Philidelphia, PA. – Taylor Mitchell, a 6 year-old girl, was a victim of gun violence in West Philidelphia August 5, 2020.
Nearly a month later the little girl received the surprise of a lifetime when a caravan of police, community leaders, and a local news celebrity, Sharrie Williams, from ABC affiliate 6 Action News came to her house.
Williams greeted Mitchell exclaiming:
“Just to show you some love girlfriend!”
Brad Mitchell, her grandfather and a police officer watched his granddaughter smile, a smile he was relieved to see, because he feared he would never see it again. H
e referred back to the day that she was shot, caught in the middle of a crossfire, while sitting on her porch in West Philadelphia.
“That phone call. Wow. No one should experience that. It was tough. It was tough. But we’re gonna heal.”
“I’m 62, I’ve been here all my life and I’m a police officer, I’ve seen a lot, I’ve heard a lot, but when it hits home, it’s a different experience.”
You may recall the story. Witnesses said they saw two cars pull up and started shooting at each other around 9 p.m. that night. This was during a block cookout at 900 block of North 42nd Street in West Philadelphia. A bullet struck Mitchell in the chest while families on the block were having a cookout.
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) August 6, 2020
Police said someone drove Mitchell to Temple University Hospital, where she was transferred to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
A 6-year-old girl is in stable condition after being shot in the chest during a shootout in West Philadelphia. @MattDeLucia
spoke to a woman who heard the gunshots: https://t.co/P2BxoYPw7s pic.twitter.com/LAzPuY1Crz
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) August 6, 2020
#EXCLUSIVE first look at the shooters involved in a gun fight that injured a 6 year old girl in West Philadelphia. She was shot in the chest and is stable, the gunmen are still in the loose. @6abc pic.twitter.com/ipHrToGQyB
— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) August 7, 2020
Gina Harley, Mitchell’s neighbor said:
“This is the first time it has cut so close to home that I’m terrified and I’m shaken because my daughter called me crying, I thought it was my grandkids.”
However, Mitchell’s granddaughter is strong, and within a few days she was out of the hospital.
❤️ Show some love ❤️ 6 year old Taylor was shot last month sitting on her porch in West Philadelphia. Today, our @WilliamsSharrie, @PPDCommish, and more community leaders visited her to give her gifts and show her how so many people in the city care about her @6abc pic.twitter.com/mTpc6cz3yG
— Beccah Hendrickson (@Beccah6abc) September 4, 2020
Philadelphia police commissioner Danielle Outlaw saw little Mitchell:
“I came to see my hero today.”
Life had settled down for the Mitchell family. Outlaw wanted to surprise them with showing the little girl love and support.
“This does a lot for us too. It does a lot for us, it inspires us and reminds us of what our purposes are.”
Maxwell Brown, who runs the mentorship program “Getting the Max out of Life” agreed.
“This is our way of letting her know that she’s loved, she’s valued, she’s appreciated, and that she has protectors.”
Mitchell was thrilled when she saw how many people cared about her. She was surrounded by family, friends, and the community. She also got lots of wonderful gifts.
“A lot of little girls like me, don’t aspire to become police officers period. Let alone police commissioners, and it’s not because we can’t do or don’t want to do, but if we don’t see us, we don’t aspire to become us.”
Community leaders offered the family resources to help them deal with the trauma that happened to Mitchell. Police are still looking for the people who shot her. The Fraternal Order of Police is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Black children are being killed across the country – why isn’t Black Lives Matter demanding justice?
As Black Lives Matter activists chant “say their name” in the streets while they destroy, loot, and assault, children are being shot and even killed all over the country due to an increase in violence thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, and yet no one is saying their names.
On Wednesday, September 2nd, a four year old girl and her mother were playing in Oak Park in Kansas City, MO, when a silver vehicle opened fire on another vehicle, and the innocent girl was shot by a stray bullet.
The unidentified four year old was shot in the leg, and taken to the hospital with non-life threaten injuries, although it is unknown what her current prognosis is.
According to Fox4, officers were in the area at the time of the shooting, and when they arrived on scene, they found the girl’s mother cradling her bleeding daughter on the ground, police said.
There have still been no arrests made in this case, but anyone with information is urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.
This four year old girl was very lucky to escape with only a bullet to the leg, although as a parent, the thought of my child getting shot is something I cannot fathom, let alone, be thankful they were”just” shot in the leg.
In Atlanta, Georgia, another girl was not as lucky.
On July 4th, eight year old Secoriea Turner was shot and killed while riding in the backseat of a Jeep Cherokee with her mother. The shooting occurred when the SUV came upon a makeshift roadblock on University Avenue in south Atlanta.
