No One Is Responsible

That is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s position, anyway. And Atlanta’s mayor is still calling the riots “mostly largely peaceful.” Gun violence kills 160 as holiday weekend exposes tale of ‘two Americas’.

This article doesn’t just deal with Chicago, but I will start there.

But Chicago saw the worst violence in one of the bloodiest holiday weekends in recent memory, ending with 17 people fatally shot including a seven-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy and 63 more wounded, an increase of five shootings on the high figures that had marred the holiday weekend the previous year.

Despite an effort that included an additional 1,200 officers on the streets and pleas from the city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, for residents not to reverse limited progress that had been made against the epidemic of gun violence, Lightfoot lamented the children whose “hopes and dreams were ended by the barrel of a gun”.

That’s right, the fault lies in an inanimate object, not in the person who pulled the trigger, not in that person who killed 7-year-old Natalie Wallace in front of her grandmother’s house, but in an inanimate object.

The shooting death of an eight-year-old girl, Secoriea Turner, in Atlanta, prompted the mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, to call for justice while noting the shadow such street violence casts over the huge and largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police brutality.

Largely peaceful? She must not have been watching the same news footage I was.

There is more. Escalating carnage in New York City. More of the same in Philadelphia. And platitudes, but very little in the way of a plan.

Hat tip to The Other McCain – Black-on-Black Crime Explodes in the Wake of #BlackLivesMatter Protests, which he calls “entirely predictable.”

Democrats can’t blame white racist cops for this, so they don’t care.

Wishful Thinking in Chicago

So one of the neighborhoods in Chicago was going for a “Homicide Free” Weekend over the July 4th Holiday… Or as they put it in the Sun Times Stakeholders aim to keep Englewood ‘homicide-free’ over Fourth of July weekend. Englewood is one of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. It is one of the more dangerous parts of the city.

Anti-violence groups, security firms, business owners, faith leaders and elected officials gathered in Englewood Thursday, announcing plans to deploy hundreds of people to keep an eye on the neighborhood in an effort to tamp down shootings over the historically violent Fourth of July weekend.

That is a sentiment I can understand. I think the way that they went about it was doomed to failure. “Watching” a neighborhood means that if someone does something wrong there is a witness, and that witness can cause consequences to be visited on the evildoer. But there are no consequences in Chicago or Cook County. The DA and the judges have seen to that. No bail. No prosecutions. No consequences at all. So who cares if they are seen by all those people “keeping an eye” on things?

So how did it work out? Not too well. Again, according to the Sun Times – 79 shot, 15 fatally, over Fourth of July weekend in Chicago. But of course those weren’t all in Englewood.

Second City Cop has the numbers for the police district, which probably doesn’t match up exactly with the neighborhood… We’re going to go and label this one as a “Fail” (SCC also gets the Hat Tip on all of this.)

These are preliminary numbers and will undoubtedly change, but it’s looking like 007 racked up at least a dozen shot, seven of those being fatal.

You want law and order, you have to have penalties for bad behavior. It is not rocket science.

Residents of Chicago Want to Be Safe

Chicago is not safe, and it’s getting worse. 2 kids slain among 79 shot in July 4th weekend gun violence; 3rd weekend straight of children dying.

Chicago is in the grip of a wave of violence the likes of which hasn’t been seen for decades.

On Saturday night, 7-year-old Natalia Wallace died after being shot while visiting her grandmother at a party in Austin. [That’s a neighborhood in Chicago on the far west side of the city.]

In each of the past 3 weekends, at least one child has been murdered.

And the national narrative isn’t really playing all that well in the city.

“Defunding police is the stupidest thing to say,” [activist Jacqueline] Baez said. “We need police. We need to feel safe in our communities … I don’t feel safe letting my kids play outside.”

And people are putting the blame where it belongs.

In a news conference in Little Village, Raul Montes Jr. called the weekend gun violence a “carbon copy” of the last few weeks and blamed [Mayor] Lightfoot for allowing protests to devolve into looting while “giving a nod to Antifa,” a far-left anti-fascist group. [Actually, they may claim to be anti-fascist, but they remind me a lot of Blackshirts in Italy]

The criminals have been told there will be no consequences. No bail. No prosecution in some cases. Charges reduced via plea, and now the powers-that-be seemed shocked that crime is skyrocketing.

