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Father John

Chicago, New Murder Capital

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Gang Wars Make Chicago the Big-City Murder Capital

 

 

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Twenty-year-old Jason Harvey bought his mother her favorite meal for dinner on Mother's Day two years ago -- pork chops, sweet potatoes, collard greens, corn bread and macaroni and cheese.

 

That was the last meal they ate together.

 

The next morning, Jason Harvey was shot four times in broad daylight by a 16-year-old boy presumed to be a gang member.

 

Harvey is just another number in the statistics that make Chicago's murder rate the highest per capita among all U.S. cities with populations of over 1 million.

 

Chicago, with a population of 2.9 million, recorded 646 murders in 2002 and 666 in 2001. There have been 384 murders from Jan. 1 to Aug. 22 this year. New York, with two-and-a-half times the population, had fewer murders in each of the last two years, excluding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

 

The number of murders in the United States rose slightly last year, according to FBI figures, and the homicide rate in the United States is one of the highest among major industrial countries. The United States has almost five times the population of Britain but nearly 10 times the homicides.

 

Just about everyone agrees on the reason for Chicago's high murder rate -- a mixture of gangs, guns and drugs. Gangs control the drug trade throughout the city.

 

"The biggest challenge Chicago faces is gangs," police officer Tom Garritty said as he patrolled one of Chicago's most crime-ridden neighborhoods in a police car.

 

More than 60,000 people in Chicago have admitted to being gang members, and more than 60 percent of the homicides are gang-related, according to the gangs unit at the state attorney's office.

 

AMBROSE VS LARAZIA

 

Less than 3 miles from the shimmering Sears Tower in downtown Chicago is Pilsen, a neighborhood where gang members stroll past dilapidated buildings. A 7-year-old girl sitting on a porch was killed there in a drive-by shooting recently.

 

The letter A sprayed in bright green and circled on apillar at South Blue Island Avenue and 16th Street means the area belongs to Ambrose, one of the two largest Hispanic gangs in the city. Anyone not a member of Ambrose who tries to selldrugs in the area is risking his or her life.

 

"The most common cause of homicide among gangs is turf,"said Garritty.

 

Garritty waves at two teen-agers dressed in red, white and green, hanging out on a street corner. "They are Larazia members. Those are Larazia colors they are wearing," says officer Chris Kantor, also riding in the car.

 

The situation is similar in some predominantly black neighborhoods where gangs called the Vice Lords and the Gangster Disciples guard their turfs.

 

Jason Harvey, who had been arrested three times before he was murdered, and the boy who shot him fit the typical profile of murder victim and offender in Chicago -- young and black or Hispanic, with prior arrests.

 

In Chicago, 72 percent of homicide offenders and 74 percent of victims are black, and 20 percent of offenders and 18.1 percent of victims are Hispanic, according to police data for the first six months of 2003.

 

BLAME GAME

 

Chicago's high murder rate has people pointing fingers of blame and calling for action.

 

Police officers said the city needs more cops on the streets and tougher laws to apprehend loitering gang members. Also, the city should not have disbanded a special intelligence unit on gangs within the police department, said Brian Sexton of the gang prosecution unit in the state attorney's office.

 

Matt Crowl, an adviser on gangs to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, said the main problem is the number of handguns on thestreets. While it is illegal in Chicago to own or sell a handgun, the law does not apply to the rest of the state or surrounding areas and guns are smuggled in.

 

The gang wars are being fought in pockets on the west and south sides of the city, making them virtually invisible to the mostly white and affluent neighborhoods along Lake Michigan and the suburbs to the north.

 

When Daley tried to move police from low-crime areas of the north side to high-crime areas of the South and West, city council members from low-crime areas objected.

 

To Vera Evans, mother of murder victim Jason Harvey, the problems appear intractable. Police seldom show up to stop drug-dealing youths who appear on her South Side street everynight, and the allure of big money from selling drugs is too great for many youth to resist the trade, she said.

 

Jason Harvey had a 2-year-old son at the time of his death,and Evans dreams of a better future for her grandson. "When he is 15, I hope life will not be so cheap on the streets of Chicago."

 

 

 

© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.

 

08/26/200310:58

RTR

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Originally posted by Father John

Gang Wars Make Chicago the Big-City Murder Capital

 

 

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Twenty-year-old Jason Harvey bought his mother her favorite meal for dinner on Mother's Day two years ago -- pork chops, sweet potatoes, collard greens, corn bread and macaroni and cheese.

 

 

your fucking joking right?

 

 

all we need now is watermelon.

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Originally posted by Father John

the homicide rate in the United States is one of the highest among major industrial countries.

 

Um.....I think you'll find it's THE highest.

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thats fucked up shit, my boy got shot in the head 4 days ago, gotta go to the wake in about an hour,.............i hate gangs.

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Re: Re: Chicago, New Murder Capital

 

Originally posted by Giving Tree

your fucking joking right?

 

 

all we need now is watermelon.

excuse me?

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god dammn it san diego is slippin. wtf. i need to go back home to help out the murder rate.

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just yesterday walking down the street to pick up some cd's and some fuckers tried robbing my ass.....god thing i had my air force oners on other wise they'd probably catch my ass

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chicago police are too busy extorting money from foreign run businesses, and drug dealers for protection to worry about a murder rate. belmont and racine now thats a neighborhood for raising children.:dazed:

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fer real. when i was home i saw alot of shootings. now im in colorado and dont see shit. i miss guns shots and the smell of gun powder.

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