Chicago: Gangs, Guns & Drugs
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Chicago's south and west sides are experiencing a more than 50 percent surge in homicides. In the first of a three part series, AP looks into the street violence with the Chicago Police gang & narcotic units, Chicago gang members and the DEA. (June 12)

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[LOCATION: CHICAGO,IL, JUNE 12 SOURCE: AP] [NAT-BREAK] EIGHT KILLED AND THIRTY FIVE WOUNDEDTHAT WAS A RECENT WEEKEND IN CHICAGO[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER]HOMICIDES ARE UP OVER 50 PERCENT COMPARED TO LAST YEAR.[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER]PERHAPS IT'S THE WARMER SPRING TEMPERATURESOR THE DEMOLITION OF NEARLY ALL THE HIGH RISE PUBLIC HOUSING THAT HAS SCATTERED THOUSANDS OF GANG MEMBERS INTO RIVAL TERRITORIESBUT THE FACT IS , IN SOME SOUTH AND WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOODS ITS GUNS, DRUGS AND GANGS..[SOT: GARRY MACARTHY/ SUPERINTENDENT / CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.]"WE HAVE A VERY SPECIFIC GANG PROBLEM HERE. IT'S TIED TO NARCOTICS BUT IT'S A GANG PROBLEM WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN NEW YORK OR THE EAST COAST."[SOT: OFFICER ERIC LANDORF / CPD GANG ENFORCEMENT DIVISION]"THAT IS FILLED WITH HEROIN AND THEY CUT DOWN THE STRAW AND SNORT IT OUT RIGHT OUT OF THE BAG."[VOICE-OVER] WITH NEARLY 70 THOUSAND MEMBERS , CHICAGO IS THE MOST GANG POPULATED CITY IN AMERICA ACCORDING TO THE FBI.[NAT-BREAK][VOICE-OVER] AP SPENT SEVERAL DAYS EMBEDDED WITH THE CHICAGO POLICE NARCOTIC AND GANG UNITS[VOICE-OVER]WE RODE ALONG DAY AND NIGHT, OBSERVING AND DOCUMENTING THE CONFLICTS[NAT-BREAK] [VOICE-OVER]AS THEY HIT UP TARGETED SPOTS AND CHASED DOWN CRIMINALS MAKING ARRESTS. ALL THIS, BASED ON MONTHS OF UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATIONS THAT HAS LEAD TO EACH "TAKE-DOWN" THE GOAL, TO CURB THE SHOOTING AND LOCK UP THE DEALERS RANGING FROM LOW LEVEL STREET THUGS TO MEXICAN CARTEL OPERATIONS IN CHICAGO[SOT: GARRY MACARTHY/ SUPERINTENDENT / CHICAGO POLICE DEPT.]"SEIZING THE GUNS, HOLDING ON TO THOSE MARKETS AND ATTACKING THE LIFE BLOOD OF THE GANGS WHICH IS THE NARCOTICS TRADE."[STAND-UP: ROBERT RAY / ASSOCIATED PRESS]"WE TALKED WITH THE GANG MEMBERS AND THE POLICE..WHAT THEY TOLD US IS THAT IT'S MORE COMPLEX THAN ANY OF US COULD IMAGINE AND PERHAPS GANGS AS WE KNOW THEM ARE CHANGING."[SOT: DEVON TIMS / CHICAGO GANG MEMBER]"THERE IS NO CONTROL, NO LEADERS. [VOICE-OVER]AT JUST 23, DEVON TIMS WAS RAISED BY DRUG DEALERS, HE DESCRIBES HIS YOUNG LIFE AS A GANG MEMBER OF THE PROMINENT CHICAGO VICE LORDS AS SOMETHING HE HAS KNOWN SINCE BIRTH...AND HE HAS IDEAS ON WHY THE SURGE IN VIOLENCE[SOT: DEVON TIMS / CHICAGO GANG MEMBER]"THERE IS NO ONE OVER THE CONTIOUS SECTS OF GANGS. THERE ARE SECTS OF YOUNG GUYS NOW AND THEY TAKE THEIR OWN MORALS AND UNDERSTANDINGS TO WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN AND MAKE IT INTO A LOT OF CHAOS."