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“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 . . .

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  1. Hmmm… I’ve no problems with vocational training or substance abuse counseling. That’s one purpose of a society that’s not an anarchy – whether government or community. I’d rather the Feds fund job training than war as an energy policy.

    This “thought police” bit worries me, though. While data skimmed from law enforcement records might be used in such a way, probably a ‘phone call or letter – or perhaps non-threatening missionary-looking types making the visit – would be indicated.

    “Hello? I’m not interested in becoming a [fill in the blank], thanks.”

    “(Whispered) We’re cops; we’d like to be inconspicuous. May we come in to just talk. We’re wearing dark contacts and nose plugs, and are not interested in whatever might be in there. Pretty please?”

    I’ve known people to be called snitches when they reported a crime committed against their own person, family or property. That’s how despised The Man is in some quarters.

    Also, they don’t seem to be singling out guns with this project, but rather putting up road signs for the wayward.

    I’ll not argue against the assertion at they frequently get it wrong, but overall I get the impression that here there pretty much getting it right.

    At least they’re not preemptively arresting or shooting their marks.

    • The interesting part is people are finally starting to realize that this is not science fiction, nor tinfoil hattery, but just the future. (Actually it is the present, and the near past, but I digress…)

      The gov (and especially the NSA) have been at this for over a decade, developing and drilling down on algorithms to determine if you might, fit a profile to eventually commit some crime. The best part is that they’ve done this out in the open – if you read white papers and know some high-level software kinda folks. Hell, they are proud of what they’ve done and are doing.

      Doesn’t matter though. The average dolt still buys all the ‘war on terror’ BS, and as such will dutifully (and enthusiastically) supplicate their masters to ‘keep them safe’ regardless of the cost.

    • Realy? What exactly do you think this Federal “vocational/job training” consists of? Or what result do you thing occurs?

  2. Can these idiots waste any more time and money? If I wasted time and money like this I would be in the non visiting side of Fort Leavenworth.

  3. Chicago is an example of what it would be like to live in a sewer. I wonder if there is a direct correlation between the enviornment and it’s liberal politicians….hummmmmmm……..

  4. “Gentlemen, let’s get this thing straight, once and for all. The policeman isn’t there to create disorder. The policeman is there to preserve disorder.”

    King Richard J. Daley
    Dead Mayor, Chiraq

    • Since that comment related to head-cracking at the Democratic Convention, it was especially apropos…

      • “And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
        is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
        kill again.”

        Carl Sandburg, 1914

        Almost 100 years and nothing has changed.

        • It used to be the ‘city of broad shoulders’ and corruption. Now I suppose its the ‘city of drugs, unions, office work’ and corruption. “This is no era for poetry,” said Malraux. Boy was he right.

          The selection of people for hot lists relies heavily on ‘recent call’ lists and social media data taken from the cell phones of perps and dead guys. Philadelphia also uses this information and a data-base to create two-steps removed lists. It’s amazing how frequently the next punk knew the last one, and the next shooter was a gang affiliate of the last dead guy. Just amazing. Who knew?

        • Check your calendar. Political corruption in Chicago didn’t start in 1914. Dates to Pre Civil War (including selecting Lincoln as the 1860 Rep presidential candidate). In other words Chicago has ALWAYS been a cesspool.

  5. Back in the day of small government which respected the entire Bill of Rights, or so say a majority of the armed intelligentsia the cop on the beat would do this kind of thing as a matter of course to remind those on the edge that crime was not a good occupation. So how is the non-welfare part of this program any different?.

    • Because this provides a position for police commanders, who are paid a heck of a lot more than your beat cop, and is funded by federal money.

      • Lemme help. Despite all the propaganda, even beat cops in Chi-town are paid quite well for the gig – as in mid-50s base to start.

        You don’t get to be a copper unless you know someone. And not just anyone. It’s a treasured position, with massive o/t, gold-plated benes, and luxo-retirement after a very short “career”.

        • And what has that to do with similar policing tactics that were used in the past to prevent crime?

        • Because ‘back then’ it wasn’t about the money, nor the benes. Importantly it wasn’t ‘performance based policing’ the nonsensical currently fashionable quantification of police work, nor the ‘us vs. them’ metric that pollutes all modern police depts – they were civilians just like anyone else not in the active military, and they knew it.

