Chicago's gang violence problems credited to... the police

As we’ve already discussed here, the Windy City is already well on their way to potentially breaking yet another long standing record in terms of the number of people being shot and murdered this year. Clearly action is called for, but what to do? The Huffington Post ran a piece this week which is still bemoaning the “change of course” in police reform efforts under the new White House administration. This is in reference to the deals worked out between Loretta Lynch and several larger cities with significant crime problems while Barack Obama was still in office. But in at least a small acknowledgment that these urban areas may have some issues to deal with besides their own cops, they quote former Justice Department Civil Rights Division official Jonathan Smith, who believes that the new Attorney General is “simply wrong” to imply that crime goes up when a city spends their time trying to clamp down on their own police rather than the gangs gone wild in the streets.

“In communities like Baltimore and Chicago where certain neighborhoods are experiencing gun violence, the problems long predate Justice Department involvement,” said Smith. “The issues in those communities are linked to weakened gun laws that create easy access to firearms, lack of opportunity for jobs and housing and a history of police misconduct that creates mistrust between police and the communities they serve. Lack of police accountability is often a significant contributing factor in a spike in crime because of community mistrust.”

There’s almost too much to unpack just in the one, short quote. First of all, note the use of the phrase “gun violence” which shows up not only in Smith’s quote, but the rest of the Huffpo article and pretty much ubiquitously on the Left. They simply can’t bring themselves to say gang violence, despite the fact that massive armies of gang members are what is tearing apart cities like Baltimore and Chicago. That’s followed up by pointing to “weak gun laws” in a laughable attempt to ignore that these crime centers have some of the most draconian gun legislation in the country.

But worse than that is the accusation that a “history of police misconduct” is responsible for the crime because it creates an atmosphere of “mistrust” of law enforcement. If it weren’t for the cops they manage to somehow keep on duty, people in most of those neighborhoods would never even be able to leave their homes. In too many cases they still can’t, at least after dark. If people fear to help the police in prosecuting gang members it’s primarily because they are afraid that the cops won’t be able to do enough to protect them from the real threat, which is the gangs, not the cops.

The only part of the formula which Smith manages to get right is the fact that endemic poverty and lack of opportunity contributes to an environment where gangs, drug abuse and depression flourish. What he fails to mention is that generations of almost entirely liberal, Democratic administration in these cities has done nothing to significantly stamp out the source of not only the violence, but the rampant unemployment and poor conditions. These liberal policies have failed the inner cities entirely, but the people responsible for them somehow keep getting elected over and over again.

But you keep on blaming “gun violence” and the police on the beat for your problems. I’m sure that will get the gangs in line any day now.

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David Strom 8:31 AM on October 05, 2022