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Veronica Echeverria

Criminal Justice 1010

Chicagos homicide rates


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There has been a lot of state of anxiety in Chicago because of the growing number of

gang-related homicides. In this paper I will be discussing three victims and their stories. As of

today there has been 643 homicides that were gang-related. (Tribune, 2017) and 1,690 have been

injured. Why are so many shooting happening? In USA Today an article published march

31,2017. Tells the story of 7 killed in one neighborhood in 12 hours. The article stated, Seven

people, including four men killed in a gang-retaliation attack at a fast-food restaurant and a

pregnant woman found with a gunshot wound to the head, were gunned down Thursday in three

separate incidents within blocks of each other, police said. (Madhani, 2017) During this day

there were numerous killings in the area that were gang-related. "We know for certain that these

incidents were targeted and are related to gang conflicts in the area," Johnson said. "While that

doesn't lessen the weight of what happened, we know these aren't random acts of violence."

(Madhani, 2017)

While in cook county on thanksgiving day Alec Aguilar was arrested under the grounds

of first degree murder the Chicago tribune states that, Salazar was fatally shot Nov. 24 about

10:15 a.m. in the 10000 block of South Avenue M by one of the three passengers in Aguilars

car. He was on his way to work and had no gang affiliation, according to Assistant States

Attorney Craig Taczy. Aguilar pulled up next to Salazar at a red light and the group began

flashing gang signs while covering the bottom half of their faces with their shirts. Aguilar was

wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a unique tribal pattern, Taczy said. So we wonder why was

Salzar shot and killed, he even tried calling 911 to try and evade the grey sedan that Agulair was

in. So we wonder is there more that Chicago PD can do to help prevent all these shooting? It was

just bad luck for Salzar to be driving down that street. (Moreno, 2017)
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For now we will move on to one of the biggest shootings that has happened on the fourth

of July. Times Magazine stated, More than 100 people were shot in Chicago over the course of

one of the bloodiest Fourth of July weekends in the citys recent history. Much of the violence

was gang-related, Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro said according to

Reuters. While other shootings appeared to be over petty disputes that escalated into somebody

pulling out a gun, Guglielmi said. The amount of those that had died related to gangs was a

60% increase compared to 2015. (Hincks, 2017)

As the anxiety grows how are the citizen reacting, well fox news interviewed Rashad

Britt how grew up in the Henry Horner projects on Chicagos West Side, this area is know for

gang violence. He states that if you join the gang you have security because they are a family,

they will protect you when another gang is bothering you. He states, His first gun was a gift,

given to him as a pre-teen. I looked at it like that was love. I looked at it like this person loved

me, for the simple fact that they wanted to see me protected. They gave me something that was

going to protect my life, (Tobin, 2017) Unfortunately as these teens are growing they are made

to believe that the gang is more like family/ brothers. They are there when their biological

familys arent. These teens their role models were drug dealers, they had the money to provide

these teens with what they needed. They worship these gang members, though Tio Hardiman

from violence interrupters states that, Too many people are being killed, it's a false sense of

security. These shooters dont have a sense of morality on February 16, 2017 a shooting

involved in gang relations killed a 2 year old Lavontay White. Where do we draw this line.

Chicagos Sherriff has stated that the sentencings need to be harsher. We need to put fear into

these children that are joining the gangs. That you would slide under they system and be

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At the year midpoint the Chicago Tribune stated that 323 people have died in Chicago

Violence, that is one more homicide the 2016. (Gorner, 2017) At the beginning of 2017

Chicagos police officials plan to launch a similar effort in January that California did. The

District commanders and staff are analyzing crimes and are making quick strategic decisions to

help out CPD. Unfortunately (Annie Sweeney, 2017) William Sampson who is head of public

policy studies at DePaul University stated, its just easier to get a gun than it is to get a job.

Even though California saw results on giving incentives to those that were in gangs to hand over

their guns they didnt see a stop on the shootings. It is getting really hard for CPD to control guns

because there is a unlimited supply coming in. In that last 25 years, no other major city has had

such a high increase in homicide that were committed with guns then Chicago. The Justice

Department is also have been paying for two consultants to provide Chicago with experts help.

There are many civilians that dont understand the Chicago PD is aware of what is

happening and they are trying to do everything they can, but gangs are like an epidemic. Now the

average age for a gang member to join is 6-8 years old. Though those that are involved in

shooting are as young as 13-14 years old. You may ask why but its very simple. At that age these

children cant be tried as an adult. Gangs have learned how to bet the system. They are wanting

these young children do get their hands dirty so that the leaders can continue directing the gang.

