It happened like this. A gunman rolled up on the 900 block of North Cambridge Street, got out of his car, and fired a gun at an intended target. He missed that target and ended up shooting a 9-year-old boy several times before the child died of his injuries.
According to the Alderman of this community\, the men involved in the dispute had known each other for over 50 years and a feud between them led to the shooting. The Alderman stated that neither man was a member of the community and that neither man lived in the row houses where the shooting took place.
Fractured Trust Between Police and Neighborhoods
Fractured trust between police and the neighborhoods they serve has led to a situation in which police get very little information from witnesses to crimes. This is either because the witnesses are afraid to come forward or because they simply do not want to speak to police. Police used this incident to make an appeal to other high-crime neighborhoods, but it was not trust that motivated residents to come forward, it was disgust at the death of a 9-year-old boy.
Meanwhile, Chicago police insisted that they have a system in place for witnesses and the U.S. Marshals also run a witness protection program. However, when you are dealing with gangs within a single neighborhood, you are talking about uprooting a witness from a life to which they can never return.
This is the latest in a number of shootings involving children. Chicago has had 24 shootings of kids this year already. Five of them have died. More often than not, these children are collateral damage in an attack on someone else, usually gang targets or otters engaged in a personal squabble.
The Role of Block Clubs in Policing
Ideally, neighborhoods would sign on to the type of services that police provide. Instead, the exact opposite has happened. Why?
Well, to say that Black communities do not trust the police would be too obvious, but after decades of neglect and mistreatment, the police have a long way to go before these communities will welcome them again. Part of the issue in these communities is not that they are over-policed, but that they are under-policed. When police do intervene in a crime, they often do so with unnecessary force because they believe themselves to be in a life-threatening position. Data has shown, time and again, that crime rates and prison sentences are actually reduced when there are more police patrolling the streets. Much of this data was gleaned from Michael Bloomberg’s mayorship in New York, although heavy-handed tactics like stop-and-frisk are believed to be detrimental to the cause.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are being charged with a serious crime in the Chicago area, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to discuss the matter and learn more about how we can help.