Chicago has seen a rise in violence leading to the death of innocent people like 15-year-old Damarion Benson, whose mother, Brittany Benson, recalled the tragedy of losing her son on “Fox News Primetime.”
Benson remembered speaking to her son for the last time on the phone, where he told her he’d be coming home and that he loved her.
Shortly after, Benson received a call from her sister-in-law advising her to come to Stroger Hospital. When she arrived, Benson said, she immediately knew something was wrong and felt as though her “stomach was caving in.”
“Thirty minutes later, they told me he was deceased,” she said.
Benson was born with a condition called congenital glaucoma which leads to blindness, so she explained how her son always served as her eyes throughout life.
“He was everything,” she said.
Benson encouraged city officials to “do better” in their response to worsening crime although she does not fault Mayor Lori Lightfoot personally.
“She could do better but it’s like, how could she do better when all this stuff is going on in the communities?” she asked.
Violence Interrupters Executive Director Tio Hardiman joined the conversation to discuss putting a stop to the unrest while he and his team have been assisting Benson in the meantime.
“What it will take to really stop the gun violence in Chicago – we need to pretty much assemble a big unit of African American men that are really concerned about these young guys out here and we need to swarm the community in big, big numbers.”
Hardiman explained how the younger generation is taking out their frustrations on the streets instead of being guided by role models in the community. And the issue doesn’t just surround Chicago, he said, it’s a “cultural” concern across the nation.
“The gun violence problem in Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis is cultural and it’s tribal,” he said. “All the experts out there in the field – if they do not understand the culture and the history of the gun violence with African American people and I say this because 80% of the violence occurs in the African American community.”