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.
In 2021, 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams was killed by bullets meant for her father. The killing shook Chicago, and affected many of the anti-violence workers on the West Side. It showed the dangers some children face everyday in the city.
In this episode, Jaslyn’s dad, Jontae, explains how he got into a gang and how his fellow gang members turned on him when he decided to help police instead of exacting street justice.
The path leading to his daughter’s death started when Jontae was just 11 years old. Anti-violence worker “Fatz” joined a gang when he was just a kid too. So did victim advocate Ceci. Their stories are all remarkably similar.
Now, Ceci and her coworkers are trying to keep another young man from the same fate.
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.