22 April 2014
Latin Kings in Humboldt Park
Chicago, Illinois: a perfect place for gangs such as the Latin Kings to spread. Among the many areas that make up the city, the chaos continues to grow when it comes to drugs and violence. Humboldt Park in Chicago has a very dense population dominated by gang members mostly included in the Latin Kings. For more than thirty years, the gang’s “Motherland” is at the corner of Spaulding and Beach in West Humboldt Park (Kugler). Though it is nearly impossible to fully eliminate the Latin Kings in the area, steps may be taken to slow them down. A solution to this problem is to have harsher punishments and longer sentences for the gang members who are arrested in the future. With time, this solution should start to remove the amount of chaos in the Humboldt Park area. The Latin Kings are among the most violent street gangs that are spread across America. George W. Knox states “the history of this gang is written in blood” (Knox). He goes on to express how vicious this organization really is, and how they become more powerful inflicting fear upon others. The first known Latin King gang in Chicago formed around 1961 (Knox). Since then, the gang has been causing disorder, being violent, and selling drugs. The Humboldt Park area is infamous for murders, being mostly gang related. Not only are these members targeting other gangs, but also innocent people. A common gang initiation requirement for the person wishing to join is to kill someone. According to CBS Chicago, in March 2012, two Latin King affiliated members shot and killed a six-year-old girl who was playing in her front yard. Within that weekend, there were around ten fatal shootings and around thirty-four others wounded (“At Least”). Gunshots are heard every day in this region, and many of them result in Latin King victims. Families are scared to go outside, never knowing if they will become a casualty of the next shooting. These Latin King members are so ruthless that they even harm their own men. According to No Way Out, Juan Vanga, 22, was beaten by other members for three minutes just to get out of the gang. This shows that there is even violence inside the gang (“No Way). Previous police encounters with the Latin Kings can illustrate that they are also trying to crack down on the drugs being sold. According to NBC Chicago, in April 2012, ten supposed Latin King members were arrested and charged after an investigation that went on for two months, which exposed them selling and purchasing narcotics within 1,000 feet from a school in Humboldt Park (Torres). The war against drugs in Chicago is an immense problem. The drugs in Humboldt Park being brought in by the Latin Kings are contributing to this. The gang is focused on economics and will do anything to make money (Knox). There needs to be an end to all of this commotion. Many solutions to the Latin King violence and drug problems in Humboldt Park have been brought into action, yet it is still a big problem today. In 1967, Chicago Police established their first gang squad in attempt to lower the amount of gangs (Lemmer). One new proposal, to lower the amount of Latin King concerns in Humboldt Park, would be to have harsher punishments for the crimes being committed. Knowing that there would be more severe penalties for their actions may be a deterrent to the members. Through interviews, a mean age has been calculated when members will be arrested for their first crime. While looking at Knox’s profile of the Latin Kings, the mean age of a first arrest of the many interviewed gangsters was about twelve years old (Knox). Laws should be made to have harsher punishments for any crime simply being affiliated with the Latin Kings. If the members are arrested, a higher bail should be set so it is harder to pay. As for the Latin Kings that will be arrested in the future, longer sentences should be given. This would keep the members who were most likely arrested for...
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Torres, Sandra. "10 Arrested in Humboldt Park Gang Bust." NBC Chicago. N.p., 12 Apr. 2012. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. .
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