          Back then we let everyone have their drugs (booze and the like) because only a minority of any society for the last 2000+ years doesn’t alter their consciousness chemically. Especially during the really dark days of Prohibition.

          Back then these “visits” were reserved for truly bad, bad men. Guys who everyone knew killed people, but would never fly in court. This isn’t “justice”, this is the miscreants of Magnum Force run amok with the overlords from 1984. The minor visits were the ‘come to jesus’ that one did to straighten out the youth without hanging a criminal record around their neck – which would ruin their lives even back then. Now kids can get a record for fighting and smoking pot in HS.

          Support this insane enforcement of low-level crime at your own peril, because sooner of later, as Harry Callahan noted, they’ll be executing you for jaywalking.

  6. Was it DC that had a program where they concentrated police resources on following released repeat offenders around just watching and waiting for them to offend again and then they swarmed them? Maybe it was New York? The courts shut them down.

    I’m working off memory here but I heard that it actually was cutting into crime.

    • There was the chief in (I think) Atlanta a couple decades ago who ordered beat cops to not arrest dealers, hookers, pimps and such, but to just stand a couple feet away.

      Business dried up, and they went to other burghs to ply their trades.


      • I have seen something similar in my local area. Police cruisers parked outside massage parlors. Not raiding or hassling, just sitting there. Cools the business out considerably.

        • I think two wrongs don’t make a right.

          Blackmail should not be considered a viable means of discouraging undesirable behavior. It’s an indication of the degradation of our society’s moral character that this would appear at all attractive.

          If I choose to behave a certain way due to threat of reprisal, then that behavior only lasts as long as that threat. If I choose to behave a certain way out of a sense of propriety, or honor, that behavior will endure.

          In the past, society pressured individuals to meet behavioral standards. Today, the government generates endless legislation, attempting to achieve the same effect.

          *puts away soapbox

        • Legalize blackmail? Blackmail consists of demanding something you have no right to from a person, on threat of exposing wrong-doing or embarrassing behavior. If demanding cash is legalized, than the act is simply not blackmail. LEO’s may ‘blackmail’ an offender, demanding that he help entrap, say, five more drug users, in exchange for a reduced sentence or some other relief. Fail to deliver, and boom, off to jail with you!

          Sycophancy (now referring to toadies) originally was a form of private prosecution in ancient Athens. A sycophant could bring forward a criminal charge. If proved, the sycophant received a reward. Sycophancy is better than legalized blackmail, and probably the source of Hanson’s idea. But GMU’s econ department is full of libertarians. Typical innovative ‘idea.’

          Letterman’s producer was not the right person to reward, and doing so would simply encourage endless private spying and conniving. However, it was NYC, and Letterman had money, which is like perfume for men, attracting the ambitious staffer not averse to some celebrity sex. Had it been harassment, rejecting Letterman’s advances and suffering retaliation would could have proved, for the woman, much more lucrative than sycophancy or celebrity sex. Some crime pays. Some tort suits pay more.

  7. “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.'”

    In all honesty, the only way to really prevent most crimes is to prevent poverty. Give a guy a 40 to 60 hour job, and his time to commit crimes goes down. That is, if he actually shows up to work. Also, there are people who just commit crime because they enjoy it. Your average 15 – 21 year old 20 sack seller isn’t out for the money.

    • I forked out one day and put the FBI crime stats, poverty rates, and Brady gun control scores for each state in an Excel spreadsheet. For 41 out of 50 states, if its poverty rate was higher than the national average so was its homicide rate and vice versa. The remaining 9 states were an odd mix of pro-gun and anti-gun, rich and poor, urban and rural. Near as I can tell, it is actual enforcement of criminal laws that explained the differences.

      • “Dorked” out. Autocorrect sucks. And, yes, I know correlation doesn’t equal causation. I found the exercise more interesting for the 9 states where there was no correlation, which included Texas, New York, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, and PA.

        • An uncle, recently retired from a state Court of Appeals, said in his early years during a rotation in the criminal division, “my job seems to be putting poor people in jail.” He was, is, a conservative Republican. Is it Anatole France who said “the law, in its impartiality, forbids the rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges”? Then there’s Linday Lohan.

