Gang conflict continues in Evanston

Ciara McCarthy, City Editor

The longstanding conflict between two rival Evanston gangs has escalated in the last six weeks as gang members have painted graffiti throughout the city in an ongoing back-and-forth dispute. Most recently, residents reported three incidents of gang graffiti Thursday.

The graffiti stems from a pre-existing conflict between the Latin Kings and the Spanish Gangster Disciples, police said. Since January, more than 10 incidents of gang graffiti have been reported.

“That’s an indicator that there’s a more recent act of dispute,” Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said.

There have been no acts of violence between the two groups as of yet, Parrott said; however, a man arrested last week for illegal gun possession is believed to be a gang member.

“Whenever somebody’s carrying a weapon, that is an indicator there’s a potential for legitimate acts of violence,” Parrott said. “The officer may have prevented an act of violence by making that arrest.”

Officers are reaching out to Evanston youth to mediate the confrontations, police said.

Police have also received reports of non-Evanston gang members driving a landscaping truck and attempting to attack non-gang or non-Spanish Gangster Disciple members, according to a recent deployment meeting newsletter. Officers will be monitoring the development closely.

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