1747881 tn?1546175878

The Bloody Lesson of Chicago's 762 Murders

The city of Chicago is conducting a long, bloody experiment in what happens to a gang-ridden municipality in the absence of effective policing.

It is keeping the morgue depressingly busy. Seven hundred sixty-two people were murdered in the city in 2016, a nearly unheard of 50 percent increase over the year before. This is more than New York and Los Angeles — both larger cities — combined, and the worst figure in 20 years.

While everyone on the left pays obeisance to the slogan Black Lives Matter, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel runs a jurisdiction where black lives have been getting cheaper almost by the day, especially in its poorest areas.

The lion’s share of Chicago’s spike of violence has occurred in five of Chicago’s 22 police districts. Eighty percent of the victims were rated by the police department as likely to be involved in gun violence, which means that the city is adept at identifying people as potential victims — just not at keeping them from getting shot.

Holiday weekends in Chicago reliably provide fodder for cable TV in the astonishing tallies of shootings and murders (a dozen people killed and 27 shootings over the Christmas weekend). Overall, more than 4,300 people were shot in the city last year. A woman told CNN she told her kids from a very young age what to do when they hear gunshots, a grim maternal duty in a city where gunplay is so routine.

The equation that accounts for the rising body count is simple: As the Chicago police have become less aggressive, the gangs have become more aggressive and more people have been killed. Chicago demonstrates that in swathes of inner-city America, you can have a chastened, passive police department, or a modicum of public order, but not both.

Chicago’s authorities courted the anti-police agitation of the past few years with their desperate mishandling of the controversial shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, killed by an officer in 2014. The city avoided releasing the dash-cam video of the incident for a year, until after Rahm Emanuel’s reelection. When it finally did, the police representations about the threat represented by McDonald looked to be false (the cop who shot him is now awaiting trial on murder charges).

With the police on their back heels, the city further hamstrung them. It discouraged minor drug arrests. It required the police to fill out two-page contact cards (with 70 different fields) whenever stopping anyone. These forms are then forwarded on to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The city would have been much better served by forthrightness in the McDonald case from the beginning, coupled with vigorous support of tough-minded, forward-leaning policing. Instead, it got the worst of both worlds.

Fearful of becoming the next “viral video,” harassed and mocked when out doing their job in tough neighborhoods, beleaguered by paperwork, the police have suffered a crisis in morale and clearly pulled back. Documents obtained by 60 Minutes show an 80 percent drop in stops from almost 50,000 in August 2015 to under 9,000 a year later, and arrests dropping from roughly 10,000 to 7,000.

This reduced police presence on the streets has been a boon only to anti-police ideologues (the ACLU welcomes it) and the city’s myriad gangs. Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson says that the surge in violence has been driven by “emboldened offenders who acted without a fear of penalty from the criminal-justice system.”

There is much about Chicago that can’t be readily fixed, but it is fully within the city’s power to make its criminal offenders feel less emboldened. Chicago simply needs to stop, arrest, and jail more dangerous people. The only alternative is the continuation of the city’s current experiment in chaos that is making the city unlivable for the people unfortunate enough to inhabit its most violent precincts.

It goes without saying that their lives matter. Chicago should begin to act like it.


2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
148588 tn?1465778809

".....We did find a pattern or practice of unconstitutional behavior on the part of the police involving force, including deadly force. And we also found that the root cause of that, or certainly a major cause of what has led the police department to fall into this situation has been a lack of systemic training, a lack of focusing on the correct techniques, a lack of proper equipment, low morale within the department. We talked to community members who came in and told us their stories - stories of pain, stories of loss, but also stories of police officers with whom they connected and had a very positive relationship.

And we also talked to Chicago police officers who said that they wanted more than anything else to know and respect the community that they served. But it is hard to do that when you don't even have the most up-to-date equipment. And when we looked at the force training that they were receiving, not only was it out of date, it was legally incorrect. I think the Chicago report is emblematic really of where our practice is which is we try and look at how can we get the Chicago Police Department to a point where they can, in fact, patrol the city in a way that is constitutional, that is safe, but also reduces crime......."
Helpful - 0
I wonder if they polled the gang members and career criminals that are mostly responsible for this....
Avatar universal
These people committing these murders don't appreciate or understand the value of life.  They will kill you for being in the wrong neighborhood, wearing the wrong colored clothing or simply having something they want...  You're not going to change that with more laws.  The tough "anti-gun" stance in Chicago has done nothing to curb the violence.  It won't....  even if by some miracle, all of the guns left the streets, the violence would continue.  These people are products of their environment and they look up to other hoods within their neighborhoods.  To them, there is value in being feared so doing a drive by shooting or killing someone in another manner is just giving them 'street cred'.  
Helpful - 0
You must join this user group in order to participate in this discussion.

You are reading content posted in the Current Events . . . Group

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent HIV and STDs.
PrEP is used by people with high risk to prevent HIV infection.