You may not be incorrect with your hypothesis. It astounds me that the one thing the mayor could do to restore public trust is simply present the data showing Chicago police are NOT using force higher than the national average and the black-white disparities are negligible when you contextualize for arrests and criminal suspects (all around 70% African American). It’s all here for the taking in several tabs. I’ve written about it in multiple Medium articles myself, as the author knows.
Data Analysis of Use of Force Against Blacks in DOJ Report on Chicago Police + Arrest Data
THE GIST: This is the estimated rate of use of force per arrest, for years 2011-2016 (without adjusting for violent…
Of course, doing so is taboo. But clearly saying Chicago police have been shooting citizens at HALF the rate they did in the era of 2009–2014 would communicate a lot about the changes that have taken place since Jan 1, 2015. And also the 300+ homicide increase in 2016 was no joke, either. We’re still 20% above 2015 levels of murder.
Lori Lightfoot, if honest, could say, “Police in Chicago have killed about 5 less citizens a year since the early 2010s, but we’ve also seen 100s of more Chicagoans killed as murders spiked under my predecessor. Today I want to communicate clearly — with data — showing that despite homicide rates 4 to 6 times higher than the nation’s average, our Chicago police do not even use lethal force higher than average. This is far better than other large American cities. Kudos to our police. But you know: Maybe they can go back to 2014 levels of stops and arrests because maybe we have to be a bit more honest: A little more policing, with all its inconveniences, may outweigh the human toll of gang violence and murder.”
She won’t say it. She wrote literally the 2016 report that first threw police under the bus by benchmarking police activity to city racial demographics and not to actual crime. Being honest isn’t very conducive to modern politics, is it?
Without calling out Lori Lightfoot by name, I first critiqued her Mayoral Task Force report on Chicago police in early 2016, along with the media outlets that swallowed its drivel unquestioningly. I used the same argument as above, as the underlying statistics haven’t changed.
Also what hasn’t changed is the political establishment and media’s capacity — sheer verve — to put their head in the sand.