Gang Violence Smolders On Hot Chicago Streets
Venkatesh is the author of the bestselling book Gang Leader for a Day, in which he ran with the Black Kings gang and analyzed their business model. He says large gangs that grew rich and treacherous selling drugs were scattered when many gangbangers were jailed - or killed by each other.
Ironically, he says, "gangs for a long time had an interest in keeping the neighborhood safe - because if you didn't have violence, you have a thriving drug market. No police were around, you weren't getting arrested."
Chicago's city government is tearing down hundreds of abandoned buildings this summer to prevent them from being used to sell drugs or store weapons. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pledged to hire another 500 police officers, in spite of a city budget deficit of $600 million.