Thursday January 12 01:54 am
Gangland - Gangster City
A regrettable, tragic side-effect of warfare is known euphemistically as "collateral damage." From Dresden to Baghdad, it is a sad historical commonplace that noncombatants, innocent civilians, will suffer terribly for the misfortune of living in a battle zone. In Chicago, the collateral damage of gang warfare includes everyday men and women struggling to conduct ordinary lives and, most terribly, children too young to know about the evils of the world, much less to fall victim to them. In 1992, Dantrell Davis became a household name when the seven-year-old was struck by a sniper's bullet during an all-out gun battle. Dantrell was the third Jenner Elementary School student slain by gangs in a seven month period. Dantrell's death served as a wakeup call and stirred government and community leaders to action, but was it too late? The level of violence between and among Chicago's gangs was clearly out of control. Officials hoped destroying the city's troubled public housing would bring an end to the carnage being wrought by the factions. Instead, leveling the high-rises only caused the problem to spread. In this important episode, GANGLAND examines the unimaginably violent environment of Chicago's battle zones and tracks efforts to eliminate deadly gang activity there.