The Grueling Duty of Covering Chicago Crime for 3 Years

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Halfway between dusk and dawn in the dead of winter, I parked under the Pink Line viaduct and stepped out into blackened snow and biting cold. I had driven southwest from the Tribune Tower, down Ogden Avenue, the skyline shrinking in the rearview mirror, out past Mount Sinai Hospital and the Ogden District police station to Lawndale Avenue.

Snow reflected light from dirty yellow streetlamps, casting an industrial glow over the neighborhood. The sky was an eerie shade of lavender. A police officer wanted to know who I was, then told me I’d get a better picture of the body if I circled back through the alley to the other side of the crime scene. The cops said a man had been shot after stepping on someone’s shoe at a house party. A murder over nothing, almost too petty to be believed.

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One thought on “The Grueling Duty of Covering Chicago Crime for 3 Years

  • August 18, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Very good, well written story. I believe I understand a little of what the impact is / was on the writer. But then I had to think to myself, the intensity and mind-numbing experiences he encountered can only be a fraction of what the police experience. As dangerous as it is to be in that environment, it is exponentially more dangerous to thrust onerself into the situation and confront these hostilities face-to-face. God bless the police and all first responders.


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