Chicagoan Stacey Jones was eight months pregnant when she was shot and killed last week. Her murder underscores the urgent need for solutions to stop the flow of crime guns into Black and Brown communities in Chicago and elsewhere.
Washington, D.C., October 20, 2020 - Following the death of ‘Baby Boy Harrison’ on Saturday, October 17, Brady urges renewed attention to the toll that gun violence takes on every community across the country and how communities of color are disproportionately impacted by this uniquely American epidemic. Baby Boy Harrison was only four days old, having been delivered prematurely after his mother, Stacey Jones, was shot and killed on Tuesday, October 13. Jones was eight months pregnant at the time and her son was born posthumously. Both of their deaths have been ruled homicides. According to the Chicago Tribune, at least 221 individuals have been shot and killed in Chicago this year, alone, a pronounced increase over 2019 and 2018 levels.
Brady Director of Racial Justice Kelly Sampson shared:
“Stacey Jones and her baby son should be alive. Their murders exemplify how gun violence and systemic racism lead to deadly outcomes. Many policymakers across the country point to gun violence in Chicago as an example of failed policy-making, completely ignoring how crime guns end up in the city and the decades of discriminatory policies that underlie entrenched gun violence.
Stacey and her son were not only victims of violence, but also victims of a system designed to fail them. Stacey was a probation officer and loving mother to two young, surviving children who will live the rest of their lives without her. They, too, are victims of gun violence. We do not yet know who killed Stacey and her son or where the weapon used was purchased, but we do know that the majority of guns used in crimes in Chicago originate from outside of the city and that Black and Brown communities, particularly Black women, suffer a disproportionate toll from gun violence.
Stacy and her son mattered. They are more than statistics and they deserved to have a chance to live. Our country must seriously and materially address the flow of crime guns into communities and the pernicious effects of structural racism to stop future tragedies such as this from occurring. We owe it to Stacey and the son she never got to meet, as well as her two, surviving boys, to do so.”
About Crime Guns and Gun Violence in Chicago:
While gun violence in Chicago is unique, it also mirrors a national dynamic of guns sold by predominantly white licensed firearm dealers fueling violence in Black and Brown communities. While we do not know what gun was used to kill Stacey Jones or her son, we know that the majority of firearms recovered from crimes in Chicago originate outside of the city. Trace data from 2013 to 2016 shows approximately two out of every five crime guns recovered in Chicago originated from Cook County, where only one of the 137 people responsible for selling guns under a federal firearms license is Black. Of the counties surrounding Chicago, DuPage, Lake, and Will Counties, less than one percent, two of the 338 people responsible for operating federal firearms licenses, are Black, while 318 are white. Particularly when politicians across the country point to Chicago as an example of failed policymaking without ever addressing the underlying causes of violence, this racial dynamic cannot go unnamed.
To tangibly reduce gun violence in Chicago, we must look at where these weapons originate and stop the flow of illegal weapons into communities without stripping violence intervention programs, such as violence interruption, of their sparse resources. Tackling the issue of gun violence requires a both/and approach that includes holding irresponsible or negligent dealers accountable.
About the Murder of Stacey Jones and Her Son:
Chicago police reported that they found Stacey Jones unresponsive with two gunshot wounds on her porch in Chicago just after midnight on Tuesday, October 13. Jones was taken to the University of Chicago Hospital where she died.
Jones was eight months pregnant when she was shot and doctor’s delivered her baby, naming him Baby Boy Harrison, according to the medical examiner's officer. Jones’ son died on Saturday, October 17, after living in critical condition for four days.
Jones is survived by her two sons, who will now live the rest of their lives without their mother and brother.
About Gun Violence in Black and Brown Communities:
Black and Brown communities are disproportionately affected by gun violence. The gun homicide rate for Black men is 30.7 per 100,000, while for white men it is 2.4 per 100,000 nationwide. In Illinois, that rate is 58.54 compared to 2.63 for white men.
Black women face rates of firearm homicide above their white or Hispanic peers. The rate of firearm homicide for Black women from 20 to 24 is almost five times higher than for their Hispanic peers and seven times higher than for their white peers.
Black children face the highest rate of gun homicide of any of their peers. Black children are ten times more likely to die from gun-related homicide than their white peers. In Illinois this rate is even higher; Black youth 21 and under die from gun homicide at a rate 21 times as high as their white counterparts.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.