comes to cooperating with law enforcement officers, has a stronger hold on Tyshawn’s father than his love for his deceased 9-year-old son. Stokes has refused to cooperate with police regarding the shocking murder. According to the Chicago Tribune, Stokes knows that his son’s murder was no accident. “If (he) wasn’t a target, he wouldn’t have got hit so many times in the back and the face…I think he was targeted.” Tyshawn’s father would later reverse his position when talking with officers and state “No, I don’t think it was no retaliation because I never did nothing to — for nobody to hurt my son.” When asked for the names of any possible leads, Mr. Stokes responded with a resounding “No, I do not.”
Chicago-based faith leader, Rev. Michael Pfleger, strongly denounced the cowardly attack as a new low point for Chicago gang members. Pfleger related that “What happened to Tyshawn Lee took us to a new low. This wasn’t a drive-by. This was not a spray of bullets. A baby was executed. A baby was assassinated right behind us in this alley…Now we’re going to target family members? We’re going to target mothers? We’re going to target grandmothers? We’re going to target babies?” Superintendent Garry McCarthy posited that “this is a different level. These are noncombatants now being assassinated.”
My only question is a very simple one, “Is this rock bottom for us as a community? Or will we steep even lower?” As I have repeatedly told those who rationalize and champion gangs as having some utility or being able to join together to uplift the community, “There is no right way to do the wrong thing.”
This plague on our community must go!!!!!!!!
James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2015.