Saturday, May 5, 2018

Chicago’s Gang Database Full of Geezers?

By January 1984, the Chicago Police Department labeled more than 700 people as suspected gang members following arrests for various crimes. One was in his early 30s and identified as a member of the Black P Stones. By last fall, nearly 34 years later, that individual was 77. He was one of 163 people in their 70s or 80s in the database, which now includes information on about 128,000 people. It’s hard to fathom that there are so many elderly, active gang members in Chicago needing police tracking. 

As of this March, the list included 13 people who are supposedly 118 years old — and two others listed as 132.
Chicago police and other law enforcement officials regularly cite the database during criminal investigations, immigration enforcement and court proceedings. The department has long fought against releasing portions of the database, or explaining how it’s generated or used. The department’s internal rules for classifying someone as a gang member are fuzzy.