One of our University of Chicago peers was viciously murdered on Thursday by a stray bullet on a Chicago Green Line CTA elevated train. Like countless other UChicago students, Max Lewis was traveling home after his summer internship downtown, when a bullet came through the train window and struck him in the neck. Lewis passed away after being taken off life support on Sunday. He was 20 years old.
As a rising junior at the University of Chicago, Lewis was excelling. Reading about Lewis’s life, he sounds like the type of person we all hope to be—full of joy, surrounded by friends, and excited for his promising future. He was living in Chicago for the summer to complete a prestigious investment banking internship.
Lewis didn’t have to work in person, but he was such a friendly, dedicated individual that he chose to make the trek downtown. His young life was senselessly cut short when his train ride home was interrupted by yet another Chicago shooting.
According to the police, Lewis was not the intended target of the attack. The case is still being investigated, and no arrests have been made.
“Max was a talented student and beloved campus leader and friend who will be greatly missed,” UChicago stated in a university-wide email. “He was pursuing a double major in economics and computer science, treasurer of the Promontory Investment Research RSO, president of the fraternity AEPi, and actively involved in the student community on campus.”
When reflecting on the loss of his friend and fraternity brother, Zachary Cogan rightly slammed Chicago’s inexcusable violence. “This happens all the time in Chicago,” he emphasized to the Chicago Sun-Times. “It needs to end.”
Cogan wasn’t exaggerating. Lewis is the second UChicago student this year to have his bright future cut short by a deadly shooting in Lightfoot’s lawless city. After receiving a bachelor’s degree at Peking University and a master’s at the University of Cambridge, Yiran Fan was a fourth-year Ph.D. at UChicago. He’d spent his life traveling the world to pursue academics, only to be gunned down in a South Side parking garage in January. He was 30 years old.
Chicago Violence Is Out of Control
Violence consumes Chicago. During the Fourth of July weekend, more than 90 people were shot in the city, including a 6-year-old girl and her mother, two police officers, and a group of six individuals. Between late Friday afternoon and Monday evening, at least 16 people were murdered in shootings, while two were “fatally stabbed.”
The list of victims is long. A member of the National Guard was murdered in Chicago while leaving a house party. At a mere 19 years old, he was on temporary leave from his basic training, before he was murdered in cold blood. “He was fighting for our country,” his sister said. “He comes to Chicago, and he gets killed in the streets.”
Four children under the age of 14 were also injured in shootings. A 67-year-old man died after being stabbed on a CTA bus. Meanwhile, the city became even more volatile, as “hundreds of young people and Chicago police officers flooded the Loop on Sunday, sometimes clashing while fireworks exploded and some dumpsters caught fire.”
Lightfoot’s city is falling to pieces, but she refuses to effectively address the problem. During a recent press conference, she made the absurd assertion that Chicago “crime is on the decline.”
“All of our major indices show a decline in our crime, and our homicides and our shootings year over year are down,” she claimed. This is such a blatant lie that it’s offensive Lightfoot thinks her fellow Chicagoans are dumb enough to fall for it. We aren’t.
According to NBC News, Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown says “Homicides are up by 5 percent and shootings are up by 17 percent this year compared to the same period last year.” As of mid-June, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that 195 more people have been shot in Chicago in 2021 than in 2020, reaching a total of 1,587. This count doesn’t include the 90-plus victims like Lewis who have been viciously attacked since then.
Brown also says criminals are being released and—wait for it—committing more crimes. Imagine that: when Lightfoot fails to hold criminals accountable, they’re emboldened to keep terrorizing her city.
Our Leftist Peers Still Want to Abolish the Police
As if leftist radicals’ response to Chicago’s surging crime rates couldn’t get any dumber, members of our university’s incoming student government plan to “work toward the disarming, defunding, and abolition of [the University of Chicago’s Police Department (UCPD)] by amplifying the work of groups such as CareNotCops.”
As a majority black and Hispanic police force, the University of Chicago’s Police Department (UCPD) is the “primary police agency” on UChicago’s campus. If it weren’t for the bravery and dedication of the UCPD, I wouldn’t be safe crossing campus, and my parents wouldn’t allow me to live in the city.
