Attendance Is Sparse at Chicago Street Violence ‘Gang Summit’


Few gang members showed up in Chicago Saturday for what was billed as a “National Unity Summit” for gang members to address the city’s epidemic of street violence, reports the Chicago Tribune. The Rev. Gregory Tatum, a Los Angeles-based minister originally from Chicago, and his wife paid for the summit. He said he tried to provide busing for 200 to 300 gang members from around the city, but the event drew no more than a couple of dozen gang members.

“I think people kind of have this wait-and-see mentality — even politicians, some clergy people, some gang members,” said Tatum, who grew up in crime-plagued Cabrini-Green, the former housing project on Chicago’s Near North Side. “They want to see if this is the same-old, same-old. And I understand that. I think they want to see some real change.” Tatum said he was inspired to organize the summit after speaking with a former gang leader in California last year. Tatum plans to organize similar events in Detroit, Kansas City, and possibly Cleveland.

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