Filipinos express concerns after recent gun violence incidents in Chicago

by Patricia Nabong, ABS-CBN News

CHICAGO — Following one of the most violent weekends in Chicago, some Filipino-Americans are concerned for their safety, while others think that the community should be more involved.

At least 74 people were shot from Friday, August 3, to early Monday, August 6, according to the Chicago Tribune. Twelve of the shootings were fatal.

Most of the shootings happened on the south and west sides of Chicago.

Many Filipino-Americans who live on the north side and the surrounding suburbs say they avoid the south and west sides.

But Juanita Salvador-Burris, who has called the south side home for over 35 years, thinks that poverty partly contributes to violence.

“But there must be something about poverty that causes a lot of stress, causes a lot of dynamics that people cannot handle and so there’s frustration and resentment like that.”

Salvador-Burris says that Filipino-Americans have to be more involved in different communities, especially in light of recent shootings.

“You can’t live in America and not know what’s going on in America. You have to be civically engaged.”

Jordan Ordonez, who lives in the suburbs, is doing just that. He has been teaching kids in underserved communities to dance. He says this is his way of making a difference.

“We’re here in Englewood, a neighborhood on the south side of Chicago where one man was killed and another wounded by stray gunfire.”

On this vacant lot, community members, including two Filipino-Americans, say they hope to interrupt gun violence through dancing.

“I think that if we are going to be a member of the community then the community matters and that should be a priority, whether or not you have the same skin color, the same background or the same education, I think.”

In response to the violent weekend, 600 more police officers were deployed to areas where gun violence was rampant. This weekend, the number of shootings went down. Reports say at least 36 were wounded and one was killed.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that while having more officers helped, community support also played an important role in reducing the violence.

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