According to police, the Jeep attempted to go around the roadblock when it was fired upon at least eight times.
Though multiple suspects were said to be involved, only one person, 19-year-old Julian Conley, was arrested and charged with murder and two counts of aggravated assault, however, he tells a very different story of what took place that night.
Conley claims that the Jeep rammed through the barricade and struck an armed man. Once the man stood up, he began firing upon the car, although this account does not match police evidence.
According to AJC, Secoriea’s mother, Charmaine Turner, said she heard her daughter scream and call out for her.
Anyone with any information on the case is urged to come forward.
In another heartbreaking tragedy, a one year old boy, Ace Lucas, was shot in the head and killed while laying on his couch with his twin brother, Arcel.
On July 22, around 2:30 a.m., police say gunmen shot into this house on Claredon Avenue SW several times.
According to 19News, Canton Police released video of the gunmen where you can see two suspects caught on camera, walking around with guns in their hands and lurking in the back of the home just before 2:30 a.m.
While asleep in their living room, Ace was fatally shot in the head, and Arcel was shot in the leg, and is said to be recovering from his injuries.
Anyone with information is urged to call Canton Police at 330-649-5800 or 330-489-3144.
These are all cases of innocent children losing their lives for something they had nothing to do with. These children are someones daughters or sons, brothers or sisters, granddaughters or grandsons, who had their whole lives ahead of them, and didn’t need to die.
The Black Lives Matter movement came in under the pretense of “change” and “reform”, which we can all get onboard with, however, that is not how it remained. It turned into violence and looting and an over all excuse to create anarchy in the streets.
Police were told to take a back seat to crime fighting, and criminals took full advantage of that. Shootings and violent crime rates are soaring in most major cities, and police are not able to do a thing about it, as politicians are running the show with their own skewed agendas.
Someone needs to stand up and start putting an end to this violence. Someone needs to stand up and start saying the names of these children, and the many many more who have lose their lives since this mayhem began in May.
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Here is another story Law Enforcement Today brought you about another innocent child who lose his life in Chicago.
CHICAGO, IL – On Friday, July 31, 2020, nine-year old Janari Ricks played with friends behind the Cabrini Green townhomes on North Cambridge Avenue.
At about 6:45 p.m., he was shot twice; once in the back and once in the arm, and killed.
Like most kids his age, Janari had a lifetime of events and memories in store for him. And then he was robbed of all that, as were his parents, extended family, friends, and all those who would have otherwise come to know him.
July of 2020 was a bad month for Chicago. There were more than double the number of homicides from the same month in the previous year, 105 compared to 44.
The last time a higher number was recorded was twenty-eight years ago, in September of 1992, when 109 homicides were committed.
The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, likened gun homicide to covid-19, describing it as “a health crisis.”
She went on to suggest that gun violence be treated as one would any other disease, with mental health professionals, street outreach, support for “community police officers” and gun control.
Lightfoot’s idea isn’t new and it hasn’t gotten any better with age. It would be nice if mental health professionals could search Chicago for troubled individuals and help them, thus preventing gun violence.
That picture might work if we had some reason to believe that all or most crimes involving gun violence were perpetrated by people suffering from mental illness.
It makes sense that gun crimes are committed by the mentally ill, because logically, who else would do it?
We’ve seen 200 mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2012, and many of them were perpetrated by people diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, 200 cases isn’t enough to establish statistical validity.
A better number to work with is the 120,000 gun-related killings recorded nationwide between 2001-2010. Of those, less than 5% were caused by people suffering from mental illness.
This doesn’t mean we should give guns to schizophrenics, confident that they will only commit five percent of gun-related murders. It means that we shouldn’t expect to solve more than five percent of the problem by utilizing the methods suggested by Lightfoot.
Lightfoot’s resolve to uphold law and order in Chicago can be seen in her response to demands made by the Marxist group Black Lives Matter (BLM). They told her to remove two statues of Christopher Columbus.
Her commitment to law and order, it seems, only extends as far as she is allowed by her leash, held firmly by Marxist agitators who seek to destroy law and order in Chicago and around the country. Lightfoot’s record speaks for her. More than double the number of gun crimes from the previous year.
The investigation of Janari Ricks’ murder has resulted in the arrest of 39-year-old Darrell Johnson.
Johnson previously served four years in prison for carjacking and weapons charges and two years’ probation for battery. Thanks to a surveillance video and police work, Johnson was identified and captured.
His arrest and, if found guilty, his punishment, will not bring Janari back. Janari is gone forever. The capture of Darrell Johnson may have prevented more murders he would have otherwise committed. Maybe he would benefit from some form of mental health treatment.
