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Chicago police chief wants to bring gun debate “back to the center”

Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011

* The problem with finding a “middle ground” on hot-button issues is that both well-funded sides of those issues are usually so radicalized that any attempt at compromise is seen as a complete surrender of principles. So, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for compromise here

Jody Weis wasn’t the only ex-city official that new police chief Garry McCarthy attempted to distance himself from on Monday. He also signaled a distaste for the gun control policies of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

“My goal is to bring the gun debate back to the center,” McCarthy told aldermen. “I think that we have abolitionists on one side and I think that we have NRA and those kind of folks on the other side, and frankly it’s too polarizing a debate, and 95 percent of the country is somewhere in between.”

That is not something that would have been uttered by a Chicago public official a month ago. Daley was a relentless advocate of tough gun control laws—one of the “abolitionists” McCarthy referred to—and he tolerated no open dissent in city government. […]

“I think that we can protect the Second Amendment rights of people to bear firearms while at the same time preventing the illegal flow of firearms into our urban centers and killing our children,” he said. “That’s a pretty wide gap, and there’s someplace in between that we can come as a country.”

McCarthy noted that he’s the chairman of a policy committee on gun control for the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “That’s one of the things I’m committed to. And with a platform like Chicago, Illinois, I think we can bring attention to the matter and get something done.”

* And with cutbacks in the 311 program, I’m not sure how successful this will be, either

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s choice to run Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications vowed Tuesday to usher in a “cultural change” in 911 dispatching to free police officers to respond to the most serious crimes.

At his City Council confirmation hearing, Gary Schenkel said it’s high time that Chicago alter an outdated dispatch policy that sends police officers to respond to 70 percent of 911 calls, compared to 30 percent in other major cities.

Schenkel acknowledged it won’t be easy to wean Chicagoans of the habit of dialing 911 at every turn, calling the emergency number even for minor matters. It will require a major public relations campaign to divert lower priority calls to 311 or convince crime victims to file their reports online, Schenkel said. […]

“If we start with the hard-fact data — the actual emergency responses that require a body, a car, an engine, an ambulance — that’s our starting point,” Schenkel said.

“Then, we look at the other end of the spectrum and say, `These are the types of calls we’re getting. Where’s my car? I think it was stolen. No, it was booted. No, it was hooked. I don’t know.’ Then, we start pushing those over gradually. We have to start that public information campaign.”

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration talked for years about altering dispatch policy but didn’t amid fears of a political backlash.

* Meanwhile, the fear of violence is increasing exponentially in the city…

* Mobs Attack on City Buses: Police - Gang of teens storm bus, attack victims and run off with their belongings, police say

* 3 arrested in another apparent mob attack

* Editorial: Mag Mile mobs - Chicago police need to target violent flash mobs

* But these buried nuggets in a Sun-Times story suggest that at least some of the problems are not real

Mary L. McCarthy, a Gold Coast resident who is not related to the new chief, said flash mobs are giving her second thoughts about venturing out at night for the first time in the 13 years she’s lived in a high-rise in the 1400 block of North State Parkway. On Friday night, a crowd of about 20 youths gathered outside her building, she said. She claimed the youths pulled people out of cars and taxicabs, leading the doorman to lock the doors to her building.

“We need a bigger police presence. I don’t know, maybe bringing horses back would help. A show of force would stop this nonsense. This does not portend well for the summer,” she said.

Police Near North District commander Kenneth Angarone, however, said police responded to the scene at North State Parkway but did not find a “bona fide incident.’’

Several officers have also told the Sun-Times they were recently warned by superiors to tell family members not to ride their bikes on the lakefront because of incidents of mobs pushing people off their bikes — and sometimes pushing cyclists into the lake.

But Angarone said police also investigated those claims and could not determine the incidents were bona fide.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


64 Comments
  1. - Damfunny - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:32 am:

    “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

    Unfortunately, Richie Daley shorted Chicago 3,000-4,000 cops by squandering all of the cash and assets.

    (Oh well, it sure is a pretty city!)