I don’t expect the name Natalia Wallace to become known nationally, because it doesn’t forward the agenda of anyone on the Left or in the media. (But I repeat myself.) Just like I don’t expect Secoriea Turner to become nationally known.

Fourth of July Weekend, Chicago Style

Because nothing says “Chicago Values” like murder and mayhem. HeyJackass! brings us Shitshow of the Year.

You may hear something about Natalia Wallace, the 7-year-old killed Saturday evening as she played on the sidewalk in front of a relative’s home, but I doubt you will hear much, or about the separate “multiple shootings” that took place. Because they don’t push the narrative, so they are just “local news.”

Final Stupidity Tally: 20 killed, 72 wounded
2019 weekend tally: 7 killed, 69 wounded*
2018 weekend tally: 10 killed, 42 wounded

June in Chicago – a Disaster

From HeyJackass! – June Wrap-up.

This June was a record setting, “unacceptable”, complete and total shitshow. The homicide count ties beats the mid-90s for most ever; the total shot number is 50+ more than our record peak of 498 in August 2016; 111 shot over Father’s Day weekend; tallied a 30 day homicide run rate of 110, and so on… What a disaster.

Beating the mid-90s is not good.

HeyJackass! doesn’t think that July will be better.

Defund the Cops? Chicago Adds More OT

Because Chicago is in the grip of a crime catastrophe. CPD to put 1,200 extra officers on street starting Thursday.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown announced Monday that 1,200 additional officers will hit the streets for the historically violent Fourth of July weekend.

Starting Thursday, the surge in officers will be deployed in “hot spots” for violence, according to Brown. Acknowledging “tired cops make mistakes,” he said every officer on duty over the weekend will get a day off.

Does that sound like Defunding?

Hat tip to Second City Cop – “Extra” Cops.

Meaning canceling at least one of everyone’s days off for yet another failure of the political set to keep criminals behind bars where they belong:

He also has the Over/Under on the weekend numbers for the upcoming holiday weekend. Which I think that according to HeyJackass! will run from Thursday afternoon to Monday morning. Happy 4th of July.

Chicago’s Financial Problems Are NOT From COVID-19

Chicago and Cook County have been ignoring problems for so long, they don’t know what actually paying the bills would look like. Maybe it is just Standard Operating Procedure at this point. In any event they want the federal .gov to solve their problems.

Meep at STUMP continues on the review of states/cities in trouble with Polities Under Fiscal Pressure: Chicago and Cook County.

I wanted to quote one of Meep’s titles for the title of this post, but there are so many choices picking one is hard. “Deep in the Suck” or “A Big Ball of Bad Ideas” were contenders, but I also appreciated the reference to the Stevie Smith poem “Not Waving But Drowning.”

As you can guess by the list of past posts on the fiscal state of Chicago, below, or the few I’ve mentioned already, things are not good in Chicago. Things are not a lot better in Cook County.

They both want bailouts. They are both trying to blame the pandemic.

There are snippets from interviews with Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and even a few words form Ammar Rizki, Cook County’s Chief Financial Officer. But really all you have to do is look at the litany of woe of past posts by Meep, which she has thoughtfully collected for us.

It’s much, much worse.

Now, that may seem like a lot of posts, but more are here in my Chicago post compilation [which stops around 2017… I really should go back sometime.]

The compilation post is truly massive. And to think people accuse me of picking on Chicago, but they make it so damn easy.

Chicago is in for a bumpy ride, but it really doesn’t have much to do with COVID-19. You should definitely review the link at the top of this post. There is a lot of material. But the most important is that Chicago and Cook County expect you to pay for their insanity from the past decades.

Concealed Carry in The Windy City

It seems to be catching on. Chicago shooting: Gunman critically wounded after shootout with concealed-carry holder in Little Village.

I noticed the stats over at HeyJackass! include instances of self-defense shootings in every month this year, so I decided I should dig into it a bit….

A 24-year-old man was in a yard in the 2400-block of South Kedvale Avenue at about 9:17 p.m. when police said a 23-year-old man approached from the sidewalk and began firing shots.

