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Fighting Gangs: Should Chicago Look West for Answers?

Last Monday, police say two known gang members drove to West Englewood looking for revenge for an earlier shooting. They opened fire on an entire block. Chicago Police Officer Alejandro Valadez, 27, was shot twice. He died hours later at a hospital.

As Chicago struggles to fight its gang problem, Los Angeles is seeing progress in its fight against gangs.

Last month, the Los Angeles Police Department started rolling out a court-issued injunction targeting six gangs in South Central. The injunction makes it a crime for gang-members to hang out together in public areas, including parks and street corners. As a result, gang-related arrests have skyrocketed and police say crime is on the decline.

Critics say the injunctions allow police to unfairly target young men who may not be hardcore gang-bangers.

In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled Chicago's Gang Congregation Ordinance, that barred gang members from loitering in public places, violated due process and restricted personal liberties. Since then, city attorneys have tried to get around constitutionality issues by naming specific gang bangers in injunctions.

You can read more about LA's gang fight in the Los Angeles Times. Here's the link to the article:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-southla-rollout7-2009jun07,0,280768.story?page=1

We want to know what you think about gang injunctions. What other tools should the city use to combat gang violence? Post your thoughts here.

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Comments (1)

JHS:

We can always do nothing just like we are doing now.

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