CareNotCops, in contrast, is an extremist campaign dedicated to eradicating the UCPD. Among other endeavors, it’s self-described as “demand[ing] that UChicago end their continued harm on the South Side of Chicago by abolishing the UCPD.”
Last August, CareNotCops staged a week-long occupation outside Provost Ka Yee Lee’s house. Using a megaphone, one of the occupation’s organizers led a group chant, shouting “racist -ss cops.” CareNotCops also organized a January teach-in to discuss eradicating the police. And the campaign continues to promote hatred toward law enforcement. During a May retreat, more than 200 students and community members gathered to “creat[e] art.” Such “art” included a large sign that said, “Cops off campus, cops off earth.”
Unsurprisingly, the CareNotCops social media accounts are active, but they’ve failed to mention Lewis’s death. Apparently, our peer’s demise doesn’t fit their narrative.
Chicagoans Deserve Better
The tragedy, of course, is that Chicago isn’t just Lightfoot’s city. Nor is it the playground for another CHAZ-inspired fairytale gone wrong. Chicago is home to almost three million Chicagoans, including me.
This home is jeopardized when our incompetent mayor fails to keep criminals off the streets and lies to her constituents. “CareNotCops” exacerbates the problem by prioritizing hateful, childish sloganeering over law and order.
I’ve ridden the CTA countless times. When my friends and I board the train, we shouldn’t fear that we’ll be murdered by stray bullets. When we sit down on the bus, we shouldn’t worry that we’ll be knifed to death. That’s absurd.
Thanks to the incompetence of Lightfoot, this lunacy has become a reality. And if CareNotCops and our incoming student government representatives succeed in defunding the UCPD, the violence will continue to soar.
Beyond my parents and younger brother, UChicago is the only community in which I’ve ever felt truly at home. But, a home is not a home when you’re terrified for your life. Lightfoot and the CareNotCops organizers should be ashamed of themselves. Our city deserves so much better.
In Lewis’s honor, his fraternity launched a GoFundMe to raise money to transport his friends to the funeral in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. The remainder of the funds will go toward charity.
“Max was an intelligent, caring, compassionate member of the UChicago community and a dear friend to many,” the GoFundMe page reads. “He is known amongst friends, peers, and classmates for his kindness, goofiness, grit, impeccable work ethic, and most importantly, his unfailingly genuine soul.” Speaking for the entire community, the page says Lewis “will be sorely missed.”
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.
**This story was originally published in The Federalist.
Yes, gun violence is a major issue in Chicago, but CNC and “campus leftists” have absolutely nothing to do with this; Max was shot outside the UCPD patrol zone. But I’m sure his parents would totally appreciate you using their son’s passing as a way to promote your stupid political agenda, you actual piece of shit.
His parents and family would love to know that this won’t ever happen to another UChicago student as the UCPD is being incresed by 10X….
We don’t need a third student murdered.
You are a fucking jackass.
The first murder happened INSIDE the UCPD patrol zone….
You CNC imbeciles must want a third murder by the “misunderstood” set of neighborhood murderous criminals.
The vulgar author of the comment above titled “What the hell is wrong with you?” needs psychological help, no offense intended.
Any native white Chicagoan would be astonished that a student from the elite university in Hyde Park travels by CTA through the South Side black ghetto instead of private transportation. I remember foreign students who all had cars. In summertime a Vespa or notircycle. It is tragically ironic that this student took the elevated subway to his job at a firm devoted to stock exchange capitalism, etc. Here we see how dishonest the university adninistration is not to inform its naive students NOT to use CTA. Here we also see how diffuse and myopic the intellectualism of this ivory tower infects students’ minds. A review of the scatterbrained themes of wealthy lobbies for Zionism and Roman Catholicism can be found in this organ of student life instead of focus on long-term reality like mandatory injection.
Why the hell should his death not be used to show the insanity of Lightfoot’s policies and failures???? You’re just mad that she exposed what happens when a leftist’s policies cause death and destruction.
Really? He just died. Let his friends and family grieve. Don’t use him as a battering ram for your agenda. This is sad, even for the likes of you all.
