Fox News political analyst Gianno Caldwell ripped Chicago’s “soft-on-crime policies” after his younger brother Christian was shot dead on Friday.
“To say heartbroken wouldn’t even measure it. My family is shattered right now,” an emotional Caldwell told WFLD-TV in an interview Monday. “The fact that this continues to happen in this city, one in which I grew up in and one which I love, is utterly disappointing, disgusting. There’s no value for human life here. That value has been eroded over the years.”
Christian Caldwell, 18, was shot along with two other people on the 11400 block of S. Vincennes Ave in the early morning Friday, police said. The other shooting victims were an 18-year-old female who took a wound to the torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, and a male victim, 31, who was listed in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the torso as of Saturday morning, Fox News reported.
The suspect in the shooting is an unidentified male who opened fire and then fled in a black sedan going east, the Chicago Police Department said.
— Gianno Caldwell (@Gianno Caldwell)
Chicago, a city notorious for gun violence, has seen 300 homicides so far this year. While that number is slightly down from this same point last year, that fact is little consolation to the victims’ families.
“Living in Chicago should not come with a death sentence, but it does for so many people that live here,” Caldwell said. “There used to be a time where the violence was concentrated on the south and west sides, but you can walk out of the studio and something happens. That tells me that something needs to change urgently.”
“If it wasn’t my little brother, would I be getting all this coverage for him?” he asked. “Would people even know his name? No.
“What about the 5-month-old girl who was just murdered on Friday?” he added. “You don’t even really know her name. It’s just the fact that it happened to an infant that we’re reading about it.”
Caldwell said that people in Chicago have become “desensitized” to the violence and the murders. But, as a believing Christian, he also said there can be “purpose to this pain” if criminals are brought to justice and given a chance to be rehabilitated after they serve their time.
“I’m leaving the studio to go plan a funeral for my baby brother,” he said, breaking down into tears.
“As we think about not just him, but the violence that has been created in Chicago, and some of the policies which have systematically – the soft-on-crime policies which we’ve seen in the city – they have to come to an end,” Caldwell said.
He argued that Chicago officials need to “unhandcuff the police” and allow them to go after criminals, saying there can be a balance between criminal justice reform, police reform, and stopping crime.
“At this point criminals are unafraid of the police, they’re unafraid of the prosecutors, they won’t capitulate to the laws,” Caldwell said. “So what do we do next? You’re going to have to throw the book at them. And I understand that we have compassion for people, as we should. But at the same time, if we don’t, your family could be next. Then what? You want to be Gianno Caldwell on Fox 32 talking about his baby brother who was just murdered? Do you want to be that person?”
He called on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the police, and other officials to take note of what happened to his brother and crack down on crime.
“I want justice for Christian. That is all I want for my baby brother.”