At the stroke of midnight in the toddling town of Chicago, will the sounds of celebration that ring in 2013 be the sound of firecrackers or the sounds of a thug drilling someone full of holes?
The Windy City passed the unfortunate marker of 500 murders on December 27th when Nathaniel Jackson, a 40-year-old man with gang affiliations and a rap sheet longer than your arm, was shot and killed just months after finishing time in the crowbar hotel.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who had pledged to address the city’s crime problem when he took office in 2011, attributed the rise in homicides, in part, to a broader problem with illegal guns.
"Chicago has reached an unfortunate and tragic milestone, which not only marks a needless loss of life but serves as a reminder of the damage that illegal guns and conflicts between gangs cause in our neighborhoods," Emanuel said. [Not Rahmbo’s pithiest statement to be sure, but it seems this is a crisis he fully intends to let go to waste.]
Mark Wachtler has a hard-hitting piece at the Examiner in which he contends that Chicago officials are deflecting blame for the city’s epidemic of murders.
“It’s ironic that the city’s highest ranking official would lay 100% of the blame for the spike in murders on two inanimate objects, when statistics are suggesting the murder rate may be at least partly tied to corruption inside the Mayor’s own City Hall.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time. One example is when Chicago transitioned from “the bloody ‘80’s” into the 1990’s, a decade even more deadly. The spike in homicides also coincidentally correlates with the election of the city’s new Mayor at the time, Richard Daley. As corruption spread, the homicide rate skyrocketed.”
“Mayor Emanuel and the city were just humiliated over the past two weeks when a separate trial ruled that the Chicago Police Department is corrupt to its core, from top to bottom, and enlists a mandated “code of silence” that exists specifically to protect crooked cops and criminals within the city’s police force and City Hall.”
In the aftermath of the Newtown school slayings, there have been incessant and verbose discussions about gun control. Rahmbo and his corrupt police department can blame gun and street gangs for the mounting murder rate, but it is the mayor himself who has added to problem.
The moment he took office two years ago, he split up the gang crimes special units and put them on street patrol. Rather than hiring additional cops to fill a shortage of law enforcement officers he transferred crossing guards and office workers to patrol the streets. By doing so, Rahmbo’s City Hall could boast that it had increased the numbers of the Chicago Police Department. Police union officials came to call this deception the “Emanuel Shuffle.”
He demoted corrupt police commanders and replaced them with officers he believed were honest. To show just how rampant the corruption was, Weis removed 21 of 25 district commanders, as well as a number of top brass. And while the rank and file officers complained about his crime fighting within the force, Chicago’s murder rate dropped to the lowest level since 1965.
This put Weis at odds with the entire police force and City Hall. He was replaced by Terry Hillard, the former Police Superintendent and a favorite of the police force and “The Machine.”
It seems appropriate to quote famous Chicago mobster Al Capone who once said, "I got nothing against the honest cop on the beat. You just have them transferred someplace where they can't do you any harm. But don't ever talk to me about the honor of police captains or judges. If they couldn't be bought they wouldn't have the job."