Chicago is not safe. Violent crime in the Windy City is up sharply, as is all crime across the board in America’s second largest city. HeyJackass.com does an admirable job of tracking the carnage. Here’s the body count for August – so far!
Would you tolerate that level of violence in your city?
It doesn’t just happen in the “bad” parts of the city, either. Crime has exploded across Chicago as the Sun-Times reports:
…Chicago Police Department and City Hall are grappling with more than a rise in shootings and killings. Citywide, other violent crimes — sexual assaults, robberies and aggravated batteries — also are up this year compared with year-to-date totals for the same period in 2015.
Some parts of the city also are facing particular issues with certain types of violent crimes — robberies on the far North Side, for one, and sexual assaults in lakefront police districts, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of police department crime data found.
It’s so bad that just this week, a woman was thrown to the ground and mugged on the same city block as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house. CBS Chicago reported it:
CHICAGO (CBS) — A 50-year-old woman was mugged Tuesday afternoon on the same block as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home in the Ravenswood neighborhood.
Police said the woman was unloading a bag from her car shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday in the 4200 block of North Hermitage Avenue, when a young man got out of an older model black sedan, and demanded her property.
What CBS Chicago didn’t mention is that there’s always a Chicago Police squad car parked out front of the Mayor’s house. And another one in back. There’s also a sergeant and a couple of roving units that circle the block. That’s how brazen these criminals in Chicago have become. It stands to reason though: if you want to get nicer stuff from your victims, go rob victims in nicer neighborhoods.
The mayor’s home is protected around the clock by at least eight police officers who are assigned to patrol our 19th district. The force includes at least two cops in front of Emanuel’s home, at least two more in the rear of his home, a sergeant, and “roving units” that make circles around the block.
Lacking impulse control
So not only are criminals are more brazen in Chicago, they lack impulse control as well. Just this week, Chicago cops went to stop a man that looked as though he might have been adjusting a gun stuffed in his pants as he strutted down the street. He ran and a chase commenced.
Kentrell Pledger, aged old enough to know better, reportedly shot at the officers in the course of the foot pursuit. The cops returned fire, but missed. Our brave hoodlum then cowered under a porch where the boys in blue found him in short order. Pledger’s shirt just happened to be found wrapped around a .40 caliber GLOCK tucked away under said porch. He thanked cops for not shooting him at the scene.
Later in court, though, he became Mr. Tough Guy again. As Ron White famously joked, he might have had the right to remain silent, but lacked the impulse control to do so. DNA Info had the story: Man Charged With Shooting At Cop Says In Court: I Should Have ‘Smoked’ Him
COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man accused of shooting at Chicago Police officers went on a tirade in court Tuesday after a Cook County judge denied him bail.
“He shot at me first,” Kentrell Pledger, 29, shouted. “Get your story straight, dog.”
Pledger told the courtroom he should’ve “smoked his [the officer’s] a–” before accusing Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr., an African-American judge, of being white.
“You ain’t black,” Pledger said. “You’re white, b—-.”
Why is crime up so sharply this year in Chicago? The spike in crime has a number of causal factors. Here are three big ones:
Part of the issue is the Ferguson effect on policing. But it’s worse in Illinois.
Illinois legislators passed a bill last year that requires police officers to document any Terry stops (brief investigative stops by police) starting January 1, 2016. The bill, touted as police “reform”, does many things including mandating time-intensive paperwork for these stops. Suspects must get a “receipt” indicating the officer’s name, and the time, place and reason for the stop. The data is then made available to the public, including anti-police attorneys and “social justice” groups who can and will use it against individual officers and the department as a whole in their pursuit of monetary awards.
What’s the police officers’ response to all this? They practice “fetal position” police work, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel described it, reducing the risk to their careers and pensions from lawyers representing America’s criminal class. Cops themselves say that proactive policing is dead in Chicago.
Prosecutions. Or lack thereof.
Illinois law lacks some of the provisions that states like Florida have used when it comes to the use of guns in violent crime.
Florida had, until February of this year, a powerful 10-20-Life law that couldn’t be plea-bargained away. The law’s provisions helped Florida reach the lowest level of firearm violent crime in that state’s history. It will be interesting to track Florida’s firearm violent crime rate now that the 10-20-Life mandatory sentencing enhancement law was repealed earlier this year.
How did Florida’s law work? If you committed a violent crime with a gun in Florida, you got an extra ten years in prison on top of the sentence for the underlying crime. There was no parole, probation, no plea-bargains.
Discharge a gun in Florida in the commission of a violent crime? Add 20(!) years to the sentence. In other words, popping off five rounds at people on a busy street in Florida prior to the law’s repeal and you would be gone for at least twenty years plus time for the crime. Contrast that with Chicago, where prosecutors charged that crime as a misdemeanor. And the female suspect was released on her own recognizance after her arrest.
The culprit in Chicago was apprehended thanks to the help of lots of witnesses cooperating with police. A YouTube video captured her firing the shots, while intoxicated, after leaving a bar (while carrying an illegally possessed gun).
In Florida, if you shoot a gun and wound or kill someone, you would spend 25 years to life in prison on top of the sentence for the underlying crime. No probation. No parole. No good time. Just hard time. Until that law was repealed.
In Chicago, when three gang-bangers drive by a busy park and shoot at people, wounding two, and are caught red-handed moments later after a short chase, the Cook County State’s Attorney charged them with a Class 4 felony. One to three years in prison upon conviction. Cops were understandably incensed. As are all decent people who are paying attention.
Earlier this year, a good Samaritan stopped a gang banger from assaulting a single mom with kids with her. The criminal pulled out a blade and stabbed the good Samaritan, nearly killing him. Thanks to modern medicine he’s expected to make a recovery. The thug was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery.
With prosecutors failing to do their jobs, these violent predators return to the streets to continue their violent criminal endeavors.
Shortage of police and detectives
Making matters still worse, the number of cops in Chicago is declining sharply. Almost 10% of the department – about 1000 cops – are set to retire by the end of the year to take advantage of favorable retirement terms, according to Second City Cop.
The number of detectives on the Chicago police force has dropped to 922 from 1,252 in 2008. One detective who retired two months ago said investigators are overwhelmed. Not all of the detectives are assigned exclusively to homicide cases.
“You get so many cases you could not do an honest investigation on three-quarters of them,” he said in an interview. “The guys … are trying to investigate one homicide and they are sent out the next day on a brand new homicide or a double.”
So it’s not surprising that Chicago’s 2016 homicide “clearance” rate is a whopping 20.9%.
In summary, Chicago isn’t safe. It’s prudent to avoid the city, even if you’re an Illinois resident with a concealed carry license.