Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO’S MOST VI­O­LENT BEAT

Last year, there were 16 mur­ders and 45 non­fa­tal shoot­ings that wounded 55 peo­ple on Po­lice Beat 1133 on the West Side

- BY SAM CHARLES Staff Re­porter Crime · Incidents · Chicago · Chicago Metropolitan Area, Illinois · Chicago Police Department · Franklin D. Roosevelt · White House · Donald Trump · Dwight D. Eisenhower · Forest Park · Austin · Kenny Johnson · Everett

John Hosey Jr. was driv­ing in Ho­man Square on Chicago’s West Side on Aug. 8 when he was shot and killed.

Of­fi­cers nearby heard the gun­shots, at least five of them, com­ing from the area of Gren­shaw and Cen­tral Park. They found Hosey un­re­spon­sive in a va­cant lot in the 3500 block of West Gren­shaw, about a halfmile west of where he’d been shot. He’d been driv­ing, and his car con­tin­ued on for about 400 feet be­fore crash­ing.

The 28- year- old Hosey was a mem­ber of the Trav­el­ing Vice Lord street gang, au­thor­i­ties say, with more than a dozen drug- re­lated ar­rests. He was one of 780 peo­ple mur­dered in Chicago last year, which made it the most vi­o­lent year the city has seen since the mid- 1990s.

But nowhere did the vi­o­lence hit home the way it did in the Chicago Po­lice Depart­ment’s Beat No. 1133, where Hosey, whose death re­mains un­solved, was killed.

Six­teen mur­ders. Forty- five non­fa­tal shoot­ings that left 55 peo­ple wounded. Three cops shot and wounded. And three peo­ple killed by the po­lice.

That added up to more in­stances of gun vi­o­lence in Beat 1133 in 2016 than in any other of the 303 beats the Po­lice Depart­ment di­vides the city into, a Chicago Sun- Times anal­y­sis of po­lice data has found.

The run­ners- up: Beat 1533 in Austin, with 12 mur­ders and 44 non­fa­tal shoot­ings; and Beat 1522, west of there and also in Austin, with 11 mur­ders and 43 non­fa­tal shoot­ings.

Beat 1133 en­com­passes about one- half- square mile. It’s bounded by Jack­son Boule­vard, Roo­sevelt Road, Ho­man Av­enue and Spring­field Av­enue.

Com­mu­nity lead­ers have been work­ing to help make this a safer area. Still, the vi­o­lence was far worse in 2016 than in pre­vi­ous years, the anal­y­sis shows. In fact, the 16 mur­ders last year were more than Beat 1133 had seen in the pre­vi­ous five years com­bined.

Since 2000, the beat had not seen more than eight mur- ders in a year, po­lice records show.

So far, three of last year’s killings have re­sulted in ar­rests.

The 45 non­fa­tal shoot­ings were, by far, the most in a sin­gle year since 2000 — and more than twice as many as in 2015.

Ar­rests have been made in four cases, ac­cord­ing to po­lice records.

The po­lice — now feel­ing pres­sure not only from the com­mu­nity and City Hall but also the White House, with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump us­ing Chicago as an ex­am­ple last week of the “car­nage” on the na­tion’s streets — say they are ex­pand­ing their use of ShotSpot­ter tech­nol­ogy, which alerts the depart­ment to shoot­ings, to the West Side 11th District that in­cludes Beat 1133.

The depart­ment would not make the district com­man­der, Ken­neth John­son, avail­able for an in­ter­view.

But po­lice spokesman Frank Gian­camilli said, “CPD is in the process of in­vest­ing in ex­pand­ing ShotSpot­ter tech­nol­ogy through­out the 11th District for full- district cov­er­age to help . . . re­spond to shoot­ing in­ci­dents faster.”

Gian­camilli also said the depart­ment is “adding ad­di­tional 27 ‘ pod’ cam­eras in tar­geted ar­eas to en­hance the re­sources avail­able in solv­ing cases.”

