Sep 28, 2009


"Derrion has never been in a fight in his life," said Joe Walker, Derrion's grandfather who raised him. "He never raised his voice. Not in 16 years have I had one day of trouble."

Walker broke down several times speaking about his grandson, proudly showing off the awards he received at Christian Fenger Academy High School for excellent attendance and being on the honor roll. Derrion had just started his junior year.

"We were crazy about him," Walker said. "He was the type of grandson everybody wished for."

Monique Bond, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman, said Derrion "basically was walking along unprovoked, and unbeknownst to him he was about to walk into this conflict. I don't think he even saw them coming."

T-Awannda Piper, a youth worker at the Agape Community Center in the 300 block of West 111th Street, witnessed the brawl. She said the fight started with about a dozen high school students, then quickly escalated to about 100, about 3 p.m. Thursday.

"They had sticks; they were fighting with their hands; they were taking off their shirts and throwing them on the ground," she said. "I saw [Derrion] get hit twice with a stick."

She said Derrion fell to his knees, then was hit again in the head. He was unconscious but alive when she dragged him into the building with the help of a man driving through a nearby alley who abandoned his truck to assist.

Derrion was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

He died of cerebral injuries and blunt head trauma from assault, the medical examiner's office said.

While the family did not believe Derrion was involved with a gang, several people have been victims of gang violence in the far South Side neighborhood over the summer.

On Thursday morning, shots were fired outside Fenger. No one was hit, but a teenager was arrested and the incident was believed to be gang-related, said Officer Jo Ann Taylor, a Chicago Police spokeswoman.

Taylor said police are investigating any role gangs might have played in Thursday's fatal melee.

Bond said the school district was told there is possibly a conflict between two "factions," but "it has nothing to do with the school." She also said the fight and the Thursday morning shooting outside Fenger are not believed to be related.

Those in the community said they are tired and scared of the violence.

"It's nuts. It's escalating," said Milton Massie, director of the Agape Community Center, who saw surveillance video of the fight. "This was mob action."

Toya Truitt, who has two sons at Fenger, said tensions between kids living in the Altgeld Gardens housing project and those living near the school have been on the rise.

"A lot of kids don't want to come back" to school, she said. "This boy [Derrion] was innocent. He was a kid going home."

Walker said he and his late wife had raised Derrion since he was a baby. When the boy's mother moved to Downstate Mount Vernon, he chose not to go with her, wanting to stay in Chicago.

When his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, Derrion doted on her, Walker said.

"He was 14 years old, and he would come home and take care of her," he said.

After Derrion's grandmother died last September, he lived on and off with Eunice Cross, the grandmother of his 10-year-old half-sister, but when she needed more space for other family members, Derrion moved back in with Walker.

"He was a quiet young man around the house," Cross said. "He didn't talk much."

His grandfather said he spent most evenings doing schoolwork on his computer. On the walls of the computer room, cheerful family photos surrounded a handwritten list of "Affirmations for Living" that Derrion wrote, Walker said.

"I would surround myself with people who bring out the best in me," the list reads. "I would rid myself of the negativity in my life, including friends and significant others. I would do something nice for someone, just because." source

There is a video of the mob beating.  I just don't have the stomach to place it here on the site, but if you want to watch it you can click here.  The police are begging anyone who can identify any of the people allegedly involved in the death of Derrion Albert, please call Area Two of the Chicago Police Dept. That number is 312-747-8272.



  2. @ 10:05 am
    I hope you don't have kids with the comments you just made. He was innocent. That beat, kicked, beat, kicked, beat kicked while he was down. That video is awful. Take these bad ass kids and drop them in Afghanistan and let them role. DROP THESE Wanna be gangster off!

  3. My heart is grieving...I have no words for what happened.....

    With regards to Anonymous. Several witnesses said Derrion Albert was trying to help a friend who was being attacked and got attacked in the process.

    Nevertheless...a promising life was lost to senseless violence.