    • the only way to really prevent most crimes is to prevent poverty

      I used to buy into this “progressive” fantasy, too. But after watching group after group climb out of poverty while never becoming part of the criminal underclass, while wealthy individuals who have never been subject to want are sent to prison for stock fraud and Ponzi schemes, I’m beginning to believe that it’s a bunch of bushwah.

      People are criminals or they are not criminals. Bernie Madoff was a multimillionaire before he defrauded people out of billions. Clarence Thomas was poverty-stricken and homeless after the death of his father. The rich guy is the crook; the poor guy a Supreme Court Justice. They aren’t atypical.

      Crime in poor communities is what happens when parents don’t give a damn and the community promotes criminality as a viable career option.

      • “…while wealthy individuals who have never been subject to want are almost never sent to prison for stock fraud and Ponzi schemes, and if they are, it’s for far less time than a poor who shoplifted some food …”

        Fixed it for ya.

        Don’t get me wrong – I know better than the “if only they had all the educational advantages” propaganda, but I also know there’s been less than prosecutions over the the broker-class crashing the economy than I have fingers. Let alone toes. We locked up almost a thousand of those filthy beasts after the S&L Crisis, now we don’t even bother with that tiny fraction of the malfeasants anymore.

      • Associate Justice Clarence Thomas’ father abandoned the family when Thomas was two. He lived for five years without indoor plumbing. Then the house burned down. At seven, however, he went to live with his grandparents. His grandfather, Myers Anderson, was relatively affluent for a minority in Savannah, and provided him with discipline, food, love, and the chance at a good education, which I believe was received at an almost all-white high-school. Somebody was there to teach Thomas virtuous habits and good values.

        • Indulge me: Thomas’ argument against all the welfare, baloney SSDI cases, and affirmative action was simple: Anything which discourages people from making responsible choices and working hard to advance just encourages their failure, and causes them to be stigmatized for taking what they have not worked for.

          We (by which I mean Hollywood TV and movies, and pandering politicians) have demeaned hard work. People sneer at it. They feel entitled to degrees they could not earn and desk jobs for which they have no skills, except the skill to sit next to another person who does the work they cannot, That is exactly why we have Mexicans laboring while urban (and increasingly suburban) citizens are being paid not to work, paid extravagantly if you count Medicaid. unwilling to labor until they gain skills, unwilling to even study unless they are paid to, and given a degree. Call it ‘attitude,’ or entitlement. It ruins economies and people.

        • RD,

          Re: your comment, the fact that Mike Rowe has made a career of exposing people who do jobs in smelly or dirty places, or places without temperature control on the wall should serve as an additional proof of your point. Reality TV exposes us to extremes (hoarding, weight, family numbers, beards, and a lot of Axis II disorders), the fact that work is now considered “extreme” enough to merit a cable reality TV show is…disturbing.

    • The “poverty causes crime” has been a favorite trope of the progressives since the 60’s.

      Trouble is, when one examines the stats, it isn’t true.

      Were it true, I might well have been a violent felon, ’cause the Almighty knows we were poor when I was young.

      Being poor and/or being a criminal are both choices of lifestyle. They’re not pre-ordained destiny.

      • That’s an oversimplification. Poverty is rarely self-inflicted, and while it doesn’t cause crime it does exacerbate it.

        As ever, good moral fiber helps; there are plenty of honest poor people.

        • there are plenty of honest poor people

          Exactly. In fact, the number of honest poor outweighs the dishonest by a huge factor. Which puts the lie to the “poverty creates crime” meme.

          Crime is a lifestyle.

        • Here I must disagree with you.

          For many in real poverty, it is indeed a choice of lifestyle.

          This is something I know from personal observation of people who consider themselves “in poverty.” They don’t know how to make smart choices in their lives – about money, drugs, booze, the people they shack up with, etc.

          Oprah used to believe as you do – that poverty was some pre-destined outcome for some people.

          So they had a situation on her show. Some film producer found some homeless guy. Gave him a briefcase with $100K in it. Just gave him $100K to “get him out of poverty.”

          Six months later, it was all gone. All of it. And he was back out on the streets. Where did the money go? To cars, booze, parties, deadbeat friends, etc.

