A few weeks ago Chicago’s new top cop David Brown stated to the press that he was trying to keep Chicago’s homicides under 300 in 2020. Yikes, I said to myself, surely he was misquoted. Chicago hasn’t seen 300 homicides or less since probably before Archimedes and Euclid began tampering with numbers centuries ago. For the record, Chicago has averaged 526 homicides the past 9 years and has had over 24,000 people shot. So far in 2020 the city is well on its way to match that average and then some.
Chicago so far in 2020, (lockdown notwithstanding,) is sitting at over 190 homicides as I write this, a 26% increase over the same period last year when the city was dealing with a Polar Vortex, which surely kept the killings down from the prior year. The number of people shot so far in 2020 is approaching 1,000. The level of violence always shows itself in the number of people shot. When the bangers take aim it is to kill not wound. Sometimes the paramedics, first responders, and emergency room personnel do remarkable jobs saving lives, and other times victims just bleed out or die from their wounds.
So it was quite a surprise to me that just a few days ago Superintendent Brown in an interview with Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner doubled down on his keeping Chicago’s homicides under 300, so I can only assume he’s aware of what I’m aware of. I’m trying to tell myself that my 33 years working Chicago’s streets give me an advantage over the top cop. Maybe he doesn’t see or know what I do, PLEASE that’s not hubris it’s just fact. So I’m reminding myself that when the light bulb was first invented that nobody complained that it was too dim. I admit I was thinking maybe he was delusional, maybe the mayor is going to have buyers remorse but as the interview went on, he stated he had a plan. I’m glad for that, nothing wrong with optimism (at least to a point).
He said that he was THINKING about starting a new citywide unit devoted to FLARE UPS ( a bureaucratic word for spiraling violent crime ) its either that or SPIKE it sounds so much better than spiraling violent crime. He states he knows that it’s a controversial idea that has come and gone over the years ( he got that right, so many times I cannot count them) in order to combat the gang killings and shootings. Brown floated the idea, describing it as a significant community policing oriented unit that would be community-friendly. My first thought was does he know Chicago has a Community Policing unit already, that is led by a Deputy Chief and who knows how many Chicago cops? Now is where his idea got the attention of just about everyone who read Jeremy Gorner’s interview.
His new specialized unit of cops who no doubt will consist of (hopefully) experienced street officers and detectives who are familiar with the gangs and their affiliates. Aside from going against some of the most notoriously violent killers and shooters, he would have the officers maybe one day a week working with Habitat for Humanity to help build houses, deliver meals to senior citizens in need, and visit schools and interact with children. One can see why most of us veteran retired cops lost our breath when we heard this. Sometimes the reality of just what goes on in those gang-infested areas never leaves the thought process. My take on this is there will be no gang members waiting on a house to be delivered by Habitat for Humanity, there will be no gang members receiving food from cops who deliver, there will be no gang members in those schools to hear the feel-good exchange between cops and kids.
Will this be or is this going to be yet another Dog and Pony Show for the press? Does anyone in their right mind think this will have an effect on hardened gang thugs who are determined to carry on with business as usual? Even if it accomplishes the goal the Superintendent is intending, cops who are sensitive to the community, rather than every day, all day, everyday enforcement duties what will this accomplish as far as the gang violence is concerned? Make no mistake those folks in those neighborhoods would not cooperate with Jesus, or Mohammad and inform on those gangs no matter the sensitivity of the officers working those streets. Intimidation and fear for their loved ones and their own well-being comes first. The Treja Kelly murder was front and center for those who cooperate. The gangs put a $5,000 bounty on her life for cooperating in a murder case. Within weeks she and her unborn baby were murdered.
The gangs make no mistake are a powerful force and POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND, IT NEVER DID AND NEVER WILL. Chicago’s cops and Federal authorities need to make that demand. The gangs are not sensitive and could care less about sensitive cops building houses and delivering food and interacting with children. They have an army of destruction in a civilized society and are like hardy weeds when you whack off one stalk another pops in its place, especially in Cook County’s system of caring more for vicious thugs that the victims they preyed upon. Remember during prohibition and the mafia underworld in the 20s 30s 40s and into the 50s and 60s all those gangland murders? We never called them White on White violence, so in my opinion, we have to drop this Black on Black violence we hear about so much and realize skin color has little to do with violence, and if a mayor or governor can shut down parks and an entire city and force people to stay at home and challenge people who are out and about, why can’t cops and federal agents employ the same tactics to save the precious lives of people who are just trying to survive the monsters among them. I mean it when I say I hope the new top cop achieves his goal, and doesn’t hear that familiar mayoral whisper that so many of his predecessors heard from a mayor ” I’m NOT SAYING IT’S YOUR FAULT, I’M JUST BLAMING IT ON YOU.” God speed David Brown.
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