Our Pledge To You


EDITORIAL: Brian Jasso died because Chicago let him down

Sun-Times file photo

This time the victim was 15 years old, just a kid.

He was delivering newspapers to make money to buy a birthday gift for his sister. He wouldn’t take a hand-out from his stepfather. He said he had to earn it.

Every life is to be cherished, and every murder in Chicago is a tragedy. Somebody cries every time.


But let’s be honest, some deaths hit harder than others. We find it hard to shed tears for slain gangbangers, armed robbers and drug dealers. It’s enough in this town, where more than 600 people have been violently killed this year, to mourn the young, the innocent and the loving.

Brian Jasso, Chicago let you down.

You were up before sunrise on Sunday morning, delivering newspapers with your stepfather on the Southwest Side. He said he would give you the money and you could sleep in, but you wanted to work for it.

On 47th Street, a white van rammed your stepfather’s SUV. Then the van pulled up alongside and someone fired a gun and you died.

You were not in a gang, the police say. You had no criminal record. You didn’t do a thing wrong.

There is a notion, commonly held, that the bad guys just shoot other bad guys, and only rarely is a “civilian” hit. So let them take each other out. It’s nothing more awful than Bugs Moran taking out Jack McGurn.

If only that were true.

The reality is that decent people are killed in Chicago all the time. So far this year in the city, the Chicago Tribune reports, 22 victims of fatal shootings were no more than 15 years old. You won’t find a lot of Bugs Morans at that age.

Brian Jasso’s mistake was to trust this town.

On a Sunday morning, with the sun coming up, he thought he was safe.

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