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Putting Out Crime's Fires: Mom Talk

Three teens allegedly cold cocked and killed a 62-year-old father of 12 for fun.

We stood in front of the TV news with our jaws dropped. The violence in and around Chicago has made us almost numb. Then this happened. What Malik Jones, 16, and his cronies allegedly did is especially heinous.

In a game they called “Pick 'Em Out, Knock 'Em Out” the juveniles reportedly punched a random 62-year-old father of 12, Delfino Mora, killing him. Jones, the alleged puncher, started his phone’s video camera then handed it to buddy Nicholas Ayala, 17. The two, along with Anthony Malcolm, 18, laughed as they walked away, prosecuters said. The teens later posted the video on Facebook.

The hours between 3 to 6 p.m. are among the most dangerous, I’ve heard law enforcement say. Kids are out of school, unsupervised until their parents get home.

Radical change is needed. The gangs are winning. The drug lords are winning. Morality and righteousness are losing. Education is the silver bullet. Until we disconnect school funding from property taxes, the impoverished and uneducated will continue to beget more impoverished and uneducated.

Enter Corey Brooks.

This Englewood pastor is committed to creating a safe place for children and families to go. First, he lived three winter months on the rooftop of an abandoned hotel to raise enough money to tear it down. Comedian Tyler Perry donated the remaining $100,000 of the $450,000.

Now, Brooks is literally walking across America to raise awareness and money to build a $4.5 million community center. He calls it Project Hood for “Helping Others Obtain Destiny.”

Cheers to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn for joining Brooks on the Chicago leg of the trip.

Wake up, suburbanites, and smell the brutality. Crime is not limited to the city of Chicago or Cook County. Like the plague, violence oozes into our communities as well.

I made a donation. I hope you do, too. Click here. (They take credit cards, so you can make a donation and get miles.)

We cannot wait for the community to raise the money themselves. If we have the opportunity to help them, we should.

“If my neighbor’s house catches fire and I know that fire will spread to my house unless it is put out, and I am watering the grass in my back yard, and I don’t pass my garden hose over the fence to my neighbor, I am a fool,” President Franklin Roosevelt said in 1940.

Our neighbors are on fire. We need to help because we can. We can’t cross our fingers and hope that the Tyler Perrys of the world will swoop down and fix everything. We need to control our own destiny.

Kids can say they aren’t part of a gang. However, when they don’t have a place to go, like Brooks’ community center, gangs have a recruiting field day.

Go to ProjectHood.org and take a look. And to deal with these fires of crime, let’s star our own game: check it out, put it out.

