We're probably going to be accused, again, of making a big deal out of nothing and of being "political enemies" -- but this is not "nothing" and it's not okay and it's not something that should be tolerated in Uptown, or anywhere else, for that matter.
First, another gang street fight took place early Friday evening, as noted in the Positive Loitering post below. For some reason, the gangs (in this case, the Gangster Disciples and Vice Lords) believe they have the riot to commit mayhem over "turf," even though they don't own an inch of it and their names appear nowhere except in their scrawled tags on other people's property. UU readers sent photos and reports:
"[At 5:04] This was the scene at Leland and Sheridan 5 minutes ago. Police response was very quick, including a paddy wagon and ambulance. Gang bangers scattered all directions quickly once cops arrived."
"I was crossing Lawrence on Sheridan and was caught literally in the middle of a gang fight at around 5:20. I called 911, several others were too. I hid in an alcove on Lawrence. Crazy, crazy times."
Then it escalated:
"Dude was beaten unconscious on Sheridan about 25 ft west of Lawrence around 6pm, tonight. It was still light out. Guys running everywhere. I split when a cop pulled his gun."
And then it escalated some more, into gun violence:
"Just hours after our positive loitering event tonight, several rounds were fired near Lawrence and Sheridan, the very corner where we stood. A gun was recovered and arrests were reportedly made. Gang violence is flaring up again in our neighborhood. Be safe. I also took the attached photos of the scene. The most disturbing photo is the bullet dent above the Lawrence House window. Any one of us could have been in the path of that bullet."
"I was walking home from a friend's house tonight. I was at Sheridan/Lawrence at 1040pm and all of a sudden I heard a round of gunshots. All of a sudden cops everywhere and I finally got to Kenmore and they were running down Kenmore with their guns cocked. Anybody know what happened? I live in on Winthrop and Lawrence.... Lately there are gangbangers hanging out on my street. This has just started happening in the last month."
A very frustrating and frightening situation. We're not sure what the law-abiding stakeholders of Uptown -- and that includes people of every economic situation and walk of life -- can do to assert control of our streets and our community from thugs who feel they have the right to riot and shoot here. The cops are as sick of it as we are. What can be done to get the bad guys out? Because they've officially worn out their welcome and it's time for them to GO.