Editorial: The violence has to stop

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Football season will be starting soon. Across northeast Ohio, thousands of players will be out there to have fun, impress some girls, and maybe even put themselves in a position for a college scholarship. Whether that road goes onto the pros or not, the educational opportunity can be life-changing.

At John Hay High School, one of the people expected to get some attention from colleges is Michael Chapman, who plays quarterback, safety, and wide-receiver. Word is, he's already being recruited by schools like Bowling Green and Notre Dame. It's got to be an exciting time for Michael and his friends and family.

But there is a problem.

Back on July 6, Michael asked his mom if he could run to the store. A few minutes later, he was talking to some friends on the corner of Ansel and Kenmore. A few minutes after that he was hit by a bullet in a drive-by shooting.

The bullet paralyzed Michael Chapman. In a second, his football career was over. His chance for an athletic scholarship was over. A lot of his dreams ended that day. A few weeks later on July 23rd, all the rest of his dreams ended when he died from complications from the shooting.

Too many lives are being lost on the streets of Cleveland. Michael is just one story.

I spoke of Michael in the present tense at the beginning of this editorial and that was on purpose. I think we are turning the page on those we lose way too quickly. We have plenty of decisions to make in terms of leadership in Cleveland this year. A few weeks ago, we talked about some of the biggest issues to consider. For me, this is the biggest.

The violence just has to stop.

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