Outside of cities in war zones like Baghdad and Mogadishu, I doubt whether any supposedly civilized city has ever experienced anything like this.
Nine-Year-old Janari Ricks was heading to his friend’s house to borrow a game controller. The straight “A” student and avid sports fan was gunned down in a hail of bullets before he got there.
Ricks became the 14th kid under the age of 18 murdered since June 20. The body count is unbelievable. For the year, 212 kids have been shot, 36 fatally.
The city has seen a 150-percent increase in shootings compared to last July. So far this year, murders are up 51 percent. But other crime stats don’t look so bad — probably because of the lockdown.
Still, overall crime has decreased by 9% compared to the same time period in 2019 — driven by a 26% decline in theft and a 19% reduction in criminal sexual assault, police said.
“While our City has made progress in reducing violence in recent weeks, all of that is lost when we lose another child to gun violence,” Lightfoot tweeted.
Lightfoot has called gun violence “a public health crisis.”
“Gun violence is every bit a public health crisis as COVID-19,” she added. “How many more families must be torn apart? How many more communities need to be traumatized? How many more children have to die? We’ve had to write these words far too many times just this summer alone.”
Lightfoot is dead wrong. “Gun violence” is not the crisis. What Chicago is suffering from is a leadership crisis. The best she can do is plead with residents to send the cops tips.
We must and will hold those responsible for this shooting accountable. I ask all residents with information on this incident to submit a tip anonymously at https://t.co/JVXGpQxj99.
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) August 1, 2020
The city has been aggressive in confiscating weapons, having seized 5,600 weapons, up 5 percent over last year. It’s the people who use those weapons — gangbangers and wannabes — who need to be brought to justice.
That’s not going to happen in Chicago.
“As we continue moving more officers into the districts and closer to our communities, we have also been focused on creating teams that can address violent crime head-on within our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” Superintendent David O. Brown said in a statement.
“Our officers will engage directly with residents. We will hear their concerns, and continue to work in partnership with them as part of an all-hands-on-deck effort to curb the violence in our communities.”
There’s no “stop and frisk” so gangbangers are free to walk and ride around with their automatic weapons. There is a lot of concern for the civil liberties of gang members, but, apparently, not as much concern for the lives of children and other innocents who are unintended victims of their violent gang wars.
Lightfoot and other city leaders are not going to alter their views, so the carnage will continue. The mayor will continue to weep for kids shot dead in the street and beg the public for tips to catch the perpetrators. There’s no chance she will ever be mugged by reality. It’s been hitting her over the head for months and nothing has changed.