A City Mourns a Fallen Police Officer. We Also Should Mourn the Lack of Critical Thinking on the Left that’s Cost Thousands of Black Lives.

Yes, I’m talking to you.

Ella French is the 11th officer shot this year, and the first person to die in the line of duty since 2018.
That’s Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s mayor. And that’s the backs turned of Chicago police. Police typically loathe the political establishment, but tensions are being called an “all-time low” right now.
When 80% of your city’s shooters (and victims) and 73% of your overall suspects are black, how can you call it “systemic racism” when police engage with them at that level? That’s what Lori Lightfoot and the Democratic machine in Chicago signed off on in 2016 and cemented into policy and calls for reform. Additionally, those percentages most often originate from third party crime reports, not from Chicago police officers. SOURCE: https://chicagopatf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/PATF_Final_Report_Executive_Summary_4_13_16-1.pdf
95–96% of the time police don’t use force for both blacks and whites, but hardly anyone knows that. Full math here. For Chicago, I divided the average annual instances of use of force over a 5-year period (3,662 for blacks, 379 for whites) with the arrests for the same period (92,328 for blacks, 11,541 for whites). The arrest percentage in 2009 and 2010 for blacks and whites are the same, 9% and 72% respectively. With those computations, the rate of all force (lethal and non-lethal) per arrest in Chicago is 3.3 per 100 (white) vs. 4.0 per 100 (black).
The odds of being killed by a cop in Chicago since 2016 is closer to 1 in 400,000, which means citizens outside Chicago on average are MORE likely to be killed by police. Yet Lightfoot and progressives continue to make the argument that “reform” is needed to protect citizens from police. SOURCE: https://heyjackass.com/
73% of Chicago crime suspects being black I only saw reported ONE time: By WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) on a now-deleted (archived) web page. This data is directly referenced on WBEZ’s audio clip of the story, where the ACLU of Illinois dubiously claimed that Chicago cops were more racially biased than NYC cops at the peak of stop-and-frisk. This led to a CPD agreement with the ACLU that led to Chicago police pulling back on stops by 90% to start 2016 while shootings went up 80% — and by the end of the year, Chicago had 6 times fewer stops and 57% more homicides. Most media reports on this phenomenon discounted the obvious connection. Why? I argue because news journalism’s viewpoint increasingly comes from the left.

God, the police are so racist. They keep getting away with abusing citizens.

The data.

Oh, you can’t trust that, it came from police.

Voldemort = crime disparities = “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”

“From 2014 to 2019, there were somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 more homicides than would have been expected if places with protests were on the same trend as places that did not have protests.”

SOURCES FOR GRAPHIC: CDC — 19,510 homicides in 2016. | ColorLines showed black homicide victim rates that are almost 7 times higher for blacks than whites. | 2018 Study: “Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016” shows 34 white and 23 black people killed by police were “unarmed and not aggressing” using Guardian data. | Running data here from The Washington Post shows 36% of unarmed killings are black. | The Washington Post in 2015: “There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 52 percent were white, and 43 percent were black.”
Ever since the rise of BLM and anti-police activism, murders have gone up in Chicago, as they have around the country. SOURCE: https://heyjackass.com/2021-homicide-trend/
Clearly, around three times more people were shot by Chicago police in the first half of the 2010s compared to the second half. The media never took notice, and I have a long email exchange with a Chicago Tribune editor to show how myopic they could get on this. Here’s your news headline: CHICAGO POLICE SHOOT CIVILIANS AT LOWER RATE THAN NATIONAL AVERAGE (and get shot way more, too). SOURCE: https://heyjackass.com/2021-police-involved-shootings/
Yes, I ran a spreadsheet showing excess U.S. deaths totaling 17,250 by not remaining at 2014 homicide levels. One could argue, as I am here, that these lives should not have been snuffed from the Earth. Then BLM happened. Or Twitter. Or something. But the economy was doing great, so we can’t attribute that to the spike in murders. Nor should we with Covid-19 because no other country has our murder spike despite 40 other countries being within 20% of our death toll per capita. SOURCE: FBI Uniform Crime Report
The 163-page report by Obama’s DOJ led by Loretta Lynch poorly defines “excessive force,” and admits that “statistical evidence is not required ” to measure it. So even though it’s true black folks in Chicago are arrested almost 9 times as often as their white counterparts (matching case reports), that fact isn’t mentioned at all in the report, but this key takeaway is: Blacks are 10 times more likely to receive force in raw numbers. This led the DOJ to conclude that “residents in black neighborhoods suffer more of the harms caused by breakdowns in uses of force, training, supervision, accountability, and community policing.” Search in the PDF for terms like “disparities,” “crime,” “prevalence” and “criminal activity” and none of those sections mention how communities of color suffer from crime in vastly disparate ways. “Stats” or “statistics” aren’t found, either, but “systemic deficiencies” are with 22 total mentions. There’s simply no crime data or statistics presented except for racial disparities of stops, arrests, and use of force incidents. I argue it’s a purposeful choice not to run the relatively easy math that would show Chicago’s use of force rate is actually slightly lower than the national average with negligible racial bias. Any honest statistician would tell you per capita counts matter. This is nothing less than statistical and government malpractice — i.e. lies — that got a complete pass form media and elected officials. Read more analysis here.
Chart I made in 2020 during the summer of the George Floyd protests and riots. I would guess few people, not even cops, would guess the ratio of lethal force was such a wide gap. Why won’t researchers start here?

