Chicago Gang Expert: Most Violence “Disputes Over Women”


DePaul University sociologist Greg Scott has some contrarian ideas on gang violence in Chicago, especially the police plan to keep the summer peace with aggressive tactics, including SWAT teams, says Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. “There’s nothing better for a gang than a good old-fashioned police raid,” Scott said. “It just makes them stronger.”

Scott has spent years–he’s 40–researching gangs by hanging out with them, originally while employed in the state attorney general’s office. But he believes treating gang members like terrorists just solidifies the gang, and terms like “gang-related crime” often mislead. “A lot of the violence we hear about being caused by gangs is kids who do stupid stuff with a gun in their hand,” he said. “If we did social autopsies of these crimes, we might realize that the crimes were motivated by factors more important than gang affiliation.” What causes the most violence among gang members? “Disputes over females.” There’s not a single answer, he says, but a good start would be to get the guns: “Stop the flow from dealers outside the city. Don’t just arrest the guy who fires it once it’s here.”


Comments are closed.