          The Emoting Mountain of Blubbering was gob-smacked that simply giving a poor person money didn’t make them un-poor. She could not believe it. She was heavily invested (and still is) in the liberal trope that the reason why poor people are poor is an inequality in income or wealth distribution. Liberals think if we only gave enough assistance to poor people, they’d quit being poor.

          I could have told Oprah what the outcome was going to be. I’ve seen this type of situation (just not in $100K increments) before. Poor people make stupid decisions. They have no clue how to manage their lives, money, relationships, their weight, you name it.

          I will say it again, and y’all will just have to imagine me pounding the table as I say it:

          Poverty is a life choice.

          At a young age, my brother and I decided that being poor seriously sucked.

          Now we’re part of the “1%” as the lefties like to term us. We got there because we decided that being poor sucked and we were going to do whatever necessary to not only “not be poor” but “be successful.” That involved hard work, every single day, good money management, not hanging out around deadbeats and grifters, and making smart choices – every single day.

          People who live in poverty make poor choices, every single day, that lead straight back to where they are. They do this because it is comfortable, because making smart choices means that they alone are responsible for the outcome of their lives. Poor people love to blame “the system,” “the man,” “the 1%” for their situation – because while they’re poor and making poor decisions, they can shift responsibility away from themselves.

          People who are successful adopt the same attitude about their entire life that we talk about WRT to self-defense here on TTAG: You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for your self/safety.

      • What is different today compared to days of old is that we now have a mulitgenerational cohort that has been endoctrinated by the progressive with the theory that they are ENTITLED to other peoples “stuff”. If the progressives don’t hand it out, it is OK to take it.

        Compare this to the Depresion era when there were large numbers of American that were actually poor/empoverished. They need a meal but didn’t EXPECT it. Today the American “poor” have luxury goods undreamed of by their ancestors (and most of todays world). Limitedless free food options and a free communicator.

  8. The article points out the self-fulfilling prophecy aspect of the program, but misses another possible outcome. If the police visit results in the individual being labeled a snitch and harmed, the program can claim, “See, we were right, he was at risk.” But if nothing happens at all, the program can claim, “See, our visit saved a life.” Either outcome can be claimed as a success, and used to justify further funding.

    • Which is exactly why passing a logic class should be a requirement for entry into HS. It should be for middle school, but I set the bar low…

      You’re very right, and that’s what is very sad. When the Feds pull this nonsense, it should be a unanimous chorus of “that’s a BS logical fallacy!”. Instead the ignorati buy in. Enthusiastically.

    • It will be possible to use statistics carefully to see if twice-removed people change ways over time. The problem is that the government grantees will not use statistics reliably. So we’ll never know if the program really helps or not.

      I think what makes criminals today is years of youth spent playing video games, watching tv. Of COURSE hard work seems like a sentence to hell after such a soft self-absorbed youth.

  9. I have been warning people for several years to watch out for special data basis that can crunch info through algorithms. This is an early example. It may interest some folks to go back to 2005 and look at a program Florida tried to implement on a national level called M.A.T.R.I.X. It was allegedly scrapped due to public push back. However, any LEO that ran a plate would have every thing on the person including credit history, medical records etc.

    Here is a couple of links:

    • Medical records?!? Um, HIPAA?

      And if I could go back to ’05, I’d go to Merrill-Lynch, not Floridia…

  10. “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.”

    The high school dropout should have stayed in school long enough to understand that probable cause isn’t needed to ‘watch’ someone, unless by ‘watch’ you mean search or arrest. I love people who think they know their rights but don’t know the law…

  11. I lived in Chicago for 24 years. There are certain parts of Chicago that the people just don’t care and treat each other like animals. Until you solve that you will never solve gun crime. When people don’t give a Sh*t they just ignore anything the police say. The only good thing is they often shoot each other and that weeds them out. I just feel sorry for the children who grow up seeing that and thinking that is normal.

  12. ‘Robocop’ was just the first draft of future history.

    The only redeeming factor to the decline of society is that by the time cities come to the conclusion that their crime problem is out of control and think about hiring Triple Canopy, Xe or DynCorp to start trying the Anbar solution in their own city limits, they won’t be able to afford them.

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