August was the deadliest month for Chicago homicides in two decades.
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Fourteen-year-old Malik Causey loved the way gangs took what they wanted from people on the street, the way members fought for each other, the way they could turn drugs into cash and cash into $400 jeans.Then on Aug. 21, Monique Causey woke to discover that her son had sneaked out of the house. Malik Causey was one of 91 homicide victims in Chicago in August, the deadliest month in the city in two decades and the latest milestone for a metropolis becoming known for its murder rate.Young African-American men are the chief victims.An acknowledged member of the Traveling Vice Lords, he was a veteran of the gang scene in the Austin neighborhood on the city's west fringe, which is dotted by boarded-up houses and of knots of men and teens standing around in the middle of the day.One Englewood victim was Denzell Mickiel, 24, who was shot in the face on Aug. 8 over what police suspect was a gang dispute.In Chicago's deadliest neighborhoods, a young man can be assumed to be in a rival gang just by being there.
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