Some Illinois Crime Victims Still Cast as Criminals

(Undated) -- A national debate over racial injustice is heating up, with the fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and Chicago’s violent summer. Amid all the finger pointing, there are forgotten victims, left alone as they face the financial, physical and emotional toll of violent crime. In a yearlong Colorlines.com investigation in Chicago, reporter Carla Murphy found that resources to support crime victims are scarce. And she says there’s one victimized population that's getting the short end of the stick - largely due to false perceptions. There are both national and state compensation programs to support crime victims. In Illinois, those who decide who gets victim compensation rely heavily on police reports. And when the crime involves young men of color, Murphy says it's often labeled as “gang-related." Whether factual or not, she says it means the victim is not deemed innocent and becomes ineligible for support.