Chicago police commander gunned down in Loop pursuing a suspect
A Chicago police commander who had complained about the difficulty of keeping violent criminals off the streets was…
Sadly and timely, a police commander in Chicago was shot and killed this week by a repeat felon.
Specifically, the shooter had four felony convictions, so obviously there’s no “three strikes your out” laws in Illinois, which is one of 22 states without them. He will soon be incarcerated for life, and become part of “the gray wastes” of the incarcerated Americans activist-journalists (Ta-Nehisi Coates) and activist-nonprofits (the ACLU) like to play up sympathetically. They do this without mentioning half of prisoners are in jail for violence, whose victims rarely receive mention. Some could argue, as Steven Levitt’s of Freakanomics-fame has in a peer-reviewed paper, that increased policing and prisons are a major factor in the reduction in violence since the 1990s. I agree. I’ve written evidence-based articles arguing that much of the mass incarceration narrative made famous in the Netflix documentary “The 13th” and Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” to be wildly overstated, particularly the charges of racism. Ironically, the “mellow” Bauer had called for stiffer sentences for felons before his death.
This officer’s death was a big deal in the news and around Chicago. A huge memorial was spontaneously constructed in downtown Chicago where he was shot at the state government building, The Thompson Center. Thousands will likely attend the parade is on Saturday after the wake today. While the Tribune mentions 20 law enforcement officers (LEO) dying in the line of duty since 1998 — which could be anything from a heart attack to car accident — I don’t know how many have been SHOT and DIED while on duty. The average is around 50 per year nationwide, which given the population of the CPD (1 in 75 cops nationally are in Chicago) could result in one LEO shot and killed every 1.5 years — all things being equal, which they definitely aren’t. Seems like police not only kill citizens at low numbers in Chicago, relative to the city’s violence and the rest of the nation, they also get killed themselves in low numbers.
It’s really surprising more don’t get killed seeing how I wrote below: “The Sun Times reported that 12 officers were shot at and nine were struck in the first four months of 2016.”
From my original post:
Indisputably, Chicago police, as inner city police in general, are shot at and engage in violence in a much different way than the average police officer nationwide. I recall hearing on WBEZ.org — though I’ve had difficulty corroborating the information — that Chicago police in 2016 were shot at (not hit) more times than they shot a citizen directly, which is around 25 times. (The period in which the DOJ report covers police-involved shootings found 223 between January 1, 2011 and March 21, 2016, so around 40 per year.)
Police last year were on the receiving end of twice as much civilian gunfire than in 2015, according to a January 2017 Chicago Public Radio report. But police shot the same number of people in back-to-back years. For example, after two police were shot in 2017 in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, The Sun Times reported that 12 officers were shot at and nine were struck in the first four months of 2016. Indeed, Chicago police shot around 25 citizens in both 2015 and 2016, killing two more in 2016 (11 killed, 16 wounded), yet they interacted with vastly fewer people because of what many have called the “ACLU Effect.” Synonymous with the Ferguson Effect, this is essentially police pulling back — not making proactive stops; answering 911 calls only; avoiding using force, even if justified — not only for fear of losing one’s job, but also because of new ACLU-enforced policies like filling out a cumbersome form for every citizen stop. This change in police behavior can sometimes lead to more crime.
The ACLU forcefully denies its existence. I think they’re blind to the facts around them, and continue to say Chicago police acted unconstitutionally in recent years, which I wouldn’t deny happens — at times. But I just proved that the available data shows police in Chicago arrest both white and black citizens using force at nearly the same rates — 2.4% and 2.8% of the time, respectively [updated to 3.1% and 3.6%]— and LESS than the national average [which is 3.6% for whites and 4.6% for blacks]. This indicates there is no systemic problem. Also, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, the probability of being shot fatally in Chicago by police the past 28 months is the exact same odds as the nationwide average, about 1 in 300,000.
One could argue police should be commended for NOT using lethal and non-lethal force in the city of Chicago if you look at the data and compare it nationally.
Again, these are just the facts. And thoughts go out to all that lose their lives from violence.