Four young men in Chicago were charged with first degree murder in the beating and killing another teenager after a dispute last week. The foursome, Silvonus Shannon, 19, Eugene Riley, 18, Eric Carson, 16, and Eugene Bailey, 18, along with as many as three other suspects, used splintered railroad ties to beat the victim over his head then kicked and punched him when he tried to get back up. At least part of the beating was captured on a cell phone video clip.
Derrion Albert was a sophomore honors student at Christian Fenger Academy High School. His death is the one of dozens of school-aged killings in the past three years in Chicago and the surrounding neighborhoods. Despite a handgun ban inside the city limits and the comparative difficulty in obtaining firearms in Illinois, most of the killings have been shootings within blocks of the school grounds.
At this point it becomes clear that the problem isn’t the guns themselves. This young man was beaten to death, not shot. Seven other teens whose anger and lack of compassion for other living souls was so great that they literally pummeled the life out of him didn’t need guns. They used wooden boards and their own fists.
At least one parent has got it right:
At a Monday vigil at the school, some community members said the solution lies with parents.
“It is our problem. We have to take control of our children,” said Dawn Allen, who attended the vigil where a group of residents tried to force their way into the school before being turned back by police.
The problem does lie with the parents. Too often we blame the instruments of violence and not the violent actors themselves. Instead of holding them accountable for their actions, parents who make excuses for their misbehaving progeny enable those children to grow into bullies and later into criminals. That the age for severe criminal activity seems to be getting younger with each passing year is all the more disturbing.
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Filed under: crime, education, beating, chicago, Christian Fenger Academy, Derrion Albert, Eric Carson, Eugene Bailey, Eugene Riley, murder, Silvonus Shannon