  2. - Peter Snarker - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:35 am:

    As to the sudden attention placed on the mob violence in unexpected and/or “touristy” areas - the Second City Cop blog has been “reporting” on this for quite some time now, wondering when eventually it would boil over… finally looks like the lid on what is going on is coming off, even though the sketchy North Avenue Beach closing of Memorial Day was kept rather quiet.

    On the other hand, seems like every year around here when the weather gets warm and the schools let out for the summer we always get a steady diet of “increase in violence” stories.

    I guess eventually issues do bubble to the surface, even Jovarsky at the Reader finally got some mainstream attention with his relentless TIF exposes. Heh.


  3. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:41 am:

    ===the Second City Cop blog has been “reporting” on this for quite some time now===

    That blog isn’t exactly a news source. Mostly rumors, attacks on bosses and lots of racial rhetoric. Be careful when you read it.


  4. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:49 am:

    Obviously what’s needed are more casinos.


  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:49 am:

    Given that the Supremes have already tossed out Chicago’s handgun ban, it would seem that McCarthy is talking about conceal-carry. What else could it be?


  6. - Anonny - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:52 am:

    RE: SEcond City Cop. They have been reporting on wilding attacks for over a year and I have never known any of their comments to be outright lies. More like the type of crime that nobody does paperwork on and no news media reports on. I think more often than not it is a good look at what CPD faces day to day when combating poverty culture and the criminal attitudes it produces.


  7. - Johnny USA - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:55 am:

    Why would you want to bring the gun debate ‘back to center’?

    The crime rate is falling by leaps and bounds, Rahm put 1,000 more cops on the streets….

    I don’t understand.


  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 9:56 am:

    ===I have never known any of their comments to be outright lies===

    There’s a big difference between not outright lying and being reliable. Also, if the “wilding” episodes didn’t require paperwork, they probably weren’t “wilding” episodes.


  9. - walter sobchak - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:02 am:

    Chicago cop blogs are far more reliable sources of facts on crime, wildings, and the reality of inner city violence than traditional media. They are inside baseball on the machinery of the police department and clear eyed when it comes to the whys of violence. As with anything you read, whether blog or newspaper, be skeptical (aka: ‘careful”) about content.


  10. - Anonny - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:04 am:

    Perhaps, and while they don’t filter their comments section very well, their original posts are very insightful and give voice to the avergae cop.


  11. - GoldCoastConservative - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:09 am:

    Between his comments on the “broken windows” theory of criminology and these comments on gun control, I’m really starting to like this Chief.


  12. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:11 am:

    I wouldn’t believe Second City Cop… after all, why would you trust what the cops on the street have to say. The MSM in their secured buildings are clearly in a better position to tell us the truth.


  13. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    How about Chief Mccarthy invites all the 2A nutballs to Michigan Ave on Saturday and we have big gun battle with the flash mobbers.

    What exactly is the “middle” for the 2Aers smaller calber, 30 round magazines?


  14. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    The NRA refuses to disclose it’s financing. Ever wonder why?

    It seems likely that while it has a bunch of small contributors, the big contributions come from the gun makers.

    Did you ever notice how the NRA is particularly aggressive against all laws that would make it easier to track firearms in society?

    Why is this?

    Legal gun owners buy firearms, but they last decades.

    It’s the people who have and use firearms illegally that lose their firearms on a regular basis.

    So, while most people who own firearms are legal gun owners, the annual demand by the people who own firearms illegally is a big deal. That is the firearms industry would be much less profitable if we plugged the holes that allow firearms industry to make guns legally and sell them into a system that easily launders legally manufactured weapons to people who own and use the weapons illegally.

    It wouldn’t be that hard to create a system that made it easy to tell at what point in the system the firearm was transferred to someone who shouldn’t have got it.

    But the firearms industry and NRA are completely opposed to this.


  15. - Anonny - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:14 am:

    “The MSM in their secured buildings are clearly in a better position to tell us the truth.”–Or ABC 7 for that matter.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    I don’t believe the Sun-Times has even put a story up on their website yet about the incident last night, so I can understand why people are suspicious of the mainstream media. Telling people the problem is all in their heads and patronizing lectures about “street smarts” aren’t going to solve the problem. Rahm is a Washington guy, and those guys see every issue in terms of what the P.R. fallout will be. Now that the MSM is finally starting to cover the issue, hopefully something will be done.


