In November of 2015 I wrote a piece called, The Missing Gang Photo. I pointed out a popular gang photograph that was circulating online. It was taken earlier that year during the Baltimore riots. (The violence erupted after a young Black man ended up dead in police custody.) This gang photo showed members of the Nation of Islam posing with rival gang members with a caption that said: Unity.
I said at the end of the year some magazine will feature the Baltimore gang photo and the so-called gang truce in their year in review and promote it as a highlight of 2015. (Mind you, Baltimore didn’t surpass 300 homicides in a year for decades, but 2015 ended with 344. Now, in November 2017, the mayor of Baltimore recently announced crime is out of control and for the third straight year, homicides are over 300.) Then I pointed out, there will be a gang photo missing from every magazine’s 2015 year in review because it doesn’t exist, but that gang photo should have been taken in Chicago after the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee.
That November Tyshawn Lee was lured into an alley and assassinated, shot several times in his head and back. The shooter had a feud with the 9-year-old boy’s biological father. The two men were from rival gangs.
Chicago’s police chief stated that the shooting was “probably the most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable, crime” that he witnessed in 35 years of policing. (And the superintendent has seen a lot. In 2014 there were 425 murders and that figure is low. In 2003 the count was 601 and each year going back to 1991 the count remained over 600.)