“Robert McDaniel was puzzled when the Chicago police commander dropped by his West Side home unannounced last month,” The Chicago Tribune reports. “The visit was cordial, but Barbara West’s message was clear: Don’t commit any more crimes or face the consequences.” I wonder if Commander West considered The Godfather’s instruction to “make him an offer he can’t refuse” a “cordial request.” Regardless, it seems that Chiraq’s Powers That Be are willing to consider any public program to curb firearms-related crime short of allowing potential victims to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Check this out . . .
Revealing that she had a folder on him back on her office desk, West told the 22-year-old that she knew his best friend had been slain last year in their crime-plagued Austin community. She cautioned that he could meet the same fate if he didn’t change his ways.
McDaniel, who has multiple arrests on suspicion of minor offenses but only one misdemeanor conviction, learned to his surprise that he had made the so-called “heat list” with more than 400 others across the city who have been deemed by the department to be most prone to violence — either as a perpetrator or victim.
So not only is this “heat list” the Windy City po-po’s attempt at pre-crime enforcement (if that’s the right word) to stop potential shooters from shooting, the “let’s pay him a little visit” program is designed to prevent people from getting shot. In other words, they do it for the children (or something like that).
And, while they’re at it, heat-seeking cops invite listees to suck on the taxpayer tit a bit harder, ’cause everyone knows that welfare is the answer to “gun violence.” No really: “job training, substance abuse counseling, better housing options or an array of other social services.”
Can this story get any better? Duh. It’s a federal initiative!
The effort, funded by a federal grant from the National Institute of Justice, is formally known as Two Degrees of Association — an acknowledgment of the importance of the interconnections among those involved in crime . . .
Police officials said they came up with a heat list of about 420 names through a computer analysis, weighting numerous risk factors to come up with a ranking of people who in the worst cases were more than 500 times more likely than average to be involved in violence. Among the factors are the extent of a person’s rap sheet, his or her parole or warrant status, any weapons or drug arrests, his or her acquaintances and their arrest histories — and whether any of those associates have been shot in the past.
“What we’re trying to figure out now is how does that data inform what happens in the future,” said Debra Kirby, chief of the department’s bureau of organizational development, who visited some Austin homes of people on the list. “What happened yesterday may not be what happens tomorrow.”
I ‘effing well hope not, on all sorts of levels. More specifically, it seems that Chicago Police’s Pre-Crime Department can get people killed.
Interviewed at his Austin home, McDaniel said he was offended at being singled out by West, commander of the Austin police district. All the attention made him nervous because his neighbors noticed, leading them, he feared, to wonder if he was a police snitch. Two officers waited outside on the porch while the commander and a criminal justice expert spoke to McDaniel in his home.
Wait. If cops can get citizens killed just by “visiting” doesn’t that make this anti-ballistic boondoggle a self-fulfilling prophesy? Luckily, even the uneducated amongst us seem to know some of their rights.
“Like I said, I have no (criminal) background, so what would even give you probable cause to watch me?” said McDaniel, a high school dropout.
Next lesson: Chicago cops feel free to define “probable cause” any way they like. Illinois’ concealed carry freedom can’t come soon enough; the relationship between the City’s police and its citizenry is overdue for an overhaul. Not that anyone’s been predicting that . . .