Chicago gangs: Real people. Real stories. A way forward. The new season of Motive explores violence on the streets of Chicago and the former gang members working to stop it.
Sirenzo Strong spends his work days trying to talk to gang members in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. Part of his turf is the site of a former housing complex, Rockwell Gardens. When former residents return to the old neighborhood, so do the old gang allegiances and grudges. When there’s a shooting near a park, Strong uses his gang connections to unravel a simple misunderstanding and promote a simple solution.
Strong and his coworkers are almost all former gang members who used to deal drugs and commit violence on the West Side. Now they work to keep the peace and try to get young people out of gangs before it’s too late.
In this episode of Motive Season 5 we see that work up close. We see what fuels Chicago’s gun violence, and what it might take to stop it.
About the host
Patrick Smith is a criminal justice reporter at WBEZ. He has been reporting on Chicago violence, police and the people at the center of it all for nearly a decade.