  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:21 am:

    People, calm down. Some of these stories are clear exaggerations and rumors, as the CS-T piece above points out. You’re panicking, and panicking people don’t think clearly. Enough.


  18. - JoePeoria - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:22 am:

    Basic problem is that Chicago needs more cops on patrol for these areas/types of crimes.

    Why can’t Chicago do that? $$$ problems

    Why does Chicago have $$$ problems ?
    Economy is bad, and Chicago’s “corruption tax” means that they can’t run city services efficiently.


  19. - grand old partisan - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:40 am:

    CircularFiringSquad, your comment is a perfect illustration of McCarthy’s point: the extreme voices on both sides of the debate are unhelpful; we need policies that speak to the moderate majority. Inviting ‘all the 2A nutballs to Michigan Ave on Saturday and we have big gun battle with the flash’ is a silly notion, and no rational person would suggest such a thing. Likewise, assuming that is the only alternative to complete gun control is extremely myopic.

    The Superintendent (he is not “Chief,” btw) is 100% right that there is “wide gap” between an absolute gun ban and complete, unrestricted access to every kind of gun. He’s wants to bring the debate back to a good-faith competition of ideas and interests – why not take him up on it??


  20. - Peter Snarker - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:41 am:

    Hey I didnt mean to start an issue mentioning Second City Cop - I do agree with Rich’s notes above about whining-about-the-boss, some racial stuff, etc.

    That said - the blog did in fact start discussing this long-before the MSM tuned in… and I have no doubt the MSM will tune out again in, oh, T-minus a week or two, and the blog basically discussed exactly what is now being reported in the MSM.

    I was simply attempting to point out that this didnt suddenly erupt over the last weekend by any means. It’s been growing.

    Loyola and Northwestern security personnel have been issuing warnings for some time now on exactly these issues… but of course their constituency and focus is current students safety, as opposed to say, not scaring off convention business and the vacationers from Iowa. Just saying.


  21. - William Makepeace Thackeray - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:44 am:

    Multiple individuals and media outlets (from Education Week to the Wash. Post) have expressed concerns that this summer may be more violent than normal due to reductions in government funding for summer youth programs.

    The logic being that fewer such programs result in more kids (and at-risk youth) on the streets with more time on their hands to get caught up in trouble.

    No matter how good a job the new Chief does, this might realistically be a long, hot and more violent than usual summer.

    Hopefully addressing this issue swiftly and getting it out of the papers will reduce the sense of fear, false reports/coverage of those false reports and real crime.


  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 10:51 am:

    Apparently, some of you don’t listen. Deletions have begun, lifetime banishments will follow.


  23. - Irishpirate - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:00 am:

    Deletions, banishments, next up twitter junk photos and flogging. Sounds like a political convention.

    There is a tremendous amount of BS on the SCC blog. That being said if you wade through the BS you can see early indications of different patterns that emerge from time to time in our fair city.

    If you think Daley and now Rahm have cancelled the fireworks over money I have a Bridge over the Little Calumet River I would like to sell you.

    They are deathly afraid of some tourist being gunned down or beaten on camera and instead of dealing with the problem proactively with cops and security they simply cancel the events.

    Closing a beach because it’s too hot?

    Now I do believe there are some outright lies and rumors being told regarding the recent mob events downtown. That being said just because a police official says the word “unfounded” does not mean the event didn’t happen.

    Anyone recall the “Killing Crime” series from journalism’s glory days?

    Are there groups of ten to twenty youth coming downtown and causing mayhem. Yep. Are there groups of 500? I doubt it.


  24. - Peter Snarker - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:08 am:

    Irish Pirate -

    Yes, the “closing the beach because it was too hot” was insane. Let me get this straight for those of you playing along at home:

    North Avenue beach - too hot.

    Montrose Beach - just fine.

    Oak Street Beach - just fine.

    All other beaches - just fine.

    Must have been an *extremely* localized warm front, eh? Where is Tom Skilling when we really need him!


  25. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:14 am:

    @Nyberg:
    If “The NRA refuses to disclose it’s [sic] financing.” then how do you know that “the big contributions come from the gun makers?”


