Tag Archives: Rahm Emanuel

Paging the #BlackLivesMatter crowd: 5 killed, 22 wounded in Chicago weekend shootings

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MyFoxChicago: Five people were killed and at least 22 others have been wounded – including an off-duty Oak Park policeman – in separate shootings in Chicago since Friday afternoon, police said.

The most recent fatal shooting happened early Sunday in the South Side Marquette Park neighborhood. A 26-year-old man was standing on the sidewalk in the 3100 block of West 64th Street about 12:40 a.m. when two males walked up and fired shots, police said.

The man was shot in the chest and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the fatality, but did not release additional details.

About 10 p.m. Friday, another man was shot to death in the South Side Gresham neighborhood. Officers responding to a call of shots fired in the 7900 block of South Aberdeen found a 26-year-old man lying on a sidewalk with gunshot wounds to the chest, police said. He was dead at the scene, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office could not immediately confirm the fatality.

The other two fatal attacks happened within half an hour of each other earlier Friday evening on the South and West Sides.

About 5:20 p.m., a 24-year-old man was shot dead in the Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side. Kelvin L. Davis was standing on a sidewalk about 5:20 p.m. in the 1300 block of East 75th Street when a gunman in a gray vehicle shot at him, authorities said.

Davis, who lived in the 7500 block of South Dorchester, was shot in the neck and chest and taken to Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m., authorities said.

About 5 p.m., two men and a woman were outside in the 4200 block of West Grenshaw when a gunman walked up and opened fire, police said.

Both men, ages 28 and 31, suffered gunshot wounds to the head, police said. The older man was found unresponsive on the ground and pronounced dead at the scene. The younger man was found in the driver seat of a bullet-riddled pickup truck and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he later died, authorities said.

The 54-year-old woman was shot in the left leg and taken to Saint Anthony Hospital, where her condition stabilized, police said. The medical examiner’s office confirmed the fatalities but did not release further details.

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On Sunday morning, an off-duty Oak Park police officer was shot on Chicago’s Far South Side. The shooting happened in the 300 block of West 103rd Place at 5:13 a.m., police said.

The 57-year-old officer was exiting his personal vehicle in the 300 block of West 103rd Place at 5:13 a.m. when he was approached by two males, police said. One of them fired numerous shots at the officer, striking him in the arm and leg, police said. The officer returned fire and shot one of the suspects. Both suspects then fled. The off-duty officer was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he is in serious condition.

A few minutes later, responding Chicago officers located two “males of interest” in the 9900 block of South Princeton, police said. One of them had a recent gunshot wound and was also taken to Christ in serious condition. No one had been charged as of Sunday morning.

At least 21 others have been injured in shootings since Friday afternoon.

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Another typical weekend in Chicago: 3 killed, 18 wounded in weekend shootings

Have you seen SEIU protesting in Chicago?

Have you seen SEIU protesting in Chicago?

MyFoxChicago: Three men were killed and at least 18 other people were wounded in shootings across the city since Friday afternoon.

In the most recent fatal incident, officers found a man shot multiple times early Saturday in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side. The man, thought to be in his 20s, was found inside a vehicle about 2 a.m. near Kenton and West End, police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:13 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His name was withheld Sunday morning pending notification of his family.

The other two fatal shootings happened within minutes of each other Friday night on the South Side, police said.

About 6:20 p.m., 19-year-old Anfernee Durant was shot in the foot, leg and side in a possible drive-by attack in the 7800 block of South Vincennes, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Durant, of the 7800 block of South Loomis, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, the medical examiner’s office said. Police said he was a documented gang member.

At 6:15 p.m., 18-year-old Tyree D. Harris was standing outside in the 6800 block of South Western when someone walked up and shot him in the head, authorities said.

Harris, whose home address was not immediately known, was taken to Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 8:18 p.m., according to the medical examiners’ office. A police source said he was a documented gang member.

The most recent nonfatal shooting happened Sunday morning in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the Southwest Side. A 22-year-old man was shot in the leg about 7:30 a.m. in the 1600 block of South Hamlin, police said. He was taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

At least 17 other people have been wounded in shootings across the city since 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as President of the United States in Washington

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Emanuel suddenly concerned: Attack on son unmasked security ‘blind spots’ that must be addressed

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Chicago Sun Times: Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday his 17-year-old son was on his cellphone with a college counselor when he was attacked from behind by two unarmed men on the Ravenswood street where the mayor lives.

