CHICAGO (AP) — A year ago, Chicago's closely watched battle with street gangs sunk to perhaps its lowest point when Michelle Obama came home for the funeral of a teenage honor student.
After the end of the city's bloodiest January in more than a decade, Obama stood in a church mourning 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who had been shot dead in a gang dispute she had nothing to do with.
Since then, the number of homicides and other violent crimes that turned Chicago into a national symbol of gun violence have fallen sharply.
City officials insist the numbers are evidence that changing police tactics and creating and expanding after-school jobs and mentoring programs for young people are paying off.
Others wonder if it's the result of spending nearly $100 million on police overtime.