Chicago residents speak about the causes of gang violence


This summer saw an increase in shootings, many gang-related, on the streets of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. Youth, in particular, are at risk: From 2008 to 2012, more than 1,100 of the city’s 2,389 homicide victims were under the age of 25.

The politicians and media offer no explanation for these conditions beyond a need for more police, with some even calling for the National Guard to be deployed. But residents offer a different take—that after years of increasing inequality and cuts to social services, some youth in the city feel they have no future and find that gangs bring money and status that is otherwise hard to find.