Derrion Albert, 16, was beat to death with a railroad tie by a gang of teen killers outside Fenger High School in Chicago in 2009. The promising young honor student was an innocent bystander caught up in a brawl between gangs.
Watch local coverage of the murder.
The murder of Derrion Albert occurred on September 24, 2009, near Christian Fenger Academy High School, on Chicago’s South Side. Born in 1993, Albert, 16, was a junior honors student at the school.
Reports and video indicate that Albert was unintentionally caught in a fight between gangs from two neighborhoods, Altgeld Gardens and The Ville. His death occurred after he was brutally beaten by several boys with pieces of a railroad tie. Police initially arrested four individuals, Silvonus Shannon, Eric Carson, Eugene Riley, and Eugene Bailey, who were charged with first-degree murder. Charges were later dropped against Bailey after further investigations.
The amateur video footage of the beating was widely broadcast to horrified viewers in both traditional and online media. Largely resulting from the widespread circulation of this video, the story attracted much national attention within the United States, leading President Barack Obama to send U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Chicago to discuss youth violence with Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Derrion’s gradnfather Norman Golliday said after the 5th and final murder conviction in Chicago in June 2011 “This [kind of teen murder] is not new – it did not just start. And I don’t expect it to end. I grew up in this city, and I went through some of the same hardships.”
All 5 killers, two of them teens, were convicted of first degree murder. One was tried as a juvenile.
State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (left) joins Derrion Albert’s mother Anjanette Albert and grandfather Norman Golliday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse today after Lapoleon Colbert was sentenced to 32 years in prison in Albert’s death. Colbert was the last of five defendants convicted in the videotaped 2009 beating death of Derrion Albert near Fenger High School. (Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune / August 29, 2011)