The author of this gibberish comment should take a stroll through the “neighbourhood”, and when the consequences are readily apparent…make sure you forgot the numbers 9…1…1
Enjoy the law of the jungle as you find your place in the food chain.
Let s put up “ Wanted posters” ear the green line and in U chicago /Hyde park
Offer a ~ $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest , prosecution , conviction and yeah execution of the piece of $&”” that murdered this U Chicago student and Hyde Park neighbor .
Let s contest the campus against “Carenotcops”
Anything almost legal they can do so can we .
They can do protests and shine lights inside U Chicago provost ‘s home . We can do the same outside the homes of our worst ever mayor , Soros funded DA Kim Foxx , top judge Tim Evans. Tim Evans had a Hyde Park Kenwood connection back in the day .He was a Kenwood alderman in the late 1970s.
I think the most revolting part of this article is that the Thinker rounded up what amounted to a total stranger, Ms. Unverferth, to write this completely impersonal and opportunistic garbage that treats Max like a pawn in their political chess game. You claim to decry the violence and death in this city all the while treating a robust and beautiful human life as nothing more than an excuse to attack the Mayor’s office. Max deserves better than this.
That’s probably not what happened; the author is not only the founder of this website, she also had the gall to submit this drivel to the Federalist as well. I can’t imagine the amount of mental gymnastics she must have had to perform to justify writing this in her mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if she attributes all this backlash to “cancel culture” to avoid confronting the fact that publishing this article was a disgusting and appalling thing to do.
Stay in Indianapolis and Milwaukee…You are two fucking imbeciles….
Audrey Unverferth is a beacon of hope for the future to call out the CareNotCops, Defund the Police, woke, SJW imbeciles….
What’s even more infuriating is that someone who lives in Indianapolis, a city that is seeing ever-increasing numbers of shooting deaths recently because of its own mayor’s cluelessness, would claim that Ms. Unverferth’s piece is “opportunistic garbage that treats Max like a pawn in their political chess game”. I’d try to explain to you (and all of the commenters like you) how stupid your comment makes you look. But the length of the Comments is too limited to allow me to do so.
Using a tragedy to advance a self-righteous and racist agenda is pretty low, even for you guys. Absolutely disgusting to see a recent death being used as a right wing talking point.
Not the “racist” word again….
The left must be choking on the fact that ideas, stupid statements, and lunatic left wing policies have real world consequences….sadly.
Real people suffer from your stupid ideas.
When the left see the lunacy of their points, and the tragic consequences….logic and truth confront them dead on….they then scream “racist” and reach for their cancel culture…
Go back to your Antifa meeting…l
Audrey, this is literally a disgusting piece of writing. I cannot believe you took your time to bank on someone’s death to bring up your political agenda against other students on-campus who have nothing to do with this, as well as to be racist. You should have gone to a school in white small town, not Chicago, with all honesty. Nobody needs this kind of sickening and disgusting mindset that you clearly have in our community. This does not help anybody except you. Please, stop.
To the man or woman who wrote this comment.
Why do you suggest Audrey (who deserves a medal and will have an awesome high profile career, and a correspondingly spectacular life) should go live in a “white small town”.
Is that where safety, goodness and civil society is found?
Is that your implication?
Why would a small white town equal safety? Hmmmm……
Interesting where safety is not found….following your logic.
To the Author of the Above Post….
The only thing insane is your shock that taking away law enforcement causes crime (murder, rape, armed assault…etc) to skyrocket.
UChicago is supposed to be a well guarded island of civility and safety to nurture the best and brightest the world has to offer. (Sadly some of those admitted are also left wing, nihilistic lunatics, incapable of clear thinking….this needs to be given better screening in the admissions office).
Sadly campus is surrounded by a bursting population of dangerous, criminal, murderous savages.
Go and find a Policeman or a Policewoman….walk up them and thank them for their doing their duty….and tell them you appreciate their sacrifice…
Maybe they can stop a future murderer today from ever seeing the light of day.
Iis unbelievable you’d use a student who just got killed to push your fucking agenda. People who work for this disgusting website should be ashamed of themselves. This article should get taken down.
Oh…more “cancel culture” from the Defund the Police, CareNotCops set…
“This article should get taken down.”…….ahhhhh NO!