The 24-year-old man, who is a licensed concealed-carry holder, fired shots In return, hitting the other man several times.

The would-be bad-guy fled, but then was taken to a local hospital.

Self-defense is a human-right, and it just might be catching on in The People’s Republic of Illinois. Here’s a link to HeyJackass! and self-defense stats.

Use the Tool You Have Available

Self-defense in the Windy City. Lakeview homeowner confronts burglar with machete, cops say.

It all started when the victim walked into his home on the 1300 block of West Roscoe and discovered the burglar around 8:30 p.m., according to a police report. The homeowner grabbed a machete and ran the burglar out of the house.

Maybe he will consider an upgrade to his available tools.

We Should Outlaw Fire Hoses

Heh. Saturday’s Outrage from Second City Cop.

Fire hoses were used to inflict horrible suffering on black citizens peacefully protesting throughout the south in the 50’s and 60’s. To avoid Crimesha [Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx] “believing” that this “might” be something triggering to her delicate sensibilities, we are calling on the CFD to return to bucket-lines and enlisting citizens to assist them when manpower runs short.

Politicians hate sarcasm, but I think that is partly because they don’t understand it.

The Statement That Will Get Brown Fired from Chicago PD

Well, and Police Superintendent Brown will be the scapegoat for the horrible crime numbers in Chicago.

So Chicago had a bad weekend. After 110 Shot In Chicago, The Top Cop Blames Gangs, Guns, Drugs And ‘Not Enough Time Spent In Jail’. And actually, Brown doesn’t blame guns, which is why Chicago will fire him. Differences of opinion are NOT allowed!

During his news conference, Brown also rejected a notion popular with University of Chicago criminologists who work closely with the police department. He said the violence cannot be blamed on easy access to guns.

“I’m from Texas,” Brown said, noting that state’s high number of firearms. “Houston, San Antonio and Dallas have lower murder rates.”

The guns don’t exert mind control. They don’t act of their own accord. People have to pick them up and act, and those people are responsible. But that is not cannon in the City of Chicago.

For the complete weekend insanity, see HeyJackass! – Father’s Day Weekend.

First Weekend of Summer in the Windy City

Well, aside from Memorial Day, that is… HeyJackass! has the details. Father’s Day Weekend.

Despite the allure of all-you-can-eat popcorn and bottomless coffee for a $1, Father’s Day weekends tend to be a bit of a shitshow and with the current trend being anything but dear ol’ dad’s friend, expect similar results.

Final Stupidity Tally: 14 killed, 95 wounded
2019 weekend tally: 6 killed, 17 wounded
2018 weekend tally: 4 killed, 37 wounded
2017 weekend tally: 7 killed, 40 wounded

So in one weekend, while all the Woke hordes are screaming about getting rid of the police, and while “protests” are still underway, more people were shot and killed than in the same weekend than over the past 2 years combined.

Historic Moments in Chicago Policing

With all the talk of Disbanding the Police (or defund or dismantle or whatever verb is popular today) there has been some reexamination of the past. In an article about the former Police Chief of Atlanta, Erika Shields, Chicago’s Garry McCarthy was mentioned. During and after the Laquan McDonald shooting McCarthy was the Police Superintendent who was basically stonewalling over releasing the video. He left shortly after the video was released to the public.

But that is only recent memory, and political. Chicago has many examples that are just bad cops, operating in packs, never expecting the law to apply to them, or that they will be called to account for their actions. So over the top, that no one wants to defend their actions. No one sane, anyway.

The most famous example is probably Jon Burge et al. Chicago inquiry: Police tortured blacks from NBC News published in 2006.

Special prosecutors investigating allegations that police tortured nearly 150 black suspects in the 1970s and ’80s said Wednesday they found evidence of abuse, but any crimes are now too old to prosecute.

In three of the cases, the prosecutors said the evidence was strong enough to have warranted indictments and convictions.

A group of cops, under the Command of Jon Burge, and known as The Midnight Crew from Area Two conducted a long-standing campaign of torturing confessions out of “suspects.” This was in the late 1970s and 1980s. Richard Brzeczek, one-time Superintendent of Police in Chicago was canned in 1983 for “dereliction of duty.” He basically ignored what Jon Burge was doing at the time, even when there was an “investigation.” (Cops investigating cops? What could go wrong?)

