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Tipsheet

Surprise: 'No Justice, No Peace' Crowd Silent on Murder of Chicago Police Officer

Chicago Police Department via AP

I've seen some people covering this horrific story as a side-by-side with the New York City subway chokehold death, and I can understand why, to some extent.  Left-wing activists have seized on the latter incident as a racial incident, as the deceased was black and the ex-marine who subdued and killed him is white.  We are seeing the usual protests, including disruptive-to-dangerous performances like this, some of which are laden with maddening irony.  Some in the media are heavily airbrushing the deceased individual's history of behavior, including violent attacks on strangers and dozens of arrests.  By no means am I arguing that he deserved to die, and I'd wager that the former Marine who tried to defuse the situation did not mean to kill him.  

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I'm also not arguing that some criminal charges should be off the table.  The evidence should be followed dispassionately, but not politicized, which may be too much to ask from the office of Alvin Bragg.  But the instinct of agitators to turn this into a Narrative-adhering outrage, while ignoring or suppressing key facts, is characteristically demagogic.  And the rush to judgment from politicians declaring the confrontation a 'murder' is extremely irresponsible.  Gov. Kathy Hochul's reaction wasn't much better:

Despite the violent and erratic behavior exhibited by Jordan Neely on a New York subway Monday night that led to a violent and ultimately fatal altercation, Governor Kathy Hochul said that the man was simply “killed for being a passenger on the subway trains.”..."This was an unarmed individual who had been on the subway many times, known by many of the regular travelers. And you know, sometimes people have an episode where they’re displaying their feelings in a loud and emotional way, but it became very clear that he was not going to, you know, cause harm to these other people."

In fact, this individual "had made threats to passengers, stating his willingness to 'hurt anyone' and saying that he was unbothered by the prospect of returning to jail or being killed," according to eyewitnesses.  He was not randomly targeted with violence as a public transit passenger minding his own business.  And the notion that he posed no threat to anyone is contradicted by his own violent history:

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Neely was on an F train heading toward the Broadway-Lafayette stop in NoHo when he began acting erratically around 2:30 p.m. Monday, passengers told police. He yelled and threw garbage at commuters, prompting an argument with the 24-year-old ex-Marine, cops said. The quarrel turned into a brawl as the train entered the station. During the fight, the former Marine put the victim in a chokehold and tried to restrain him...The NYPD busted Neely 42 times across the last decade and he had a documented mental health history with police, with his most recent arrest in November 2021 for slugging a 67-year-old female stranger in the face. A warrant for his arrest on felony assault charges was issued on Feb. 23.

None of this information has stopped the dramatic pronouncements, reckless statements, or public protests.  Speaking of which, have you heard almost anything at all about the off-duty Chicago police officer (a young black woman, by the way) who was murdered in cold blood days ago?  This is not a national story, interestingly:

"Officer Preston is being remembered as a model human being who did everything right.  She got her education and worked ten-hour days."  And now she's dead.  Some details of the crime, per the Chicago Sun Times:

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Chicago police Officer Aréanah Preston was driving home alone from work early Saturday when robbers passed her and circled back, apparently thinking she was a good target. They approached her and she opened fire, setting off a gunfight, according to a law enforcement source. The 24-year-old officer was hit at least twice and also grazed by a bullet. The robbers grabbed her gun and fled as she lay dying, sources said. But investigators were able to track down one suspect during a stop and also arrested four others after an armed standoff less than 5 miles from where Preston was shot...Preston’s attackers are suspected of robbing other people around the same time, a source said. Late last month, police issued an alert warning of three similar robberies in the area...

As for the suspects, this will make your blood boil:

On Monday morning, a person who lived near one of the suspects described him as “a menace.” “I’m not surprised at all,” said the nearby resident, who asked not to be named.The suspect, a 19-year-old man, had lived in Auburn Gresham for two years with his mother and younger sibling, the resident said. Court records show the man’s first adult arrest came in July 2021 when he was caught with a gun equipped with an extended magazine after police responded to a ShotSpotter alert and stopped a car in Grand Crossing. While in custody, he spat on a cop and tried to kick another officer, according to police records. The charges were dropped in November 2021. Less than a week later, he was arrested again after allegedly throwing his mother and two televisions down the stairs of their Auburn Gresham home and flattening one of her car tires, according to court records. A protective order was granted, but the charges were eventually stricken last December. 

As that case was pending, he was indicted in June 2022 on felony gun charges, records show. He pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in January and was sentenced to two years probation and 50 hours of community service. He was also arrested last September when tactical officers forced their way into a home in the 11200 block of South Indiana Avenue, and he was found sleeping near a “ghost” gun with an extended magazine, records show. The charge was dropped days later. A 21-year-old woman who was also taken into custody during the SWAT incident was previously arrested in April 2021 and charged with a misdemeanor count of having a gun in her bedroom without a valid firearm owners identification card, court records show. The charge was dismissed in January 2022. The suspect who was taken into custody during a traffic stop, a 20-year-old woman, had been arrested in December 2021 and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery for allegedly punching another person and pulling her hair at the group home where they lived. The case was dropped in February 2022.

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Dropped, dropped, dropped.  And now Chicago's finest are mourning the loss of one of their own.  How's that for "justice"?  Are there any protests of Officer Preston's death?  Have we seen #JusticeForAreanah trending?  Are we being exhorted to 'say her name'?  Have we heard chants of 'no justice, no peace' now that another cop has been shot?  Finally, has the city's new soft-on-crime mayor-elect downplayed this crime as youths making "silly" choices yet?

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