[SOT: SGT. MATTHEW LITTLE / CPD GANG ENFORCEMENT UNIT]"HISTORICALLY, IN THE PAST, THE GANGS WERE VERY ORGANIZED FROM THE TOP DOWN. NOW, THEY ARE VERY SPLINTERED.[VOICE-OVER]A DOUBLE EDGED SWORD FOR POLICE WHO ARE FIGHTING THE INTERNAL SECTARIAN STREET VIOLENCE[SOT: DEVON TIMS / CHICAGO GANG MEMBER]"THE GUYS WHO WERE THE LEADERS AND CHIEFS ARE NOW IN PRISON AND SO THERE IS NO ONE TO CONTROL THIS SO IT HAS BECOME A HAYWIRE."[NAT-BREAK]THE GANG ENFORCEMENT UNIT IS HEAVILY ARMED SGT. MATTHEW LITTLE IS ON THE FRONT LINES. HE IS ALSO A SOLDIER, WITH MULTIPLE TOURS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN[SOT: SGT. MATTHEW LITTLE / CPD GANG ENFORCEMENT UNIT]"ESPECIALLY WORKING IN AFGHANISTAN, ITS VERY SIMILAR. YOU ARE BASICALLY WORKING GANGS, IT'S A VERY TRIBAL CULTURE IN BOTH PLACES."[NAT-BREAK] [VOICE-OVER]JUST HOW VIOLENT THE GANGS ARE CAN BE FOUND IN THE NUMBERS. WHILE STILL WELL SHORT OF THE HISTORIC HIGHS OF THE EARLY 1990S, THE NUMBER OF HOMICIDES STOOD AT 203 THROUGH MAY. THAT'S UP FROM THE 134 HOMICIDES IN THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR.[SOT: DEVON WRIGHT / CHARGED-DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE]RAY: HOW LONG WERE YOU LOCKED UP FOR?WRIGHT: A YEAR?RAY: FOR WHAT?WRIGHT: SELLING DRUGSRAY: WHAT KIND OF DRUGS?WRIGHT: LEAFRAY: WHAT IS LEAF?WRIGHT: PCPRAY: AND YOU DONT DO THAT ANYMORE?WRIGHT: NO....[VOICE-OVER]THE FOLLOWING DAY AFTER HIS THIS INTERVIEW AND ARREST, 23 YEAR OLD DEVON WRIGHT'S MUG SHOT WAS PROMINENTLY PLACED AT A PRESS CONFERENCE-HE WAS CHARGED WITH DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE[SOT: JACK RILEY / SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE / DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.]"I HAVE TO TELL YOU, CHICAGO HAS BECOME A HUB FOR A NUMBER OF THE MAJOR CARTELS. IT'S OUR JOB TO IDENTIFY AND ATTACK THOSE ORGANIZATIONS. THE DIFFERENCE IN THE STRATEGY IS THAT WE ARE ATTACKING AT THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE LEVEL EVEN IF THAT TAKE US TO MEXICO AND WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE HERE ON THE STREETS."[NAT-BREAK] [SOT: SGT. DANIEL O'SHEA / CPD NARCOTICS/ ORGANIZED CRIME DIVISION]"SOME KIDS ARE BORN INTO THE GANG. IT'S A VISCOUS CYCLE AND SOMEHOW IT HAS TO BE BROKEN AND AS THE SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION GET BETTER HOPEFULLY PEOPLE WILL REALIZE THERE IS A DIFFERENT PATH."[VOICE-OVER]IN UPCOMING REPORTS THE AP WILL EXPLORE THE EFFECTS OF THIS VIOLENCE ON THE COMMUNITIES AND THE SEARCH FOR SOLUTIONS.ROBERT RAY, ASSOCIATED PRESS, CHICAGO(****END****)