As 2016 drew to a close, demonstrators marched down Chicago’s Michigan Avenue carrying crosses to memorialize homicide victims. From The Hill:
There were 3,550 deaths and shooting incidents in Chicago and 762 homicides in 2016, according to the Associated Press.
During a news conference Sunday, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said “repeat gun offenders, emboldened by the national climate toward law enforcement and willing to test the limits of our criminal justice system” have exacerbated the violence, BuzzFeed reported.
Earlier Sunday, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for causing a rise in violent crime around the country.
During a radio interview with John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York, McCarthy blamed protests against police brutality… for creating a “political atmosphere of anti-police sentiment.”
Such sentiment has proven deadly. The ability of law enforcement agencies to protect innocent life rests in large part upon the faith of those they serve. If good people aren’t willing to call the police, talk to the police, and trust the outcomes of the justice system, that system will become ineffective despite the best effort of its officers. Such is the case in Chicago.
This proves particularly tragic given the imbalance of values in play. Even if the worst characterization of police brutaliy put forward by Black Lives Matter were true, even if minorities were unfairly targeted by law enforcement, it would still pale in gravity next to the disorder manifest in hundreds of homicide victims. People dying in an environment where law and order has broken down presents an infinitely greater concern than any amount of racial bias.
Eliminating the latter may be a worthy goal. But if the cost of the methods employed by Black Lives Matter and their enablers involves hundreds of dead and thousands injured, what has been won?