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A public official’s plea to fix Chicago crime in honor of Cynthia Trevillion

Editor’s note: Joe Ferguson is the city of Chicago’s inspector general, a member of the city’s Police Accountability Task Force and a former board member at Waldorf School, where Cynthia Trevillion taught his children. Trevillion, 64, was murdered last week in Rogers Park. The Chicago Sun-Times asked Ferguson for his thoughts about the tragedy. Here’s what he wrote:

Last Friday, a schoolteacher died on the streets of Chicago. An unintended victim of a drive-by shooting. During the fading daylight hours of a workday. By a CTA station. At the end of the rush-hour commute. In one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods. While walking to meet friends for dinner. With her husband, who also is a schoolteacher.

These people are not strangers to me; they taught my children.

It all stings. Cynthia Trevillion’s sudden and senseless killing not only is a loss to society, but it also shakes the sense of well being, security and faith for the residents of the neighborhood where this event occurred. Her husband, John, is left to carry on with an unsalvable gash to his soul, unspeakable loneliness and survivor’s guilt.

Then there is the tightly knit school that has been bettering the lives of children in Chicago for 40 years. The school will soldier on, but what of those children? There resides maybe the broadest tragedy. Children taught to view the world as a good place will struggle to do so again. And they and future children will not have the benefit of a good, kind-hearted, loving and supportive teacher; maybe two teachers.

This is not normal.

Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell, in characteristically heartfelt fashion, recently asked why this shooting was different. A part-time Chicago Public Schools employee died a few days later, shot while sitting on her front porch, another innocent victim. It pierced the news cycle and then faded. Mary asked why the Rogers Park murder carried a jolt that the ceaseless stream of others have not.

Because it was an…

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