CHICAGO – Chicago has witnessed nearly 2,000 homicides since 2016, but few have shaken up a city accustomed to corpses and caskets, such as the murder of nine-year-old Taishaun Lee: a fourth-grader executed by gang members as an act of execution. revenge against the boy's father after being lured into the alley with the promise of a juice box.
His alleged murderers are now being put to the test.
The attack was a kind of capricious brutality that is not common in the fight against street gangs to a great extent, because when children and other family members are intentionally targeted, the unspoken rules of struggle become unnecessary, criminal experts say.
Band members 22-year-old Dwright Boone-Doty and 26-year-old Cray Morgan, who are alleged to have planned to kill the nine-year-old as revenge after Morgan's brother, who was also a member of the gang, were killed and his mother was injured in a brutal encounter that may have involved the father of the boy, who was part of a rival gang, according to prosecutors.
"There are not many rules out there in this feud, but families were out of bounds. They were untouchable," Prosecutor Margaret Hillman said in his opening statements during the murder process.
"Morgan wanted revenge," she said. "He was in a murderous rage, saying that he would kill grandmothers, moms, children, and whoever he could catch." Sabina ”on November 1
The duo approached the boy, still wearing his school uniform, in November 2015 while he was sitting on a swing in a park after school in the south of the city. .
Boone-Dotty picked up and started dealing with the basketball that Taishaun brought with him and began a conversation with the boy while he continued to play. He eventually convinced Taishown to follow him to the backstage undercover to buy him breakfast while Morgan watched from a parked car.
It was there that Boone-Doty shot the fourth-grader several times and left him to die, prosecutors said. His basketball was found a few meters from his body.
The two men are facing charges of first-degree murder and are tried together, but before separate hearings. The process is expected to take several weeks.
The killing terrified not only the larger community, but also gang members, many of whom shot and killed someone, said Roberto Ashholm, a social work assistant at Southern Illinois University who speaks with several groups on the south side of the city, shortly after Tishaun's assassination.
"This is unheard of even on the streets," he said. "This is not typical, and people who participate in street life unequivocally feel that it is off-limits." "When young children are shot in conflict with gangs, this is usually involuntary or because they are a bystander," he added. No one specifically goes in search of murdering a child.
When such lines intersect within the interactions between the gang, the consequences can be played out in several different ways.
These situations could have more negative effects in the neighborhood, David Pirouz, a professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, says.
When young children get hurt, it really increases the potential for violence, he added. "This is taking on a whole new level, and I guess it has played out in a number of different planes and contexts where other family members are being opened and at risk. This shows that they are fair game.
Following the murder of Taishaun, the already intense gang of hostilities on the south side of the city erupted with a series of retaliatory shootings. The boy's father, Pierre Stokes, allegedly shot Morgan's girlfriend and two others the same day, prosecutors revealed new details in the Taishaun-style murder trial, including allegations that the gunman was considering torturing the boy by cutting off his fingers and slashing, slashing, and slashing according to the Chicago Tribune.
"Violence is one of the most important components of building a united gang," Pirooz said. When there is violence, it brings together the group, which must then respond collectively.
But he added that violence too
When it gets too extreme and starts affecting too many people, it may be the catalyst for some gang member to leave the gang because they see how much their relationships have hurt loved ones.
But other experts say the rules have changed and in some cases there is no such thing as off-limits.
"No rules," Carl Taylor, a professor of sociology at Michigan State University, said. "The potential to do something like this has always existed when, if two gang members have a conflict, they take it out to someone close and dear."
Everyone is considered "fair game" by many. "There is no such thing as a small child in their mind."
Taylor said that the whole dynamics of gangs have changed dramatically over the last two decades and there is no longer a pecking order or leadership to hold members responsible for
many cultures are more blind to supporting each other, he said. Band members can go out on their own and do whatever they want with very little irritation within their group. "It's war," and he's honestly at war. "