Police forces are trying to get on the inside with these teens as they are in Juvenile Detention

they are educating teens with those that are now in Federal Prison that this shouldnt be the life

that they should take. The Chicago Tribune states, Los Angeles police officials said they are

hopeful Chicago's plan to use their strategy will help. But, they say Los Angeles did more than

refocus where cops patrolled. "An important component was community engagement," said

LAPD First Assistant Chief Michel Moore. Cops made outreach efforts in neighborhoods with
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the highest number of gang shootings, he said, "so that residents could feel safe coming out and,

in a number of instances, providing information." Still, a single policing strategy is no cure-all.

As we continue to hammer the local law enforcement they are starting to get burned out.

With all the accusations stating that they arent help. Times magazine got a quote from Police

officers, their supervisors and their unions have hunkered down. If we are going to be

hammered for everything that we do, then its safer to do nothing, says Sergeant James Ade,

who runs Chicagos police sergeants union. if we dont do anything, then we cant get

hammered. Though how literal is this sergeant? As the gang affiliations and conflicts have

become more chaotic, the criminal justice system has become less effective in dealing with the

violence according to interviews with five investigators and young inmates with the Chicago

Tribune they state, The investigators say that, at a time of dwindling resources and increased

scrutiny of their credibility, law enforcement is struggling to keep up with the fast-changing

identities of the gangs and their rivalries. Indeed, since May, the Cook County sheriff's office has

begun weekly security meetings inside Cook County Jail to talk about the shifting landscape of

gang alliances and conflicts. Much of the information they share comes from interviews with the

young inmates; those interviews have yielded a picture of chaos on the streets. (Heinzamnn,

2017) Though how much of that is an excuse, local gang expert they have at the County Jail have

stated that its so confusing to learn something new everyday. Since gangs are constantly


With all that being stated what does this mean? In my opinion, we need to set harsher

punishments. We state that we cant have trials that will but a life sentence to those that under the

age. Well we need to, these teens/ children know that they might just go to juvenile detention but
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that it not enough. I do agree that this is a death sentence even though it is a life sentence there

should be an opportunity where based on good behavior or a certain time of a sentence they

could have the opportunity of parole as long as they agree to move out of the states, willing to

start school, as well as have professional psychiatric help. This will stop the teens from at least

joining at their age. As well as, these kids are joining gangs because their familys dont have

money or the recourse to support them. These kids take it upon themselves to provide and they

look towards the gang since they will give them money and help support them. We need to make

resources more available, currently in Chicago it is very hard for parents to even apply for food

stamps or have help from the government. Another method that could help is once a juvenile is

convicted of a crime gang related after they leave the detentions they need to have a home

electronic monitoring for at least two years. This way their parole office can know their were

about every second and these kids will only be allowed to attend school and only be permitted to

attend academic trips. This way these children see that this not all fun and games since their gang

member wont be able to help them. Then finally the eligibility for parole, this should just be

given because of good behavior. Are these inmates actually changing their lives in prison or are

they just putting on a good face for the officers. There should be more requirements, they should

learn a trade, complete their GED while in prison before they are even considered to be eligible

for parole.

Overall at this time unless we are willing to fork up a bigger budget for our law

enforcement in taxes. Chicago doesnt have the means to stop these homicides. We need to join

as one and have the FBI and Local Law enforcement to parole the area and crake down on these

gangs. Unless we become stricter in our laws, teach these young kids that there will be sever

consequences by joining a gang. These gangs will continue to grow. Once day resulting where
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law enforcement cant do anything. If resources become available easier, and help out these

families most of these kids will not have to join. This assignment has shown me to be grateful

that I can still walk outside and not hear gunshots and have to worry if Im going to be next in a

hit and run. We just need to get together as a nation and work on this issue as we do with the

fires in California and actually believe that America is Great. If we dont we will continue to see

these tragedies happening and it will no longer be in our favor. Every State will be in the same

situation and then at that point it will be truly and epidemic natation wide.
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Works Cited

Annie Sweeney, S. S. (2017). How to stop guns, gangs and poverty? Chicago seeks solutions

after violent 2016.

Gorner, J. (2017, June). Halfway through 2017, violence remains stubbornly high in Chicago .

Heinzamnn, D. (2017). Leaderless Chicago street gangs vex police efforts to quell violence.

Hincks, J. (2017, July). More Than 100 People Were Shot in Chicago Over the Fourth of July


Madhani, A. (2017, March 31). Chicago violence: 7 killed in one neighborhood in 12 hours.

Moreno, N. (2017). Driver is denied bail in fatal gang-related shooting, authorities say.

Tobin, M. (2017, Febuary). Chicago gang members say more police won't stop the murders.

Tribune, C. (2017, January). Chicago Homicide. Deth rates.