CrimProf Blog

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Police Struggle to Navigate New Gang Landscape"

The article in the New York Times discusses the unintended consequences of the battle on gangs in Chicago. Stepped up enforcement has picked off the leaders of some gangs, leading to fragmented leadership that may generate violence itself:

Ernest Brown, an assistant deputy superintendent and the city’s organized crime chief, said, “Our strategies are coming to fruition.” He noted that aggravated battery with a handgun, a common crime among gang members, is down 20 percent this year in Englewood, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Gang experts outside the Chicago police force see the data differently. Many view the lack of improvement as evidence of gang chaos on the streets.

“Now there’s no structure,” said Michael Cronin, a retired anti-gang officer. “This corner is one faction of the Gangster Disciples, the next corner another. They’re not paying homage to no general.”

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