Another summer in the City of Chicago starts with a bang. No pun intended as 52 people were shot, 10 fatally in street violence. On Memorial Day it was 30 shot with five killed. That’s right. You read that correctly: 82 people shot leaving 15 dead—not in the first five months of the year—not in the last 30 days— not even in the previous week! Two weekends is all it took.
Several weeks ago a madman went on a rampage and killed 12 people in a Virginia municipal building. We were horrified hearing this. Everybody asked the same questions, such as: what caused this or what technical fix can be implemented to prevent this from happening again? We even got the usual blame-the-gun whining from the left. Yet, the violence in Chicago gets ignored. Why? Two reasons. First is the left’s casual attitude about ghetto violence and culture. Second is that Chicago’s political class is clueless on how to reduce the senseless killing.
Most violence in the American ghetto involves blacks killing other blacks. This is complicated for liberals and Democrats. They can’t blame this on “whitey,” systemic racism, the police or the National Rifle Association. The cultural rot involved in this violence has the left tied in knots.
Many of the symptoms of the cultural dysfunction in the ghetto have been perpetuated by the left’s failed social engineering experiments. Take, for instance, that effective crime control depends on the use of jails and prisons. The junk science of liberal critical race theory has convinced judges and prosecutors to look at the race of the offender and all the injustices done to black people over time and give that more weight in sentencing than the perpetrator's action that landed them in a courtroom. The left is systematically ridding the criminal justice system of the vital tool of incarceration. They claim that too many young black men are locked up, even those jailed for serious crimes and those involving repeat offenders. Not locking up violent criminals leaves them on the street to commit more crime because there is no fear of swift and severe consequences for their unwanted behavior.
Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun ownership laws in America, yet the violence persists. Legal gun ownership occurs throughout the state of Illinois; however, gun violence is not evenly distributed. It is concentrated in the ghetto where black people predominantly reside. That means there is a black cultural connection to the violence.
Chicago—like most ghetto areas in the country—are controlled by Democratic politicians from the mayor down to the city council. The Cook County state’s attorney is liberal activist Kim Foxx. Her claim to fame is dropping all charges against hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett. Foxx is clueless and too busy with her social justice crusade against the perceived racist criminal justice system to be bothered with violence in the ghetto.
But the incompetence doesn’t end with Foxx. Take for example, Chicago’s new mayor, Lori Lightfoot. She spoke out and called the violence “unacceptable.” No kidding. She announced that she would hold “accountable Mondays” to grill police commanders whose areas had increased crime over a weekend. Really? That’s it? It’s too late after the weekend. Why not hold “accountable Fridays” to proactively ask commanders what they were going to do to prevent the weekend violence?
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is another clueless leader in Chicago. In response to the recent violence, Johnson offered the same tired excuses at his news conference. He blamed it on gangs, drugs, and the proliferation of guns on the street. He recently announced the same old ineffective plan of “extra patrols.” Why weren’t they already in place before the slaughter occurred?
“Despite the investments and progress in safety, weekends like this remind us all of the challenges that we face and that they are complex and profound," Johnson said. What progress? This killing has been going on for years. One police official talked about “known open-air drug markets” operating freely. How can the drug trade operate freely in plain view without proactive police action? We heard about this last summer.
Johnson said the CPD, "can always do better, but I believe that our officers work diligently to provide consistent and fair policing in all of our neighborhoods and our efforts are paying dividends." People don’t care about that crap, Superintendent Johnson. What dividend by the way? 82 people were shot, leaving 15 dead.
Johnson needs to implement stop, question and frisk. He needs to aggressively conduct warrant sweeps for all known gang members and debrief everyone arrested to gain more information. He needs to work with the Department of Probation and Parole to search homes and vehicles for drugs and weapons. He needs to get a commitment from prosecutors and judges for high bail to keep these miscreants off the street for the longest period allowable by law. Increasing traffic stop activity in high violence areas is another essential proactive approach Johnson can implement. If Johnson’s got the courage to step out of the safe space and tired rhetoric to save lives and turn the city around, he’ll implement these proactive police strategies today.
The law-abiding people in the Chicago ghetto deserve better protection than they are getting from these criminal apologist Democratic officials. The mayor needs to demand a plan of action with measurables, not platitudes, from Superintendent Johnson.
The stakes are too high for feckless leadership. Bodies are stacking up like cord wood, and the summer has just begun. Johnson is either incapable or incompetent. Lightfoot needs to tell him that if the violence doesn’t start to decrease significantly by July 4th, he’ll be replaced with someone who can and will. Enough is enough.
Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is former Sheriff of Milwaukee Co, Wisconsin, President of AmericasSheriff LLC, Senior Advisor for America First, author of the book Cop Under Fire: Beyond Hashtags of Race Crime and Politics for a Better America. To learn more visit www.americassheriff.com