Chicago Descends Into Gun Violence and Bankruptcy as City Police Are Handcuffed by Decades of Democratic Party Rule
By Jerome R. Corsi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, June 30, President Trump Tweeted, “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1,714 shootings this year!”
Chicago is the nation’s third most populous city, with a gun violence record that exceeds New York and Los Angeles, even though it has gun laws that are among the strictest in the nation.
With Illinois already near bankruptcy, the state may not have the fiscal resources to aid Chicago by funding a successful and effective law enforcement solution to the mounting gun violence.
If President Trump is contemplating a bailout in order to keep the citizens of Chicago safe, the nation may be heading toward a constitutional crisis; what are the consequences if the federal government has to rescue a state from decades of leftist rule?
What we are witnessing in Chicago’s escalating gun violence and Illinois’ state bankruptcy may well be the first stage in the death watch for the failed far-left social-welfare state since the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Chicago: The politically incorrect truth
The politically incorrect truth that will never be reported by the mainstream media is an endemic problem brought on by decades of liberal rule culminating in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel, former chief of staff for President Obama, shares Obama’s embrace of Saul Alinsky’s radical, hard-left politics designed to “rub raw” class, race, and ethnic tensions in the city, while intimidating police by branding them as Capitalist agents of “social control.”
Taking the risk that anyone daring to publish the truth will be branded as a “racist,” the truth is that Chicago’s gun-violence problem consists largely of black-on-black violence, compounded by black and Hispanic gang violence. This is all within a few blocks at the heart of the city’s most heavily segregated minority communities, where police risk their careers when they decide to fulfill their sworn duty to enforce the law.
The politically incorrect truth that the Left does not want us to understand should be obvious: Chicago is a case study explaining how socialist-minded politicians engage in a brand of radically motivated urban politics designed to exploit class and race tensions for political advantage, while simultaneously welcoming illegal immigrants into a “sanctuary city” environment, and dramatically increasing welfare-state spending designed to ensure their re-election.
Chicago in free-fall: A downward spiraling end game
Today in Chicago and Illinois, decades of socialist-inspired policies that trace back to a “ward politics era” preceding Mayor Daley are coming to fruition.
Illinois is already the most taxed state in the nation, with state and local governments effectively taxing median households at 14.76 percent through a combination of income and sales taxes. It also has the second highest property tax in the nation, such that people with a median home value pay over $4,000 a year in property taxes.
The result is that the median household pays an average of $8,162 in annual state and local taxes, including sales taxes, property taxes, and income taxes, forcing profitable business and high net-worth taxpayers to flee in droves.
Polling by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 47 percent of registered voters in Illinois would like to leave the state, while 20 percent report they are likely to leave in the next year.
The polling also reflects United States Census Bureau data, confirming the severity and worsening of Illinois’ out-migration problem in which Illinois has lost 700,000 people to other states over the last decade.
Moreover, the out-migration has accelerated to record levels in recent years. In 2014, Illinois had a net loss of 95,000 people, with more people fleeing Illinois than were born in the state that year. Then in 2015, the most recent year of data, Illinois sustained a net loss of 105,000, the worst year on record. The population of Illinois has declined every year since 1988. Today, Illinois is losing people at a rate of one person every five minutes.
In hopes of decreasing the number of people leaving, the Illinois state legislature is considering a “grand bargain” budget compromise that would raise taxes some 33 percent and increase borrowing, while doing little to reform the state’s reckless spending, and doing nothing to fix the state’s broken defined-benefit pension system that faces some $130 billion in unfunded liabilities. The “grand compromise” would require Illinois to borrow some $7 billion this year to pay down unpaid state bills, while bailing out Chicago by paying $215 million in 2017 and $221 million in 2018 to the Chicago Teacher’s Pension Fund.
After realizing that the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois face billions of dollars of unfunded pension and welfare liabilities that neither has any possibility of funding (regardless of how high taxes are increased), the Illinois State Legislature is preparing to ask the federal government for a bailout.
The end game in Chicago greatly resembles the end game in Detroit, as both leftist-controlled cities have been abandoned by productive businesses and the once-thriving middle class has left acres of abandoned homes.
Today, Chicago is in the grip of a downward spiral of economic deterioration. Gang-dominated gun violence terrorizes those citizens unable to escape, while a police force stands silent, politically immobilized, unwilling to risk careers when honest law enforcement leads not to promotion, but to charges of discrimination against minorities.
Trump sends in the feds
Following Trump’s Tweet on June 30, the administration announced the dispatching of an additional 20 ATF agents to Chicago to join a newly formed Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force. Their purpose is to ramp up prosecution for gun-related offenses.
USA Today reported that Celinez Nunez, the special agent in charge of ATF's Chicago office, developed the idea for the task force after Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson met with Justice Department officials earlier this year to seek assistance.
Chicago statistics show that more than 1,000 residents have died in gun violence over the past 18 months, with 1,714 shootings so far this year. Chicago recorded more than 760 murders last year, more than New York and Los Angeles combined. The first half of 2017 has shown marginal improvement, with the city recording 320 murders and 1,360 shooting incidents in the first six months, according to Chicago police department data. Last year during the same time, the city had totaled 322 murders and 1,584 shooting incidents.
