*A Chicago group, comprised of reformed gang members and felons who actively intervene in street beefs before they can escalate into fatal gunfire, had its funding shut down by Illinois’ Republican governor amid the state’s growing financial crisis.
Gov. Bruce Rauner froze money for Operation CeaseFire, featured in the 2012 PBS Frontline documentary “The Interrupters,” as the state began running out of money. Rauner blames his Democrat-controlled legislature for passing a budget that spent billions more than the state took in.
According to the AP:
The program was cut off before receiving all of the $4.7 million it was budgeted last fiscal year, and it has gotten no state funding this year as the fight between Rauner and Democrats who lead the Legislature drags on and several programs in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois shut down.
Meanwhile, Chicago has seen a roughly 20 percent increase in shootings and homicides so far this year compared with the same period in 2014. That included a July 4 weekend that left 48 people shot, including a 7-year-old boy who police say was killed by a shot intended for his father, described as a “ranking gang member” by officers.
None of those holiday weekend shootings occurred in two police districts covered by a Ceasefire-affiliated program that managed to fund itself for the month of July. The same area saw nearly 50 shootings in August.
“The Interrupters” premiered in 2012 on PBS’s “Frontline” documentary series and at film festivals across the U.S. The film followed three former gang members in Operation CeaseFire as they attempted to “interrupt” Chicago violence.
Watch the special in its entirety below: