On the stoop of a house on a dilapidated block in Englewood, the south side Chicago neighbourhood that tops the city's statistics for murder, drug addiction, teen pregnancy and most of other indices of social dysfunction, are eight young African-American men and two or three women. It's an oven-hot summer afternoon and the group is kicking back, drinking, shouting and laughing.
"I don't like crowd scenes," says Shango, a member of the city's anti-violence project, CeaseFire, as we pull up outside. He explains that such gatherings increase the chances of becoming a victim of a drive-by shooting.
The street we're in stands in the middle of a few blocks that have seen three murders in recent days,