Gang violence in Chicago continues to be a pressing issue, and with the city outpacing New York and Los Angeles for homicide rates, it isn’t too shocking.
So when 60 Minutes aired its “Crisis in Chicago” segment, many tuned in to watch and hopefully gain a more thorough understanding of how to combat violence in the “Windy City.”
But Chicago Urban League President and CEO Shari Runner wasn’t impressed by what she referred to as the “overwhelmingly biased piece of reporting” that aired on Jan. 1.
“It presented no acknowledgement of or solutions to the systemic issues that many city centers of varying degrees, from Baltimore to Minneapolis to New Orleans, similarly face in our Black and Brown communities.”
In an emailed statement sent to EBONY.com, Runner, a lifelong resident of Chicago, said she was “appalled at the narrow focus” of the segment.
“To have Gary McCarthy, a fired police superintendent who was ineffective while working in Chicago, serve as the primary spokesperson to discuss our city’s ills is representative of how mainstream media too often perpetuates a false narrative and builds stories that may increase ratings, but takes away from the truth about the core issues that beset our city.”
In 2016, Chicago saw 762 homicides. That’s the most homicides the city has experienced in two decades. The nation’s third largest city also saw 1,100 more shooting incidents last year than it did in 2015, according to recent Chicago Police Department data.
“The violence and the issues around policing are but a piece of what we are witnessing in Chicago,” said Runner. “They reflect this deeper issue of an underground economy of drugs and guns because of where we are located and systemic socioeconomic disparities. I would hope that a national news magazine show like 60 Minutes would do better.