After a block party Saturday night, Linda Chatman’s nieces and nephews stayed for a sleepover that would change their lives forever. At approximately 6 a.m. Sunday, family members heard gun shots coming from the porch. They awoke to find a young man shooting into their house at close range.
“Everyone woke up. I was just throwing kids into the bathroom and that’s when I realized my little niece was shot,” Chatman told a local ABC station.
17-year-old Stacy Jones was shot in the living room and Arianna Gibson, just six-years-old, was struck twice in the chest. She later died.
This shooting, is just the latest in a city plagued by gun violence. Just a week before, 13-year-old Darius Brown was killed in a drive-by shooting. Community activists are fed up by the violence and are looking to local residents to break the code of silence and bring these children’s killers to justice.
ABC News reports:
“What that shows you is if it could happen to me, it could happen to her, it could happen to Everyone. And that’s why we need people to take a stand before it effects them,” said Joy McCormack, mother of a slain college student.
“It’s the code of silence. We don’t need the Army or Marines. We need to the community to speak up about what’s going on with our children,” said Tonya Burch, mother of a slain teen.
Englewood community activist Andrew Holmes says the code of silence must end.
“If anybody in the house knows anything about why this house was targeted, they need to step up because this baby does not have another day. She’s gone,” Holmes said.
Although our communities have traditionally had a contentious relationship with police, when innocent people—especially children—are killed we cannot stay silent. The code of silence, and in its latest iteration, the “Stop Snitching” movement, does little but allow criminals to continue to wreak havoc and terrorize our communities. It’s time to speak up.