Chicago Police Sgt. Calls Gang Violence in the City “Tribal Warfare”
According to the city’s crime records, 275 people have been killed this year alone in Chicago, and many more have been injured due to gang related violence.
Last month, a seven year old was slain while selling lemonade with her mother outside her home, a 10 year old was shot while playing by a fire hydrant, and the latest victims were 12 and 13 year old girls shot Tuesday night. Luckily, both girls survived.
Sergeant Matt Little is in charge of one of the city’s gang units. There are 200 gang unit officers and about 10,000 gang members.
“Almost all the violence we’re seeing now is from the gangs,” Little said. “When there’s a shooting we’ll respond to the shooting. We’ll figure out where we believe the most likely area for retaliation is and we’ll work that area trying to both prevent retaliation and possibly build a case on offenders.”
“The gangs have lost their hierarchy, so to speak, and without a chain of command, there’s really nobody keeping things in check,” Little told CBS News. Many of the gang leaders are either dead or in jail, so the gang members are acting out without training or leadership.
“Instead of a bullet with somebody’s name on it, we have a bullet that reads ‘To whom it may concern,’” Little said.
The sergeant says that his team cares about everyday people who live in these gang infested neighborhoods.
“We care about the grandmother that lives in the Graystone who’s raising her grandkids. We care about the guy who’s a hard-working stiff who gets up in the morning and works two jobs,” Little said.
Sgt. Little is also a veteran, and said that much of what he sees resembles what he saw in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s “tribal warfare,” he said, “and as it continues to build unless we manage to interdict it, and manage to stop it long enough for the blood to stop boiling, the heat to die down.”
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