Emanuel was tight-lipped about the Dec. 19 mugging, except to say that it unmasked “blind spots” in security on his block that the Chicago Police Department needs to address.

“Zach is doing fine. I can’t say that about his parents. But he’s doing fine. And that tells you something about the resilience of teenagers,” the mayor said.

“You have a role to play as a press and I get that. I have a role to play as — not just the mayor, but also as a father. So, I hope you respect his privacy as a teenager. … But he is good and, to be honest, it’s also good that we had time as a family together” while on vacation in Chile.

The mayor said the unidentified college counselor on the other end of the cellphone at the time of the attack “heard stuff.” But Emanuel stopped short of characterizing the counselor as a “witness.”

“I’m gonna try to balance your desire and your responsibility and your job to ask questions. … And I’m also gonna try to do this also in a way that’s respectful of him. He’s a teenager, and he’s a minor. He has some privacy. He was on the phone with his college counselor. They obviously heard stuff,” he said.

Last week, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said his office would review security at the mayor’s home — and, presumably, of Emanuel’s wife and three teenaged children — “to see if there’s a way to improve it.” McCarthy said he would also take another look to make certain the right officers were assigned to the mayor’s security detail.

But McCarthy bristled at a reporter’s question about how his officers might have been better positioned at the mayor’s house. “The officers are sitting on the mayor’s house. … They are not sitting on the mayor’s neighborhood,” the superintendent said.

On Monday, Emanuel agreed that the attack unmasked a  security weakness. But with less than two months to go before the mayoral election, he was careful not to ask for special favors. “As it relates to either my or my family’s safety, I want you to know that we are fortunate — not only with this job, but also with what the public provides us,” the mayor said.

“Obviously, Garry McCarthy has addressed this. There are some blind spots and they’re gonna address it from a safety on the block — not the safety of the house [issue] for us. And I’ll leave that to them to do because that’s their job to do. But it’s their job to do it for everybody in the city — not just us.

A copy of the police report, with the victim’s name redacted, contains only the most basic and previously reported details of the Dec. 19 “strong-arm” robbery without a weapon that rocked the Emanuel household before the family left for a Christmas vacation in Chile.

It states that two male offenders between the ages of 18 and 20 — both roughly 5 feet 10 or 11 inches tall and wearing dark clothing — attacked Zach Emanuel from behind as the mayor’s teenaged son was talking on a cellphone while walking northbound in the 4200 block of North Hermitage, where he lives.

The weapon used was described as “hand/feet/teeth/etc.” Zach Emanuel was attended at his residence by a personal physician for a laceration and blunt force trauma to the mouth and face,” according to the report. No arrests have been made in connection with the mugging of the mayor’s son.

“Offender #1 placed his arm around the victim’s neck in a rear choke hold, at which point Offender #2 struck the victim about the face with a closed fist, knocking the victim to the ground,” said the police report, released to the Chicago Sun-Times in response to a Freedom of Information request.

“The victim subsequently dropped his cellphone to the ground, at which point the offenders took the cellphone and patted him down. The offenders then asked the victim, ‘What else you got?’ The offenders then forced the victim to enter his security code to unlock the phone. The offenders then fled southbound on Hermitage on foot.” Immediately after the mugging, aides described the mayor as “crestfallen” about the attack on his son.

On Monday, the mayor thanked Chicagoans who had expressed concern about Zach’s condition. But the mayor’s demeanor can only be described as dispassionate — so much so that he launched into a discussion of, what he calls the “four P’s” needed to  fight crime: prevention, parenting, policing and penalties.

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New Year: Business as Usual in Chicago…

Have you seen SEIU protesting in Chicago?

Have you seen SEIU protesting in Chicago?

MyFoxChicago: A man was killed and at least 11 other people have been wounded in shootings across the city since Friday afternoon.

The fatal shooting–the first of the new year–happened about 1:30 a.m. Saturday in the West Side Austin neighborhood. Randy James, 39, was standing on a sidewalk in the 5000 block of West Superior when he heard shots and realized he’d been struck in the left side of the abdomen, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

He took himself to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and was later transferred to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:50 a.m., authorities said. James lived in the 4600 block of West Adams.

