Youth seek solutions as Chicago’s violent summer persists

BY Thaisi Da Silva and Matt Ehrichs  August 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM EDT

Chicago will lay to rest its youngest fatal shooting victim this year on Friday.

Nine-year-old Antonio Smith was fatally shot at least four times in a South Side backyard just blocks away from his home, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Since the summer of 2012, when the city recorded the nation’s highest homicide count, shootings have become a large part of an ongoing discussion about relations between the police and residents, neighborhood safety and gun control legislation.

This real-time map, created by Chicago-Sun Times before the the summer began, pinpoints and identifies every shooting recorded during each weekend, the most violent period of time.

While police and legislatures seek a way to stem the tide, Chicago youth who have grown up with gun violence have their own ideas about what must be done to effect positive change in their neighborhoods.

In this Student Reporting Labs video, Free Spirit Media producers ask what it is like to have to be home before dark and constantly aware of your surroundings. They also question whether this generation has become numb to the high level of violence, and argue that the way forward is to convince fellow Chicagoans not to pull the trigger.