Where are the Russian neighborhoods in Chicago

Chicago: These streets don't love anyone


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In the parking lot of the liquor store there is hardly a space left in the early evening, the store in west Chicago advertises on cardboard signs in the window with cheap liquor and even cheaper beer. The bright fluorescent tubes inside cast a weak light on the parked cars. Most of them are dented, some are missing a bumper, they fit on the uneven parking lot, the asphalt of which has cracked in many places. Customers rush to their cars with six-packs and bottles in brown bags and disappear into the dark side streets.

Breyonna is surprised that the store is still open at all. She always comes by here when she goes to see her mother-in-law. "I thought they closed it because all the shootings are on this corner." The 21-year-old says it casually, as if she forgot to buy milk. She doesn't know any other way. Within two years, her brother was shot, then the father of their two children.

In the back seat of social worker Jim Fogarty's car, who has known the family for years, you could almost miss Breyonna. The dark hair long and straight, the fingernails unpainted, the winter jacket in a muted color. The two-year-old Marquese Junior sits between his mother and four-year-old sister London and weeps; he doesn't feel like driving a car. But it wouldn't be safe with the subway in the evening. So Jim Fogarty helps Breyonna and her children to visit her mother-in-law, Tracy. Marquese Junior only knows his grandmother, he will never remember his father. Marquese Fleming was shot dead in front of a fast food restaurant on the street in September 2016. He was 20 years old and his son had only been born a few months.

Chicago, Illinois

The Austin district is located far to the west of Chicago, the silhouettes of the skyscrapers in downtown can be guessed in the rear-view mirror, but they are as intangible as the pleasant life there. During the day, Breyonna works in a café in the center and sells expensive coffee that she couldn't afford herself. After work, her everyday life takes place in an apartment financed by the city, not far from the center, which she shares with her mother and grandmother. And in Austin on the west side of town, where her boyfriend lived and his family still lives. Despite the shootings, despite the dead.

Almost all African Americans live here in Austin, unemployment is high, and many families depend on food stamps and welfare. If you want to get money quickly, you sell drugs for the gangs. As soon as it dawns, the streets come alive. Then business is done, then rival gangs and smaller, less hierarchically organized cliques face each other on street corners.

Gait problem, violence problem, gun problem

The city has a gait problem, a violence problem, and a gun problem. Three million people live in Chicago; more people are killed in the city in the American Midwest than in New York or Los Angeles. 711 people were shot dead in 2016, 650 last year. US President Donald Trump threatened that he would override the sovereignty of the city and send federal troops into the city to end "the terrible bloodbath". They didn't come.

But Mayor Rahm Emanuel, once Barack Obama's chief of staff in the White House, hired more police officers and set up so-called police officers in areas particularly affected by violence Strategic Decision Support Centers one, strategy centers within the police headquarters. The idea: to bundle information with the help of surveillance, data analysis and police investigations and thus be able to react more quickly to violence. Austin was one of the first neighborhoods to have such a strategy center.