crime

Police Data Show Gun Violence A Chronic, Growing Problem Across Illinois

May 14, 2018
Pam Dempsey/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016.

He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois.

 


police tape
flickr/ Tony Webster

Peter Nickeas covers breaking news for the Chicago Tribune. He spent three years on the overnight shift and during that time went to the scenes of hundreds of shootings in the city.

Nickeas reflected on this time and the effect it’s had on his life in an essay for the September issue of Chicago Magazine, titled   “Three Years of Nights.”

Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talked with Nickeas about the essay and his time as an overnight reporter covering crime in Chicago. 

David Olson
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

  A number of American cities have seen a spike in violent crime this year. It’s not happening everywhere, but it is happening in Chicago.

What’s behind the crime wave of 2016? Does it represent a trend? And how could this affect the push to reduce the number of people sent to prison in Illinois?

Sarah Jane Rhee

In Illinois, thousands of African American men are released from prison each year. But, without support from government and community, many will go back. 

Illinois Times

That's the question reporter for the Illinois Times Patrick Yeagle asks in his cover story. He explores calls for putting fewer criminals in prison while sending more of them through rehabilitation programs. Yeagle writes about how "tough on crime" efforts of the 80s and 90s are being re-thought, though Illinois has been slow to join other states in revamping policies and laws.

Photograph by Alex Wroblewski

The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has brought to national attention the obstacles that many young black males face - including racial profiling and a world where media portrayals of their peers are often less-than-flattering. Maureen McKinney took a look at the topic in Illinois. She joined Rachel Otwell for this interview: 

Police in Urbana say a University of Illinois student has been killed in her apartment a few blocks north of the campus.

Lt. Bryant Seraphin tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette that officers were called shortly after 11 a.m. to the apartment complex. The university police issued alerts to students and faculty, but the campus was not locked down.

Seraphin says the victim's roommate was in the apartment during the killing and had been bound. He says she broke free and ran into the building's courtyard where she met officers.

Heaven Sutton and her mother, Ashake Banks
Cook County Sheriff's Department

It felt like summer in Chicago, but it was barely spring. In mid-March — a time of year when the highs are usually in the upper 40s — temperatures hit the 80s on eight days during one nine-day stretch. And in some parts of the city, bullets began flying.

Day after day, headlines delivered the grim news: “1 dead as shootings erupt around city”; “Chicago shootings leave 7 dead, 33 hurt”; “CHICAGO COP SHOT”; “Shooting death of girl, 6, marks lethal weekend. ‘She didn’t deserve this,’ mother says”; “49 people are shot citywide, 10 fatally.”

Peggy Boyer Long
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Sally Jefferson arrived at Alton Penitentiary on September 11, 1835. A prison clerk’s brief notation in the Convict Register marked the occasion. “No. 23,” the clerk wrote, had been sentenced by the Peoria County Circuit Court to 12 months of confinement for arson, including two weeks in solitary. She was 24 years old. “Her left hand and arm had been considerably seared by a burn when young.”