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Police Pressure on Howard Street Pushes Gang Activity North, Cops Say

By Benjamin Woodard | September 27, 2013 8:37am
 A man was shot dead in the 1600 block of West Jonquil Terrace in July.
Man Shot Dead in Rogers Park
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ROGERS PARK — Rogers Park's top cop Thomas Waldera told neighbors Thursday that a recent police crackdown on Howard Street has pushed some gang activity to the pocket of the city north of Howard.

District Cmdr. Waldera said that since Blake Lamb, 22, was shot in the head at Howard Street's Willye B. White Park in July, his officers have pressured known gang members away from the area.

But the move, he said, had caused "unintended consequences."

"By us calming down that gang conflict there, some of the gang members have moved back into Jonquil and Juneway and Triangle Park," he said while speaking to residents at a community policing meeting.

Some neighbors had noticed the improvement on Howard Street, but said that gang activity within the densely residential streets north of Howard had become uncomfortable.

"That's where they've been trying to hibernate," said Troy Hamberlin, 46, who moved to the area in May.

Waldera said there has been a squad car parked on Howard "all the time" and that calming the unrest to the north would be "a long fight."

Waldera also said police presence on Howard Street had stymied a gang conflict that had led to a series of YouTube music videos featuring gang members toting big guns while taunting rivals.

The amount of firepower in one particular video, filmed near Farwell Avenue and Ashland Boulevard, was especially shocking to residents.

But police were quick to act.

"Every gun in that video we have now recovered," Waldera said.