No way of verifying, no way of getting out.
Currently, there is no way of fact checking the information collected by CPD to make sure it is accurate – and no way of repealing, opposing or erasing the information once it is inputted. The Chicago Gang Database is inconsistent, unreliable and decentralized, utilizing 18 separate forms, records, and systems of records, with no unified, standalone database. CPD itself has acknowledged its inaccuracy, and yet this compilation of information is shared with over 500 agencies, including DHS and the FBI – consequently expanding the criminalization network.
The Chicago Gang database is racist.
Lori Lightfoot continues to rely on racist narratives that place the blame of gun violence on the Black and brown Chicagoans. It is not coincidental that 95% of those in the Gang Database are Black and brown, with little-to-no substantial proof showing that people categorized as gang-members are in fact gang-affiliated. Around 95% of those listed in the gang database are Black or brown.
The Gang Database is a tool of surveillance that places our people in cycles of poverty and violence.
Being in the gang database, enhances surveillance by law enforcement, effects a person’s bail & bond, sentencing, impacts their sanctions, probation, prison and parole, put’s them at risk of deportation and immigration raids/obstacles to obtaining relief through DACA or U-Visa, and subjects them to rejection for employment opportunities.
There isn’t data to back up Lightfoot’s claims that gangs are increasing violence in the City of Chicago.
The history of gangs in Chicago is long and complex. Gangs don’t look like what they used to back in the 60s and 70s. Lori Lightfoot would have you believe that gangs in Chicago are organized businesses dominating the city and terrorizing neighborhoods. But there is no reliable data that supports these claims. Instead, according to CPD’s own data, fewer than 3 in 10 shootings in the past decade have been gang-related.
Gangs aren’t what is increasing violence in our neighborhoods, Chicago’s racist policies and police are.
Categorizing all gun violence under the umbrella of “gangs” is Lori Lightfoot’s way of justifying racist policies that will further disproportionately harm Black and brown communities.
Communities have had little to no funding in decades. Violence stems from a need for restorative justice practice, addressing harm, providing Lori Lightfoot uses the term “gang member” to dehumanize folks and strip them of their identity outside of gang life. Once someone is portrayed as a gang member, they are viewed through a single lens of criminalization.
Police brutality is the real organized crime.
According to data analyzed by the Chicago Tribune between 2010-2015, on average, every 5 days a Chicago police officer fired a gun at someone. 4 out of every 5 people police shot at were Black. Even as police brutality increases, Lori Lightfoot continues to support and push funds into the Chicago Police Department, repeatedly leaving Chicago neighborhoods with little resources. By choosing to increase the Police budget, Lori Lightfoot is turning her back on Chicagoans and scaremongering us into believing gangs are the problem?
Instead of funding things like the Chicago Gang Database and the audio surveillance technology, ShotSpotter…
…both of which have been shown to have no impact on safety or gun violence, we can fund programs like: mental health clinics, after school programs for youth, job programs, community liaisons to be present during community conflict, etc.