Chicago is 19 days into August and already 252 people have been shot and 34 have been murdered. And yet again, another 3-year-old shot, the second in two weeks. Add to that, at a basketball tournament no less, a 13-year-old was charged with having a gun after the murder of a 15-year-old, who was pronounced dead on the scene from a gun shot wound to the abdomen. You read that right, a friggin 13-year-old. While the slaughter continues, Chicago's politicians and activists have been sparring almost on a daily basis, the activists demonstrating on freeways and the politicians spewing their rhetoric and offering their excuses. It gets a tad dizzying in my opinion watching and listening to the frustration of so called leaders, who really don't have a clue to what's to be done. The Chicago Police have a dismal 5% clearance rate for shootings and somewhere between 14-17% clearance for murder. Take away the murder suicides and the more obvious killings and that number is startling.
Mayoral hopeful Paul Vallas kicked off the the latest rounds of suggested solutions. Vallas is proposing a city-wide witness protection program (well it worked on the mafia) that entails moving witnesses to other neighborhoods. His plan would be to find them housing, perhaps issuing Section 8 vouchers and stipends or other resources. Since this is an election year, Mayor Emanuel's office immediately issued a statement condemning such a move saying the Cook County States Attorney already has a slightly different program already in place and the duplication would just waste tax payers money.
Well I can tell you whatever that program is, anyone who thinks it's working is either a fool or has an agenda. The numbers since 2011 would startle a Marine General when you see them in print. It would give anyone pause. In 7.5 years Chicago has had over 4,134 people murdered, and over 23,350 people shot -- toddlers, woman, children, seniors. No group is spared the mayhem.
For those who are convinced the cops have something to do with all that, know that police involved shootings are 1.25% of that total. Next up to bat in the mayoral mix is candidate Lori Lightfoot not to be out done of course, released a statement saying this, " People are afraid to cooperate with the police because there is to much violence." Thank you for that. I'm going to examine that.
We could go around in circles trying to come up with reasons people will not turn in others engaged in criminal behavior, including murder. After spending 33 years working Chicago's streets in my opinion fear of violent retaliation is without question the main reason, far and away. However, there are some other factors. Some are as old as civilization itself. For instance, 2,440 years ago Sophocles tragedy "ANTIGONE" ( yea close but not quite) argues that loyalty to her brother trumps the laws of Thebes. A more modern example includes the brother of Ted Kaczynski, the murderous Unabomber, who was involved in 16 bombings and 3 murders with 23 injured and with placing a bomb on an aircraft injuring 18 people.
David Kaczynski after reading the 3,000 word manifesto released to the press, became certain that the Unabomber terrorist was his brother Ted, who he thought was mentally ill, but non-violent. David made statements in 1996 that he "was trapped in a Brother relationship." However, he realized more people would be murdered if he remained silent. He contacted authorities and his brother was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
A few more examples that may help us when it comes to understanding the silence in Chicago's neighborhoods, that doesn't include the cops, which are often announced as the culprits by various factions, some with agendas and others because of hearing it so often it has become a belief. During the many years when Boston's super criminal James (Whitey) Bulger, who was responsible for at least 11 known murders and hundreds of other criminal acts over at least 2 decades, his brother Billy was serving as President of the Massachusetts's State Senate but never turned Whitey in.
Histories most glaring example of informing was when Judas Iscariot turned Jesus over to the Sanhedrin in the garden of Gethsemane for 30 pieces of silver. Then we have Shakespeare's tale of Hamlet where the evil King Claudius employs two Sycophants, Rosencrantz and Gilderstern to gain the trust of Hamlet in order to plot his murder to gain power. Many more examples exist, including employing spies such as Benedict Arnold and Matta Hari, the Dutch dancer who was convicted of being a German spy. The list goes on, but the best of methods that work for gaining trust are still monetary gain and of course fear of reprisal works against coming forward.
Experts have concluded that it is rare indeed in which a witness will voluntary report a sibling or a loved one, no matter the circumstances. Indeed David Kaczynski stands with the very few. He is still haunted to this day, and often has tried to make contact with his brother, Ted, seeking a forgiveness that has never been acknowledged. Say what you want about Paul Vallas and his proposal, at least it was a new idea, something we have not heard in Chicago.
Leadership seems like a deer in the headlights, paralyzed by the epidemic that seems to never cease on Chicago's streets. Leaders with new ideas are desperately needed, excuses and blame have failed miserably. Shutting down major highways and demonstrating in areas miles away from the slaughter have taken on a carnival like atmosphere. People have to look in the mirror, chances are they will see the answer.
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