  4. Anonymous, you have no idea of how ignorant you sound. I agree with Memphis, TN. I hope you do not have children of your own because I feel sorry for them, it is people like you who start vicious attacks like this one. That young boy was innocent, and as stated "The good ones always go first." I am a Native Chicagoian, but I took upon myself to move away from there due to the violence. I have children of my own and I just wanted I better life for them in a more safe place. After viewing that video it brought tears to my eyes and I was very upset and hurt. All the people that was out there cars riding pass and things of that nature how nobody really tried to protect our children from them gang members. I do understand they may was concern about their lives, but it was awful how all the adults and others stood back and let this happen to this young man, now all the adults want to speak, it could have been avoided. I pray for his parents and hope one day they could live again. I accept death (normal), however, it is not acceptable if it involves violence.

  5. My heart goes out to the family, this really bothers me, im a 22 yr old black male from a ruff neighborhood, and I can honestly say it is getting out of hand, and i have seen some pretty crazy things, but this has touched me, God bless the family of Derrion Albert

  6. I spent most of my life in Chicago. No words can describe what I saw today and how I feel. In the city I saw violence, I felt violence and fear. I know what chaos is like and I hate it. I do not want to be a part of it again. It cannot be allowed to continue unimpeded. We canot stop violence, yet if we do not fight it, it consumes our community

  7. I am from NYC and I have a 15 year old daughter
    that I worry about each and every day with all this gang
    violence. I can't begin to understand this! There is ABSOLUTELY nothing that could justify Derrion to have been beaten so maliciously...we must pray for Derrion's soul & his family but we must also pray for the kids who committed this heinous act of violence...

  8. I don't understand how the youth are out there fighting next to a center that is suppose to be a safe haven. During that time of day I'm quite sure that there were many folks who passed by and chose to ignore the situation. I hope that they take a moment to reflect and say to themselves that I could have prevented this if I would have gotten involved. This young man's blood cries from the ground. It's a clear indication that we aren't our brothers keeper. Taking no stand at all is taking a stand. May God have mercy on all of our souls. When are people in the community going to take back what is rightfully theres. It's something that has been overdue. Turning a blind eye will not make the problem invisible. If the community was aware that trouble was brewing why didnt they notify the city officials. These things will continue if we continue to tie our hands and say to ourselves it's none of my business. Everything that happens in this community, world is our business. We live in it....

  9. I dnt care if he was there to help a friend they didnt have to kill him. Now from what i seen he was pushed into that fight and the boy in the red hit him with the stick then a boy in the black came and hit him now when he was on the grounsd another boy came and killed him that last hit killed him. So for those boys that got caught i think they need to be in the electric chair or in prison for life. and i dnt under stand why the police wasnt around when kids get out of school. and to this Derrion mother i under stand her pain to lose a love one.

  10. well i think it was wrong and sad and i think every body that was out the shoulder got put in jail because it was like 4 boys hitin and beating on him at the same time and you know that shit on right and if i was the police tha need to go get all the dam studen what if somebody did they got dam son like that they would prombly kill everbody at ther and that the dam truth

  11. For the the first comment that said he wasnt innocent f**k what you talking about because who not going to take up for there friend n what ever he had was nothing like what they had in they hand so you need to stop comment on here n if the boys dat killed him somthing is going to happen to ther love ones cause what goes around comes around.

  12. Like I said before some of you really need to think before responding to these post because you look real stupid with some of the things that you respond with. So are you telling me you have to be innocent to not be hit in the head with a 2x4? It doesn't matter wtf he was doing nobody should be hit in the head with anything.

  13. K.C.MO,Mom!
    What is the world coming to, and with the family of the accused in denial. Those boys ( because there is no room in the world for men like that) those boys should receive the harshes punishment possible. DEATH, they are worthless anyway, if they weren't they would not have done what they did. To the family of those boys, No More Denial, it was them and justice will be served. I hope they see this young man their every waking hour, and in their sleep, no rest shall come to them, as for their family members, something is wrong with you, those boys are a product of their environment and looking at the faces that was on the news DENING everything, they came from a poor,uneducated,worthless family. May God have NO pity on their souls. Rest in peace young soldier. KC,MO MOM.

