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.