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Mitchell: Quick arrest in Nykea Aldridge murder took cooperation

Follow @MaryMitchellCSTThanks to tips Chicago Police received from people in the Parkway Gardens community, we saw the speedy arrest of two men for allegedly firing the bullets that killed Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade.

The suspects — identified as brothers Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, — are accused of opening fire on an unidentified man and hitting Aldridge, the 32-year-old mother of four.

I was out of town when this latest incident of brutal gun violence occurred, but there was no escaping the horrible news.

Nykea Aldridge was shot and killed while pushing her baby in a stroller, on her way to enroll her three older children in school. | Facebook photo
Nykea Aldridge was shot and killed while pushing her baby in a stroller, on her way to enroll her three older children in school. | Facebook photo

Everywhere I went someone was talking about Dwyane Wade’s cousin getting shot while she pushed a baby stroller.

There was no mention of the five other Chicagoans shot to death between Friday — the same day Aldridge was murdered — and Sunday.

According to Homicide Watch Chicago, Ramon Tolbert, 35, was killed in the Galewood neighborhood; Dylan N. Dent, 21, in West Pullman; Mahadi Hering, 19, in Park Manor; Omar Kent, 35, in East Garfield Park; and Terrence Murphy, 20, in Austin.

No one has been arrested for any of those shootings, which means that at least five killers are boldly walking around with blood on their hands.

OPINION

Follow @MaryMitchellCSTIn 2015, the Chicago Police Department had an abysmal 26 percent clearance rate on homicide cases, and only 9.5 percent of the 2,021 nonfatal shootings were cleared, according to a DNA Info report.

So while it is awesome that police were able to arrest someone quickly in the Aldridge case, it almost looks like a murder victim has to be related to someone famous in order for people who know something to say something.

Just as the “blue code of silence” protects corrupt and brutal police officers that shouldn’t be on the force, the “street code of silence” protects killers who shouldn’t be in our neighborhoods.

While the Sorrells brothers are innocent until proven guilty, they aren’t the kind of people you’d want running free with an illegal gun.

In fact, the brothers’ ability to stay on the street despite being convicted of serious crimes is a sad testimony to the failures within the criminal justice system that Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson keeps pointing out.

For instance, Darwin Sorrells beat an attempted murder charge in 2009 and was instead sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for aggravated battery. Two years later, he was convicted again for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and got a five-year sentence. In 2014, he got a six-year sentence for possession of a stolen vehicle and illegal gun possession but was able to get parole six months ago.

In 2013, Derren Sorrells drew a two-year prison sentence on an escape charge and a six-year sentence in the same year for aiding in the sale or possession of a stolen vehicle. He was paroled two weeks before Aldridge’s murder.

Some black people — especially those who put stock in conspiracy theories — would argue that the flow of illegal guns into the African-American community is by design, and criminals are intentionally being returned to wreck havoc on black neighborhoods.

That’s paranoia.

This is real.

It is disgraceful that a mother isn’t safe pushing a baby stroller in middle of the afternoon in the black community.

And while we can blame poverty, poor education and ignorance for spawning the criminals that are firing illegal guns indiscriminately around our children, our parents and our grandparents, these shooters can’t be held accountable if we don’t turn them in.

The only way to stop the senseless killings is for a lot more people to do what someone did for Dwyane Wade’s cousin: Tell it.

Tweets by @MaryMitchellCST