*On CNN Wednesday to promote his new film “Chi-Raq” about Chicago’s gun violence, Spike Lee told host Anderson Cooper that social media is partly to blame for the city’s high homicides rate.
The director appeared alongside Chicago priest, Father Michael Pfleger, for a three-part interview. The discussion turned toward 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee’s brutal murder last week.
“Through Father [Pfleger], I met two of his peacekeepers who told me that social media is a major element of violence. People post something on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and others respond to it — not by typing something on their phones but by bang, bang, bang,” Lee told Cooper.
“I care about human beings, what is happening in Chicago, in Brooklyn where I am from, the Bronx, ‘Killadelphia,’ New Orleans… South Central,” the filmmaker said.
When Cooper asked why Lee focused on the epidemic in Chicago over other U.S. cities in “Chi-Raq,” which is the nickname used for the city’s war-zone-like South Side, he replied: “Chicago is the canary in the coal mine.
“New York City has three times the population of Chicago, but Chicago has more homicides. This is the spot, Ground Zero.”
Lee’s satirical film about gun violence stars John Cusack (in a role similar to Father Pfleger’s real-life persona), Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson.
In the latest act of senseless violence, fourth grader Tyshawn Lee was killed on his way to play basketball after being intentionally targeted because of his father’s alleged gang ties. Police say he was lured into an alley and shot multiple times in the face and back.
“Tyshawn was not in the wrong place. The murderer, the executioner, the assassin — he was in the wrong place,” Father Pfleger said Tuesday at Lee’s funeral during his passionate eulogy.
Watch the interview below: