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Chicago’s police department has issued a bulletin warning of an ongoing gang war in which “gunmen are using weapons powerful enough to pierce bullet-proof vests” which shows an increasing tendency to “arm themselves with weapons most associated with soldiers in battle.”
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A couple of weeks ago we noted that with one week left in office, Obama’s Department of Justice released a report effectively labeling the Chicago police department as nothing more than a bunch of racist, hate-mongering bullies who routinely resort to the use of “deadly force” in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. Here is the tweet posted by the DOJ:
Justice Department Finds a Pattern of Civil Rights Violations by the Chicago Police Department ? https://t.co/600C0xV3yX
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) January 13, 2017
And while Attorney General Loretta Lynch was all too happy to note a “pattern of civil rights violations by the Chicago Police Department,” one thing the Department of Justice’s report didn’t highlight was the soaring number of homicides among Chicago’s police which experts attribute to having to work every single day in the city’s “war zone.” Per the Chicago Sun Times:
Back in August we noted the research of Thomas Abt, senior research fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, which indicated that rising crime rates around the country were likely the result of what other political commentators have dubbed “the Ferguson Effect.” Writing for The Marshall Project, Abt discussed a “phenomenon called legal cynicism” in which he argues that communities tend to become increasingly violent when the police and criminal justice system is viewed as “illegitimate” effectively eroding the implicit authority of cops to enforce the law.
It is unclear what is driving the problem, but my own hunch – and it is still just a hunch at this point – involves a criminological phenomenon called legal cynicism. Multiple studies have demonstrated that, controlling for other factors, when communities view the police and criminal justice system as illegitimate, they become more violent. When people believe the system is unwilling or unable to help them, they are more likely to take the law into their own hands, creating the cycles of violent retribution that were chronicled so vividly last year in Jill Leovy’s Ghettoside.
Chicago suffered through its worst summer of violence in decades. In August, over 400 people were shot and 80 killed.
Activists and public unions blame income inequality. Income inequality is rising, but very few understand who is to blame. And the tax hikes and pay hikes that unions seek exacerbate the problems and cause white flight.
Many claim education is the answer, but the Chicago public school system is not only financially bankrupt, it is morally bankrupt.
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Crime and casualties in Chicago escape the notice of the president
Reports this week are horrific and yet, not surprising. Chicago has had its most violent month since 1997, with the Chicago Tribune reporting 11 people murdered the last weekend of August. According to USA Today, the murder rate in Chicago has soared 72 percent in 2016.
But here’s the number which should give every American true perspective: In Afghanistan, from the start of the war in 2001 to August 2016, there have been 2,384 American casualties. In Chicago, since 2009 to August 2016, there have been 3,686 homicides. In other words, under President Obama’s watch, there have been 1,302 more people murdered in an American city in half the time compared to the longest war in U.S. history.
H/t reader kevin a.
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Earlier this week we wrote about how August was the deadliest month recorded in Chicago in 20 years (see “Chicago Records “Most Violent Month In 20 Years”“). In fact, YTD Chicago has recorded more homicides than New York City and Los Angeles, combined.
Now, as we head into the long Labor Day weekend, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is urging its rank and file members to deny overtime requests this weekend “to protest the continued disrespect of Chicago Police Officers and the killings of Law Enforcement Officers across our Country.”