He called the rise in vi­o­lence the city has been see­ing and which has con­tin­ued this year “un­ques­tion­ably un­ac­cept­able” and blamed it in part on the easy avail­abil­ity of il­le­gal guns.

“This rise in vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing that in the 11th District, is a di­rect re­sult of the vast num­ber of il­le­gal firearms

in cir­cu­la­tion in Chicago and lack of ac­count­abil­ity for gun of­fend­ers who carry them to in­flict harm in our com­mu­ni­ties,” Gian­camilli said.

Ci­ty­wide last year, the depart­ment con­fis­cated more than 8,300 il­le­gal guns.

The Sun- Times anal­y­sis found that, as the num­ber of shoot­ings and killings went up, the num­ber of ar­rests for crimes re­lated to heroin — long a scourge on the West Side — took a nose­dive in 2016, ac­cord­ing to po­lice records. Beat 1133 saw 125 ar­rests last year for hero­in­re­lated of­fenses, mostly for pos­ses­sion. The pre­vi­ous year, it had 291, with 329 ar­rests in 2014.

Gian­camilli said the drop in heroin ar­rests is a re­sult of po­lice steer­ing drug users to­ward treat­ment rather than ar­rest­ing them. About 30 peo­ple so far have agreed to en­ter treat­ment.

“We have be­gun im­ple­ment­ing pro­grams to di­vert low- risk, non­vi­o­lent drug of­fend­ers into treat­ment pro­grams in­stead of ar­rest and in­car­cer­a­tion, al­low­ing our of­fi­cers to help fo­cus our en­force­ment ef­forts and limited crim­i­nal jus­tice re­sources on those with the great­est propen­sity to com­mit vi­o­lence in our com­mu­ni­ties,” Gian­camilli said.

In re­cent years, the Eisen­hower Ex­press­way, which runs through Beat 1133, has be­come known as “The Heroin High­way” be­cause of how ac­ces­si­ble it makes the drug to both city and sub­ur­ban cus­tomers.

In 2015, state or fed­eral drug charges were brought against 42 peo­ple for their al­leged roles in sup­ply­ing and dis­tribut­ing heroin around West Gren­shaw and In­de­pen­dence. In­ves­ti­ga­tors in­cluded a photo in a fed­eral crim­i­nal com­plaint that de­picts a line of peo­ple wait­ing to get their hands on heroin in the 3700 block of West Gren­shaw.

The drop in ar­rests for heroin hasn’t been limited to 1133. In each po­lice beat sur­round­ing Beat 1133, heroin ar­rests also were down, records show — any­where from 15 per­cent to 70 per­cent in 2016 com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

The Sun- Times re­ported last month that over­all ar­rests across the city were down 28 per­cent in 2016 com­pared to the year be­fore.

Ald. Michael Scott’s 24th Ward cov­ers most of Beat 1133. Scott said that, while the heroin trade drives some of the vi­o­lence in the area, a lack of com­mu­nity re­sources — such as job- train­ing pro­grams — also plays a role.

“The re­sources that would or­di­nar­ily be in any other com­mu­nity are not here in the 24th Ward,” Scott said. “The young men and women would much rather have job train­ing to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies. I’m sure they’d rather pick up a trade than pick up a gun.”

Bring­ing in a new com- mer­cial de­vel­op­ment to the in­ter­sec­tion of Roo­sevelt and Kost­ner — not far from Ho­man Square — is part of Scott’s plan to boost eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the area and, he hopes, help to curb the vi­o­lence.

“I’ve been a res­i­dent here all my life, and I’ve never been af­forded the op­por­tu­nity to walk up and down the street, around restau­rants and small busi­nesses where the com­mu­nity feels whole,” Scott said. “That’s what we’re work­ing to­wards in my ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

Scott said the Po­lice Depart­ment also needs to over­come the strong sense of dis­trust many feel to­ward cops. Even be­fore the Jus­tice Depart­ment came out ear­lier this month with a re­port crit­i­ciz­ing po­lice prac­tices, Scott and oth­ers have said of­fi­cers ap­peared to be more hes­i­tant to make ar­rests be­cause of height­ened scru­tiny since the re­lease of the Laquan McDon­ald po­lice shoot­ing video.

