Our modest goal in this Introduction is to assemble some baseline empirics concerning both private violence and state coercion to provide a context for the pieces that follow. In so doing, we aim to mitigate the need for “scene setting” by each paper in the Symposium. Readers of the Symposium will find here a synoptic guide to some basic facts about the distribution and extent of criminal violence, as well as socioeconomic conditions and police activity, in Chicago.
A longstanding tradition of research linking neighborhood disadvantage to higher rates of violence is based on the characteristics of where people reside. This Essay argues that we need to look beyond residential neighborhoods to consider flows of movement throughout the wider metropolis.
This Essay analyzes trends in violence from a spatial perspective, focusing on how changes in the murder rate are experienced by communities and groups of residents within the city of Chicago. The Essay argues that a spatial perspective is essential to understanding the causes and consequences of violence in the United States and begins by describing the social policies and theoretical mechanisms that explain the connection between concentrated disadvantage and violent crime.
Community policing’s accomplishments were numerous, but it fell victim to issues commonly facing reform: money—especially the impact of economic downturns; leadership turnover and policy preferences; changes in the social, political, and crime environments; and the emergence of new technologies for responding to community concerns.
This Essay investigates Chicago city-government policy responses to the four largest homicide waves in its history: 1920–1925, 1966–1970, 1987–1992, and 2016. Through spatial and historical methods, we discover that Chicago police and the mayor’s office misused data to advance agendas conceived prior to the start of the homicide waves.
We describe and apply three empirical approaches to identify superfluous police activity, unjustified racially disparate impacts, and limits to regulatory interventions.
This Essay explores police practices that marginalize Black people by limiting their freedom of movement across the spaces of Black neighborhoods.
In this Essay, I argue that, in urban metros like Chicago, poor Black children are victims of not just gun violence but also the structural violence of systemic educational stratification.
This article proceeds by engaging the critical reflections, writing, organizing, and imaginative visions of contemporary abolitionists who are confronting the sources of violence by building solidaristic and equitable economic alternatives, proliferating peaceful and constructive approaches to violence that do not rely on militarized criminal law enforcement, working to reallocate resources from militarism toward human flourishing, and to commence a just transition to more environmentally sustainable forms of organizing human life on earth.
Although the Second Amendment tends to dominate the discussion about legal limits on gun regulation, nothing has done more to shape the state of urban gun law than state preemption laws, which fully or partially limit cities’ ability to regulate guns at the local level. The goals of this short Essay are to shed light on this “Statutory Second Amendment” and to provide a basic framework for evaluating it.