On the weekend his grandson was shot to death, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) called on Illinois and local authorities to declare a “state of emergency” in high crime, low-employment areas of Chicago, Politico reports. Davis said he does not want a paramilitary state, but a formal declaration that would allow resources to flow quickly into areas of the city that are facing a crisis of violence. “I would call upon every unit of government to call a state of emergency need for these communities. So yes, I think we need immediate help. We don’t need something that’s going to take five or six years,” Davis said. “There are many inner-city communities throughout Illinois, especially in the Chicago metropolitan area, that need this kind of economic and social development.”
Davis said resources are needed immediately in areas where crime has reached the highest levels since the 1990s. The money would go toward gang intervention, after-school programs, tutoring, job placement, mentor programs, and economic development. Davis said some of the communities affected have 40 percent unemployment. Davis’ grandson, Javon Wilson, 15, was murdered on Friday after a dispute over gym shoes, said police. A 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were charged in the killing. Wilson was shot in the head in a dispute that stemmed from a clothing swap in which individuals swap clothing items and accessories. Davis questioned the flow of guns in the community as well as a lack of quality education options. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for “federal action” after Davis’ grandson’s killing. “Chicago so far has 3926 shot, 703 homicides this year with 6 weeks to go. Worse than Ferguson, etc. We must have federal plan to save lives,” Gingrich tweeted.