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May 8th, 2009
09:41 PM ET

Raw Data: Chicago's guns

David Mattingly
AC360° Correspondent

I found some numbers today that were very interesting and help put perspective on the enormity of Chicago's gun violence.

Keep in mind this is city where (with some exceptions) it's illegal to buy, own and carry firearms.

  • Chicago Police confiscate an average of 1 assault weapon a day.
  • 10 thousand guns are recovered from crimes in Chicago each year and traced by the ATF.
  • It's estimated that 800 of those traced guns are bought by people with no criminal background for someone who does have a criminal background.

Filed under: Chicago Killings • David Mattingly • Gun Control • Gun Violence
May 8th, 2009
01:51 PM ET

Video: New tactics aim at shooters

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the violence in Chicago on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

A change of tactics means the targeting of potential gang-bangers. CNN's David Mattingly reports.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Chicago Killings • David Mattingly
May 7th, 2009
09:30 PM ET

Saving Chicago's kids

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Mattingly on the violence in Chicago on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/06/art.chicago.memorial.jpg caption="A memorial honoring the children victimized by the violence in Chicago."]

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

So often we see grieving communities reacting to Chicago's youth violence by targeting guns. There have been marches protesting gun shops and legislation filed aimed at tougher background checks for gun buyers. But veterans of the fight against the killing are starting to change their tactics. They are looking past the guns and focusing on the shooters.

Ron Holt, whose son Blair was shot and killed two years ago, was a key lobbyist pushing for a tougher Illinois gun law. He failed by five votes. Today he says he is seeing success by going straight to the the would-be gangbangers.

Holt now joins other men in the group called CeaseFire. Groups go out onto the street and try to settle conflicts and diffuse confrontations before they turn violent. Holt says it's working. He's probably helping save more young lives than he did in the state legislature.


Filed under: Chicago Killings • David Mattingly • Gun Violence
May 7th, 2009
10:59 AM ET

Video: Kid beaten, shot and burned

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the violence in Chicago tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Chicago is struggling to deal with violence among young people. CNN's David Mattingly reports.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Chicago Killings • David Mattingly • Gun Violence
May 7th, 2009
10:14 AM ET

Video: Memorial grows

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the violence in Chicago tonight on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Chicago youth violence appears to be getting worse, not better. CNN's David Mattingly reports.

May 6th, 2009
11:55 PM ET

She thought the killing would stop. It was just getting started.

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Mattingly on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/06/art.mattingly.chicago.memorial.jpg caption="David Mattingly holds the memorial of Blair Holt."]

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/06/art.chicago.memorial.jpg caption="Diane Latiker's memorial honoring the victims of the violence in Chicago."]

David Mattingly
AC360° Correspondent

Makeshift memorials come and go on Chicago’s Southside. Neighborhoods often gather to mark the violent death of friends and family by placing balloons, cards and candles where victims were struck down. But Diane Latiker had another idea. In 2007, she decided to do something to make the city take notice of the wave of violence that was killing so many school aged children. She purchased 30 landscaping stones and wrote the name of a young person who was killed on each of them. Latiker thought the sight of so many names would shock the city to action. She was wrong.

Latiker was moved to create her memorial after the murder of 16 year old Blair Holt. The student and aspiring rap star was killed in the crossfire of a gang shooting on a city bus. His name was one of the 30 she selected for the stones. Today however, Diane Latiker’s memorial has grown and shows no signs of stopping. 30 stones have grown to 153. There are so many, shelves and a roof had to be built to display them. Requests for more stones from grieving families come in all the time.

FULL POST

May 6th, 2009
10:27 PM ET

Video: Parents demand answers

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear David Mattingly's full report on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Why have close to 100 kids been murdered in Chicago in the past 3 school years?

April 27th, 2009
05:05 PM ET

Springsteen Rocks

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.bruce.concert.jpg caption="The Bruce Springsteen concert in Atlanta on Sunday night."]

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The first time I heard "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen, I was driving my dad's old Pontiac station wagon down New Jersey's Route 561. It was the most amazing song I had ever heard–the perfect blend of message and raw rock 'n' roll.

The crackling AM signal pounded out the beat through the single mono speaker. I was so moved that I had to pull over. I didn't want to miss a single word.

I didn't know much about 'The Boss' before that moment. But in a three minute record he managed to tell a story of hope, passion and triumph that I would never forget. His music connected with me in a way no other artist's has been able to since.

For three glorious hours last night I became that awe-inspired teenager again. My wife (a Jersey Girl) and I danced until our feet hurt and sang until our voices gave out. Springsteen and his E-Street Band rocked a full house in Atlanta. I came away with my heart pounding, my ears ringing and my mind renewing a vow I made to my wife and myself years ago..."No retreat baby, no surrender."

FULL POST

April 24th, 2009
07:32 PM ET

Bullying: A failure in the system?

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more from David Mattingly on the story on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/16/school.bus.cuts/art.school.bus.cuts.afp.gi.jpg]

David Mattingly | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Jaheem Herrera was a brand new student this year at Dunaire Elementary School near Atlanta. He had been excited at first, and looked forward to making new friends. Instead, he was mocked, taunted and harassed by bullies, more and more over his eight months at the school. And then, just 11 years old, he decided he couldn't endure it any more, and hanged himself in his closet.

How could a child be forced to such an extreme act in such a short time?

It's not like he was suffering in silence. Jaheem told his mother about the verbal abuse - and one physical assault. His mother says she complained multiple times to school officials. And this is a school system that experts say had a progressive anti-bullying policy.

Jaheem's complaints should have been taken seriously and adults in the school should have intervened. Did they?

FULL POST


Filed under: 360º Follow • David Mattingly • Education
April 23rd, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Bullying takes a boy's smile – and life

Editor's Note: An internal DeKalb school district review of alleged bullying of an 11-year-old student who hanged himself has found no evidence the child was specifically targeted for bullying. Tune in tonight for an update to the story on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/01/16/school.bus.cuts/art.school.bus.cuts.afp.gi.jpg]

David Mattingly
AC360° Correspondent

Eleven year-old Jaheem Herrera was a good student who liked to draw and make new friends. Last week he came home smiling with a report card of all A's and B's. Shortly after his mother congratulated him with a high-five, Jaheem went up to his room, closed the door and killed himself. Concerned when he didn't come down for dinner, his mom and younger sisters found him hanging by his belt in the closet.

Jaheem lost his grandmother about six months ago and missed her but it was something at school that his mother believes pushed him to suicide. For the last eight months, the boy had been targeted by bullies because he was from the Virgin Islands and spoke with an accent. They called him "ugly," "The Virgin," and "gay."

FULL POST

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