Be brave….publish your home address and let the criminals know you will NEVER call the police for help.
Put your money where your mouth is.
I’m sure the criminals would love to have more freedom to be the murderous criminals they already are.
There are just so many good points yall could have made. Yall could have brought up how the travesty of gun violence requires a targeted intervention strategy for gangs, which was successfully implemented in Boston. Yall could have mentioned how mental healthcare is at a crisis point in our country, and needs real investment. Yall couldve mentioned we desperately need more public infrastructure and community work programs to prevent poor people from joining these brutal gangs. But that doesn’t fit the narrative – that these criminals are “thugs” who are predisposed to “thuggery” from birth. Fuck actually reforming the system, just “take on the bad guys” with an authoritarian police state like it’s a kids cartoon. The fact that this is posted days after a tragedy in the campus community only adds insult to injury; you couldve actually argued for a better system, where real investments made to prevent people from joining brutal gangs. But that doesnt fit the narrative, does it?
God Bless the Chicago Thinker for such an EXCELLENT article.
The ONLY organization writing the facts.
Here is a proposal:
Let those who don’t love and respect our men and women in blue live in a specific area where there are no cops. The rest of us can live in areas with police protection.
Lets let Darwinian evolution take over these SJW, Defund the Police, CRT lunatics. The scumbag criminals will have their way with the CareNotCops crowd and we wont have to worry about them anymore.
The UCPD should be increased by 10 X, with much heavier weapons to protect law abiding citizens and the UChicago community members from the “neighborhood scumbags”.
Have the UCPD form a hard perimeter to keep away the scumbags so life can be lived as it should be.
WE DON’T NEED A THIRD STUDENT MURDERED BY THESE SCUMBAGS….
PS: I see how several commentators above accuse the author Audrey in vulgar fashion of what in fact is their own problem. Audrey’s need is to concentrate on what she experiences and encourage individual thinking and not encourage the stereotype collective mouthpieces.
God Bless the Chicago Thinker for such an EXCELLENT article. The ONLY organization writing the facts. Here is a proposal: Let those who don’t love and respect our men and women in blue live in a specific area where there are no cops. The rest of us can live in areas with police protection. Lets let Darwinian evolution take over these SJW, Defund the Police, CRT lunatics. The scumbag criminals will have their way with the CareNotCops crowd and we wont have to worry about them anymore. The UCPD should be increased by 10 X, with much heavier weapons to protect law abiding citizens and the UChicago community members from the “neighborhood scumbags”. Have the UCPD form a hard perimeter to keep away the scumbags so life can be lived as it should be. WE DON’T NEED A THIRD STUDENT MURDERED BY THESE SCUMBAGS….
Say his name:
Max Solomon Lewis
Say his name:
The best of the best.
These people were murdered by the “neighbourhood”
This is absolutely disgusting. How dare you weaponize the tragic death of a student to promote your political agenda? This is disrespectful. Take the bloody article down.
This bloody article should be on the cover of every major newspaper in America.
Your lunatic ideas are going get more innocent people killed.
Thank you for standing up for free speech – to state (at least on this blog) the truth that Chicago’s rampant murder and mayhem is wrong and good people should speak out and fight to prevent evil and punish evil.
Would you or any others who agree with the author’s position be interested in meeting in person? We should have strict privacy protections as we will get persecuted being anything honest Conservative in Hyde Park, U Chicago, South Side of Chicago.
We’re sort of like “Gays” in the 1950s.
We have to be in the closet or risk losing our jobs, friends, social status.
But that’s life.
I for one am not giving in to this lying PC “Woke” world. And I will speak out against the murder of U Chicago students and also the murder of a 74 year old Black African American Viet Nam Veteran in the Kimbark Plaza this week.
Anyone interested in a safe meet and greet?
Wow. This is quite embarrassing. You have failed to have any morals during a dark time in our community. You have also failed to educate yourself on the many nuances that exist within the police system and have left yourself completely unchecked from bias and elitism. However, I couldn’t care less what you wrote as your publication is unreliable and complete shit, but I am disgusted that anyone would use someone’s death to push their own political agenda. Please think with your brain and have so goddamn empathy.
