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With 42 homicides, Chicago sees most violent January in 11 years

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The January report is “disappointing," Superintendent McCarthy told reporters Tuesday. But "you don’t throw out everything you’re doing because you had a couple of bad days. And unfortunately today’s a bad day, too.” 

Mayor Emanuel on Wednesday said he has asked chief executives of the mutual funds Vanguard, BlackRock, and Allianz to divest their companies' portfolios of gun manufacturers Freedom Group, Smith & Wesson, and Sturm, Ruger & Co. because they are lobbying against federal and state proposals to ban assault-style weapons. The action follows similar pleas by Emanuel this month to Bank of America and TD Bank. The mayor also said Chicago and its sister agencies, such as the transit authority and park district, are shedding investments with five pension and retirement funds that invest in the three gun manufacturers.

Residents of neighborhoods where homicides are highest say those endeavors are laudable, but are not enough to stop the killing. The police, they say, have not been able to prevent what are mostly teenage boys and young men from shooting guns. The city, they add, needs to invest in its poorest neighborhoods to address what they describe as a culture of dysfunction and depression.

“A lot of these crimes are based on children reacting because they have nothing," says Juandalyn Holland, executive director of Teamwork Englewood, an organization that offers mentoring programs and technology training for children and young adults. "When there’s not as many social programs, there’s not as many after-school programs, and their parents are not working, you breed contempt. And when you do that, you get the result that is happening.”

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