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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Gang Conflict Causing Uptown Violence As Police, Community Groups Look To Intervene

Outside gangs are disrupting an agreement some Uptown gangs had to stem violence in the neighborhood, violence intervention experts said at a community meeting.

Four people were shot near Wilson Avenue and Sheridan Road in Uptown Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.
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UPTOWN — Officials are increasing police presence, hosting more community meetings and working with violence prevention groups in response to a recent surge in Uptown violence.

The spike in violent incidents, including multiple shootings and stabbings, is related to an ongoing gang conflict, according to police who spoke at a community meeting hosted by Ald. Angela Clay (46th) last week at Winthrop Family Historical Garden, 4628 N. Winthrop Ave.

The meeting was held after a spate of shootings and other violence in Uptown. That includes three people shot near the Wilson Red Line stop July 25, a teen shot in a pedestrian mall and two men fatally stabbed in back-to-back days in mid-July.

Through Monday, Uptown has seen 10 shootings this year, one more than the same period in 2022, according to the city’s violence reduction dashboard. The total violent crime “victimizations” is up 25 percent in Uptown this year compared to the same period last year. Homicides are down this year, with two through July compared to six over the same period in 2022.

To help keep the community safe, Clay said her office has been coordinating with community organizations such as Communities Partnering For Peace in addition to increasing police patrols in the area. 

“I have an immense amount of respect for the Chicago Police Department and the officers themselves have stated that we can’t police our way out of crime,” Clay said. “It takes a community effort to keep us all safe and it’s not just one way.” 

This summer’s violence has been harder to resolve because it involves gangs from other neighborhoods that are disregarding an agreement that gangs in Uptown made with each other to keep some areas free of violence, said Darrell Dacres, an outreach coordinator at Communities Partnering For Peace.

“If someone else from the outside comes in and shoots up the area you call your safe space, where do you go? What are the options?” Dacres said.

Communities Partnering For Peace is a violence intervention group that mediates gang conflicts and also helps people affiliated with gangs access job training and other resources so that they’re less likely to engage in violence within the community. 

To make a bigger impact, Dacres said he wants to see the ward create a budget for violence prevention, a committee that helps to connect people with jobs even if they have criminal records and a community center where people can get job training and other supportive resources. 

“We’ve got financial literacy programs for people to teach them how to manage their money so they don’t have to sell drugs, and they come to the community looking for work and they’re denied,” Dacres said. “They’re rejected by the community. This plan might not save the world or stop the shootings, but it’s a start.” 

Credit: Kayleigh Padar/Block Club Chicago
Ald. Angela Clay (46th) hosted a community meeting to discuss violence in Uptown Thursday, July 27, 2023 at Winthrop Family Historical Garden, 4628 N. Winthrop Ave.

Clay has recently hosted multiple meetings with the people impacted by the violence and plans to continue bringing people together to discuss solutions, she said. She said it’s important for people to connect with their neighbors and speak up if they see anything that seems suspicious. 

Anyone who knows of job opportunities can contact Clay’s office, as she is creating a database to help people find employment, she said. The 46th Ward office can be reached at (773) 906-4609 or at

Clay said her office is creating task forces to discuss violence prevention year round and will continue connecting the community with an array of resources.

“I want to put that responsibility on all of us and ask, ‘What are we doing to offer people other opportunities?’” Clay said. “It’s not always as simple as ‘Stop doing what you’re doing.’ It’s extremely expensive to live in this city, people have bills to pay and [have] families. We have to make sure people can meet their needs in a safe, productive way.” 

In addition to efforts to connect people with alternatives to drug dealing and gang activity, there’s an increased police presence in the area with officers monitoring areas they believe are particularly at risk of violence, police said at the meeting.  

Officers are being encouraged to engage with the community more, rather than remain in their squad cars, so that they can get a better idea of the conflict and potentially prevent incidents before they occur, police said. 

People can connect with the 19th District’s Police Council representatives to discuss the ways officers are responding to crime and share their ideas for improvement. 

The 19th District Police Council hosts monthly public meetings to discuss public safety efforts within the community. More information about their work can be found on their website

People who are experiencing homelessness are particularly at risk when there’s violence in the community, Clay said. 

Inspiration Corporation, 4554 N. Broadway, provides people with meals and other supplies every day that people can access just by stopping by. Workers can also help people find affordable housing and employment training. 

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