‘Code of Silence’ on Chicago streets leaves police without witnesses, and cases unsolved

WGN Investigates
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CHICAGO — There have been 16 murders this year in Chicago’s 9th police district on the South Side, and an arrest in only one of the cases.

People are getting away with murder, and the street’s “Code of Silence” is contributing.

“If police don’t get him, the streets are going to get him,” a young man said as he visited a makeshift memorial to his brother, who was gunned down near 50th and Winchster. “I witnessed my brother’s murder. The detectives came to my house, my school. For what? We gonna leave it in the street,” he said.

Sure enough, the man suspected of killing his brother was himself killed a short time later.

“That’s street justice right there,” said the man, who WGN is not identifying.

Joseph Lewis was also gunned down on that same block in 2014. His father has been fighting for years to get witnesses to his son’s murder to cooperate with investigators.

Detectives have the nickname of the suspected triggerman; but without witness cooperation they’ve hit a wall in their investigation.

“He’s a free man,” Joseph’s father Bernard Lewis said. “That should scare everyone.”

Watch more of our special series “Getting Away with Murder.


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