  26. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:19 am:

    Is it possible that the Chicago media outlets have been overplaying the outburst in violence because some of it has occurred near their headquarters?

    This also seems to play into the the hands of the union spokespeople who use any opportunity to beat the drum for more staff whether it is justified or not.

    The solution used to be that spending more money would calm the waters. Not so easy now.


  27. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:20 am:

    I note in several of the news stories that some of the more able-bodied victims are fighting back.

    Someone might get hurt, either the victim, or the perpetrators.

    Although the victims are getting hurt right from the get-go.


  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:24 am:

    ===because some of it has occurred near their headquarters?===

    Maybe. But hundreds of thousands of people work downtown every day. So, that’s local interest for them. And lots more shop, go to school, play and live there. So, it’s a big story whenever a crime is committed in that region.


  29. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:25 am:

    Pluto,

    I think there is a new phenomenon, the so called “flash mob” where the gangs are using social media to coordinate attacks. I think this new method of mustering the troops will be used to a greater frequency this summer. Having had a daughter subjected to such an assault and robbery, I can tell you that Loyola police have been aware of this new tendency for a few months.


  30. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:29 am:

    ===where the gangs are using social media to coordinate attacks.===

    I haven’t seen any evidence that technology is being used in these attacks. The alleged perpetrators don’t strike me as the tech-savvy bunch the term “social media” or “flash mob” implies.

    Am I missing the reports documenting the evidence of social media playing a role here? It’s fun and hip to think new media is playing a role, but so far, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence supporting that assertion.


  31. - Peter Snarker - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:53 am:

    47th Ward -

    Agreed to your point above. My understanding of “flash mob” prior to its new(?) usage in the Chicago media was a bunch of college students of the artsy variety stage some sort of public performance art (say, a massive pillow fight, or all wear propeller hats, whatever) at a given time and place, but I digress. I am sure some of these kids text each other, or call each other, etc., but some sort of coordinated “social media” planned event… um yeah. Ok, not sure where that is coming from.

    If memory serves the whole social media/texting meme was embedded back in early summer 2010 when there was that, ahem, “isolated heat wave” (although it wasnt called that in 2010, it was acknowledged to be violence) between North Ave Beach and Fullerton where the former Mayor and Police Superintendent loudly and widely publicized that the offenders were from the suburbs (gasp!) and that it was coordinated through text messaging. I believe at the time there was quite a bit of local derision that the scapegoat was made out to be text messaging rather than any larger issue.


  32. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 11:55 am:

    47th,

    They’re coordinating where to meet up via text messaging is my understanding.

    Which is really annoying to me. These kids are obviously tech-savvy, have organizational and leadership abilities. You’d think we could find something more constructive for them to be doing.


  33. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===where the gangs are using social media to coordinate attacks.===

    However and why the so called “flash Mob” attacks are occurring it has become a real issue as perceptions of public safety is a real concern. If five black youth walk to the beach together, public perception is currently that of a flash gang, and no doubt there will be calls to police and many of them will be false alarms. On the other hand any more true attacks will further the hysteria. A very difficult task for the police and the Mayor’s office.


  34. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    I realize people are saying they are coordinating via text message, but I don’t think anyone is pointing to evidence when that say that. It’s speculation that suddenly becomes fact when it gets repeated. That’s how urban legends start.

    They MIGHT be using cell phones to coordinate. Show me the text messages, then maybe we can start calling this a “flash mob.” Until then, it’s just a bunch of punks running wild as far as I’m concerned.


  35. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:12 pm:

    I’m really, really looking forward to the day when people who’s impulse control is so poor that they’ve been banned from CapFax start applying for their concealed carry licenses.

    Yikes!

    – MrJM


  36. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:17 pm:

    So it is the novelty of how the crimes is organized is that is drawing the interest?

    Seems to be that this kind of crime, perhaps without the electronic element, has been occurring on the south and west side for years with little attention from the media, or perhaps the municipal authorities.


  37. - Peter Snarker - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:23 pm:

    Plutocrat -

    Whether someone calls or texts or IMs or tweets “we’re going to the beach” does appear to be of interest, for some reason or another to the MSM, but of course the real interest is that daylight attacks in tourist and shopping and formerly safe commericial/retail districts is considered pretty brazen. I think the fear/feeling is, the subtext, is that those areas of the city that the visiting oncologist at the Oncology convention would never be caught in daytime or night are now “exporting” their crime to the high rent district.