The most recent shooting was reported after a man walked into Holy Cross Hospital about 3:30 a.m. The man, in his 20s, walked into the hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm, police said. He told investigators he was shot in the 7100 block of South Damen, police said.

Just before midnight, a 56-year-old man was shot while trying to run from a suspected robber in the South Side Bronzeville neighborhood.

The man was walking on the sidewalk in the 4700 block of South Michigan when he was approached by a male who announced a robbery just before midnight, police said. The man began to run but was shot when the male fired shots in his direction, striking him in the thigh, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition had stabilized, police said.

A man was wounded in a North Lawndale neighborhood shooting Saturday night on the West Side. A 25-year-old man who showed up at West Suburban about 7:30 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the leg told investigators he had been shot in the 1600 block of South Komensky, police said. His condition was stabilized.

Saturday afternoon, three people were shot in the Ashburn neighborhood on the Southwest Side. A woman and two men, all 19, were in a car about 3 p.m. in the 8100 block of South Campbell when another vehicle pulled up, and someone with a gun got out and opened fire, police said.

The woman was shot in the thigh and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said. She was treated and released later Saturday. One of the men suffered a graze wound to the side and was taken to Christ as well, police said. The other had a graze wound to the hand and was taken to Stroger. Both were listed in good condition.

At least five other people have been wounded in four separate shootings since 4:40 p.m. Friday.

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Chicago ends 2014 with fewer homicides, but shooting victims up 14 percent

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Chicago Tribune: While Chicago ended 2014 with slightly fewer homicides than the year before, 327 more people were shot in the city — an increase of 14 percent, according to the Chicago Police Department.

The city has seen a marked drop in homicides during the past decade — a trend that’s been reflected across the country — with several years marking fewer than 500, down from the 900-plus slayings of the 1990s.

chicago2Across the city, 407 homicides were recorded in 2014, a 3 percent drop from nearly the same period last year, when there were 419, according to the statistics released Thursday. It was the lowest tally since 1965 when 395 people were slain, according to the department. Chicago’s final homicide tally for 2014 could climb if some of the department’s pending “death investigations” are reclassified as slayings later this year.

But the number of shooting victims increased 14 percent, to 2,599 from 2,272 in 2013, the statistics show.

Haven't seen the SEIU protesting much in Chicago...

Haven’t seen the SEIU protesting much in Chicago…

When asked Monday about the rise in shooting incidents, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the 2014 total was still the “second lowest shooting number on record,” and also pointed to the city’s overall drop in crime. However, the department only began keeping track of shootings in 2011, after McCarthy was named top cop.

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as President of the United States in WashingtonChicago police last year continued to combat violence by flooding the city’s most dangerous streets with hundreds of extra cops. But the strategy is expected to bring police overtime spending to around $95 million by the time the city tallies the final figure for 2014, outstripping the budgeted amount by more than $20 million.

On average, more than 200 veteran officers worked overtime daily in 2014 in 20 so-called impact zones in the most crime-plagued areas of the South and West sides. Also, more than a dozen rookie officers patrol each zone on straight time, mostly on foot and some with bicycles.

The department also continued to work on its intelligence-based policing strategies to prevent retaliatory shootings and curb gang conflicts, which police blame for the bulk of violent crime. Those strategies include specialized units and beat officers sharing gang intelligence.

The department has continued to test innovative strategies like “two degrees of association,” which identified more than 400 people in the city most at risk of being involved in violence either as the perpetrator or victim. Top police officials and community leaders tried reaching out to those on the list, warning them they were going to be watched more closely by police, but also offering them social services.

Haven't seen this man protesting in Chicago now have you?

Haven’t seen this man protesting in Chicago now have you?

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This is a good weekend in Chicago: 3 dead, 11 wounded in weekend shootings

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MyFoxChicago: Three men were killed and at least 11 other people have been wounded in shootings across the city since Friday evening.

