Zarriel Trotter as he appeared in the Black Is Human campaign’s video “Real Talk”
Black Is Human via YouTube screenshot

A Chicago teen who appeared in an award-winning public service video about gun violence was shot and seriously injured over the weekend, the New York Times reports

Zarriel Trotter, 13, was struck by a stray bullet after two groups of youths got into a “heated argument” Friday night on the city’s West Side, authorities said. A person pulled out a gun and started firing, striking the boy.


“He was not the intended target,” Police Officer Jose Estrada said, according to the Times. “He was standing on the sidewalk.”

No one else was injured in the shooting. 

Zarriel, as the Times notes, was one of several young students who took part in a video series last year highlighting the impact gun violence has had on the black community. In the videos, which were part of the YouTube and Facebook campaign Black Is Human, showed several youths speaking about their fear of gun violence and becoming part of the statistics, as well as the damage it was doing to their neighborhoods. 


“I don’t want to live around my community where I got to keep on hearing and hearing people keep on getting shot, people keep on getting killed,” Zarriel said in the video in which he is featured. 

According to the Times, Elizabeth Jamison-Dunn, the principal of Catalyist Circle Rock Charter School, where Zarriel is in the seventh grade, told the Chicago Tribune over the weekend that Zarriel was recovering but not able to speak yet. 


“It was disheartening,” she said of Zarriel’s shooting.

Read more at the New York Times

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