Gang Wars at the Root of Chicago’s High Murder Rate

Dean Reynolds, CBS News, June 12, 2012

There are 228 dead: That’s the number of murders this year in Chicago. It’s nearly twice as many as the number of Americans lost on the battlefields of Afghanistan over these last six months. And the number of deaths is up 35 percent over the same period last year.

There was a time it was called “gangland” Chicago and maybe that time has returned.

The cops tell us it’s the gang members who have turned some neighborhoods into free-fire zones. More people were cut down today.

Across Chicago, nine people were killed between Friday and Sunday, and two more were gunned down just hours ago—a murder rate of two a day.

“It’s tragic,” Pastor Robin Hood told CBS News. “This is like Beirut was in the 70s. It’s war.”


Chicago police Superintendent Gary McCarthy believes most of the violent crime in the city is “absolutely” gang-related. He said the problem has a lot to do with drugs, guns and gang wars.

The city’s largest gang is having an internal war. Chicago has the largest gang population in the country, with approximately 100,000 members who commit 75 to 80 percent of the city’s homicides.


With a police force of 12,000 officers, there’s a lot of ground to cover—something McCarthy hopes the public understands.


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