Lametrios West has made a point to separate himself from the trouble around him. Despite heavy rain and steady cracks of lightning, the 14-year-old Kershaw Elementary School student made his way on a recent afternoon to the nearby Teamwork Englewood, a community organization whose after-school programs draw boys and girls from the surrounding area. Here, he holes up to “get out of the neighborhood.”
Staying out of trouble means closing himself off from the outside world. “It’s hard but I can do it,” he says. “By staying in the house, going to school, coming here. The only areas where I go is where I know people.”...
Hundreds gathered at New Beginnings Church of Chicago for the funeral of 6-month-old Jonylah Emani Watkins. One week earlier, the baby was shot in the South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood, according to the Chicago Police Department. —Produced and photographed by Jonathan Gibby and Lucio Villa
As the nation mourned the loss of children and teachers killed in the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, residents of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood gathered to remember a different kind of massacre — the hundreds of people killed each year on the city’s streets. The Facebook invitation for the Dec. 15 vigil was titled “496 Stars:... Read more »
On the heels of yet another bloody Chicago weekend, 8th District state Rep. La Shawn Ford plans to have a town hall meeting tonight to discuss how to curb violence in high-crime neighborhoods. Ford has said state-assisted job creation could be a boon for many of the low-income, high-crime communities in his West Side district... Read more »
Something’s got to change, say the aldermen on the South and West sides who have watched the body counts–which are mostly comprised of young African American men–in their wards climb at alarming rates, this year. Tired of the ostensible ineffectiveness of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s emphasis on beat policing, those frustrated aldermen recently called for... Read more »
The city began demolishing a number of buildings in neighborhoods on the South and West sides Thursday, as part of a Mayor Rahm Emanuel-backed strategy to cleanse neighborhoods of gang activity. Certain vacant buildings attract gang activity and violence, Emanuel contends, and they need to come down. Some are in such disrepair that they need... Read more »
A recent anti-gang measure signed into law this week by Gov. Pat Quinn would make it easier to prosecute high-level gang members for crimes that they ordered but were carried out by lower-level members. It will go hand-in-hand with a ‘tough-on-gangs’ approach that has been championed at the city level in previous months by the mayor... Read more »