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The summer in Chicago has already gotten off to a deadly start, with gun violence claiming the lives of five and injuring nearly 60.

According to the Chicago Tribune, there have been 1,400 shooting victims so far this year and 2016 is just about to reach its midway point. But what can be done to curb the violence in the Windy City?

Pastor Corey Brooks joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the epidemic of violence plaguing Chicago and what can be done to slow down and ultimately end the bloodshed.

Pastor Brooks told Martin the Chicago Police Department “is doing the very best they can do at this time” and acknowledged the police slowdown that resulted from the backlash over the Laquan McDonald case may have played a part in the uptick in violence.

He also stated, “I think the biggest problem we’re having with our community is a problem with ourselves and trying to get everything situated and everything under control.”

In talking about the lack of control gang leaders have on their gang members, Brooks said, “These days you have a lot of cliques, a lot of factions who are doing their own thing  — a lot of young guys who are out of control who are damaging our community and are doing a lot of harm to our community and no one can tell them what to do.”

To slow down the epidemic of violence plaguing the City of Chicago, Pastor Brooks explained the Chicago Police should target those individuals who are on their “hot list” and give them “some other solutions other than murdering and going to jail.”

Martin asked the Chicago based pastor if the lack of jobs and economic opportunity is fueling the violence in the Windy City and if it is a “critical component of this conversation.”

Brooks responded to Martin’s question, “One of the ways to stop a gang banger, one of the ways to stop a murder or a bullet, is to give a young brother a job.”

“I think what we’re experiencing here in the city of Chicago is a lot of young African-American males who are under educated and unemployed — when you have that combination together — uneducated and unemployed, you’re going to have some tough times.”

Watch Roland Martin, Pastor Corey Brooks, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the causes as well as possible solutions to the rampant gun violence in Chicago in the video clip above.

NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


Chicago Gun Violence Leaves 4 Dead, 49 Shot Over Memorial Day Weekend

Can Jobs & Economic Empowerment Stop The Killing In Chicago?  was originally published on