In the end it was SO awful, that a Republican governor commuted all the death sentences in Illinois, because some of the people who “confessed” had ended up on death row. DNA took care of some of it, but there wasn’t always DNA to compare.

The State’s Attorney’s office in Cook County has always maintained they never knew what was going on, but few people believe them.

That era brought about what was probably the first attempt at reform in Chicago. Fred Rice Jr. became the first African American to be Superintendent of Police in Chicago in 1983. He was Brzeczek’s replacement. Rice held that job for a little more than 4 years, and mostly seems to have done a decent job. He was one of the very few in recent memory to retire from that position and not to leave in the midst of some scandal. It doesn’t seem to have helped much.

While Jon Burge & Co. got some national attention, The Special Operations Section didn’t get much national coverage. (Or at least I don’t think it did.) Scandals Bring Down Chicago’s Elite Police Unit. That article is from NPR, published in 2007.

The Chicago Police Department is disbanding its elite Special Operations Section. Seven officers have been charged with robbery and kidnapping.

Because some things are Over the Top, even in Chicago.

One S.O.S. officer allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill a fellow S.O.S. officer who was cooperating with an investigation into the unit.

Because the rats deserve to die. Or something. You don’t think the law is supposed to apply to the Cops, do you? They certainly don’t think it should.

While I remember that the charges were brought and the unit disbanded, I honestly don’t know who was convicted of what, or if anyone was convicted of anything. It did result in another Superintendent of Police, Phil Cline, leaving office. Well okay, he wasn’t fired; he retired in the middle of a scandal. Big difference? You be the judge on that.

The debate (I hesitate to call it that) about police reform has devolved into a shouting match, as these things usually do, between the “tear it down” camp, and “support the police” camp. Nuance is a 20th Century concept, or maybe 19th Century. Some cops deserve to be supported. Cops like Jon Burge not so much.

So what is the answer? I don’t know. As I mentioned Chicago has been trying to “reform” the police in one way or another since 1983. And they have gotten somewhere. Look at the number of police shootings this year (or last year) compared to 10 years ago. I don’t think they will ever drop to zero. Two guys were shot this month while trying to run over a cop, with a car. Before that the most recent police shooting in Chicago was in March. So that is progress, though crime is worse than it was over that period as well. So no, I don’t have the answers. But the city has been under the control of the Democratic party for nearly 90 years. (The last Republican to be mayor, “Big Bill” Thompson, left office in 1931), so I’m reasonably sure that the Democrats don’t know what to do, either.

Now I write about Chicago politics, and Chicago police and the state of Chicago pensions, probably more than I should. But I loved that city. The architecture is amazing, and the energy used be great. I loved that city, and would spend my free time at the clubs, at the museums, at the theaters. But it is gone far downhill.

[The hat tip goes to Beachwood Reporter, though I can’t really recommend the post. It rambles a bit, though it has a lot more on the History of Police Superintendents in Chicago, and even a bit of The Scorpions playing at 1979’s Chicagofest music festival. (Audio quality is not the greatest, even if you like The Scorpions.) Still, it does ramble on as well.]

Chicago’s Recipe for More Crime

JusticeReduced or no bail means that criminals are back on the street. If you make something cheaper, you will see more of it.

First up… violent criminal remains a violent criminal. On bail for allegedly battering cop last month, man’s now accused of robbing woman on Red Line.

A man who’s on bail for allegedly battering a police officer at a downtown CTA station last month is now charged with robbing a woman as she rode the Red Line home from work in Uptown on Monday.

He is being held, on a $10,000 bond. If he can raise the 10%, he will have to be electronically monitored.

Next up, “free” bail. On recognizance bond for CTA robbery, man’s charged with brandishing knife and injuring 2 cops.

This guy didn’t even have to raise 1000 bucks.

When prosecutors in April charged Ein Julian with robbing a man on the Red Line downtown, he went home on a recognizance bond. Now, prosecutors say he broke one cop’s finger and spit in another’s face Sunday afternoon when they tried to stop him as he brandished a knife in North Center.

