Police Shown Shops, Clubs of Vice Lords Former Street Gang Holds ‘Open House’
Chicago Tribune, February 27, 1969

By Barry Polsky

The Conservative Vice Lords and the police mixed it up again yesterday on the west side.

But instead of trading blows with knives and night sticks, they talked over coffee about what the Lords, a street gang, is doing to improve its image.

The occasion was a tour-for police only-of the businesses the Lords have established in the last two three years. They include the Teen Town snack shop at 3700 16th st.; The Lords’ headquarters at 3720 16th st.; a recreation center for teens at 3724 16th st.; and the Art and Soul art gallery at 3742 16th st.

Clothing Store Planned

There is also an about-to-be-opened clothing store, The African Lion, at 3702 16th st.

The businesses are established and run by the Lords, who are aided by grants from individuals and groups like Operation Bootstrap and The Rockefeller Foundation. The foundation gave them $15,000.

“Lots of time the police peer into the windows or sneak around back to find out what’s going on,” said Malvin Cupid, 21, a spokesman. “We want them to know we’re not hiding anything. They’re welcome to come in any time.”


Lead Cops Invited

The Lords sent invitations to the open house to George Sims, commander of the Fillmore district; William McCann, commander of the Marquette district; and Lt. Edward Buckney, head of the gang intelligence unit.
Richard Jalovec, head of the special prosecution unit of the state’s attorney’s office, which includes gang activities, attended and said the Lords’ business operations were “a tremendous thing. I really didn’t know what I was coming to. I figured there’d be nothing more than a shoe shine parlor.”

The Lords’ operations, which include job and housing referrals, are available to anyone in the Lawndale area.
The Art and Soul gallery is sponsoring an all-media art contest now thru March 15.