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BET News Travels to the Frontline of the Deadly Gun Play Ravaging Chicago’s Neighborhoods With ’HEART OF THE CITY: CHICAGO’S WAR ON VIOLENCE’ Sunday, December 7 at 10:00 p.m.*


A Special Episode of ’THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON’ To Premiere Immediately Following at 10:30 p.m.*

NEW YORK.- On an average day last year in Chicago, five people were shot. This past summer alone, over 120 people were murdered -- that’s nearly double the amount of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war over the same period of time. On Sunday, December 7 @ 10:00 p.m.*, BET News takes a piercing look at the gun violence tearing apart Chicago’s neighborhoods during the half hour documentary special, HEART OF THE CITY: CHICAGO’S WAR ON VIOLENCE. Through the heart-wrenching accounts of parents who have lost children to bullets, police officers on the frontline, gang mediators and the youth involved in the struggle; HEART OF THE CITY: CHICAGO’S WAR ON VIOLENCE is an emotional call to put an end to gun violence in Chicago.

Although homicide rates and shootings have declined across the country, gunplay continues to plague economically struggling minority communities and Chicago is no exception. This Fall, the windy city made national headlines with the tragic murders of Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew. With neighborhoods nicknamed “Terror-town” and the “Wild Hundreds,” gun violence in this region is not new news. If homicides continue at their current pace, Chicago will have more than 500 murders this year becoming the murder capital of the United States.

In HEART OF THE CITY: CHICAGO’S WAR ON VIOLENCE, the voices of the victims, those involved in the struggle, and those working to change the situation will share their stories and lessons learned. Employing a hyper-personalized approach, BET News reports from some of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago, gets to the root of the violence and explores the measures being taken to help save lives.


“You could see one bullet hole where he had his hand up, you know, don’t shoot me,” said Theresa Stokes, a mother who’s 18-year-old son was murdered. “But they shot him anyway.”

“This disease has hit our city of Chicago. And if we don’t get a cure ... the city is going to be blank,” said Willie Williams, a parent who lost his 16-year-old son.

“Sometimes because there are so many shootings that are here ... you believe that everybody has a gun,” said Craig Lyke, Chicago Police Department gang unit officer.

Immediately following HEART OF THE CITY: CHICAGO’S WAR ON VIOLENCE, BET continues the discussion on violence in America with a special episode of THE TRUTH WITH JEFF JOHNSON premiering Sunday, December 7 at 10:30 p.m.* In this half hour special, host Jeff Johnson interviews community organizers who are on the frontline in the fight to prevent senseless gun violence in urban communities. Guests include Chicago based violent interrupter, Tim White of CeaseFire, a violence prevention initiative, Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Founder of Mothers in Charge and Larry Hamm, founder and president of People’s Organization for Progress.

HEART OF THE CITY: CHICAGO’S WAR ON VIOLENCE, is a production of BET News. Antonio Neves serves as producer and director for the special with Russ Torres as supervising producer and Keith Brown as executive producer.

*All times ET/PT


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