  14. Hate the Game

    Boys claimin’ they’re men, fast track to the grave
    Thinkin’ they’re players, all the time bein’ played
    Babies have babies, mamas pass blame
    Sisters and daughters don’t know their real name
    Rappers proclaim, we just showin’ what’s real
    Children then copy till the day that they’re killed

    A system designed to imprison our youth
    Embellishing lies, disguising the truth
    Sisters disrobing on video screens
    Renouncing their rights as African queens
    Brothers gone wild with lascivious acts
    Minds chained to slavery, that’s just the facts

    I’m not hatin’ the players, I’m hatin’ the game
    Dollars and cents got a lock on their brains

    Hi tech plantations raping our village
    Corporate execs continue to pillage
    Movies corrupting with negative themes
    Drugs, sex and crime, a genocidal scheme
    Influencing children, repeating the hooks
    Keeping them down, re-writing the books

    Plantations ain’t changed in four hundred years
    Still whippin’ and beatin’ slaves into fear
    Fear of lovin’ yourself, men, women and kids
    Fear of planning a future, educatin’ your peers
    Fear of seein’ the truth, fear of havin’ respect
    Fear of claiming a culture of wealth, not neglect

    I’m not hatin’ the players, I’m hatin’ the game
    Dollars and cents padlocking their brains

    Thugs grinnin’ and smilin’ with chains ‘round their neck
    Gold ‘stead of iron has the same slave effect
    House negroes happy they don’t have to go
    Massa he love us, let us sell all his dope
    We better off now, we got bling, we got flash
    Fat pockets with cash and the massa just laughs

    I’m not hatin’ the players, I’m hatin’ the game
    Dollars and cents got a lock on their brains

    The dogs in the yard used to keep us at bay
    Now we’re callin’ our brothers by the same canine name
    The underground railroad once used to escape
    Gotta be resurrected to end this slave rape
    Young poets and writers, rappers too
    Gotta build new tracks preparing our youth

    ‘Stead of hatin’ on players who’re tryin’ to stand tall
    Pick up the challenge, pick up the ball
    Read ‘tween the lines, ‘cause that’s where truth lies
    Break out of the box, start savin’ lives
    Don’t be a slave with a house, car and boat
    Grinning and shuffling, refusing to vote

    I’m not hatin’ the players, I’m hatin’ the game
    Dollars and cents padlocking their brains

    Ancestors suffered, robbed of their name
    Raped of their heritage; think this is a game?
    Strung up and hung from the tallest tree
    Whipped and tortured in their fight to be free
    All this abuse to liberate you
    Give you a chance to start out anew

    To resurrect families, fulfilling your dreams
    With culture and values, silencing screams
    Erasing the nightmare of horrendous attacks
    Bringing back life with courageous acts
    Become heroes and heroines to ones you hold dear
    Leave legacies of love, not those of fear

    Copyright © 2005 by F. Geoffrey Johnson All rights reserved

  15. If you watch the video carefully it does appear that he became involved in the fight before he was viciously attacked. He certainly walked into the middle of it, whether he intended to or not.

    Just before the first hit with the wooden plank he takes a swing at another boy who was coming at him. It's very tragic and I agree nothing he did makes him deserve any of what was done to him, and certainly not his murder.

    But it does call into question the narrative about how he was completely uninvolved and the simplistic subtext that he was "one of the good ones". The problems of youth violence and gangs are systemic and do not exist becomes some kids are "good" and others "bad".

    The implication is that if we just "lock up all the thugs" we can solve the problem without addressing the underlying pressures and indignities (poverty, racism, police oppression) that result in these young men reacting much like young soldiers do in combat and at places like Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo.