This is one of those strange stories which may take a bit of unpacking before any clear message emerges. It begins with an event which is – all too sadly – so unremarkable in any city or sizable town in the United States today as to not merit more than a page five mention in the local fish wrap. A young man leaves his home and is mugged by a pair of criminals, is assaulted and has his valuables stolen. The only factor which brings this tidbit of news to a level anywhere above local interest is that the victim’s father is the Mayor of Chicago.
The teenage son of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was attacked and robbed outside his family’s home on the city’s North Side late Friday, according to police.
Police told MyFoxChicago.com that Zach Emanuel, 17, was walking outside the house shortly after 10 p.m. local time when he was grabbed by two men. Authorities say the men went through Zach’s pockets and grabbed his cell phone before taking off. As of Saturday night, they were still at large.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the teenager suffered a chipped tooth and a fat lip when he was punched in the face during the attack. According to a police report seen by the paper, one of the attackers asked Emanuel “What else you got?” after taking the phone. The muggers then made him enter his security code to unlock the phone before fleeing.
It appears that Zach will recover from his relatively mild injuries, so we can be thankful for that. But it also highlights precisely how bad the crime problem in Chicago is and how completely overwhelmed the police there are in terms of having adequate resources to deal with all the calls they get. This was no poorly lit, low income, high crime neighborhood. And one would assume that police protection near the Mayor’s residence would be at least as vigorous as anywhere else in the city, if not significantly more so. And yet this happened and the criminals escaped into the night.
It is also worth noting that crime in our cities is an issue which crosses all demographic boundaries and does not always involve guns. The two men were unarmed, leading to the classification of the crime as a strong-arm robbery. While it may be true that Zach might have stood a better chance had he been armed, the lack of a weapon beyond their fists did not deter these two men from robbing him.
We live in an era of increasing crime and decreasing respect for law enforcement and the established boundaries of civilization. At the state and local level, more – not less – law enforcement is required. This represents a budgeting challenge for already strained city coffers, but this is part of the price we pay for living in a free society under the rule of law. There is an old saying that a conservative is just a liberal who has been mugged. This may serve as a wake up call for Mayor Emanuel and cause him to take a fresh look at how he deals with the lawless wasteland which Chicago has become over the years.