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am sure it exists today, where when you go in and you talk to a victim of a shooting, the story is, “I was walking down the street and I heard a shot and I felt a sting.”
The CHAIRMAN. Tell you what?
Mr. SPELLAR. That he heard a shot while walking down the street and felt a sting in whatever part of the body was hit. That would be the extent of their conversation. We just couldn't get them to change, Senator. The CHAIRMAN. Do you still have that trouble? Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. You speak of the mothers and talking to them. What do you find with reference to their state or sense of insecurity or fear?
Mr. SPELLAR. To illustrate, sir, I cannot pinpoint a specific case, but there are many. I have had an occasion when we had what we term as a simple type shooting where a person is hit in the arm or in the leg. I would go into the Billings Hospital and the mother would be present.
To illustrate this point, I would ask the mother why doesn't she get her kid out of the Rangers or the Disciples, as the case may be. The mother would attempt to speak to the boy that was shot and this 11., 12-, 13-, or 14-year-old boy would tell his mother to shut up and get out of there.
As a matter of fact, Senator, I don't get angry very often but in a case like this I become very angry at the victim for talking to his mother that way. There was an utter disrespect for the parent on behalf of the children as a member of the gang.
The CHAIRMAN. How are these youths held in these organizations?
What is it that can possibly hold these youths under such domination that their parents can no longer appeal to them and they refuse in anyway to cooperate with the police?
That, in my judgment, is not normal. It is not natural. It may happen occasionally under normal conditions, a normal environment and circumstance. But I cannot feel that it is a usual thing, a natural thing.
Where it is so prevalent as you have testified here, there must be some force, some power, some influence that is brought to bear to cause that attitude on the part of children.
Can you enlighten us any in this area? Mr. SPELLAR. Sir, the influence, in my opinion, that would cover what you have just said, is the leadership of these two gangs.
By leadership, I mean that the force that is tied in with the leadership
The CHAIRMAN. The force?
I have talked to kids on both ends, both the Rangers and Disciples. I have been told, and when I was told these things I was also told that if I was asked to request them to tell it in someone else's presence, they would refuse to do it, due to the fact that they were frightened.
Kids would go to meetings and if one came in drunk-I was told by one boy that he had attended a Blackstone meeting at the church and
a boy had come in intoxicated. The Main 21 forced this boy to run what we would know as a gauntlet. He would run through the Main 21.
As a result of going through there, he was beaten. This was used as an example, that the ruling body of the forces, either the Rangers or the Disciples, the ruling body holds a complete, positive and violent control over the younger members or over any members not in the capacity of a leader.
The CHAIRMAN. Then you are saying it would appear that they are subservient to that leadership?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. I would say that is the largest percentage. I would also say that some of the boys are subservient to the fact that they feel a feeling of importance by being a member of a gang such as the Disciples or Rangers.
The CHAIRMAN. They regard it as a badge of distinction and honor, something outstanding, something to be proud of?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir; and I would judge this because of the fact that when we attempt to talk to the witnesses that we would hope to be witnesses, that they stand up and say, “I see nothing. I know nothing. I tell nothing."
The CHAIRMAN. What cooperation do you get? You talked about the mothers.
What cooperation do you get from the citizenry of that community? What assistance do they give you in trying to ferret out these crimes and those who commit them! Do you get any cooperation?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir; we do not. Glenroy Stansberry's mother has told me that she had sent her son into the Marines to get him away from 64th and Drexel, after her son was killed. There was another son, whose name is Montel, who had told me of an argument and an alleged threat that Jeff Fort was supposed to have made against the victim.
Montel would not, under any circumstances, testify to that in court. The mother, when we asked and told the mother that any information pertaining to a prior incident regarding a motivation for murder was important to us, the mother told me, “I lost one son and I am not going to lose a second."
Therefore, Montel did not testify, up until this date anyway, on the Glenroy Stansberry case. I doubt very much whether he will.
The CHAIRMAN. It is alleged, or the claim is made, we will say it that way, that the purpose of this project was to try to improve the conditions in the community there, in this area, the purpose of this OEO project, of the TWO project.
What has been the result of it in relation to improvement or whatever the result has been?
Mr. SPELLAR. Sir, there are eight policemen within the confines of my particular unit. I am trying to clarify my answer. Part of our function is to receive the various reports on shootings.
In turn, we, as police officers, would review these cases to see what type prosecution or how good the prosecution would be. We, in turn, upon reviewing them, consult with State's attorneys who are assigned to our unit, and the State's attorneys then would determine if they had time enough to process and handle these cases personally in the criminal courts of Cook County.
To answer your question, Senator, we cannot process all the cases. There are too many.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean there are so many cases that the law enforcement establishment just does not have the personnel to process all of them?
Mr. SPELLAR. They are processed through the normal channeling of court, but when we instigated and formed our unit, Mr. John Stamos had made a public television appearance saying that the crime committed, meaning murder, of a vicious nature, such as the one that was committed on Leo McClure, if the person committing that crime was a juvenile, that they would be prosecuted for the crime they committed, not prosecuted principally just as a juvenile.
For that reason, we incorporated our new unit and we cannot handle the volume of cases that come in. They have to go through the normal channeling of court and then they have to be distributed throughout the courts and be tried and prosecuted by other State's attorneys other than the ones we have within the confines of our unit.
The CHAIRMAN. What happens to those cases you are unable to process because you are burdened with so many!
Mr. SPELLAR. Sir, I don't think I made myself clear. We attempt, in the prosecution of these juveniles that commit an adult crime like murder, to take them before a grand jury, take the case before a grand jury, and what we term as a direct indictment.
