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Roseland Profile

Jackeé McCoy of Roseland says her younger sister was walking to school one day in the blighted neighborhood when she was raped.

McCoy, 20, said, “The police did not come to our house. They didn’t come until after the news came. It wasn’t a rush thing.”

McCoy, who has lived in Roseland for six years, was one of many residents interviewed Monday about crime in her neighborhood. Most said they did not feel safe in the neighborhood and couldn’t depend on the police for help.

According to, a website that tracks crime, there were 116 crimes in Roseland during the past week. Meanwhile in Lincoln Park on the North Side, there were only 10 crimes reported during the same week. Crimes in Roseland were more violent, including theft, battery and narcotics possession. In other areas of the city, crimes reported often consisted of home burglaries and thefts of smart phones or iPods.

“This is a dangerous area, no doubt about it,” said Jamal Pearson, 47, a CPD officer who has worked in Roseland for 11 years. “You’ll be wanting to watch yourself in this area. This is one of the worst areas in the city.”

Roseland neighborhood.
Roseland neighborhood.

But some residents said they keep to themselves and manage to avoid becoming victims of crime.

“If you mind your own business then you’re safe. You don’t have to worry about nobody coming after you,” McCoy said.

Mike Smith, 28, who works at a clothing store in Roseland, said he has lived there for 10 years. He said the police don’t come around often.

“The [U.S. government] don’t care. As long as we killing each other, the [U.S. government] don’t care,” Smith said. He says he’s not scared and doesn’t plan to leave Roseland. He referred to Roseland as “baby Iraq.”

“I love this [neighborhood]. I’m used to it. It doesn’t bother me,” Smith said. “Its just a fact of life now.”

Roseland is located in Chicago’s far South Side between 115th and 83rdStreets.

Map of Roseland.
Map of Roseland.

According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, Caucasians dominated Roseland’s population from 1930 to 1970. With a population of 44,619, the area’s residents are 97 percent African Americans.

Roseland has also experienced economic decline. In the 1950s and 1960s, the area lost jobs. In 1970, the automotive and steel industries collapsed. Most companies either migrated or shut down for good, the Encyclopedia reported.

Roseland has yet to recover from the economic decline and violence, according to Wikipedia. Since 2010, the population has decreased by 15 percent. The median household income for Roseland stands at $40,142.

But most people in Roseland say that if they mind their own business, they have nothing to worry about.

Antiwan Hawkins, an employee at Rainbow, said, “I come [here] and do what I gotta do.”

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