By Melanie Eversley
The mother of a Black Chicago girl who died in a shooting at a McDonald’s drive thru is blasting McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski for saying she and the parents of another slain Chicago youngster “failed those kids.”
Seven-year-old Jaslyn Adams and her father, Jontae Adams, were shot at a McDonald’s drive through in April when a group of people exited a nearby car and began shooting. Jaslyn died and her father was seriously injured. Police said they believed the shooting was gang-related.
Until now, Jaslyn’s mom, Lanesha Walker, has kept silent. But now she has chosen to speak out because Kempczinski recently texted Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot that Jaslyn’s parents as well as the parents of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old killed by a Chicago police officer, “failed those kids.”
The mayor’s office and racial justice groups have responded harshly. Walker joined in by saying, “I am a grieving parent. I’ve been grieving for the longest, and from your place of power, you insult me,” the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Walker, 29, as saying. “How dare you judge me? How dare you say I failed my child. … Mr. CEO, you have no clue what it’s like to live on the South Side and West Side, in the trenches, where it gets real treacherous, just to survive, just to protect your children.”
Kempczinski earlier this year said in a letter to his employees that his texts “lacked the empathy and compassion.”