Then the case is handled from an assistant State's attorney assigned to our unit, of which we have four.
The normal processing of any murder case is to take the defendant before a court of preliminary hearing, who hears the complaint on examination.
The judge then makes a determination as to whether the case is valid enough to refer to the grand jury. At that time it was referred to the grand jury.
It is a rather tedious, long process of the actual trial in chief, coming some months later. We try to facilitate and to expedite the matter on the important gang shootings and take them before the grand jury as a direct indictment.
Under those circumstances, I say, Senator, our unit is not large enough at this time to process all of the cases and we have to let some of them go through the normal channeling.
The CHAIRMAN. So you are forced to become somewhat selective? Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir; we are.
The CHAIRMAN. That is because you just can't physically process all of them.
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir; you say it well. I don't.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that signify the tremendous number of crimes? Would it have that significance? How would you interpret your testimony to mean with respect to the amount of crime?
Mr. SPELLAR. To me, sir; it does signify the fact that there is a tremendous amount of crime. I have been, like I say, in this business for 22 years, and I have seen the steady increase in juvenile involvement in crimes.
The homicide section, like myself, had to handle the juvenile as any other crime. I have seen the upswing in juvenile crime. I have seen the
time in a police station where a Saturday and Sunday would go by and nothing would happen.
When I was at homicide, in the last year that I was there, I have seen the time on a Saturday night where we would have six shootings in one night in the Woodlawn area.
As a matter of fact, we had to distribute part of our work to other units until we could get to it.
The CHAIRMAN. How long ago has that been?
Mr. SPELLAR. 1967, 1966. I have only been with the State's attorney from a year ago last April, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you this: Since this project was authorized, this TWO project, this OEO project that is the subject of this inquiry in part, what has been the ratio of crime since the project started as related to the period previous to the project!
I am talking about these crimes of violence.
The CHAIRMAN. I believe the figures have already been submitted.
Mr. SPELLAR. My judgment, sir; is that it has been at the very least stable, and in my estimation escalating since the grant has been issued.
The CHAIRMAN. It has been escalating?
The CHAIRMAN. Have you seen any good results, any tangible results, from the expenditure of this money insofar as its having provided any improvement in the fear and tension that is in the community or in the reduction of the crime rate in that community?
Mr. SPELLAR. Not to my knowledge, sir. As I expressed in my statement, there seems to be a sophistication within the juvenile gangs today where new rules enter into it: Do not talk. Don't use the gun a second time that has been used on the shooting. Get rid of the gun that was used on the shooting.
It was nothing at one time to recover a gun. The kid would tell you, "I shot someone and the gun is under a porch.” It doesn't happen anymore, Senator. We cannot recover a gun. In the cases I cited to you here, as an example, there was no gun recovered.
The CHAIRMAN. They devise some way of getting rid of the guns that they use?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir.
Senator CURTIS. It was not possible for me to be in the chamber for your full statement, but I am familiar with your written statement,
In reference to guns, based upon your experience of years of working in this geographical area, and with the gangs, are the number of guns limited to those that the gang members carry or that could be found in their homes if they were searched, or are you of the belief that they have a place of stashing guns and storing guns and to renew their supply?
Mr. SPELLAR. Sir, I am of the belief that leaders primarily are the holders of the weapons that are to be used in specific killings. By specific, I would refer to an ordered killing.
If some particular person had done something so bad that he had to be killed, if a younger member of the gang would be picked to do the killing, they would have to report to one of the members of the gang who were important to the gang in order to obtain the weapon. However, I don't sit here and say that the younger members do
not have guns of their own, because they do. There are guns that are taken in burglaries. There are guns that they obtain by many, many means.
But primarily, I am of the firm belief that the leaders of the gangs are the ones that are the custodians of the weapons that are to be used in any specific rumble, what we would term as a rumble.
Senator CURTIS. You think that they are sophisticated enough that they would deliberately select a weapon difficult to trace and give it to a potential offender as a one-time operation for him, so far as that particular gun is concerned?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. To substantiate that, I would like to say that many of the shootings are in the nature of shotgun shootings. In the shotgun shootings I am certain the Senator knows that there is no rifling in the shotgun bore, and, as a result of that, when you recover a bullet from a decedent's body in the nature of a .32, .22, .25, .45 caliber, that the crime laboratory in Chicago, which in my estimation is one of the finest in the world, is able to make a ballistic check in the obtaining of a weapon as a suspect weapon. They can definitely put the weapon in or out of the investigation by virtue of this ballistic check.
In a shotgun shooting, if you do not have the bullet, itself, the shotgun shell, indicative of the firing pin that would hit, it would make it difficult.
To further substantiate your question, sir, I would say I have mentioned before, and I don't know whether you were here or not, that in the past we have recovered weapons on shootings and as of late there is no recovery on weapons unless the police normally are eye witnesses to the offense, such as has been within the last month, where they caught two fellows.
Senator CURTIS. Has there been an increase in the use of shotguns! Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir, there has been an increase in shotguns.
Senator CURTIS. Then I will restate my question this way: Your experience leads you to the fact that the gangs have access to guns, the numbers of which are in addition to those that the gang members themselves might carry, including leaders?
Mr. SPELLAR. I think I get your point. A specific, nontraceable weapon.
Senator CURTIS. Yes, sir.
Senator CURTIS. Do you think it is in the homes of the gang members, in part or otherwise?
Mr. SPELLAR. In part, I believe, sir, it is in the homes of the prominent gang leaders, or in an apartment which would be unknown, generally.
I have been told by gang leaders that it is customary practice to obtain an apartment under an assumed name for two reasons: Number