- Feb 10, 2005
- Reaction score
- Montgomery, Al
(CBS News) CHICAGO - Chicago is in the grips of a deadly gang war. At least 275 people have been killed in the city so far this year and many more have been shot, many of them innocent bystanders to the gang violence. Among the latest victims were 12- and 13-year-old girls shot Tuesday night. They survived.
Sgt. Matt Little leads one of the teams in Chicago's Gang Enforcement Unit. There are about 200 such officers in the city-- versus 100,000 gang members.
"Almost all the violence we're seeing now is from the gangs," Little said. "When there's a shooting we'll respond to the shooting. We'll figure out where we believe the most likely area for retaliation is and we'll work that area trying to both prevent retaliation and possibly build a case on offenders."
CBS News rode along with Little's team as dusk fell on poor neighborhoods of vacant lots and high anxiety.
"The gangs have lost their hierarchy, so to speak, and without a chain of command, there's really nobody keeping things in check," Little said. The leaders are mostly in prison -- or dead. Those left are young, reckless, and often terrible shots.
It's "tribal warfare," he said, "and as it continues to build unless we manage to interdict it, and manage to stop it long enough for the blood to stop boiling, the heat to die down."