After working the streets of Chicago for 33 years, it would be impossible to list the number of murders and gruesome deaths that are such a part of a police officers everyday life. Sometimes we are the ones to hear the last words and observe the last breaths of the dying and the screams of loved ones. Most cops never become completely immune but on the other hand, we quickly develop coping mechanisms in order to maintain a professional balance and a semblance of sanity.
However, every once in a while there are some that no matter how hard the coping mechanism tries to kick in, just stay with you forever. A few days ago the body of a young 19-year-old woman was discovered in the back seat of her car, parked in a parking lot on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her name was Ruth George, a student, and she was brutally, sexually assaulted and strangled to death. She died alone in the back seat of her car. I'm retired and were many, many, miles from that garage, but I can honestly say this sobering and heartbreaking story brought tears to my eyes. First tears and than ANGER. Here's why.
The suspect, Donald Thurman a 26-year-old parolee and career criminal, has been charged with first-degree murder and criminal sexual assault. HE WAS ON PAROLE AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM PRISON IN LATE 2018 AFTER COMPLETING A SIX YEAR SENTENCE FOR ARMED ROBBERY IN 2016. Even the most challenged among us in math skills had to stiffen up thinking "maybe the story was wrong." Let's see, six years for an armed robbery in 2016 and it's 2019, something stinks to high heaven here. The stench of a broken, criminal justice system in Illinois and Cook County.
Somehow, a six-year sentence turned into less than 3 years and a career criminal was released to murder Ruth George. I'm sure that my anger was not solitary; there it was for an entire city to see, not just for those of us who have or had law enforcement careers. Trying to get answers as to why this thug was out among us will most likely top the discovery of the modern world when Howard Carter discovered King Tut's Tomb in 1922.
As horrible as Ruth George's murder was it should shine a light on the Criminal Justice system as a whole in Illinois and most especially Cook County. The photos below are just a very few that show just how seriously flawed the justice system is. Hundreds of criminals are being let loose to prey on decent unsuspecting people. At last count, the electronic monitoring system in Cook County could not account for over 500 suspects wearing monitors instead of being held in custody. Those stories in the photos below could make WAR AND PEACE look like a sonnet in Cook County.
A few days ago the Chicago Police Department announced it had set an all-time record for illegal guns taken off the streets of Chicago. A city so plagued by gun violence that it has to spend several million dollars just to have a security force walk children to and from school to keep them from being shot and killed. Over 10,000 guns seized and still another month to go. Now one would think GEEZE 10,000 guns, why the Cook County jail must be chuck full of folks who are charged with gun violations. Yea! if you believe that you jumped the deadline for legally smoking marijuana. How many times have you heard politicians bellowing, barking, and preening in front of TV cameras and the press about tougher gun laws and new gun legislation, so much so that those of us who keep track of such things have to chuckle in order to stem the anger? Gun violators are walking in one door in Cook County and leaving as quickly as possible.
It's a great Chicago boondoggle. No punishment or accountability still means you get more of it, and wow is Chicago getting lots more of it. It's not ROCKET SCIENCE, it's common sense. Bobby Kennedy once said, "EVERY SOCIETY GETS THE KIND CRIMINAL IT DESERVES." Ruth George and the hundreds of other victims in Cook County did not deserve what happened to them. It's not getting tough with criminals it's giving them what they deserve. Lots of people deserve to be behind bars not running amok among decent people.
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