  38. - Todd - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:41 pm:

    Carl –

    I think the NRA discloses as much as any other not for profit does on their tax forms. Their funding comes from several sources. 4 million members, supporters, industry.

    Just take a look at the convention they hold. Some 65,000 members showed up in Pittsburg this year. I think we will be in St Louis next year. When you get that kind of participation it says a lot about your members. On membership dues that is roughly $140 million annually.

    But we do have others in the industry that support us. Midway USA has a round up program. Buy something from them, and they will ask if you want to round up to the nearest dollar for the NRA. They deposit the money into an endowment account. Then work off the interest to the money continues to grow. Last year I think Midway contributed over half a million to this found from the pennies, nickels and dimes from their customers.

    There is also the Ring of Freedom. If you ever see someone wearing one of these blazers at an event it means they have contributed $1 million or more.

    Yes we are aggressive against laws that we believe target lawful gun owners and infringe on our rights. We have also found that if you give an inch, they want a mile, 2 cases in point.
    In 2005 it was all about gun shows and private sales at gun shows. The montra was there were no background checks on those sales. Not true. In Illinois to own, buy or posses a firearm or ammunition, you have to have a FOID, and to get one, you have to pass the background check. Our standards are stricter than the federal standard. So despite having been checked, and then having your name run through the databases almost daily for new disqualifiers, they still wanted those sales run through the State Police.

    Who btw created a database of all sale they were never intended to have. So trust them to do the right thing and they abuse it. So now the anti-gunners want no privates sales, all sales must be run through a gun dealer, so we end up in the same database and have more fees and red tape added to the process. Gun shows were not end, it was the first inch in this fight. Yet we hear no cry for abolishing the FOID card. If I have to have it, and then go through another check just because, what is the point of it?

    Second, in 1994 we fought the Clinton gun ban. It went away in 2004. And since then, they have been back wanting to ban even more firearms. The 1994 ban was not enough for them, now they want my 11-87 turkey gun as well as my AR-15s. No dice.
    So we will fight them on all of their attempts to restrict our rights, and not give an inch.

    The only system that allows for the tracking of what you want is called registration. And each time it is tried it is abused. Chicago used it to create a handgun ban, they use it to deny ownership of common firearms. So no, we are not going there. And yes we are completely opposed to this.

    Illinois is about ground zero for litigation right now. NRA has 5 suits pending not counting the fees for Chicago & Oak Park. And another 2 we are intervening in. There are another 3 I think form others. 2 cases are in front of the Illinois Supreme Court. So we’ll see what they say. I think that middle ground is going to get kinda small after the litigation is settled.


  39. - Jasper - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:44 pm:

    In a bizarre coincidence, I was also very close to the scene of last night’s incident (as I was on the Chicago/LSD incident a few nights before). As I was leaving a building after a meeting, door staff advised of what had happened minutes before in front of the building.
    Per the door staff, the good news is that this time it was only four, and the police seemed to be on them right away. Bad news is that the location is about a block from the Peninsula Hotel. However, it seems to have started near the Chicago/State station which has been the epicenter of a lot of this stuff. It seems like the CPD realize that the station is the source and are concentrating on it.


  40. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:50 pm:

    @Todd -

    Sounds like you are saying “there is no middle ground,” but I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

    How about trade-offs? Can you see your side agreeing to legislation that gives you something you really want — say, conceal-carry — in exchange for something the other side really wants — say, twelve guns a calendar year?


  41. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 12:59 pm:

    @YDD:
    Why should gun owners think it acceptable allow an additional infringement on their rights in order to lift another infringement on their rights?

    Gun owners will prevail in the courts if not in the legislature.


  42. - Todd - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 1:17 pm:

    YDD there may be some middle ground. ButI see it getting smaller as he courts define the right(s) protected by the consitution and the 2A.

    as for the trade off you mention — NO. I bought more than that this year alone, and we are only half way done with the calendar.

