CHICAGO – South Side, West Side, guns around the town…
OK, it’s nothing to sing about. Gun violence is real. The gang activity behind it has triggered an epidemic of shootings and homicides in Chicago in 2012. With two months to spare, more people had been killed in Chicago this year than in all of 2011 (435).
But a glimmer of good news: The murder rate slowed in October. In fact, the Associated Press reported, there were fewer murders last month than in all but one October since 1982.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel praised police and an emphasis on gang-busting. Tio Hardiman, director of CeaseFire Illinois, thinks basketball might have had a little to do with it, too.
Hardiman was one of the city activists involved with the Peace Tournament Sept. 22 at St. Sabina Church in the Auburn-Gresham community on Chicago’s South Side. Co-hosted by NBA legend Isiah Thomas and Father Michael Pfleger, the day-long event brought together rival gang members from the city’s meanest streets for dialogue and hoops. (more…)