“ShotSpotter is not found in any majority-white neighborhoods, obviously we know that it’s not the case that there’s no gun violence in those neighborhoods,” he said. [NOTE: There is almost none. He’s completely wrong.] “So, what happens is that you have police officers thinking there’s gunfire, racing to the scene where Black and brown people are hanging out, and really just thinking that everyone is an armed suspect. It’s quite dangerous and leads to very harmful interactions, which is one of the things we saw with the Adam Toledo case. If it wasn’t for ShotSpotter, if it wasn’t for the high-risk foot chase, then maybe that child would still be alive today.”

I have asked this for years as I’ve tried to promote facts and data over a terrible media narrative. And I’m hesitant to ask again: If we’re so incredibly incorrect in diagnosing the problem (in fact, mostly making one up), then what are we actually trying to fix? 85% of very liberal people and 78% of liberal folks are incorrect on this question below. (The right answer, according to The Washington Post figures in 2019, is 12 unarmed black people killed and 24 unarmed whites.) SOURCE: The researchers of Skeptic Magazine, made famous by the intellectual and podcaster Michael Shermer.
As Dan Savage once said: It gets better. However, the media and politicians have chosen not to notice how much better police have gotten at NOT shooting black people. I have yet to see any articles draw attention to the massive reductions in police shootings over the years. SOURCE: https://twitter.com/ZachG932/status/1266926255082999810; https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/police-shootings-2019/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, 1968–2011. SOURCES: http://www.cjcj.org/mobile/news/8113 (liberal Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice); https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2014/12/18/racial_cop_stories_that_didnt_make_the_cut_125004.html (conservative Larry Elder). Also I’ve written extensively on CDC source here and here.
Shootings by Chicago police were six times more than they are today. SOURCE: https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6298&context=jclc (data published in 1982 by Northwestern University’s Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology)
A 2013 Washington Post map that shows how not-terrible the West is. Folks love to discredit it.

“Defunding the police is not a solution and could cost thousands of black lives.”

37% of cops are killed by black suspects (2010–2019, 199 out of 537 were black; “white” includes Hispanic).
https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2019/tables/table-42.xls
39% of cops assaulted and injured by knife or firearm were by black offenders (2012–2016).
https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2016/officers-assaulted/tables/table-120.xls
In 2015, The Washington Post actually reported 43% of police killers are black (from an earlier period). This is a rate 5 times higher than whites per capita.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/09/are-black-or-white-offenders-more-likely-to-kill-police/

It was then suggested that Lightfoot say a few words to nearby grieving officers, but as she approached, they all walked away from her and to the other side of a bank of chairs — and turned their backs, the sources said.

“They did the about-face — it looked like it had been choreographed,” said one of the sources present, calling it “astounding.”

Lightfoot appeared shaken, according to one source. Then she went downstairs to speak to reporters at a news conference about the shooting.

“The police officers’ decision to turn their backs on the mayor while waiting with the family on the 7th floor was significant,” FOP President John Catanzara told me in an interview.

“Turning their backs on the mayor was an excellent example of how the hundreds of police officers felt waiting outside the hospital,” Catanzara said.

Officers no longer support Lightfoot’s leadership, Catanzara said.

“They have had enough and are no longer going to remain silent anymore.”

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the mayor’s office said in part: “The mayor was present at the emergency room to offer support and condolences to the families involved and the hundreds of line officers and exempts who were there, which she did. In a time of tragedy, emotions run high and that is to be expected. The mayor spoke to a range of officers that tragic night and sensed the overwhelming sentiment was about concern for their fallen colleagues.

“As the mayor stated . . . now is not the time for divisive and toxic rhetoric or reporting. This is a time for us to come together as a city. We have a common enemy and it is the conditions that breed the violence and the manifestations of violence, namely illegal guns, and gangs.”

“We have a common enemy and it is the conditions that breed the violence and the manifestations of violence, namely illegal guns and gangs,” the statement said. “The mayor is focused on healing the wounds and will reject any and all that try to use this moment to drive further divisions in our city.”

Lightfoot has had a long, complicated relationship with Chicago police. As a former federal prosecutor, she touted her law enforcement background to earn support from police and firefighters during the 2019 mayoral election. But she has also worked for police reforms, heading the police accountability task force created by Mayor Rahm Emanuel following the release of video in the police murder of Laquan McDonald and recommending major changes.

Although Lightfoot’s encounter with police officers at the hospital is noteworthy, it isn’t the first time a big-city mayor has been greeted that way by cops. Several New York City police officers turned their back on Mayor Bill DeBlasio when he delivered a eulogy for NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia who was shot and killed in 2017. Other officers also turned their back on DeBlasio in 2014 following the deaths of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Still, others said the incident at U. of C. Medical Center reflects frustrations by Chicago cops that city leaders don’t provide enough support to officers. Southwest Side Ald. Matt O’Shea, 19th, said Chicago police morale “is at an all-time low.”

“We’re significantly down in officers. They are rushing for the exits. They are leaving law enforcement. They’re looking to get hired by suburban municipalities. They feel that leadership in Chicago does not have their back,” said O’Shea, whose ward is home to many police officers.

“I hear this every day as I talk to officers and I talk to their families,” he added. “It’s something I’ve been talking about for years. We are woefully inadequate with our support for our officers, whether that be mental health support, support on the job, or when they’re out on the street, they feel like people don’t have their back.”

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Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.

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David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.