Protest as UChi Chicago students say tighter controls, surveillance ‘won’t prevent future gun violence’


University leader, CPD promises to replenish resources after graduate student is murdered

CHICAGO – The recent shootings in Hyde Park have resulted in an additional police presence in and around the University of Chicago. While the path to a safer Chicago remains unclear, some say the direction of the South Side regional university has so far not been the answer.

Outside Levi Hall on the University of Chicago campus, a small group with a big picture message.

Hyde Park Maira Khwaja said: “The safest neighborhoods don’t have more policies, they have more resources.

A protest last week on campus called attention to the violence surrounding the University of Chicago. The death of recent graduate Dennis Zheng in an afternoon robbery has highlighted growing concerns about safety.

On Monday, some students – gathered by Asian Americans Advocate for Justice – says that while the protests are good, the solutions being offered – including increased control and surveillance – are not the best strategy.

“Hyde Park is already one of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago,” Pai said. “Strengthening control and monitoring will not prevent future gun violence because policy control and oversight does not address the root causes of violence like decades of underinvestment. , structural racism, poverty, trauma and lack of opportunity.”

Some students said that last week’s demonstration and online lecture about UChi Chicago Secret Facebook Group created deeper divisions along racial lines that the school, in their opinion, did not address.

“These discussions, which focus on crime and violence, should never include rhetoric against black people,” said University of Chicago student Keegan Balentyne. “It’s really the silence that people have around the people or people that really hurt me the most.”

The group believes that those responsible for the murder, including the 18-year-old now charged with Zheng’s murder, should be punished. In addition, the group says that resources need to be redirected more from policy to other areas in order to stamp out the root causes of their crimes.

“True public safety includes large-scale investment in community-based violence prevention programs, full-service services, trauma-informed care, investments in underserved communities. investment, affordable housing, good jobs, solid education, and much more,” Pai said.

In a statement, the University of Chicago said, in part, the school is “identifying opportunities to leverage its strengths in academic thought and practice, working in tandem with South Side communities, to addresses important issues, including mental health, education, children. welfare, social policy and economic opportunity. ” Protest as UChi Chicago students say tighter controls, surveillance ‘won’t prevent future gun violence’


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