Because keeping violent criminals in jail is unfair.

The Law Is Complicated, and Riots Are Bad for Business

Oh, and minority-owned firms have it worse on both counts. Business is picking up in Chicago, but for some minority-owned shops and restaurants, ‘it’s still not enough.’

First there was COVID-19, and Illinois and Chicago have been crazier than most about the lockdown. Then there was a loan program to help small businesses. And then there were riots. I’m expecting either an alien invasion, or Sweet Meteor of Death before the end of the month.

Let’s start with the law… Loans were made available for businesses impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns. But if you didn’t understand banking…

As of June 6, the SBA approved more than 4.5 million PPP loans worth $511 billion. In Illinois, there have been 186,337 PPP loans approved for more than $22 billion, according to Rob Scott, administrator for the SBA’s Great Lakes Region.

The SBA currently does not have data on the ethnic or racial demographics of borrowers. But getting information on PPP loans has been a challenge for some small-business owners of color, experts say.

Unnamed, anonymous “experts.” And in the age of the internet, getting information is “a challenge.” Okay.

To be forgiven the bulk of the loan needs to be spent on payroll. Not something a restaurant will always be able to do.

For nearly two weeks, Santoyo conducted her own research to see if her business qualified. Santoyo said there wasn’t enough outreach in Latino communities, and the language barrier kept some of her friends in the business community from applying.

I’m shocked to discover that not speaking English in a predominately English-speaking country is a disadvantage. If only there was some way to learn a foreign language! OK, not really shocked.

So how many “community organizing” groups call Chicago home? Jesse Jackson is there, but for all his “rainbow” talk, I doubt he has much outreach in the Latino community. So, do none of the community organizers have contacts in banking? Do any of the community organizers have outreach to restaurant owners? It looks like the answer to both questions is, “Hell no!” (Maybe someone can tell me what they actually do someday.)

Then there are the riots.

Gomez was getting ready to open for outdoor dining after months of relying on sales from carryout orders when widespread unrest hit the city over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed last month at the hands of Minneapolis police. Several businesses on the South and West Side were hit by looting. The response scared a lot of diners, and Gomez closed early three days, causing sales to drop to 10% of normal pandemic levels.

As I said before, I’m also shocked to discover that rioting is bad for the businesses in the affected neighborhoods, or in the city as a whole. Okay, I’m not that shocked about this either.

But it is really all the fault of the EEEEEVIL bankers. Banks “apparently” helped their established customers first. The horror! (“Hey Fred, this is Tom at First Evil Bank of Chicago. Have you seen the stuff about this new COVID loan program? I think you might qualify.”) That should be a capital offense. Pun intended.

“By having large financial institutions distribute these loans, you are placing these businesses at a disadvantage,” [Ashley Harrington, a federal advocacy director for the Center for Responsible Lending, a Durham, North Carolina-based nonprofit that advocates for fair and inclusive lending] said.

Most business owners of color typically don’t have a prior relationship with a larger bank, she said. Owners had a lot of questions and didn’t know what documents they needed to receive a loan, which held them back as banks were swamped with applications, Harrington said.

Repeat the two questions about community organizers and bankers and restaurateurs here. You get the same answer.

Let me take a guess that Ashley Harrington is the one of (the only?) expert cited above in the anonymous section. And in a story about Chicago restaurants, is the best source you can find in North Carolina? Okay then.

In the Least-surprising News of the Week…

We find that rioting is bad for the economy. Chicago’s South Side Left With Few Food Options After Weekend Violence.

Everything from neighborhood markets, to Jewel-Osco to Walmart have been trashed.

On Sunday night, [ the Jewel-Osco on 75th Street] was ravaged by looters, as you can see by the aftermath captured in video from the next day, leaving neighbors frustrated.

“It’s not what you do. It’s how do you do it,” Wright said. “What did we accomplish, aside from take our property value down and embarrass ourselves?”

Wright, his grandmother and so many around here are trying to figure out which stores on the South Side are even left right now.

Chicago now has food deserts in places that weren’t food deserts before.

And some of the retailers are trying to decide if it makes sense to rebuild. Some probably will. Some will probably decide that the economics no longer make sense.

