Grandmother calls cops who shot her grandson ‘biggest gang’

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    Renea Brown and Collier Baggett believe young African Americans are targets of Chicago police officers.

    Renea Brown and Collier Baggett

    believe young African Americans

    are targets of Chicago police officers.

    “My grandson was shot by the

    biggest gang in Chicago,” said

    Baggett, whose 13-year-old grandson,

    Jimmell Cannon, was shot multiple

    times by police last month.

    More than 40 individuals have

    been shot by Chicago police this

    year, including 16 who died, a number

    that already is more than last

    year when 13 people were fatally

    shot in police shootings.

    Cannon, a student at Piccolo

    Specialty School, was shot July 25

    in West Humboldt Park while celebrating

    a relative’s birthday at a

    nearby park.

    The youngster’s shooting prompted

    a press conference the next day

    by police Supt. Garry McCarthy

    where he cited the number of policeinvolved

    shootings and the uptick in

    assaults on police.

    McCarthy also talked about the

    incident where Cannon ended up in

    Stroger Hospital with multiple gunshot

    wounds, at the hand of police.

    Officers involved in the shooting

    said they were investigating a report

    of shots fired in the area around 11

    p.m. that evening. It was reported

    that officers attempted to stop the

    teenager as he matched a description

    of the suspected shooter.

    However, Cannon ignored

    demands to drop what police

    thought was a gun and then pointed

    the weapon at officers, officials


    It was then that one of the officers

    fired at a running Cannon, striking

    the boy in the shoulder, hand and

    leg. McCarthy later revealed that the

    weapon the boy had was a BB gun,

    and it was recovered at the scene.

    Baggett, who said Cannon was

    recently released from the hospital,

    had a different account of what


    She said Cannon does own a BB

    gun, but did not have it in his possession

    when he was shot. Baggett

    said Cannon fled from police

    because one of the officers choked a

    friend of his after questioning the

    pair. Otherwise, “he will always do

    what he’s told,” she said.

    Baggett also claimed that the officer

    in pursuit of Cannon struck him

    with a squad car then told the teen to

    turn around before shooting him.

    “He told the police officers that he

    didn’t have anything,” she said. “He

    doesn’t understand why he was

    shot. Jimmell keeps asking, ‘Why

    did he shoot me?’”

    McCarthy defended the actions,

    saying the officer had no choice but

    to use force after Cannon decided

    not to obey orders to drop the


    “We all want the same thing,” the

    police chief said at the press conference.

    That same night, police were

    involved in another shooting where

    two officers shot. One officer was

    grazed another was left with a bullet

    lodged behind his ear.

    “We all want safety … and security

    in the community,” McCarthy


    Brown, the mother of Shandra

    Kidd who was sentenced to 55 years

    in prison for attempted murder and

    unlawful possession of a weapon for

    allegedly trying to shoot a cop in

    2007, said she can relate to the

    plight of many individuals and families

    who have been shot or know  someone shot by a police officer.

    “They (Chicago police) are overdoing

    it,” Brown said. “They are

    supposed to serve and protect.”

    In almost similar circumstances

    as Cannon, Kidd was shot during a

    foot chase.

    At the time, police said they were

    investigating a report of shots fired

    in the 7800 block of East Burnham

    when they halted a car Kidd was riding

    in to question her.

    It was then reported that she ran,

    and when an officer caught up with

    her, she put a gun in the officer’s

    chest and fired. On two occasions

    Kidd allegedly fired the gun without

    it discharging rounds. Following a

    struggle, the officer shot Kidd as she

    attempted to run.

    “She was never in a car,” Brown

    said in dispute of police reports. “It

    didn’t happen the way the police

    said. She never had a gun. It was a

    cover up. My daughter ran was

    because she didn’t want to get in

    trouble for being brought home by

    the police. I’m not going to give up

    trying to get justice for her.”

    Even though both women say

    they have great respect for the

    police, it won’t completely change

    their perceptions that some officers

    prey on young Blacks – a perspective

    based on their own experiences

    dealing with law enforcement.

    “All this needs to stop,” Baggett

    said. “When the police shoots someone,

    nothing is done about it. These

    people are targets for the police.”

    The Independent Police Review

    Authority has responsible for conducting

    investigations into allegations

    of the use of excessive force

    and police shootings by analyzing

    data to find systemic patterns to

    those incidents.

    According to the organization’s

    data, 31 African American males

    (including police officers themselves)

    had been shot in police

    involved shootings through the first

    six months of the year compared to

    a combined four such shootings

    involving whites or Hispanics.

    “Shootings are always a concern,”

    said IPRA Freedom of Information

    Officer Eric Mullenbach. “That’s

    why we try to find patterns. One

    shooting is too much.”

    Mullenbach said the organization

    solicits recommendations from the

    Chicago Police Department and residents

    in an effort to reduce the

    number of conflicts.

    “The police department has made

    some adjustments in some areas,”

    Mullenbach said.

    CeaseFire Director Tio Hardiman,

    whose organization claims to assist

    in mediating conflicts to prevent

    surges in shooting incidents and

    ease tensions between police and

    families of individuals who are shot

    by cops, said he doesn’t have a

    definitive answer for the dramatic

    spike in police-involved shootings.

    Hardiman, however, just wants

    gun violence, in general, to stop


    “Police have to do a job,” said

    Hardiman, who plans on collaborating

    with various legal defense

    organizations to help educate young

    men and women on how to deal

    with the police. “There are two sides

    to every story.”

    “You can point the finger both

    ways (at police and residents),” he

    continued. “Everyone needs to put

    their guns down and stop shooting.

    No one should be shooting at the

    police. We don’t want to see anyone

    get shot, police or anybody else.”

    Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender


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