That’s the Chicago Way: Drug Suspect Violently Resists Arrest, Released from Jail Without Charges
Years from now, it might be seen as the moment Chicago might have been saved but wasn’t. “They could have changed things,” people will say. “They could have stood up to the people bringing the city down.” But as it happened, there is little to do but wait to see how far into the deeper and darker abysses of Hell Chicago will descend.
The Chicago Tribune reports that 304 people have been murdered in the city so far this year, most of them by gunfire. It also tells us that 1,784 people have been shot, revealing a deaths-per-shooting ratio that speaks well of the state of Chicago’s emergency medical care. (The figures are current as of Monday evening; both will surely be higher by the time you read this.) Large swaths of the city, mostly on the south and west sides, are dominated by street gangs that make the neighborhoods all but unlivable. The Tribune’s crime map of the Austin neighborhood, for example, has so many dots it resembles nothing so much as a petri dish blooming with poisonous spores. From April 30 to May 30 this year, Austin saw 193 violent crimes, including eight homicides and 78 robberies. A total of 35 people have been killed in Austin this year, more than one per week, putting it on track to surpass 2015’s already grim figure of 48.
Not far away is North Lawndale, where 12 people have been murdered so far this year, making it a nightmare when compared to most places but positively Edenic when compared to Austin. It was in North Lawndale last week that Chicago’s critical opportunity came, only to be squandered by the ignoramuses that run the city and its police department.
Playing the pivotal role in our sad tale is one Shaquille O’Neal. No, not the former NBA star; the Shaquille O’Neal of our story is 23 years old and a recent parolee from prison. On June 13, plainclothes police officers saw O’Neal engaged in what they took to be a drug transaction. When they tried to stop him, he ran, only to be caught in the 3900 block of West Grenshaw Street. Several people sympathetic to O’Neal were there, some of whom filmed the altercation on their cell phones. One of those videos was soon posted to Facebook. (Warning: coarse language.) What happened next followed the same tiresome script we have come to expect: Neighborhood thug gets caught breaking the law, resists arrest, gets roughed up on video, then is hoisted onto the martyr’s pedestal to be hailed as a hero and a symbol of the continuing black struggle against institutional racism and on and on and on.