    We will continue to look at the right(s) protected under the 2A as equal to the 1st and 4th as described in Heller/McDonald. would the same limitation be aceptable to the right to by a book or newspaper? I think not.

    that is the standard by which things will be judged as far as reasonable or consitutional.

    I also expect the one gun a month laws to be stricken, if i were to be crass, someone could agree to it, then challenge it and once struck down be no worse for the wear, but I don’t think we are going to operate that way.

    BTW there were 18 more votes for CC than 1 gun per month. kinda tells you where the politics of it lie.


  43. - amalia - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    The Chicago Police Supt. is trying to hit the middle, and I think that is a good thing….avoid the banners and the brandishers in the gun debate. If he sticks to the middle…the policing and the tools to do that…..he will anger both sides. but it could just lead to progress.


  44. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 1:34 pm:

    Something is going on, but what exactly is unclear.

    When the McDonald’s was closed due to a mob, a local paper covered the story and basically said they couldn’t figure out what took place due to multiple versions of the same story.

    The Tribune today had a story about PAWS cancelling an event at Oak and Michigan because PAWS said they were concerned about security and heat. The City said that PAWS didn’t pull a permit in time and the story gave the impression that PAWS was just making excuses for their error.

    This year there clearly was something going on at North Ave besides the heat, but nothing like the first warm day last year when the beach was clearly taken over by a “rough crowd” of youths who closed lanes on Lake Shore Drive and assaulted innocent people.


  45. - The Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 1:38 pm:

    So the City of Chicago wants more people to call 311 I stead of 911. May I humbly siggest that the first place to start making that change is with the 311 operators themselves. On several occasions I called 311 because it wasn’t an emergency (e.g., reporting a stolen vehicle sticker). The 311 operator told me to call 911. I can only imagine that this will increase if the 311 budget gets cut and those operators have to deal with the same number of calls.


  46. - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 2:16 pm:

    I’m in Chicago for a conference and was a bit concerned after reading about it on the blog. However, as I walked by the Water Tower last night, I saw Chicago Police Officers standing watch on several corners all throughout this area. This gave me some comfort naturally. So they are there at this hot spots but can’t be everywhere. These prepetrators will go where the opportunity exist. I saw many folks walking on side streets seemingly without much concern. So,it sounds to me there is some exaggeration and unfounded blame going around.


  47. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 2:39 pm:

    Fact is that I saw more police presence in my Rogers Park neighborhood growing up in the 50s and 60s than I see in my daily walk to work from Union Station to Wabash. When I see police, I know the President is in town. The level of police presence to preclude this sort of gang opportunism is probably unrealistic in today’s economy. So, folks need to use some sense. Don’t flash the iPhone and take notice of your surroundings. Get physically fit and be prepared. If this is a trend due to a degrading economy, then we must realize that government can only do so much. Presently government seems proccupied with providng benefits to its own, so public safety may start to become more and more the responsubilty of individuals.


  48. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 2:39 pm:

    Here is a fascinating study on crime rates form the Freakonomics guy. This link requires a subscription (free) but is behind the NYT paywall which allows 20 free visits a month:

    http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/06/08/freakonomics-quorum-why-during-a-bad-economy-does-crime-continue-to-fall/


  49. - amalia - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 3:03 pm:

    well, now that one of the S.Dorchester 17 year olds has broken the hand and taken the purse of a woman on a business strip in Wilmette, things are gonna get interesting.


  50. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 3:26 pm:

    amalia, a single person snatching a purse in Wilmette is now connected to this alleged wilding thing? Take a breath, please. You’re bumping awful close to something very ugly here.


  51. - amalia - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 3:26 pm:

    Cincinnatus, thanks for posting that link. the forum is WAY more interesting than the Freakonomics guy….trends for the entire U.S. may not apply in individual communities….but the discussions are interesting. prison population by pure numbers dropped in the U.S. after WW. I and WWII….dramatically there….the 1950s were a period of low incarceration, so I’ve been pondering the what and the why of these recent activities in Chicago.

    one thing that popped for me was that the Chicago Police recently busted a very large drug gang in the 70s east, a seeming remnant of Jeff Fort’s people, or at the very least, a ringleader who worshipped Fort by the poster evidence. That
    Blackstone Ranger to El Rukn lineage “employed” lots of youth back in the day. who knows what is sent out do procure things for whom now.


