‘Not every homicide in Chicago is gang-related, man’

A painting by Anderson Chaves is displayed at the YMCA in Pilsen on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. [Photo by Michelle Kanaar]

A painting by Anderson Chaves is displayed at the YMCA in Pilsen on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. [Photo by Michelle Kanaar]

So far this year, 379 people have been murdered in Chicago. And thousands more have survived gunshot wounds. “While those numbers are lower than 2012,” the Huffington Post writes, “the threat of gang violence remains a fact of life for those who live in the city.”

Is beefed up policing of gangs the cure to violence in Chicago? Or is the HuffPo’s notion that street gangs are at the root of Chicago’s violence problems too simplistic a diagnosis?

The Chicago Reporter’s Angela Caputo will jump into an on-line debate exploring those questions this morning at 11 a.m. Central on a Google Hangout. She’ll be joined by CeaseFire’s Ameena Matthews, Gregory Seal Livingston, senior pastor of Mission of Faith Baptist Church, and criminologist Rick Rosenfeld.

In the Reporter’s #TCRTalks column on Monday, Eddie Bocanegra, a former CeaseFire Interrupter,  opened the door to the conversation. “Not every homicide in Chicago is gang-related, man,” Bocanegra told the Reporter. “Just because it’s a 16-year-old does not mean that it was gang-related. The kid might have been in a gang. That doesn’t mean the murder itself was gang-related. And I think that’s another part the media totally gets wrong.”

We’d love to hear your take. Jump in on the conversation here. Or leave your comments below and Caputo will be sure to share them.

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