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Violent Google Street View Image Creating Stir (UPDATED)

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 2, 2010 4:20PM

2010_6_faces_of_death_in_chitown.jpg Over the last few weeks, a Google Maps image taken on the South Side of Chicago (6400 block of S. Oakley) showing a child pointing a gun at another child popped up. As images such as this are wont to do, it's taken on a life of its own on the internet. Given the spate of youth violence over the past several years, it's not hard to believe that the roving Google camera vehicles inadvertently captured the commission of a crime in the course of mapping the city. But is it real?

Instances of the Google Map images capturing strange moments is nothing new. But we've yet to hear of something this violent. And while, sadly, the moment caught above could be an actual occurrence of violence, it's unlikely it's anything more than two kids playing an unfortunately violent game caught at an inopportune time. While it's possible news of such a shooting could have slipped past many media outlets, the fact that Google has an image of a crime of that magnitude would certainly have aroused the attention of both the police and media. Also, the weapon in questions appears to be orange, indicating that Google has stumbled onto a photo of two young children playing a violent game. Still, real or not, the visceral nature of the image, especially given the increase in CPS student shootings over the past few years, is still chilling.

We perused Google Street View of the same block this morning and it appears as if the image has been removed, leaving a gap in the Street View as other photos that appear to be taken at the same time - showing children in front of the same houses remain.

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UPDATE: While the story was new to us, it seems that it's old news. Valleywag has more here (h/t Gapers Block).