The most recent fatal shooting in the Ashburn neighborhood on the Southwest Side left one man dead and another wounded early Saturday. Ladarius Edwards and another man, both 23, were standing on the sidewalk about 2:50 a.m. in the 8000 block of South Fairfield, when a male walked out of a nearby gangway and opened fire, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Edwards, of the 2500 block of West 79th Street, was shot in the head and the right leg, authorities said. He was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, where he was pronounced dead at 3:14 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

The other man was shot in the abdomen and had a graze wound to the right arm, police said. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where his condition had stabilized.

About 11:30 p.m. Friday, a man was shot and killed in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. Jeffrey Daniels, 24, was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat of a vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head in the 200 block of North Mason, police and the medical examiner’s office said. Daniels, of 1400 block of West Taylor, was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:08 a.m., the medical examiner’s office said.

In the weekend’s first fatal shooting, a man has been charged with the accidental shooting death of another man Friday night in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Side. Paris D. Walker-Rush, 25, who was ordered held on $900,000 bail Saturday, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to Chicago Police and court records.

About 9 p.m. Friday, officers found 24-year-old David Kennedy unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the head inside an apartment in the 5200 block of South Cornell, police and the medical examiner’s office said. Kennedy, of the 3700 block of South Wood, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:45 p.m., the medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy performed Saturday ruled his death a homicide. A police source said the men were playing with the gun and it appears the shooting may have been accidental.

Walker-Rush, who lives on the same block where the shooting occurred, was arrested without incident at the scene immediately following the shooting, according to police.

The most recent nonfatal shooting left a man critically wounded Sunday morning in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

Officers responding to multiple calls of a battery in progress about 5:30 a.m. in the 2900 block of West 25th Street found the man lying on the ground with gunshot wounds to both legs, police said. The man, whose exact age was not immediately known, was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

About 8 p.m. Saturday, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side. He was standing on the sidewalk with another male in the 1200 block of South Independence when a third male walked up and opened fire, police said. The boy was shot in the chin and walked into Mount Sinai Hospital, where his condition stabilized.

At least eight other people have been wounded in shootings across the city since about 9 p.m. Friday.

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The most dangerous block in Chicago? A stretch of South King Drive where a young Michelle Obama once lived

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Chicago Sun Times: They call it “O Block.” It’s a notorious stretch of South Side real estate known for violence.

On maps, it’s the 6400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. But it’s just O Block to people there and in frequent references to the street in the blood-drenched lyrics of Chief Keef and other Chicago rappers.

The sprawling Parkway Gardens low-income apartment complex sits on one side of the street. A string of businesses including an Auto Zone, a food mart and the Chicago Crusader newspaper lines the other.

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Young men in hoodies and low-riding jeans gather in the courtyards here, staring down strangers. Mothers hurry past, holding tight to little hands as they shuttle between the neighborhood school and the safety of their apartments. Security cameras posted nearly everywhere here see it all.

Gang members gave O Block the name. The O was for 20-year-old Odee Perry, a gang member gunned down just around the corner on a summer’s night in 2011. His killer? A female gang assassin, police sources say. She later was shot to death not far from here.

Perry was one of 19 people shot on O Block between June 2011 and June 2014. That makes it the most dangerous block in Chicago in terms of shootings in that three-year period, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

Two of the victims were killed. None of the shootings has resulted in criminal charges. And none of the weapons has been recovered.

chicago1The number of people shot would have been even higher, the police say, if not for one shooter’s bad aim. Gerald Preacely, 22, is accused of shooting at a group of people standing outdoors on O Block on June 3 — then firing at two police officers who saw him do it. Somehow, no one was hit. Preacely — already on parole for illegal possession of a gun — is now charged with attempted murder.

TARGETING THE ‘ZONE’

Despite the violence, things are actually better now around O Block than they’ve been, the police and politicians say. They point to figures that show most of the shootings on O Block the past three years happened in the first two years of that span and that no one has been shot to death in two years.

Shootings are also down in the general area. O Block sits in the midst of the Chicago Police Department’s Beat 312, which stretches east from the Dan Ryan Expressway past Cottage Grove, roughly between 63rd and 65th streets. Since 2012, the number of shootings in Beat 312 is down by 59 percent through September, the police say.

In an effort to curb the violence, more officers have been assigned to patrol the area on foot and in cars, focusing on an “impact zone,” drawn up in February 2013, of five square blocks with O Block near the middle. Ten veteran officers patrol the zone, along with additional officers fresh out of the police academy.

