As many readers are aware, the city of Chicago has become known as a maelstrom of violent crime in the past decade, with an astounding 762 homicides committed in 2016, 90 percent of which involved guns. In fact, last year, more than 4,330 people were shot — an increase of 67 percent from 2015 — with 50 percent of the total being under age 25.
Over the Christmas weekend alone in 2016, 60 people were shot, with 11 fatalities. For 2016, the city logged more shootings and murder victims than Los Angeles and New York combined.
Illegal guns, gangs and drugs are three of the city’s biggest problems. Two recent incidents only served to highlight these issues in tragic ways.
In the first incident, a father aged 43 killed his own son, aged 22, following an argument over who would walk the family dog. “Both men shot at each other,” said spokesman Anthony Guglielmi of the Chicago Police Department in a statement.
Not only was the son killed, but the father sustained critical injuries as each man was shot multiple times. The violent incident occurred in the city’s relatively peaceful Burnside area of the far South Side, which doesn’t even rank in the city’s top 15 most violent neighborhoods.
“How did we get here? How did we get to the point where someone says, ‘I hate my blood family enough to take his life?’ It makes no sense,” said community activist Ja’mal Green to local television station WFLD-TV. Green says there’s so much tension in some Chicago neighborhoods that even the most trivial matters can ignite violent altercations.
“There’s no unity, even in immediate families right now,” said one neighbor. “Families need to come together more than they do and talk about things and open up.”
In the other harrowing incident, which occurred just hours later, a 66-year-old Cook County judge was killed in the early morning outside his South Side home in what may have been a robbery attempt, according to police. A 52-year-old companion of the judge was shot once in the leg after happening upon the suspect. Upon hearing the gunshot, the judge came out of his home to investigate and was also shot by the gunman after a brief exchange of words.
Neighbors say they were awakened by the gunfire. “I heard maybe six shots. The shots woke me up, and the screaming of the woman woke me up. She was screaming, ‘Don’t kill him, don’t kill him!’,” said one neighbor, who declined to give his name.
“I think [the judge] was alive when they carried him to the ambulance.” The neighbor believes the couple had woken up early to go work out at a gym. “I knew him well,” the neighbor said.
“Great guy, great neighbor. He looked after the neighborhood. Any mischief in the neighborhood, he was investigating. He was always at the block clubs. He never talked about being a judge. He was just Ray. He tended a garden in the back [of his property], a vegetable garden. It was always greenery. He was developing a green thumb.”
Another neighbor said there had been a recent push to install security cameras outside many homes. “Yeah, the area is going down, that’s for sure,” she said. “We’ve never seen this before.” Many neighbors said they had lived in their current homes since the 1970s and had only noticed crime increasing in the last five years.
Police detectives were reviewing public surveillance camera footage in the neighborhood for leads. The department said they do not believe the crime had anything to do with cases before the judge. The judge had presided over several high-profile Chicago cases, including the bond hearing for the killer of three relatives of the singer Jennifer Hudson.
Kevin Navarro, a Police First Deputy Superintendent, said the shooting was “another senseless act of violence” and stated that Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has asked his department to use “every resource to track down the offender and bring them to justice.”
Navarro told journalists, “Everyday civil servants like Judge Myles and those of us in law enforcement work tirelessly to hold criminals accountable and make our streets safer. You have our word — we won’t let Judge Myles’ life be lost in vain, and we will hold his killer accountable.”
One criminal defense attorney remembered the judge for insisting that his defendants get their GED or high school diploma. “He wanted to make sure that every person that came into his courtroom accused of a crime got his education because he believed if you had an education, a GED, you won’t come back to his courtroom,” the lawyer said.
“He was a phenomenal human being. I don’t know who is going to replace Judge Myles. He ruled his courtroom with an iron fist, but with a great amount of kindness, fairness and justice. This was a man who walked with dignity.”
While President Trump has informally nudged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to form a new Chicago gun task force, more work needs to be done to make a dent in the city’s horrific violent crime rate.
New census data shows the city is losing residents faster than any other American metropolitan area. Like Detroit, another Midwestern city that’s had issues with crime, Chicago is losing people to the suburbs and to the country’s Sun Belt.
Families have cited the city’s abysmal public-school system and fewer entry-level jobs as reasons for moving, besides the atrocious violence. Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel — former President Obama’s first chief of staff — was quick to blame state politics and fiscal instability for the problems.
Whatever the causes, however, it’s clear that the federal government has to do more since it seems the city is unwilling or unable to. At least 89 percent of all Chicago homicides result in no suspect being charged, and only 26 percent of cases are solved. These are statistics that should make any city official red with embarrassment and are clearly a siren call for help.
~ Conservative Zone