Violence interrupters in Chicago have been intervening in conflicts before they turn into shootings for years, but City Hall has only recently begun to invest public dollars in their work. That would seem to fit well with the movement to find alternatives to policing, but in fact the contentious politics around calls to “defund the police,” along with a sharp spike in violent crime in the past year, actually threaten efforts to make violence interruption as much a part of the city’s infrastructure as policing is.
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