This news segment reports on the violence in the Cabrini-Green housing projects. After the death of seven-year-old Dantrell Davis, Chicago authorities have implemented controversial security measures in the project.
0:05Copy video clip URL Ten-year-old Senque Selvy talks about living in the Cabrini-Green housing project. He knows other kids who have been shot, including Dantrell Davis, a 7-year-old recently killed in a gang crossfire. Senque’s mother is scared every day that her son goes to school. Dantrell’s death became a symbol of the escalating urban violence in Chicago.
1:59Copy video clip URL Daley and Vince Lane, chief of the Chicago Housing Authority, have vowed to take back Cabrini-Green from the gangs. The project is now inundated with police officers, city workers, and construction crews. Residents now have to walk through metal detectors and show ID to enter previously unlocked buildings. A recent federal report called Chicago’s crime problems the worst in the nation. Many residents welcomed the new security measures.
3:40Copy video clip URL There have been many efforts to curb the violence in Cabrini-Green, including an effort by Mayor Jane Byrne in 1981. The latest effort is the largest, with the city spending half a million dollars to secure the project and expand social services. Lane urges residents to work together to help clean up the project.
5:38Copy video clip URL Some residents complain that the heavy security makes the project feel like a prison. Community activist Marion Stamps does not support the new security measures. The ACLU has sued the housing authority, saying that security sweeps violate tenants’ rights. However, police official Sherwood Williams believes the ACLU lawsuit prevents police from being as effective as they could be.
8:12Copy video clip URL Even the gang leaders say the killing must stop. Members of the Cobra Nation are calling for an end to the drugs and the violence, and say that the gang leaders were organizing a truce even before Dantrell’s death.
9:24Copy video clip URL Crime has dropped in Cabrini-Green after Dantrell Davis’ death. Matthew Rodriguez, head of the Chicago police department, says that the new security measures, not the gang truce, are most likely responsible for the reduced violence. Senque and his classmates wonder if the calm in the project will last. “Poverty is still the basic, intractable problem here,” with Senque living in a run-down apartment which his mother rarely leaves because of the violence outside.
12:41Copy video clip URL End of tape.