New face of gangs: Chicago gangs younger, more ruthless than before

Today’s Chicago gangs look nothing like the gangs of the 80s and 90s.  Members are younger, highly disorganized and are more ruthless. Their world has been described as an underground culture that many adults know nothing about.

A man whom we’ll call “Kato” has worked with young people in Chicago for more than 20 years. Gone, he says, are the days when a single leader with a few generals controlled thousands of foot soldiers and miles of turf.  Now he says gangs are much smaller, more like cliques with just a handful of members. No one person is in charge and their territory is confined to one or two city blocks.

Like the gangs of old, they carry guns, but in the new school, it’s not uncommon for the shooters to be as young as 14.

WGN’s Tonya Francisco talks with community leaders, law enforcement officials as well as those living in gang plagued areas to find out more about the problem and approaches to working to solve it.

New Face Of Gangs

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11 comments

  • bubba

    How about longer jail time instead of the slap on the back of the hand and don't do that again now go home to your parents.

    • Law n order

      Oh joe my brother I agree with you totally I predicted this over ten years ago with all the liberals and so called community activists and crooked moraless politicians advocating this soft way of dealing with these animals and now this is what you have.as you said Chicago this what u asked for now lay in your bed.when the police was crushing these beast you protested and rallied against the police to get them in trouble or fired.now u deserve everything you get.

  • keeping real

    gangs were always young punks, you people act like it new, it always been poor people problem don't blame liberals or justice system and don't support death penalties cause you are a moron!!! support a soup kitchen or support a local community for the poor and stop your female dog from barking!!! and do something for good!!!!! morons!!!

    • 14th Gen American

      Considering that it's mostly Liberals that commit the crimes………supporting a wellness for people that are homeless doesn't solve a gang problem!! Support the local police by Conceal & Carry. Get rid of the punks that are repeat criminals, drugs, school fighters, buying guns illegally……….Mr. Martin.

  • Sean Campbell

    IT’S ABOUT TIME SOME PEOPLE THAT KNOW WHAT THERE TALKIN ABOUT,DIFFERENT AGENCIES NEED TO WORK WITHTHE PARENTS TO GIVE THESE KIDS THAT STRUCTURE AND GUIDANCE BACK.IT’S TRUE,THE LEADER KEPT CONTROL OF THERE HOOD,THE PROJECTS ARE GONE AND EVERY ONE IS SPREADED OUT AND RUNNING WILD.

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