“There is progress being made in the beat and the whole district,” says Robert Tracy, chief of crime-control strategy for police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police sergeant whose ward includes O Block, says the police have sent a message to gangs that the shooting must stop. “The gangbangers have listened,” says Cochran, whose 26 years as a cop included time patrolling O Block and the surrounding area. “They have cooperated.”

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But the shootings, while down, haven’t stopped. A little past 9 in the morning on Oct. 23, young kids from the neighborhood were safe in their classrooms at Dulles elementary school, a block north. But on O Block, yellow police tape marked the scene of another shooting. It had been going on all night long, according to people at the Parkway Gardens apartments, where popular rapper Chief Keef used to hang out.

Then, at 9:20 a.m., a 22-year-old man was shot in the face inside the Parkway Super Market at 6435 S. King Dr. across from Parkway Gardens. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.

James Rufus is a butcher at the Parkway Super Market. Things will have to improve a lot more before he feels safe. On April 14, Rufus’ 23-year-old nephew was shot on O Block. A man in a hooded sweatshirt followed him out of the supermarket, pulled a gun and shot him in the head outside Parkway Gardens. The nephew survived but was left paralyzed. He got out of the hospital in September and now needs a wheelchair to get around.

Rufus says he thinks a gang member from Woodlawn, east of King Drive, shot his nephew, mistaking him for a rival. “It could be better, much better, around here,” says Rufus. “I see more kids during school hours than after school. They’re just hanging out. Things still need to change.”

FIRST LADY’S CHILDHOOD HOME

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When Michelle Obama was a baby, her family lived on O Block, in Parkway Gardens, the complex of 35 buildings that stretches from 63rd to 66th along King Drive. She wasn’t even 2 when her parents moved the family from Parkway Gardens to a home on Euclid Avenue closer to the lake in 1965.

Her childhood memories of the apartment complex where she once lived are of “a wonderful, small apartment building,” the first lady told Time magazine in 2009. “But now when I pass it, it’s — I was, like, God, I never saw that apartment in the way that I’m seeing it now.”

Over the years, Parkway Gardens became a haven for gangs. These days, the police say, the Black Disciples control both sides of King Drive and Parkway Gardens, and the rival Gangster Disciples claim the neighborhood of single-family homes to the east. The gangs fuel their antagonism online in 140-character bursts on Twitter and in rap songs uploaded to YouTube. Often, it carries over into real life.

That’s what gives the area its other name: “Wiiic City” — for Wild, Insane, Crazy. “You can catch a shooting in the rain, the snow or the sun,” says one cop who works the block. “The GDs won’t go in to the McDonald’s or the drive-through because that’s BD. It’s all about territory.”

The dismantling of a nearby Chicago Housing Authority high-rise complex also figures into the calculus of crime on the block. Randolph Towers — 144 apartments spread across 16 buildings in the 6200 block of South Calumet — had been the hub of operations for the Black Disciples until it was razed in 2007 as part of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation, the police say.

Many of those gang members moved about three blocks away, to the low-rise Parkway Gardens apartments, which are privately managed and cater to low-income tenants.

Ever since, there’s been friction between BDs and GDs outside the complex.

‘DON’T COME HERE’

Around O Block, people fear the gangs. “It’s rough,” one woman says. “A lot of shootings happen.” A woman who’s lived in Parkway Gardens for a quarter century says: “It was nicer back then, flowers planted in the beds, the grass kept up, less violence in and around the complex. You have to watch yourself more these days.” Another, the mother of a young daughter, says that when she wants the girl to be able to play outdoors, she takes her to a park on the Southwest Side because of the frequent gunfire outside her apartment in Parkway Gardens.

Yet another young mom, Stacey Griffin, echoes that: “I have to watch my back, always watching over your shoulder. The police do be around, but, I mean, crime still goes on. I rush my son in to the house because you never know what’s going to happen. I don’t allow my son to play in the playground, either. I would take him to a far-out, better neighborhood to let him play.”

A young man offers a warning to anyone unfamiliar with the area: “It’s dangerous out here. If you ain’t from here, don’t come here, please don’t. It’s real, it’s hectic.”

