The “Black is Human” social media campaign released an Advocacy Media Award-winning video last year speaking out against violence targeting Black boys. One of the children featured in the video was Zarriel Trotter, who was 12 years old at the time. On March 25, Trotter was shot in his neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago and remains in critical condition.
“I don’t want to live around my community where I’ve got to keep on hearing and hearing people keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed,” Trotter said in the video.
The young teen himself was a victim of the gun violence he spoke of when he was walking home from playing basketball on Friday at about 8:30 p.m., the Chicago Tribune reported. Two men were arguing nearby, and when one pulled out a gun and fired, a stray bullet struck Trotter in his back, near his spine. He was later taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he is currently fighting for his life.
No one has been arrested for the crime.
Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, the principal of Catalyst Circle Rock Charter School, where Trotter attends, says the news about the shooting is “disheartening.”
“Every morning, he greets me with a big smile on his face, which makes my day,” Jamison-Dunn said. “I feel horrible that this happened to him.”
She said Trotter is involved in a male empowerment mentoring group at the school. She added that he’s a “great big brother and great young man.”
“He is a valued member of our school community,” she continued. “We love him. He’s our child. We want him to get better.”
This year, the average number of shootings taking place in Chicago per day is seven, The Washington Post reported. Compared to this time last year, homicides in the city are up 84 percent and shootings have nearly doubled.
Rev. Ira Acree is a Chicago pastor who receives news far too often that another church member’s relative has been shot and killed. He told The New York Times that if something is not done to stop the shootings soon, it is only going to get worse in the warmer months, which is when violence typically spikes.
“Unless something radical takes place, it’s going to be a bloodbath this summer,” he said.
One minister from the South Side, Rev. Corey Brooks, said that at the moment, there is “no strategy” for combating the rise in the city’s crime. “Or if there is a strategy, whatever it is, it’s not working,” he added.