Monday, September 28, 2009

Another "Vibrant" Neighborhood in Chicago

In Chicago, where multiculturalism is fashioning one hell of a city, a teenager was beaten to death with wooden boards (among other things) because he happened to inadvertantly walk into a street brawl between opposing gangs from the local high school.

Three teenagers have been charged with beating to death 16-year-old Derrion Albert, an "innocent bystander" who walked into the middle of a street fight between two groups of feuding teens last Thursday, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said the fight -- with teens punching and kicking and swinging two-by-fours -- was related to a shooting outside Fenger earlier that day.

Charged with first-degree murder are Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, and Eric Carson, 16, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office. All were charged as adults and all were ordered held without bond today.

At the teens' bond hearing this afternoon, a Cook County prosecutor said Albert was beaten by teens from both sides of the feud, which simmering rivalry between two groups of Fenger students, one that lived near the school and the other from the Altgeld Gardens housing development.

Carson, who was allegedly from the faction near Fenger, was the first to hit Albert with a railroad tie, according to Assistant State's Atty. Jodi Peterson.

As Albert struggled to stand up and escape the melee, Riley also hit him with a railroad tie and Shannon repeatedly stomped on his head, the prosecutor said. Both Riley and Shannon allegedly belonged to a separate faction that lived in or near Altgeld Gardens.

Everyone involved is black, so unfortunately for President Obama, this won't be a "teachable moment." Well, actually it is, but you might learn all the wrong things if you were to study it objectively.

Naturally, however, one of the teens arrested for the brutal attack had already created a nice resume for himself.

Records showed Carson is on probation for a robbery conviction. Shannon and Riley have no criminal records.

Carson is 16, according to the news accounts.

Not to worry, though. The Chicago police are on the scene and civil order has been restored.

This morning Chicago police lined up in a show of force outside Fenger as students trickled into the school at staggered intervals. Most arrived on foot wearing their standard uniform of khaki pants and black shirts.

Police patrolled the area in squad cars and staged a visible presence at the school's entrance.

"We want to provide reassurance to the public that there's a police presence and they can feel safe in the neighborhood and kids can feel safe at school," said Morgan Park District Commander Michael Kuemmeth.

Today was the first day Fenger has been open since the fatal melee that swept up Albert, an honor roll student. All Chicago public schools were closed Friday for a staff day.

One wonders how often the Chicago police had to parade its officers and squad cars in front of Chicago high schools before they became so ... diverse. One also wonders exactly what it takes to get on the honor roll in that school.

In a related note, an arrest has been made in the shooting that sparked the meelee in which Derrion Albert was murdered.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested this morning after he allegedly opened fire outside Fenger High School on the Far South Side in what police describe as a gang-related dispute.

No one was injured in the shooting, which occurred near 113th and Wallace Streets about 8:15 a.m., according to Police News Affairs Officer JoAnn Taylor.

The target of the shooting, a 17-year-old boy, was on the street when the shooter opened fire while riding a bicycle, police said.

The teen was taken into custody but no charges have been filed, police said.

A member of Fenger's Local School Council said the shooting was in retaliation for a fight between rival gangs at the school on Wednesday.

"Kids were getting robbed: shoes, money, things like that," said the Rev. Victor Grandberry, who's been on the LSC for eight years. "This has been going on for some time."

Monique Bond, spokeswoman for the Chicago Public Schools, said the shots were fired after what appeared to be an exchange of words between two students. One of the students approached the other on a bike when the shots were fired, Bond said.

She said Chicago police and school safety and security officials are investigating. She said the school is on heightened security and crises counselors are on the scene.

Good thing the school has those crisis counselors. Sounds like they have a full time job. Remember, these children are America's future. Just like Whitney Houston said, right before she and Bobby started using the crack.


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