Chicago Police on Saturday were questioning three men in connection with the fatal shooting of the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, though a department spokeswoman would not say whether the men were suspects in the shooting.
Two of them men had been talking to police since Friday night, when Deputy Chief of Detectives James Jones had described them as “a couple of individuals that were in the area that have given us information regarding the shooting” and added: “We don’t know what their involvement is and we are trying to hash out specifically and verify their story.”
By Saturday, police said, they were questioning a third man in connection with the fatal shooting Friday of Nykea Aldridge.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took to Twitter to point Aldridge’s death as a reason for African-Americans to support him.
Aldridge, 32, of the 6400 block of South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, was shot in the head after getting caught up crossfire. She was not the intended target, police said.
She and a man were walking with a baby in a stroller in the 6300 block of South Calumet when two men walked up and fired shots at a third man, according to Chicago Police. She died later at Stroger Hospital.
Wade’s mother told reporters that Aldridge, a mother of four, was on her way to enroll three of her children in school.
Trump, who has been making off-key entreaties to black voters in recent weeks, opened his daily volley of tweets around 8 a.m. Saturday with a reaction to the death of 32-year-old Nykea Aldridge, who was gunned down Friday as she pushed her child in a stroller in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood. Aldridge, mother of four children, was not the target in the shooting, police have said.
Skipping the messages of sympathy typical of politicians commenting on tragedies — and misspelling the name of NBA star Wade (UPDATE: Trump corrected the misspelling around 11:30 a.m.)— Trump used his 140 characters to note the incident fits into his recent critique of the lives of black, urban residents: “Dwayne Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” More than three hours after the original tweet, Trump sent out yet another tweet, offering his condolences to Wade and his family.
My condolences to Dwyane Wade and his family, on the loss of Nykea Aldridge. They are in my thoughts and prayers.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2016
Actor Don Cheadle took issue with Trump’s original tweet, retweeting it and calling the GOP presidential candidate an obscene acronym. That tweet in turn touched off a spirited back-and-forth with pro-Trump twitterers on the candidate’s sense of empathy for Aldridge’s family and the plight of Chicago.
The Twitterstorm comes as Trump is making an outreach to minority voters after months of campaigning on themes that have alienated non-whites.
Trump followed the tweet about Aldridge’s death with one calling for border wall to block heroin trafficking— remarks seemingly of a piece with statements he has repeatedly made casting Mexican immigrants as criminals. The GOP candidate then returned to the theme of his appeal to black voters with consecutive tweets, one referencing rival Hillary Clinton’s remark that deceased West Virginia Senator Robert Bird, and another linking to a conservative website’s article about a black Bernie Sanders supporter criticizing Clinton.
At recent campaign stops, Trump has ostensibly courted black voters with speeches that characterized black communities as “war zones” and painted a bleak picture of the lives of African-Americans— offering, somewhat tepidly, that is candidacy is at least an alternative.
“You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed?” Trump said last week at a rally in the Detroit suburbs, echoing remarks at a previous speech in North Carolina. “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Trump’s estimate of unemployment among young blacks could be accurate under some methods of evaluating joblessness, PolitiFact has noted, but only using criteria that would yield a 48 percent unemployment rate for young whites.
Trump earlier this year canceled an appearance at University of Illinois-Chicago, claiming police warned him that protests surrounding the event posed security concerns— a claim Chicago Police adamantly deny. Trump did win the Republican primary in Illinois, even pulling 40 percent of the vote in Cook County.
Wade himself on Saturday tweeted out a plea for the city:
The city of Chicago is hurting. We need more help& more hands on deck. Not for me and my family but for the future of our world. The YOUTH!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016