Ateenager who was shot in Chicago early Monday morning was presumed dead by emergency services even though he was still alive, leading some to wonder if they even provided the most basic response of checking for a pulse. The delayed response, to put it mildly, was the latest in a growing list of examples showing how little Black life is valued in America, and especially the country’s inner cities.
The unidentified 17-year-old male was shot in the head multiple times, apparently leading the fire department to assume the worst without any actual proof, according to the local ABC affiliate. He was lying on the pavement and “covered by the sheet for several minutes” before paramedics realized he was alive.
A police leader who arrived on the scene later seemed to defer responsibility for the flub to en emergency medical technician.
“I do understand that paramedics looked at him, believed him to be deceased, covered him with that sheet and moved on to another individual who was nearby who was also shot, Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio told reporters. “They saw motion, movement underneath the sheet. Officers who were present notified paramedics, this man is still alive.”
Chances are that the paramedics and fire department were numb to what has become a recurring episode in the city’s mostly Black neighborhoods. University Village, where Monday morning’s shooting took place, has a majority of Black residents, according to available data.
Chicago has been all but Ground Zero for murders in America over the past few years. Including Monday’s killing, nine people died from gunshot wounds over the weekend, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Nearly three in four murders have gone unsolved in Chicago over the past 11 years, showing what appeared to be a lack or urgency by law enforcement to address the killings that have lopsidedly affected the city’s Black community.
Out of 5,534 homicides, 74 percent went without an arrest over that time span, according to recent research from the Washington Post. Just barely more than half of the 52,175 murders across America over the past 10 years have resulted in an arrest.