Senator’s Proposal to Arrest 18,000 Chicago Gang Members is Criticized


Sen. Mark Kirk’s ambitious plan to curb gang violence in Chicago through the mass arrests of 18,000 Gangster Disciples faces formidable hurdles, says the Chicago Sun-Times. Kirk (R-Il.) has yet to offer more than a vague vision of how law enforcement and judicial officials would execute a massive bust — which would strain police, judicial, jail and prison resources. Kirk's office says his plan is very much a work in progress.

Kirk has been seeking input from law-enforcement agencies including the Chicago Police, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The scale of what Kirk is proposing is enormous. Three Democrats whose districts would be affectec — Rep. Bobby Rush, Rep. Danny Davis, and Rep. Robin Kelly — are all critical of Kirk's idea. Davis told the Sun-Times that Kirk's plan is the “most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of in my life. I am totally amazed that something like this could come out of the senator's office.” David Kennedy — the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York — said Kirk's approach is built on a false premise that the Gangster Disciples is a monolithic gang. “The fact is that thinking about the Gangster Disciples as one criminal organization that should be held accountable for the actions of each of its members is not representative of how the streets are behaving,” Kennedy said.

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