(Chicago News Cooperative) — By day, Palmer Park in Roseland hums with life: children splashing in the pool, teenagers shooting baskets and politicians holding news conferences with television crews in tow. That all changes when the sun goes down. Residents of this struggling neighborhood on the far South Side say that when night falls, the prudent hurry home, leaving the bold and the reckless to roam the dark. On a recent steamy evening, the park was emptying out except for 10 young men in baggy pants, white T-shirts and ball caps cocked to the side. They were perched on the top of a bench when out of the deepening dusk emerged an even larger pack of men. The two groups warily regarded each other. No one said a word until a big man with a deep voice stepped forward to break the tense silence.
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