Sadly, Chicago’s soft-on-crime policies led to the death of Police District Commander Paul Bauer (pictured above) in downtown Chicago Tuesday afternoon. A felon wearing body armor pulled a gun and shot the off-duty officer at the Thompson Center. Commander Bauer died while going above and beyond the call of duty to protect and serve Windy City’s residents and visitors . . .
Moments earlier, Bauer heard the description of suspicious person who ran from police. He saw that person and without hesitation, made contact. After some shouting, witnesses say the offender produced a gun and fired as many as five times. Not long after, the officer was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Police report that the suspect had a long felony record which included gun charges, armed robbery and unlawful use of body armor. Despite those convictions and Illinois’ strict gun control laws, this predator still prowled the heart of Rahm’s paradise with a pistol while wearing body armor.
The Chicago Sun-Times outlined the career criminal’s history:
The 44-year-old suspect’s felony record goes back to 1998, when he was charged with armed robbery. He was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
In 2007, the man was charged with being a felon in possession of body armor, possession of a defaced firearm and possession of heroin. He got three years in prison on the gun charge, records show.
In 2011, he was charged with resisting an officer and battery. He was convicted of battery and given 30 days of community service, records show.
Finally, the suspect was convicted of drug possession in 2014 and received a two-year prison term.
Meanwhile, Commander Bauer stood out as bold cop and beloved leader among his officers. He also spoke the truth to residents of his Near North district. “Even when we catch somebody,” he admitted at one meeting, “there’s still a long way to go to get them off the street.”
He publicly criticized Cook County prosecutors and judges for the revolving door justice system. Career criminals, caught at long last, would soon return to the streets only to victimize still more innocent people. From one such meeting reported by the Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown blog:
Another man, named Willie, previously convicted for numerous burglaries, was caught but allowed back on the street three days later, electronically monitored, such as an ankle monitor, while waiting for court dates.
…In August, Chief Judge Timothy Evans replaced all the judges who presided over bond hearings in Cook County and directed new judges to set bail in amounts more affordable to defendants. This is at odds with Chicago police, who would prefer to see higher bail amounts for career criminals.
“That guy, Willie, he’s a case in point. He needs a high bond. We got him for a number of burglaries. He’s on parole for burglary. He needs to sit. We got to get him off the street. It’s just like if you have kids, if there’s no consequences to your action, those actions are going to repeat.”
Bauer also publicly criticized the Cook County Sheriff for emptying the jail of bad folks.
“The Sheriff of Cook County, for whatever reason, is very proud of the fact he has reduced the population of the county jail. Maybe I’m jaded, I don’t think that’s anything to be proud of.”
Bauer would like to see more career criminals in jail. “You can say, we don’t know if that’s going to reduce recidivism. This is how I look at it, I want them off the street. We’re not talking about the guy that stole a loaf of bread from the store to feed his family. We’re talking about career robbers, burglars, drug dealers. These are all crimes against the community. They need to be off the street.”
It is frustration police deal with every day as they try to make communities safe, says Bauer.
“This has been going on for quite some time but it’s getting worse.”
Indeed. Most of Chicago PD’s brass love to blame the ever-popular “guns” for the violence and crime in their city. Then again, most of the brass owe their positions and future promotions to politically connected people. Obviously Bauer was not one of those.
Instead, Bauer served tirelessly and worked diligently to protect his fellow residents and the city’s guests. Yet the political leaders of the State of Illinois, Cook County and the City of Chicago all failed to protect him from repeat violent offenders. And for that, Commander Bauer had his life stolen from him.
And on the eve of Valentine’s Day, his little girl lost her dad and his wife lost her husband. And for what?