You are the people who get on the scale, see you are overweight, and then yell at the scale.
The truth is the truth!!
I pray the brave MEN and WOMEN in blue find this murderer, lock “it” up, and throw away the key….forever.
This article is absolutely despicable. Using the recent and tragic death of a peer to further your political agenda is selfish and repulsive. This post should be removed, and you should be ashamed of yourself. I can’t even comprehend how you can be so deranged that you think posting this is even remotely acceptable. I hope that Max’s friends and family don’t ever come across this callous exploitation of their loved one.
Audrey Unverferth should be given a medal for her bravery in speaking out about how the left wing establishment is sacrificing the safety and security of America, so that a deranged, left wing, nihilistic sub culture can be wheeled out to vote to continue their soft on crime policies.
God Bless America….Protect Her and Keep Her Safe!
alot of comments here blasting the author with nothing more then partisan emotional attacks. How dare you defend the mayors office when another senseless death like Max arised. Everything spoken in the article is fact, including the rising crime numbers and murder rate under lightfoot is thru the roof. What more needs to be done before you see it. I bet the majority of you trolls calling her a racist and what not or white little tools who probably live in naperville
Sitting over here in Australia , I read with a touch of sadness of the Loss Of Life , of a student, in what would appear to be an accidental shooting as the result of an illegal use of a firearm.
What I have found more incredulous then the waste of a life snuffed out at such a young age, is the vile and hateful comments that have been raised as “comments” on the article.
Such Hate — if that is really how the comment writers feel, fills my heart with sorrow and pity for them, as to have a single individual feel so hurt and damaged is unhealthy,
— yet to have multiple writers feel the need to attack the article and the author –would suggest a contrived and organised campaign .
This would be a justification, that whatever or whoever is misguiding them — are not doing anything to assist their mental wellbeing. It is hoped you are able to access the mental assistance you require.
Audrey you should be ashamed of yourself for spending the time coming up with and writing this article. He was a fellow classmate and his death is a tragedy and should not be written about to push your own backwards beliefs. I urge you to take this down.
“Max Solomon Lewis & Yiran Fan” – were truly the best of the best.
Their murders by the “neighborhood dwellers” are an immense loss of potential and a senseless waste of the best of humanity.
UCPD should be expanded 10X, with hard borders of 10 blocks in each direction from campus for the “neighbors” to stay away from the UChicago community.
UCPD needs way bigger, heavy duty weapons as well to fend off the criminal scumbag savages dwelling in the vicinity.
I don’t like to comment on these things as it only platforms your ideas further, but today warrants an exception. Usually, the content on this website is largely just unintelligible ranting designed to fan the flames of a one-sided culture war, but this article (and your stunt on Fox News) are a new low. As you admit, you didn’t know the student who died, but you–and I assume you did this without approval from his family or community–decided shamelessly to post this and then go on the news to advance your political agenda. Of course crime is a serious, tragic issue, but how dare you take someone’s death and turn it into a campaign for your public acknowledgement? You didn’t know him, you said yourself that you only saw him on the quad and could “recognize” his face, which paints the picture of someone with no connection to this event. I’m left wondering if you really care at all about loss of a life, or if you really just wanted another few minutes on Fox news?
Glad you are here reading the truth from the only Free Speech publication at UChicago…maybe someday something will sink in.
Keep commenting…keep engaging with the truth….maybe some of it will find its way into your dense head.
Shame on you for making this an opportunist and political agenda for yourself, even going as far as to appearing on fox news. This isn’t about you and your agenda, how awful you are acting
SHAME ON THOSE WHO SUPPORT CRIMINALS AND MURDERS….
“FUND THE POLICE 10X”
Unleash the Police and let them clean up the shit.
Save society from anti social, criminal, murderous scumbags living amongst civilised society.
You Full of Shit Imbeciles:
Walk the walk…don’t just spew your shit. If you don’t want to live in a world where the brave MEN and WOMEN in blue don’t risk their lives for law abiding, G-d fearing citizens everyday….that’s absolutely fine.
