Rev. Jesse Jackson says drastic action must occur in Chicago RIGHT NOW

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Reported by Liku Zelleke

A surge in the number of shootings and the rise in the number of deaths related to gun violence in Chicago have been making headlines on all media outlets for well over a decade now. Reverend Jesse Jackson is now warning of a dire future if things don’t change soon.

Reverend Jackson has proposed an immediate “reconstruction plan” for Chicago’s most poverty-stricken areas.

In an interview with WGN, Jackson said that Chicago was in a state of emergency. Proof of it lies in the fact that 50 of the city’s public schools were closed, groceries and drug stores have been closing their doors by the dozens, which has led to the rise of vacant lots. These previously booming areas have turned into shady places where most of the city’s crimes, including those that occurred this past weekend, are taking place.

“We need not just more policemen, but more teachers and more coaches and some plan for an economic reconstruction,” Rev. Jackson said. “There’s nothing wrong with the people, the structure must change.”

“We have a plan for reconstruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and other dangerous zones, but there is no plan for reconstruction in our hometown of Chicago! In the meantime, we live in horror until next Monday’s body count. We deserve better,” he added.

60 people were wounded and 11 killed in shooting all over the city during the weekend, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The shooting death of 19-year-old Jaynisha Scheffer marked the 200th homicide victim of the year, while 8 more people were wounded in non-fatal shootings Monday.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, who appeared in the film “Gunland,” which focuses on the violence in Chicago, agrees with Rev. Jackson’s sentiment.

“Race plays a huge role in the lack of interest in the shooting deaths occurring in this city,” said Dr. Watkins, who is holding an anti-violence event with Father Michael Pfleger in the city next month. “I have a friend who works in the coroner’s office, and she is flabbergasted by the number of victims between the ages of 15 and 27. But the white side of the city is oblivious to this, since they receive most of the city’s resources.”