Teaching Case - Policing Chicago's Public Housing Developments: Operating in a Unique Environment

Policing Chicago's Public Housing Developments: Operating in a Unique Environment


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  • Product Description

    The infamous Cabrini-Green public housing project, dominated by large violent criminal gangs, is the setting for this case describing the unusual tactics of a group of Chicago police. The "Slick Boys", a group of veteran officers use rap music--which they perform themselves--as a way to gain the trust of the predominantly youthful African-American project population. The officers seek to offer counsel and guidance and to provide recreational activities, as an extension of their law enforcement role. At the same time, they are willing to negotiate, as necessary, with gang leaders, in order to establish and enforce a truce in gang warfare--which limits to danger to the project population but risks providing a de facto assurance to gangs that they can operate within certain limits.

    Learning Objective:
    This ethics case raises the question of whether it is either wise or defensible for law enforcement officials to negotiate with powerful criminal organizations-in the hope that, in the long term, other efforts serve to change or undermine the criminal culture.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: June 01, 1998
    HKS Case Number: 1434.0
    Case Author: Harvey Simon
    Faculty Lead: Philip Heymann
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 29
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
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