Choose a location, YOU ALL MOVE THERE TOGETHER, and make it a requirement that no police enter your “zone”. The criminal scumbag savages will find your paradise location soon enough, and the party will really get started. (Seems to remind me of CHAZZ …. that worked out so well….LMFAO…)
All of us sentient beings will buy lawn chairs, pull up under a shady spot on the perimeter of your paradise, get out the popcorn, and watch the criminal scumbags eat you alive. Please remember…NO POLICE will be coming to your aid no matter what happens…that’s the deal…it was your educated and considered choice.
You will all soon be evolved out of the gene pool…and the world will be a much better place.
Why is every single commenter on this article illiterate? Truly, liberals and conservatives are united by a total disdain for the English language.
Also, the guy clearly was not murdered; it was a STRAY bullet. This was probably a case of negligent manslaughter.
I support increased police funding, both for the CPD and the UCPD, but this article is poorly written. Audrey was in a class of mine this past year, and frankly, she is not the brightest.
All that is known so far is that a bullet broke through the glass and killed Max.
The who, what, and why are not yet known. So your decisions to be kind to the criminal savage and downplay the senseless murder of Max to a “negligent manslaughter” is quite a leap. You must be a fucking clairvoyant.
There are lots of “stray” bullets flying around the liberal bastion of Chicago, where Mayor Beetlejuice has forbidden the brave men and women of CPD from chasing criminal savages on foot. Where she let marauding BLM mobs ransack the nicest parts of Chicago with impunity because they needed to steal more Gucci. What a “woke” genius she turned out to be.
And to top it off, Audrey is super bright (with guts and conviction), way brighter than the CRT, BLM, SJW, Defund the Police, CareNotCops, Antifa set who are literally unable to connect neural impulses in sequence.
PS: I see how several commentators above accuse the author Audrey in vulgar fashion of what in fact is their own problem. Audrey’s need is to concentrate on what she experiences and encourage individual thinking and not encourage the stereotype collective mouthpieces.
Nancy and Chuck etc, won’t be kneeling for this 20 yo student in the halls of Congress, they only pander to the likes of criminal, drug addicted, vermin that roam the streets of their failing democrat cities.
Look at all these little lefties chanting “shame shame shame” for using his death for a political agenda (aka getting control of the crime wave). Yet if it was one of their own, they’d use it to justify MORE crime (violence against their political enemies).
It was already dangerous decades ago around U of C, and I knew students who got jumped.
The end game of the Defund the Police movement is to replace all police with a National Force that will be answerable ONLY TO THE DEMOCRATS. They will target their opponents for the slightest infraction, and let their left-wing buddies skate, as they are already doing in cities like Portland. Equal protection under the law will be a distant memory. And law-abiding black Americans will still be living in a nightmare zone.
I agree with those who say this is the height of insensitivity and tastelessness, using this poor kid’s death to launch a verbal attack on people you disagree with. Max Lewis aside, though, it’s disappointing to see how dogmatic the thinking on policing issues is. Y’all are supposed to be critical thinkers, but the author and the CNC group come across as immature children spewing facile responses to a complex problem. How about acknowledging that (gasp!) two opposing things can be true at the same time: more police on the streets are correlated with a reduction in crime AND UCPD/CPD’s racial profiling and excessive force need to be addressed. Know what else? The right’s war on reasonable gun restrictions is partly responsible for the proliferation in gun violence, but the left’s background checks won’t make a dent in the gun violence problem. It would be nice if you supposedly bright students could use your education to work on solutions instead of lobbing childish insults.
Thank U Audrey Unverferth for standing up for what is right in our #*&#@ Chicago City.
No, it’s not OK for U Of Chicago students to be murdered on the Green Line El Train
This murder and mayhem just keeps getting worse.
A well like 73 year old African American Viet Nam war vet , was just beaten to death in the Kimbark Plaza.
At least the NY City Post reports on this terrible true Chicago/Hyde Park crime story – where’s the Chicago media?
The punks, murderers have apparently been caught,M’thinks our BLM DA Kim Foxx & top criminal judge Tim Evans will let them off – hey maybe they were upset about ..
F*#&$@ this sh**
Audrey Unverferth I encourage you to speak the truth as you see it.
I would like to meet you and support you and those like you anyway I can
3rd Generation Hyde Parker
U of Chicago Alumn