When gang leaders go out of their way to tell the media that the latest police crackdown tactic isn't going to work, the tactic already may be working.
That was the hidden message in the rambling, poorly focused news conference that current and former gang members held recently in Chicago. The city has been associated famously with gangsters more than once, although the gangs usually don't hold news conferences.
How do you get rid of youth gangs in a city? These are young organized criminals who have bought home-grown urban terrorism to many of our towns.
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune columnist, points to one answer from the Windy City's police superintendent who met recently with gang leaders to warn them that they were in his crosshairs where he would use federal law to go after them as racketeers.
Some have been critical of this approach. They point to the need to first deal with the factors that promote youngsters to join gangs.
With street murders in Chicago by gangs mounting, Page says it's going to take both approaches.
He emphasizes that law enforcement measures need to be pursued with vigor, however.