Huffpost Chicago

Gang Violence Smolders On Hot Chicago Streets

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Dolores Walker walks past a memorial left to remember her son as she leaves for the Cook County Medical Examiner's office to identify his remains on June 11, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Walker's son, Joseph Briggs, who recently turned 16, was shot and killed while sitting on the stoop of his home in Chicago's Marquette Park neighborhood. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Dolores Walker walks past a memorial left to remember her son as she leaves for the Cook County Medical Examiner's office to identify his remains on June 11, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Walker's son, Joseph Briggs, who recently turned 16, was shot and killed while sitting on the stoop of his home in Chicago's Marquette Park neighborhood. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

This has been a summer of blood, sweat and tears in Chicago. The city has been scorched by historic heat, and the homicide rate has soared. When the sun goes down behind the glimmering lakeshore skyline, blocks on the South and West Side of the city can ring with shots and sirens.

The streets of neighborhoods like Englewood, Grand Crossing and Garfield Park are empty, even during the day. In the middle of this summer, it is rare to see a child ride a bike or walk a dog.

"A child should not have to say, 'I can't go out because I might get shot.'" resident Michelle Harris says at a community meeting at the Englewood police station. "That's bad, that's bad."

Read the whole story at NPR