Some music fans -- even hip hop fans -- dismiss drill music as not worth listening to. However, with a little understanding of its origins, it soon becomes obvious that drill music is not influencing the violence in Chicago. It's actually helping to reduce it.
Chicago is home to some of the greatest architecture, culture, food and people in the country. Causing change can't just come from a few people in one community; it needs to come from all. It's going to take the entire city of Chicago to create change.
Have you been paying attention to the news lately? If so, I'm sure some of it has depressed you. Just as history has made us believe that the human race has made progress, reality will tell you the awful truth that we have not come that far at all.
There's no question that life is stressful, but, for most of us lucky enough to be reading here, our stresses are not the life-and-death struggles of urban war zones and developing world slums. We worry about our health, that of our family, about money and our kids' futures. But we don't have to let these worries isolate us. We can find, even within our darkest troubles, opportunities to connect with one another.
Chicago homicides spiked by 47.1 percent over April 2013, shootings up 65 percent, but if you opened up the news today you will likely see none of that. Instead the city awakened to yet another "not so bad" article about how crime is really down.
In the face of violence and fear, when dignity is on the line, it's standing up together that makes a difference.
The University of Chicago recently released a study that revealed the fact that 92 percent of African American youth between the ages of 16 and 19 are...
Since our city leaders love to tout statistics to tell us crime is down, then let's see if their statistics stand up to a basic test from additional statistics.
Anxious detectives did not have the luxury of waiting for DNA results. Their orders were to close cases. The easiest way for them to do that was to pressure witnesses to make identifications, coerce confessions from suspects, or rely on snitches.
In Cook County and Chicago, the checks-and-balance system is skewed. As a result, thousands of people sit in the county jail each year on charges that most likely wouldn't warrant incarceration even if they were found guilty.
Anthony Porter, the exonerated death row inmate whose jubilant release from prison was the catalyst for abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, is back in the news after living in relative obscurity for years.
They're angry that violence exists and that in this culture, it's acceptable to some degree. They understand that where you live can determine whether you have a better future than someone else."
"Who Committed Murder?" the editorial's headline blared. Its focus was on a double homicide of a young couple that led to the conviction and near-execution of Anthony Porter in 1998. Porter was freed after another man, Alstory Simon, confessed to the slayings on videotape.
"I'm looking for someone to explain justice," said Grace Slattery to a reporter. Slattery was lamenting the comparatively stiff prison sentence her son Patrick had received for his part in a patronage scandal under ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Outside of legal circles, it is a little known fact that judges, like criminal defendants, have "rap sheets" -- cases involving past misconduct. A judge's "priors" include everything from reversals by higher courts to biases documented in court-reported transcripts.
Leaving her mother in charge of a son with cerebral palsy, Camilla Clifton headed to the Cook County criminal courthouse to support her nephew, on trial in 2009 for an attempted murder she believed he did not commit. Clifton would not see her family again for three days.