  52. - Benny - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 3:33 pm:

    Sheesh, the last time I called 311 the operator asked me if I could be more Pacific.


  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    @Todd -

    To be frank, there are all kinds of restrictions on the 1st Amendment, including speech that is harmful, dangerous or breaches community standards.

    I don’t think you want to weaken your argument by drawing First Amendment comparisons. Better to argue that without the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights is just a piece of paper.

    But I digress.

    Based on your position that your strongest ally is the courts, it seems to me that while there may indeed be some middle ground, you’re not anxious to wander the desert like Moses looking for it when the Roberts Court is poised to deliver you to the Promised Land.

    Sounds like McCarthy should focus on getting the 4,000 more police officers we need instead of wading into the gun control debate.


  54. - goo goos forever - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:02 pm:

    It appears the cops have it figured out and have isolated the L stop the gangs were using to access the area. Problem solved. Everyone can relax.

    Yesterdays blog was a revelation. I was especially in favor of the suggestions of getting the gangs jobs and enrolled in summer camps.


  55. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:02 pm:

    - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    “To be frank, there are all kinds of restrictions on the 1st Amendment, including speech that is harmful, dangerous or breaches community standards.”

    But don’t each of those restrictions require that they be upheld in individual court cases against an offender? With gun restrictions, there is prior restraint on a law abiding citizen, no?


  56. - Todd - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:10 pm:

    YDD–

    I agree that there are restrictions on the first amend. And i agree that the 2A protects the others.

    I think McCarthy get more points for being a cop than trying to be politcian or social engineer. If he wants to meet, I will be happy to sit down and talk with him about the issue.

    The court and elections have changed the poltical dynamics. And I think it will continue to go that way. And it is not just SCOTUS, we have 2 cases before the IL Supreme Court that I think will go pretty good for us, the Cook County gun ban and another UUW case.

    but since the talk is about middle ground, I don’t think it is up to us to put the offer on the table. If the other side, be it the City, or ICHV has a proposal, lay it out. No one has come to me/us with anything other than bar room banter.

    Since we won 2 cases at SCOTUS and 2 at the IL Supreme, i think it would be incumbent upon the. To bring an offer.

    We have no intentions of negotiating against ourselves . And the more favorable the number and type of court rulings, lthe less there is to talk about, but we a willing to listen and talk


  57. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:14 pm:

    Cincinnatus, I’m unaware of recent cases filed by lobbyists.


  58. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:24 pm:

    Rich,

    Your right, it’s normally a government entity that tries to squash an individual right (c.f. Citizens United v. FEC).


  59. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:28 pm:

    Well we seem to have discovered a common thread. These “flash mobs” are associated with El stops, and Wordslinger says there are problems at OPRF because of the Green line.

    No subsidies for the RTA. Two birds, one stone.


  60. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:30 pm:

    @Todd -

    I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis: you shouldn’t negotiate with yourself, and there is no reason for you to negotiate with the other side.

    Which is why I think McCarthy’s hope of finding some “middle ground” is pointless.


  61. - dave - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:38 pm:

    They are deathly afraid of some tourist being gunned down or beaten on camera and instead of dealing with the problem proactively with cops and security they simply cancel the [fire works] events.

    Sigh. You may have a point, assuming that they are also canceling the Taste, and all Cubs games, and Bears games, and festivals.

    Oh wait - they haven’t canceled any of those?


  62. - Todd - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:48 pm:

    YDD

    I didn’t say we would not negotiate with the other side. Just think it is up to them to bring an offer. There maybe some stuff to talk about. The ball is in their court. They can continue to roll the dice and hope that one of the Heller 5 drops dead and they get a better pick. They can continue to bank on super- majority rulings from the chair. They can hope we don’t gain more seats in the elections.

    But the ball is in thier court.


  63. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:48 pm:

    –These “flash mobs” are associated with El stops, and Wordslinger says there are problems at OPRF because of the Green line.–

    No, I didn’t say anything so simple-minded. How about you speak for yourself, and I’ll do the same?


  64. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jun 8, 11 @ 4:50 pm:

    Thanks, dave. Good point. And on that note, comments are now closed.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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