Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will join Gov. Pat Quinn today as he signs a state bill into law allowing Cook County prosecutors to file racketeering
charges against gang members.
The Sun-Times reported last week that Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez also pushed the bill. As the newspaper points out, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges have been used at the federal level to prosecute members of the mob or gangs for quite some time.
Emanuel has said that by using the RICO laws, the city may eventually combat the roots of escalating violence. Homicides and violent crime are up this calendar year, and the past weekend saw eight deaths due to gun violence. Additionally, at least 43 people were wounded during the violent weekend in Chicago.