One thing that is certain is that Janari Ricks won’t benefit from anything that Lori Lightfoot’s office, Johnson’s prosecutor, or anyone else might do.
The best thing anyone could have done for Janari would have been to keep Darrell Johnson away from him and every other potential victim. The impulse to sympathize with the mental illnesses suffered by some criminals, their drug addictions, lack of intelligence, and the circumstances they inhabit shows that we are human.
However, if we allow altruistic impulses to favor the forces of destruction and evil, we will only encourage more tragedies like the death of Janari Ricks, left lying alone on the ground on a hot July afternoon.
One last thing, not that it matters and it doesn’t, but both Janari Ricks and Darrell Johnson are black. What matters is that one human, for whatever reason, killed another. That matters. It matters a lot.
As we reported earlier this week, the number of shooting victims under the age of 10 has tripled since last year. At the end of July 2020, 24 children, 10 years and younger were shot and five of those innocent children lost their lives.
According to Fox News, as of July 31st, there were 2,268 shooting victims of various ages for the year, marking a dramatic increase of 45 percent over the same time frame in 2019.
Of those who were shot, 222 victims were 17 or younger, showing an increase of 36 percent when compared to last year’s statistics.
Charges Filed in the Murder of 9 Year Old Chicago Boy, Janari Ricks https://t.co/oFnCbzhwWy
— Power 620 (@Power620SYR) August 4, 2020
Additionally, there were 30 children under the age of 17 who were shot to death in 2020, compared with 19 from previous year’s count. Many of the victims were shot while playing in their yards, lounging in their homes, walking down the street, or sitting in car seats. Several of the tragic deaths were infants under the age of 1-year-old.
Over the weekend, 25 people were shot. Nine of those individuals died from their gunshot wounds, including a young boy, who has since been identified as Janari Ricks.
Ricks, a 9-year-old boy was playing with a group of friends when he was shot in the chest. He was pronounced dead an hour after being transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
According to police, the gunman walked up to the children and opened fire. Brian McDermott, the Chief of Operations for the Chicago Police said that the young boy, Ricks, was an unintended target.
A Cook County judge has denied bail for Darrell Johnson, who is accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old Janari Ricks in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood last week. https://t.co/ZFY9dBFmgf
— WBEZ (@WBEZ) August 4, 2020
Rick’s mother, Jalisa Ford told the Chicago Sun-Times that her son was a straight-A honor roll student preparing to start fourth grade. He called himself “Young Curry” in reference to his favorite basketball player, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Ford said:
“If he wasn’t able to pursue his dreams of becoming an athlete he wanted to do construction. He wanted to help rebuild the community, rebuild something that the kids can enjoy later down the line.”
Ford said that her son had been inside most of the day before the shooting. She said:
“He didn’t come out until 5 and he came out to play with his friends and my baby never been able to make it back home. He was very, very loved by so many people, everything knew him, everyone.”
Darrell Johnson, 39 is facing a first-degree murder charge in the murder of Ricks. Allegedly, surveillance video shows Johnson coming to and from the area of the shooting. Multiple witnesses also identified Johnson as the shooter.
On Monday, during a news conference, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan credited neighbors with helping officers find Johnson as quickly as they did. Deehihan said in a statement:
“We’re not in this position without the help of the community who came forward and gave us information, which allowed us to identify and arrest the suspect.”
Johnson’s criminal history includes a 2005 conviction for aggravated vehicular highjacking. He was sentenced to serve four years in prison for committing the crime.
Back on July 4th, a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot at a Fourth of July party with her family. According to reports, the girl was standing on the sidewalk in the 100 block of North Latrobe just after 7 p.m. Two shooters got out of a light-colored car and opened fire in her direction.
— Jennifer King (@jenapradio) July 7, 2020
The young girl, since identified as Natalia Wallace, was rushed to Stroger Hospital, but was later pronounced dead. According to the autopsy, she died from her injuries and her death has been ruled a homicide.
So far, police have arrested three men allegedly involved in the deadly shooting of Natalia. Charges have been filed against Reginald Merrill, 33, the alleged driver in the shooting and Davion Mitchell, 22, one of the alleged shooters.
Terrell Boyd, 30, is now the third person charged in her murder. He was arrested on Monday on a warrant in Racine, Wisconsin.
Chicago is not the only city seeing a spike in gun violence where young children and teenagers end up being the unintended targets. In New York City, there have been 237 homicides in 2020 compared to 181 for the same time frame last year.
In Atlanta, there have been 76 homicides so far this year compared to the 56 for the first seven months of 2019. In Boston, after recording 25 homicides in the first seven months of 2019 they had 35 during the same time period and 15 of those were during July.
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