What Happens When You Stop the Police From Enforcing the Law?

People decide that they need to protect themselves. Mayor Lori Lightfoot denounces vigilantism in Chicago after white men patrol Bridgeport streets with bats.

The article is the usual hand-wringing. So let’s see what Second City Cop had to say.

Groot orders (ORDERS!!!) police not to uyse actual physical means to control rioters and looters, Crimesha refuses to prosecute felonies according to statute, Dart refuses to jail repeat offenders and Evans backs it all up with judicial orders, and now Groot is surprised when people decide to protect themselves and their neighborhoods?

So when cops can’t stop looters and rioters, what are the people of Chicago supposed to do?

Chicago’s Mayor Doing Everything She Can to Piss Off the Cops

It’s a gift she has. All these stories are from Second City Cop, where Mayor Lightfoot is no-so-affectionately known as Groot.

First up The Return of Steve.

The Department tacitly admitted that Brownie has fucked up the entire riot response and reached back in time and tapped Steve Georgas to fix the entire broken situation. To be fair, it’s not all Brownies fault, but the fault of the political system putting incompetent morons in charge and chasing out anyone with actual experience. And of course, Groot calling the shots when she can’t even be a moderately successful federal prosecutor.

Then, while Groot tells the cops there is no money for a contract, she has money for a lot of other things. More Magic Money. This time it is a magically sourced 10 million bucks for the looted businesses, of which there have been a lot during the riots.

Oh yeah, and in the midst of the bloodiest May in decades, remind everyone that it’s the police that need reform, and not the “community” that has racked up tens of THOUSANDS of murders of their own since the 1970’s.

We’ll just remind everyone that of the 1,208 shootings in the City of Chicago this year, the CPD is responsible for exactly five of them:

that’s four-tenths-of-one-percent

Defending Your Business from Looters in Chicago

Because no one else is going to do it. Logan Square shop owner confronts looters, fires gun, detains one, prosecutors say.

A Logan Square store owner with a concealed carry license fired shots at hammer-wielding looters who confronted him in his shop early Monday, prosecutors said. The businessman even managed to detain one of the alleged intruders for police.

The smoke shop lost about 800 bucks worth of tobacco and vaping supplies, plus has to deal with the broken windows. Cops don’t believe any of the bad guys were shot, though he did fire shots when they charged him with hammers.

Someone please explain to me how this effort to liberate tobacco products honors the memory of anyone. “I swear to think of George Floyd when I smoke this box of stolen cigars.” No, that doesn’t cut it for me.

The Big City Weekend

Cities had a rough weekend. Here are some details from 3 cities I often write about.

Chicago had a particularly bad weekend. HeyJackass! has info on the Loot-N-Shoot Weekend.

Final Not-A-Protest Tally*: 26 killed, 65 wounded
2019 weekend tally: 10 killed, 45 wounded
2018 weekend tally: 4 killed, 30 wounded

Wonder how Lightfoot will spin these numbers.

Click thru for more commentary, more history, and the details from the weekend.

By comparison, Baltimore got off easy. Baltimore Sun: 14 shot and 3 killed, including 16-year-old girl, in Baltimore weekend shootings, police say

Baltimore homicides are on pace with last year’s numbers despite the coronavirus pandemic that has kept much of the city at home. As of Saturday, there had been 125 homicides in 2020, according to police data. There were 124 through the end of May 2019.

While Chicago has more shootings, Baltimore is a much smaller city, so the rate is usually higher. Though Chicago may be looking to reclaim that title, this year.

Cincinnati doesn’t track shootings the way Chicago and Baltimore do. Or they probably do, but they don’t have the kind of problem Chicago is facing. Though they did have other problems… The local Fox News affiliate – More than 300 arrested during protests over weekend in Cincinnati.

The usual system in Cincinnati broke down under the load. City buses were pressed into service to transport the folks who were arrested. Apparently the union is not happy about that.

Most of the suspects were in court Monday at the Hamilton County Justice Center, jail records show. There are so many, jail staff had to shut down all the lobbies overnight to hold them until they booked everyone.

How looting and murder and vandalism honors anyone or anything is beyond me.