Ex-Felons Fight Against Chicago’s Violence

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There are over 100,000 gang members in the city.

City officials explained that the gangs that exist today do not have the top-down, structure of some of the notable ones of the 1970’s. Instead, they describe the current gang activity as anarchy.

"There is no gang structure on the west side," said Fred Seaton. "It's just cliques."

"You have these renegade factions, anybody might shoot you now-a-days," said Hardiman.

"In order to stop this violence we have to have some jobs," said Patricia Bradley, a concerned citizen. "Some of our young people are so full of rage and hate that you don’t know where to start," Bradley noted.

Last year, Ceasefire reported that they worked with over 1,000 high-risk youth for over 48,000 hours. The organization believes that their work is making a heavy impact.

"I never feel hopeless," Derrick House said. "Never. I’m like, can’t give up on 'em. You can’t give up on 'em."

Ceasefire said that they’ve seen a 20-percent reduction in homicides and shootings between January and May of this year.

"In order to stop a homicide you have to have the ability to intercept a whisper," Bradley said, "it only takes about five seconds to pull the trigger."

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