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Hopelessness," said Chicago Police Commander Ronald Holt, whose son, Blair, was murdered while riding a CTA bus. "People living in poverty who have developed a 'I don't care' attitude. So the slightest of things will set them off and heaven forbid they're in possession of an illegal firearm."
But adding to the mix now, Holt said, are hundreds of tiny gangs, not just the handful of large, entrenched gangs.
"You can have gang factions and street crews that are protecting merely one block."
That leads to violent clashes and retaliation. It's not always over drugs, but insults on the street and on social media.
"It escalates to seeing your adversary- the person you argue with-out on the street then depending on who you are, where you are and how you're feeling you may strike out at that person with a gun."