Mother of son, 4, murdered in Chicago pushing to treat child killings the same as those of police officers

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An Illinois state lawmaker and the mother of a 4-year-old boy who was killed by a stray bullet in Chicago are pushing for legislation that would make the killing of a child punishable in the same way as the murder of a police officer, following several well-publicized deaths of children lost to gun violence.

Angela Gregg, 31, said she thought of a bill to address the gun violence that has taken the lives of dozens of young children in Chicago after her son, Mychal Moultry Jr., was fatally shot during a violent Labor Day weekend. 

“I did want MJ’s name to not be forgotten,” Gregg told Fox News. “I was thinking of different ways to immortalize him and memorialize him and just something that would make his small life make big changes.”

Mychal Moultry, 4, was shot on Friday, Sept. 3 when bullets shot through the window of his home struck and killed him.

Moultry and Gregg were visiting Chicago from Alabama to see the boy’s father when he was getting his hair braided on Sept. 3. Shots rang out from outside the home of the stylist, Gregg said, and Moultry, known as “MJ,” was struck twice and died. 

The family had plans to visit a waterpark the next day, she said. No arrests have been made in the case. 

Moultry’s death is one of many involving young children in Chicago in a year that has seen an increase in gun violence and indiscriminate shootings that have harmed innocent bystanders in many cases. 

A case that made national headlines involved Jaslyn Adams, 7, who was killed in July while sitting inside a car in a Chicago McDonald’s drive-thru. Her father was also wounded. 

A manhunt resulted in the arrest of three suspects. 

Jaslyn Adams, 7, was killed by gunshots while sitting in a drive-thru at a McDonald’s.   

Illinois Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Democrat, told Fox News he plans to introduce legislation within the next year to treat the killing of a child the same as the killing of a police officer, noting that children are not often targeted but still harmed in shootings because of indiscriminate gunfire. 

He cited the case of a Chicago man accused of shooting a man at an amusement park in a Chicago suburb over the weekend in front of young children. 

“He knew that there were children in that amusement park but he had total disregard for that. That’s ridiculous,” Ford said. “You know when you’re shooting at a house, you know kids are there. You know you’re shooting at a school, you also know kids are there.”

Earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanded answers in the unsolved killing of Moultry. The weekend he was killed, there were 24 shootings that resulted in six deaths and 26 people wounded. 

“These murders don’t happen in isolation, they happen and people know,” Lightfoot said during a news conference with Gregg in attendance. “Too much bloodshed has happened in our streets, and we cannot stand silently while that happens, not while babies are being taken … So I’m urging and asking and pleading for people with information about MJ’s case and the other 34 unsolved child murders in our city to come forward.”

The killings of Chicago’s youngest residents have become so commonplace, Gregg said, it doesn’t even warrant large media coverage. 

“It’s beyond belief the amount of children that are shot in this city,” she said. “It’s to the point where people are so numb to it. If I see a headline like that where I’m from in Alabama, the whole state would be in a frenzy. You see that in Chicago and it’s not even a top story.”

Ford said the goal of such a bill would be to ensure that suspects be held accountable with the maximum punishment, and hopefully, deter some of the bloodshed.

“When a police officer is killed, it’s a capital offense,” he said. “If it’s not capital punishment it would be life without the possibility of parole but we have to have stiffer penalties for people that kill babies or kids.”

As of Tuesday, 50 people under 18 have been killed across the city and 381 have been shot, according to police data. 

In the months since the killing of her son, Gregg said she has canvassed the neighborhood where the shooting occurred and the surrounding areas in an effort to get answers.

“Today makes 75 days that my son has been murdered and there’s still no justice for him,” she said. 

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