Earlier this summer, you may remember that Chicago Police Superintendent sat down with the city’s gangs at a “summit” between the street thugs and Chicago Police (CPD). Many of the Windy City’s residents were outraged over the fact that no one was notified the “meeting” was to take place, and by the fact that meeting with the gangbangers was validation of their power.
After all, not everyone gets to meet with Chicago’s top cop.
During this meeting, the gangs were supposedly told that police would target the entire gang if there was a murder or shooting linked to a gang member. A couple of months later, CPD and FBI officers arrested 60-plus bangers after an 18-year-old was murdered–allegedly by the Black Souls. The arrests were almost entirely from the Black Souls’ gang for felony charges related to drugs and weapons violations.
Then, just a few days ago, CPD and the FBI’s Chicago Office started picking up Chicago gang members once again, this time from the Traveling Vice Lords, following investigations into the gang’s criminal activity.
The two-year, multi-agency investigation called Operation Blue Knight was carried out using surveillance of members and phone wiretaps to gather evidence on numerous drug, weapons, and similar charges. None of those sought is being charged with a violent crime despite the fact that the Traveling Vice Lords is linked to several murders and shootings on Chicago’s West Side.
Of the 100-plus suspects sought, the Sun-Times reported that some were still roaming Chicago’s streets while the others awaited their day in Cook County, or federal, court.
The investigation into the Traveling Vice Lords’ criminal activities started after a Chicago Police Officer, Robert Soto, was shot while sitting in an SUV with a Child and Family Services supervisor. A member of the gang was charged for the officer’s death, but those charges were dropped.