Rarely mentioned by the mainstream media is the fact that over 80 percent of Chicago’s shooting victims are African-American; shootings mostly occur in the West and Southside predominantly black areas of Chicago, and typically involve an African-American assailant. Fifteen percent of the victims are Hispanic, 2.5 percent are white, and another 2.5 percent are unknown. These statistics show that some 95 percent of the shootings in Chicago involve racial minority victims.
A plan to hire 970 new officers for the Chicago police department in 2016 to combat the soaring gun violence stalled when Chicago City Council Public Safety Chairman Alderman Ariel Reboyras pointed out the new hires would cost $100 million in the first year alone, with Chicago having no budget reserves available to pay for the increase.
While the vast majority of shooting victims in Chicago are African American, and many of the African-American shootings involve African American street gangs, Hispanic gangs working with the Mexican drug cartels are estimated to comprise as many as 100,000 members in Chicago – a number that allows Chicago to compete with Los Angeles as the U.S. city with the largest number of currently active Hispanic street gang members.
While black males between the ages of 17-25 with prior arrest history are most likely to be murder victims and to be accused of murder, Chicago witnessed a 25-percent increase in gang activity from 2009 to 2012 with the average age for gang factions being high-school age, and Hispanic gang members as young as 13 or 14 not uncommon.
A surge in Hispanic gang members in the U.S. began in 2014 when President Obama relaxed border security; this allowed gang members from El Salvador’s notorious MS-13 gang to mix in with the thousands of teenage “unaccompanied minors” that came into the United States without any serious law enforcement vetting.
Judicial Watch confirmed that the surge of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from Central America invited MS-13 to engage in “a recruiting frenzy at the various facilities housing the newly arrived illegal aliens.” Judicial Watch characterized MS-13 as a “feared street gang … renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism, and other violent crimes.”
“When a violent street gang member is arrested on the streets of Chicago with a loaded gun, he or she typically serves just 12 months, also a fraction of the sentence imposed,” wrote Anita Alvarez in an op-ed published by the Chicago Tribune on September 2, 2016. “To be very frank, these criminals know and understand our system. Gang members themselves tell our prosecutors that Illinois gun laws are ‘a joke’."
Alvarez reported that 63 percent of these gun offenders will reoffend within 12 months of release, and they are four times as likely to commit a homicide.
Chicago handcuffs police department
In a previous article, we have already examined at length how an ACLU settlement with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) was a case study in how leftist political activists can use allegations that police procedures discriminate against minorities to put handcuffs on the effective police work that is required to keep minority communities safe.
At issue was an ACLU report entitled “Stop and Frisk in Chicago,” published in March 2015, that highlighted “high profile killings” including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The article charged the CPD with disproportionately utilizing stop-and-frisk activities to discriminate against minorities.
On August 7, 2015, the ACLU and the CPD announced an agreement under which the police agreed to collect additional data about all investigatory stops in the city of Chicago.
This agreement was written to cover all 12,000 officers and supervisors on the force.
By February 2016, Chicago news media reported the number of stop-and-frisks conducted by the CPD had gone down by 80 percent since November 2015, due largely to what was known in police circles as the “ACLU effect.”
During a 2016 interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, candidate Trump was asked by an audience member what he would do to address “violence in the black community” and “black-on-black violence.” Trump highlighted a city that’s “out of control,” suggesting stop-and-frisk was a necessity for the city to emerge from the cycle of violence into which Chicago had descended.
A constitutional crisis in prospect?
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has recently requested federal assistance to deal with the mounting epidemic of gun violence in Chicago.
“Chicago, like other cities that are dealing with gun violence, want to partner with federal law enforcement entities in a more significant way than we are today—whether that’s the FBI, the DEA, and the ATF,” Mayor Emanuel said in January this year.
“I still firmly believe that part of that solution is resources to police and resources that can come in technology and that space,” he continued. “Over the years, the federal government -- when it comes to after school (programs), summer jobs and investment in kids -- has walked away, while we’ve had to step up and take responsibility.”
Federal intervention is a constitutional issue. This is not a case where a governor has asked the president’s permission to send in federal troops to assist the National Guard, as happened all too frequently with the race riots of the 1960s. Here, we have a city and state in which decades of leftist social welfare funding has produced both a situation of fiscal insolvency over excessive welfare spending, and a condition of minority violence endemic to minority communities that have become dependent upon government social-welfare programs.
This may be the first time the nation has had to address the question of what the federal government’s responsibilities are concerning public safety in a state with an epidemic of gun violence, collapsing economy, and diminishing tax base.
Certainly, our Founding Fathers never imagined the federal government would be called upon to dissolve the sovereignty of a state government, in effect taking over Illinois, much as the Obama administration took over GM as a condition of implementing a federal bailout.
Already John Kass, a Chicago Tribune columnist, has written an opinion piece entitled, “What to do with Illinois? Dissolve the Land of Lincoln?”
Comparing Illinois to Venezuela, Kass proposes in jest to dissolve Illinois, letting the surrounding states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, and Indiana subsume and take sovereignty over the various pieces of Illinois contiguous to their existing territory.
But with Illinois rapidly becoming a failed state, the question remains in prospect: Would the federal government, after intervening to resolve the crisis, simply return the state to the same liberal control that caused the crisis to develop in the first place?