In “52 Bars (Part 4),” Chicago rapper Lil Durk lamented the violence and gave a nod to Sheroid Liggins, a reputed gang member shot and killed in February 2012 when he walked out of a store on O Block: “Askin’ why they took Sheroid. Gave an inch they took a yard.”

In the winter of 2011, the Rev. Corey Brooks became famous as the pastor on the roof when he camped out for months on top of a boarded-up motel nearby, in the 6600 block of South King Drive, to draw national attention to the rampant gunfire in the neighborhood. Brooks says things aren’t as bad today. But gang factions continue to battle there, he says, with homemade rap videos posted online often fueling the violence.

Gang members from the Parkway Gardens side of King Drive still risk getting shot if they cross Vernon Avenue two blocks to the east or venture north past 63rd, says Brooks, who raised more than $450,000 with his rooftop campaign, bought and demolished the motel and plans to build a community center in its place. “You have kids on both sides who are fenced in because of their conflicts with each other,” he says of O Block. He points to Parkway Gardens and says the difference between the mid-1960s, when the first lady’s family lived there, and today is drastic.

“The environment was family-focused,” he says. “People were working. When you eliminate all those things from a community — men not in the household and education failing — it will be a drastic difference than what the first lady of the United States and her family experienced.”

GOING AFTER GANGS

Tracy, the police crime-control strategy chief, says O Block remains one of his major challenges. “We have to stay ahead of it,” he says of the violence there.

The police have tried to do that by pouring officers into the “impact zone” around Parkway Gardens. They’re also putting to use strategies, suggested by a Yale sociologist who’s studied crime in Chicago, that aim to identify potential troublemakers and stop them from shooting.

They’ve done a “gang audit” to identify gang members in the area. Now, after a shooting, police officials say they can use this list to go to gang members and make it clear they’re watching them and won’t tolerate retaliation. Also, they say they are monitoring social media for threats between gang members.

And they are now targeting gang members deemed likely, on the basis of the circles they travel in, to commit violent acts — or to become a victim of violence — by warning them they’re at risk and ietting them know they’re being watched.

These tactics, based on the research of Yale sociologist Andrew Papachristos, have been effective elsewhere around the city, the police say.

In the 20 months before the police drew up the five-square-block impact zone that includes O Block and started putting extra officers on patrol, there were 32 shootings. In the first 20 months after, there were 10 shootings — a sign, the police say, of progress.

Officers in marked and unmarked cars regularly can be seen driving along O Block and through the Parkway Gardens complex. On several afternoons in recent weeks, an officer was parked the entire time in a marked squad car in the complex on side streets off King Drive, and private security guards could be seen walking through the courtyards.

“They put in new security and removed people who weren’t supposed to be living there,” says Ald. Cochran, who says he pushed for a change at Parkway Gardens that saw Related Companies take over the complex’s management in late 2012. Before that, Cochran says, “You had a lot of people who were not on the lease in places where guns, drugs and gang members were being harbored.”

Related has put in a $350,000 artificial turf field at Dulles elementary school, adjacent to Parkway Gardens, hoping to give kids and teens a place to play. “The presence and quick response of officers has deterred crime recently,” the alderman says. “We have not solved it 100 percent. But there has been a host of actions that have been taken.”

‘A DEATH TRAP’

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as President of the United States in Washington

On a recent afternoon, dozens of young men lingered in the courtyards at Parkway Gardens. “Maybe you shouldn’t be here anymore,” one warned.

Yvonne Gayden has felt the violence — and says it still hangs over O Block and Parkway Gardens. Her son, Edward Riley, 20, was shot to death as he walked with his girlfriend on O Block on Oct. 19, 2011. The two gunmen also shot and wounded a 15-year-old boy.

Riley had attended Dulles elementary when the family lived in the neighborhood, near 63rd and Eberhart. Later, they moved north to 53rd and Wallace, but Parkway Gardens was his world, his mother says.

Gayden says her son was a “kindhearted young man,” despite having a rap sheet with arrests for drug possession and gambling and having been convicted for possessing a handgun with a defaced serial number.

“He was no angel,” she says. “But I will not blame my son for hanging out at Parkway with his friends. He grew up with those guys.” Still, she says she warned him about going there. “That place is a death trap,” she says.

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