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Chicago Police target gang factions making over 100 arrests are as violence surges

August 20, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Chicago Police target gang factions making over 100 arrests are as violence surges

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Chicago Police netted over 100 purported gangsters on drug and weapons charges in the latest of a series of gang take-downs, which have been ongoing since May as the city continues to struggle with spiraling violence.

Law enforcement officials said officers from the Police Department’s Bureau of Organized Crime spanned across fifteen crime-ridden districts targeting gang factions selling narcotics and weapons starting around 5 a.m. Thursday into Friday morning.

At a Friday press conference at police headquarters, Anthony Riccio organized crime chief, said Police arrested 101 reputed gang members on Chicago’s West and South sides.

“What we try to do is target the worst areas and some of the busiest districts and take down some of the gang members who were operating and driving the violence in those districts,” Riccio said.

Riccio confirmed 61 of the 101 people arrested are documented gang members but refused to say which groups police targeted in the raids

However, the top official said the gang sweep remains ongoing, and officers expect to arrest 100 more suspects over the course of the next seven to 10 days, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“The route we took is attacking them through the sale of narcotics, which funds these gangs,” Riccio said. “It funds the operation, which provides them with money to buy the guns used to shoot at rival gang members and shoot at police officers in some cases.”

According to official police statistics, homicides have increased by 50 percent compared to the same period last year.

As of Sunday, Chicago recorded 425 murders, compared to 283 over the same period in 2015. Data also shows incidents of gun-related shootings rose 48 percent to 2,136, an increase from 1,443 in 2015.

Overall violent crimes including robberies, aggravated batteries, and sexual assaults have also doubled

Thursday’s major gang sweep is the third in the past three months. Chicago Police arrested 140 people on drug and weapons charges during a raid on the city’s West Side back in May. Authorities made another 88 arrests ahead of the Fourth of July weekend during similar operations.

The majority of the suspects detained in the three raids ranked high on the Police Dept’s Strategic Subject List, which is a computerized algorithm designed to identify those most likely to either commit a shooting or become a victim of violence.

Authorities have targeted 1,400 gang bangers ranked highest on the list, between about 400 and 500-plus, which means they would be 400 to more 500 times more prone to violence as a victim or offender than the average individual.

“These offenders and street gangs, they’re often associated with don’t care about innocent children playing on the street, don’t care about the neighborhoods trying to avoid these conflicts, nor do they care about the families who are left behind in the wake of their actions to grieve the loss of a child or a brother or sister.” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at the news conference.

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