IN DENIAL: While Uptown Murders Set Record Pace, Cops Lose Authority To Disperse Gangs

Screenshot from a typical North Side gang’s online video taunts.
This man, Keith Hayer (a/k/a Bang Da Hitta), was arrested shortly
after posting this video. Hayer is scheduled to be paroled on
August 28th. (Facebook)

The blood just won’t stop flowing in Uptown this year.

Of the 11 people shot there this year, five have died—more deaths at this point in the year than any time since at least 2001.

Since late March, CWB has tracked nearly 30 bona fide cases of shots fired in Uptown. In that brief time, 7 people have been shot in that neighborhood, 3 of them fatally.

One unlucky Uptown resident had bullets fly into his home twice in one week last month. Those incidents in the 4400 block of N. Malden are logged merely as “criminal damage to property” cases by Chicago police. (Cases HY227444 and HY227441)

Time For A Renewal

One tactic police use to counter street gangs is dispersal. When officers see two or more gang members loitering in an officially-designated “Hot Spot” or “High Level Gang Conflict Location,” they make contact, record the parties’ names, and tell them to disperse. The bangers are subject to arrest if they return.

“Hot Spot” and “Gang Conflict Location” designations have to be re-upped from time to time or else officers cannot legally disperse gang bangers.

Graphic showing the number of bonafide shots fired calls
recorded in Uptown since March 29. Yellow indicates a person
was shot. Red indicates a person was fatally shot.

A source this week confirmed to CWB that all gang loitering zone designations in the 19th district have lapsed, meaning that officers in Uptown may no longer run gang bangers off of the corners.

But, now that the news is out, we betcha the appropriate paperwork will get filed right quick.

Gang Bangs

Before his recent re-election, Ald. James Cappleman, who represents most of Uptown as well as parts of Wrigleyville and Boystown, claimed that there were “only two gangs” left in Uptown, a statement that’s hilarious until you realize that he actually believes it.

While several gangs continue their on-going feuds in Uptown, much of the latest violence is flowing from smaller groups that have splintered off from major factions. And the new crews don’t always respect the alliances of the old ones.

And so it goes. Just six hours after offering funeral information for
a recent Uptown murder victim, revenge is promised.

While many of the shooters and shootees are involved in narcotics, drug sales are not the primary motivator for most of the new groups. Online videos from crews like Pooh Bear Gang and Loyalty Over Cash are threatening rivals and attracting revenge. (NSFW video here.)

“The motive is hate,” one Area North gang officer told us. “I hate him, so I’m going to try to kill him. He disrespected me, so I’m gonna shoot him.”

The rivalries extend from Uptown to Rogers Park and Edgewater, areas that are also seeing an increase in shootings.



Prior to this year’s municipal elections, we called Cappleman out on his false claim of successfully getting more officers transferred into our understaffed district:

“During 2014, I fought for & got a net gain of 29 officers. We are slated for more this year as well,” he Tweeted on January 19. He would repeat that claim of “fighting for” and “getting” more cops at pre-election forums, too.

But a funny thing happened after the forums.

At an Uptown CAPS meeting last week, Cappleman claimed to be powerless to draw more cops to our district.

“I was told very clearly that it’s not aldermen making requests or the public making requests. 911 calls help, arrests help. You can do all kinds of petitions [to get more officers], but that’s not going to work. It’s going to frustrate you.”

Hmm. Well, enjoy the next four years. We get the government we deserve.

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About CWBChicago 4275 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is