It’s difficult for Michele to accept that her son’s killer is walking the streets of Chicago. If only someone –anyone — would talk. It’s a daunting situation for Chicago residents, many of whom do not want to be labeled as snitches for fear of repercussions from gang members. But if nobody ever talks, then killers continue to roam free and, perhaps, will kill again. “The shooter shot in the crowd at someone else and missed,” Michele said. “To this day no suspects have been apprehended, a usual occurrence in Chicago. Someone saw something, someone knows something.”

Last week, Tonya Gunn, 44, was one of those 82 people shot in Chicago. She was killed while sitting in a park while attending a family gathering. Gunn’s 11-year-old daughter was standing right beside her mother at the time of the shooting.

“Everybody was sitting out here and I was sitting over there. And I was getting ready to go in the house. And they started shooting and I heard them screaming. They saying, ‘Somebody call the police!’ But I didn’t know who it was. And then the ambulance came and they took her. They shot her in front of her daughter,” Krystal Scott, Gunn’s cousin, told The Chicago Tribune.

And there’s more: According to the Tribune, the July 4 weekend rampage also included two boys shot by police: a 14-year-old who allegedly pointed a long-barreled .44-caliber revolver at officers, and a 16-year-old who allegedly refused officers’ instructions to drop a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun as he crawled out from beneath a car. The boys are 14 and 16 years old. Something is very wrong in our communities and we need to do a better job policing our own neighborhoods.

“The solution does not just include policing — although we’ll continue to look for ways to put more police where they’re needed,” Emanuel told reporters. “We also have to give our young people alternatives to the street, and as a community we need to demand more of ourselves and our neighbors.”

It’s a solid concept, sure, but Emanuel needs more cops on the streets to close cases so he should put more money behind those lofty words. Just ask my friend Michele Dowdy.

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COMMENTARY: Our Kids Are Dying In Chicago And We’re Becoming Immune To It  was originally published on

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