It was a horrendous crime at a horrendous time for Chicago. Yet, a community has responded, bringing hope.
Woom Sing Tse, 71, was shot to death, execution-style, last Tuesday in the 200 block of West 23rd Place. He was gunned down near an elementary school in Chinatown, in the middle of the day.
Within an hour, the Chicago Police Department arrested Alphonso Joyner, 23, of Morgan Park. By Wednesday, Joyner had been charged with first-degree murder.
There is a model to champion.
Tse left home to go pick up a newspaper. As he walked, a car pulled up, and the driver, Joyner, shot at Tse several times, police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said at a news conference, according to Block Club Chicago.
Then the shooter got out, walked over to Tse and shot him several more times, then “casually” walked back to his car and drove away, Deenihan said. More than 20 shots were fired, prosecutors said.
Tse’s neighbors leapt into action. A community watch group called the police district commander within minutes, Police Supt. David Brown told the media. The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce “immediately turned over critical surveillance video to help detectives get the license plate for the car,” according to Block Club.
Officers tracked the car to the Kennedy Expressway, arrested Joyner and found a gun equipped with an extended magazine in his car, police said.
The people of Chinatown “helped us bring this offender to justice,” Brown was quoted as saying.
“Though the family is grieving Mr. Tse’s tragic loss, we hope this arrest and charges that were brought bring them a measure of closure to know that the person responsible has been taken off the streets of Chicago.”
Closure, and a model to live by.
Tse, a grandfather of nine, immigrated to the U.S. from China 50 years ago, worked hard and eventually opened two restaurants in the Chicago suburbs, the Sun-Times reported.
Tse put three children through school and retired nine years ago. “My dad was the epitome of the immigrant coming to America and taking chances,” his son, William Tse, said.
The community’s lightning-fast work to bring justice for Tse should be celebrated and repeated. The eyes and ears of the community took action. Voices spoke up, loudly, to say these heinous crimes will not be tolerated, that their perpetrators would pay.
I want to hear those shout-outs in Chicago’s most crime-infested neighborhoods, from Englewood to Roseland to Austin.
The police can’t do it alone. We can’t wait for them. When violent brutality invades our communities, the police can’t always be there.
Over the last year, the police department had a 25% arrest rate for 738 homicides, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s latest annual report. For 3,516 shootings, the arrest rate was 10%.
The anti-snitching philosophy that prevails in too many communities on the South and West sides cannot stand. It is rooted in fear of retaliation and distrust of the police.
Like Chinatown, all our neighborhoods are our villages. We are those villages. Our elderly, teens, children and babies have been murdered and injured in the crime rampage of this violent year. Outsiders are not invading our communities to commit these atrocities. It’s us, and it’s on us.
We must join in outrage, to report, snitch and call out the violence at every turn. Point fingers, reach out and cooperate.
Chinatown has shown the way.
Follow Laura Washington on Twitter @mediadervish
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