“We have, I think, still a lot of an­i­mos­ity that has been built up against the po­lice, and there’s a long way to go to re­pair that trust,” Scott said.

In Novem­ber, the po­lice fa­tally shot 37- year- old Cleotha Mitchell at Har­ri­son and Cen­tral Park af­ter of­fi­cers said they saw him shoot two other peo­ple, killing one of them.

Seven months be­fore that, po­lice shot and killed 16- year- old Pierre Loury. The teenager’s fam­ily has filed a fed­eral law­suit over his death, say­ing he was in a car that was pulled over by of­fi­cers in the 3400 block of West Gren­shaw, got out and ran and was shot by a pur­su­ing of­fi­cer as he be­gan to climb a fence to get away.

Speak­ing af­ter the re­lease of the DOJ re­port, Loury’s great aunt, Arewa Karen Win­ters, said the teen’s fam­ily wanted video of the shoot­ing re­leased, but it was with­held be­cause Loury was a mi­nor. The In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Re­view says records would only be re­leased with a court order.

On March 14, three Chicago Po­lice of­fi­cers were shot dur­ing a drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the 3700 block of West Polk, po­lice said at the time. Of­fi­cers opened fire on the man, 29- year- old La­mar Har­ris, and he was dead at the scene. Har­ris, a mem­ber of the Trav­el­ing Vice Lords who lived in west sub­ur­ban For­est Park, had seven felony con­vic­tions and 43 ar­rests on his record, po­lice said.

Last year, the pri­vate, not­for- profit Uh­lich Chil­dren’s Ad­van­tage Net­work built and moved into the sprawl­ing Ni­chols Cen­ter at 3605 W. Fill­more — in the heart of Beat 1133 — in an ef­fort to help fight the vi­o­lence and im­prove the com­mu­nity. The 145- year- old or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers coun­sel­ing, men­tor­ing, vi­o­lence in­ter­ven­tion and other ser­vices, pri­mar­ily to those 12 to 24 years old. The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which re­lies on grants and do­na­tions, says it’s now work­ing with 110 lo­cal res­i­dents.

Most of those get­ting men­tor­ing are brought in through com­mu­nity outreach, ac­cord­ing to Nor­man Liv­ingston Kerr, a UCAN of­fi­cial in vi­o­lence pre­ven­tion ser­vices. Kerr said about 90 per­cent of those his or­ga­ni­za­tion works with have ex­pe­ri­enced post­trau­matic stress dis­or­der as a re­sult of ex­po­sure to vi­o­lence.

“It plays a role be­cause they re­ally don’t know that they’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing PTSD,” Kerr said. “They know some­thing has hap­pened — but they don’t know how it af­fects them.

“It’s not some­thing you have to live with for­ever,” he said. “Our vi­sion is youth who’ve suf­fered trauma can be­come our future lead­ers. We strongly be­lieve that it can be ad­dressed, and it can be turned around.”

 ?? | ASHLEE REZIN/ SUN- TIMES ?? A cross bear­ing the name and photo of John Hosey Jr., one of the 16 peo­ple killed in Beat 1133 last year, was car­ried down Michigan Av­enue in a march or­ga­nized by the Rev. Michael Pfleger at the end of 2016.
| ASHLEE REZIN/ SUN- TIMES A cross bear­ing the name and photo of John Hosey Jr., one of the 16 peo­ple killed in Beat 1133 last year, was car­ried down Michigan Av­enue in a march or­ga­nized by the Rev. Michael Pfleger at the end of 2016.
 ??  ?? Chicago Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate in the 3600 block of West Fifth Av­enue where a man was shot to death on Aug. 28. NET­WORK VIDEO PRO­DUC­TIONS
Chicago Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate in the 3600 block of West Fifth Av­enue where a man was shot to death on Aug. 28. NET­WORK VIDEO PRO­DUC­TIONS
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 ??  ?? Pierre Loury
Pierre Loury

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