CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, October 30, 2008

After Hudson deaths, Chicago vows to fight rising murder rate

CHICAGO — he shooting deaths of three relatives of actress Jennifer Hudson are stirring debate about the reasons this city is the USA's homicide capital and adding urgency to efforts to stop the killing.

The bodies of Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother Jason Hudson, 29, were found Friday. On Monday, the body of Julian King, 7, Hudson's nephew, was discovered. Police say William Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of Jennifer Hudson's sister Julia Hudson, is a "person of interest" in the case.

Mayor Richard Daley said Tuesday that the Hudson slayings, which police say might be linked to a family dispute, could not have been stopped. He vowed to reduce the murder toll, which stands unofficially at 436 so far this year. From January to September, there were 14.6% more murders than in the same period in 2007, the Chicago Police Department says.

"We're not proud of it," Daley told reporters. "We'll get it down. We'll do things differently."

Police Superintendent Jody Weis said last week that he is creating a 150-officer task force to disrupt gang activity and promised to move more police into high-crime neighborhoods. Weis told the City Council that the gang culture is "the driving force behind the vast majority of violence, with more than half the murders committed by gangs." [Mark Godsey]

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