Working Man July 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Erin I cant believe you are so naive. Chicago has tried time and time again to block honest citizens from owning the devices to protect themselves. I commended the pastors work, But the problem is not going to be solved by throwing more money into centers that will only serve a very small majority in Chicago. What about right here in our community? CICI's robbed Burger King shot up? Libs need to stop the wastfull spending of our already highest in the nation tax dollars, claim it's to keep us safe, just to spend it on raises for. themself and their cronies. If the punks that hit that man thought for a instant he was armed this story would never have been printed ( because it never would have happened )
Nancy Urban July 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM
First off, Working Man, Erin is not naive in this instance. She has a valid point and, frankly, is doing a whole lot more by bringing this to people's attention than a lot of people who just sit on their behinds and complain about our communities...or complain about the government...or complain that it's the Republicans fault...or complain that it's the Democrats fault. The fact that you brought politics ("Libs need to stop...) is a classic example of the blame game. Is it the Liberals fault? I don't know. But I do know that instead of blaming one party or another...or blaming it whether or not we have the "devices" (Read: Guns) to protect ourselves is irrelevent. Actions speak louder than words. "Actions" meaning make sure you vote (because if the "Libs" in office aren't doing things you like then by all means vote to get them out)....Or get yourself down there and make a difference in the fight to retain the right to bear arms. DO SOMETHING. Help your community, so it doesn't end up like our inner city communities. Actions speak louder than words.
Donna DiTusa July 18, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Thoughts and prayers to Mr. Delfino Mora his wife and children.All he was doing was collecting cans to recycle to make a little extra money for his family.I would hope the Judge that sentences those street thugs, sets a example of this crime.Pastor Brooks is making a difference,for the safety ofthe children and families.
Christine July 18, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The hours between 3 and 6 are the most dangerous? Where are the parents? If they're working, why aren't these kids working themselves? I was home alone after school until my parents got home and we did chores and started dinner and did homework or we got punished. Kids need to work, too. Then there's less time for foolishness.
Colleen Corey July 18, 2012 at 01:48 PM
This man who was killed was my friend's cousin. Whether or not he owned a gun, these three gang bangers were going to kill him. There are many community centers keeping kids out of gangs, & we should support them. By blaming liberals or burying our heads in the sand, we are not helping to make a change. Thank you for a well written article Erin. We all can make a difference, even out here in the suburbs!
m dobbs July 18, 2012 at 05:18 PM
this occured two blocks from my home. its a normal chicago family neighborhood not a gang filled urban warzone. More and more our blind eye turned to the decades old gang problem is rearing its ugly head. Politicians have failed to address it for 30+ years and law enforcement is in over its head. Unfortunately, this systemic problem is deeply rooted in generations of bangers. Babies having babies and kids on the streets at 5 in the morning. Open your eyes America, before somebody punches you in them.
m dobbs July 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
And working man, you stand corrected. You can own a handgun in chicago if you take and pass a half day course at an accredited range. You have always been able to have a long gun in your home. Things are changing, IL will most likely give over to c&c soon. But the problem will not be solved by giving criminals fear of gun toting good guys. Look at the stats wherein people can carry and conceal, do they have no crime?
charlies angel July 18, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Whatever strategies have been implemented doesn't seem to be working. I don't think guns are the answer. Yes where are the parents. Bottom line they are not around or just sit up in their hood being lazy, doing drugs, drinking and living off the government. they only care when one of their own gets shot or killed and then the kid never had any gang ties. We need to stop all this Bulls*** and get the national guard to keep the streets safe. There are not enough officers to do the job. If we wait long enough all of the gang bangers will be dead. It doesn't phase me to hear of another shooting on the news. The government can do more but they let these guys own the streets. We can't expect Father Pfleger to save everyone.
Bob B July 18, 2012 at 07:12 PM
And how the hell are three boys this age out and about at 5:00am? My guess is they didn't wake up that early and probably never have. So that leaves us with them being out all night. Oh yeah, just ask the Moms; they're good boys.
Working Man July 19, 2012 at 02:17 AM
M & Nancy, Check your figures all the states that have adopted the c&c law crime rates have dropped drastically. In reference to the comment about doing something look at conceal carry .com the organization that myself and many others belong too, see for yourself what we have been doing to fight for all of our constitutional rights! Both of you are welcome to join and help fight the libs trying to stop us from owning a firearm. By the way it has always been the liberal policy to keep you unarmed and scared.
The Other Christine July 19, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Yep. You guys hit the nail on the head! It's the Liberal's fault. It's the parent's fault. It's because we don't have concealed carry. It's the mayor's and police's and politician's fault. Here's an idea: teach your children to take responsibility for their own actions. Teach them to value life. Teach them to not be so self absorbed. But, first you need to teach all the adults the same lesson. This thread would be a nice place to start. It's easy to point fingers. It's harder to dig deep and fix the problem. Thank you for a good article Erin!
charlies angel July 19, 2012 at 08:39 AM
1st crime rate may be down but like mayor Emanuel said its other petty crimes that are down not the shootings. Christine nice idea but it isn't happening. Francis did I say I was calling in the national guard? I gave an idea that's all. I guess give everyone guns and let them shoot it out. We can sit here and whine all day. Is it going to make anything change?
Cedgar July 20, 2012 at 10:23 PM
"Wake up, suburbanites, and smell the brutality." Thank you, Erin. You sure rattled folks with your impressive observations, as if an entire community of readers has no clue as to what is going on out there (and seeming to assume that nobody takes action to help). You start by talking about the tragedy (a terrible incident, very scary for sure). Then you pop out a silly blurb about 3pm to 6pm being among the most dangerous hours. What does "dangerous" mean? And who is your law enforcement source? AND - did you mention that the tragedy you write about happened at 5 AM? Then a detached peep or two about education, morailty, Corey Brooks, etc. Even a suggestion that folks help solve 'the problem' with their credit card (is there any action that is more detached and less involved than simply throwing a dollar into the bucket and then patting yourself on your sunburn?). "Wake up, surburbanites..."...that's hilarious! Considering that Erin's 'articles' get way fewer responses than the weekly cartoon, I think folks are wide awake.
Michael July 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM
I thought this was the weekly cartoon.
Dking July 23, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I agree! Send them to Mexico. There they can see how strong their little gang is. Sick little bastards.

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