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Chicago adds police to cut gun violence. But can drill rap be ‘policed’?

The city of Chicago is proposing to add nearly 1,000 more personnel to the Chicago Police Department over the next two years in an attempt to tackle the overwhelming gun violence plaguing the South and West sides of the city. The increase in police power is one of several proposals from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. […]

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Mothers fighting Chicago gun violence one block at a time

It’s no secret that gun violence on Chicago’s South and West sides has reached horrific proportions. This is the story of how one mother organized a group to fight back. The neighborhood of Englewood on the South Side, where Tamar Manasseh grew up, has high crime rates. A year ago, a friend trying to break […]

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Rio Olympics: Faster, higher, stronger? How about tardier, broker, sicker?

The Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to start in Rio de Janeiro in a matter of weeks on Aug. 5, and by all accounts, Brazil has an Olympic-size mess on its hands. The country has been hit hard by Zika, a mosquito-borne virus linked to neurological diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and birth defects such […]

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Urban farming: From floating food forests to vacant lot crops

A growing movement is spreading throughout U.S. cities that is feeding people, providing jobs, and helping the environment—urban farming. This is a lot bigger than putting some tomato and zucchini plants in your backyard. These are local efforts, city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, to convert vacant land in America’s cities into small farms. Sometimes […]

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‘An open door and a helping hand’ for homeless youth

A new study from the Department of Health and Human Services paints a bleak picture for the nation’s homeless youth, but it also recommends some steps to help the tens of thousands of homeless young people on the nation’s streets. Here are some of the conclusions from the just-released report, done with data collected by […]

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First step in fixing Chicago police: Acknowledge racism

Chicago is one of many big cities facing a lack of faith in its police force. The reasons for this are myriad, neighborhood by neighborhood. Now a new task force report says bluntly that the department must face its racist history. Although the entire report is not yet released, an 18-page executive summary calls the […]

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Young black men in Chicago: Out of work, out of school, and out of luck

Chicago isn’t a safe or profitable place for young men of color, especially on the West and South sides. That in itself is nothing new. But a new report on black youth unemployment, coupled with recent sky-high shooting and murder rates, doesn’t leave young black men with many options. Nearly half of all black males […]

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If you want to understand urban gun violence, see Chi-raq

Spike Lee’s new movie gives a blistering yet accurate picture of what it’s like to live in poor neighborhoods in a big city — the guns, the gangs, the violence, the killings, the lack of jobs and opportunities. It also offers some ideas about what can be done about it. Sure, the film is over […]

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FAIR COPS: A revolutionary approach to Chicago police reform

Chicago doesn’t need another commission to figure out what’s wrong with city policing. What it needs is a truly independent review agency. In the wake of the video showing Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times — released 13 months after the October 2014 killing and only after a lawsuit […]

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Laquan’s killing wasn’t cop’s first go-round with misconduct

When Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, it was one more step in the 14-year veteran officer’s history with the Chicago Police Department. Van Dyke was charged with misconduct 20 times, 18 of which were apparently carried through to a disciplinary hearing. In every case, he got off, including the […]

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