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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gang related

First:

Chicago's murdered children | Over the last year, 42 young people have been killed in Chicago, all within a short drive of Barack Obama's home [via @ruthmunson]
[...] Fourteen children have died violently in the last year within walking distance of the Obamas' home. In all of Chicago, 42 children of school age have been killed, most at the end of a gun and all a short drive from the president's house. The youngest was three, the oldest 18.

And, "According to one estimate, there are up to 30,000 gang members in the city, in 50 or 60 identifiable gangs."

If nothing else, be sure to watch the 13 minute video embedded in that article.

The Illinois state legislature tries to do something:

New Illinois law bars recruiting gang members [via @peoriapundit]
Law enforcement has a new tool to use against gangs in Illinois.
It's now a felony for gangs to recruit minors. That means someone trying to force children into a gang could face four to 15 years in prison.
The law covers using the Internet or cell phones to recruit someone.

I hate to seem cynical of our general assembly, but this seems like something that should have been done years ago, if not decades.

Finally, it should come as no surprise to anyone, but just in case: We have gangs on the prairie, too. It's my observation they've been here for 15 years or more.

Groups meet to tackle gang activity in central Illinois
Three local groups met Tuesday to create an action plan aimed at wiping out gang activity in central Illinois.
“What’s happening is they’re getting on the interstate and migrating from the urban areas to the rural areas,” said Patricia Rushing, director of the Regional Institute for Community Policing.
Rushing said the attraction for gang members is that they can start selling drugs and recruiting new members from local schools more discreetly than they can in bigger cities.

And:

Clay Dowis, deputy chief with the Springfield Police Department, said there are some gangs here, mostly selling drugs and causing the violence that arises as a result.
“There’s a little bit of weapons (selling), but narcotics is certainly the driving force,” he said. “Cannabis and cocaine ... those are the big ones.”

So, they're going to go after illegal guns and drugs. That's good. But, I do wish someone would go after poverty, which never gets mentioned. I think that would help a lot.

Update: The Illinois Times had this in this week's paper: Bangin’ in Springfield | For downstate gang members, loyalty is corny. Here, it’s all about money: "In Springfield, all the major Chicago gangs, and increasingly Los Angeles’ Bloods and Crips, are present “plus a few pocket gangs,” Bolinger says."

Posted by Marie at August 12, 2009 10:19 PM

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