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Get it together, man

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* More background is here if you need it. Last month

Ald. Bill Conway is crying foul after Johnson’s administration said they would have the city remove the tents in which people are sleeping [in West Loop homeless encampments] only if Conway voted in favor of two pillars of the mayor’s progressive policy agenda.

The conflict between Conway and [top Johnson adviser Jason Lee] begins with the encampment near Union and Ogilvie stations, which Conway said is a trouble spot for drugs and violent crime in the ward. Two recent shootings in the area have exacerbated his concern.

* Press release today from Ald. Conway

Late last night, a man was fatally shot near the corner of Lake and Clinton Streets downtown, immediately adjacent to a dangerous area under the viaducts and a CTA Green Line stop, Ogilvie Transportation Center, and Union Station. The incident is currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and follows a string of violent crime in the area which was once a peaceful encampment but has become a magnet for violent crime and drugs. This past Friday, CPD arrested a man with an illegal loaded gun and $60,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine in the 500 block of West Lake St.. In recent weeks, there have been two other shootings, multiple armed robberies, and numerous overdoses. […]

On Friday, just hours after CPD arrested someone with an illegal loaded gun and $60,000 of heroin and crack cocaine under the viaducts, the Mayor’s Office responded to area residents who had repeatedly begged the City to address crime with a stock letter restating their misrepresentation that this area was merely a peaceful encampment - noting that, “homelessness is not illegal” - rather than recognizing it has turned into a magnet for violent crime and drugs. The unfortunate response also disregarded the fact that for some time now, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) hasn’t been able to get anyone to accept their offer for rapid rehousing and has been referring cases to CPD – because it isn’t safe, for anyone.

* Meanwhile

There were nearly 4,900 robberies between July 1 and Nov. 26, an increase of more than 55% compared to the total for the previous five months. That’s the largest increase in robberies between consecutive five-month periods since at least 2001 — the earliest year tracked in the city’s online crime portal. […]

A Chicago Police Department statement didn’t address potential reasons for the spike but said since July, the department has enhanced its efforts to combat robberies, resulting in a 25.8% increase in robbery arrests compared to the same period in 2022, according to its data. […]

Overall, total robberies in the city are lower compared to where they were from 2001 to 2013, and again in 2016 and 2017, when robbery totals surpassed 10,000 each year. But with more than 8,700 total robberies reported through late November, the city is on pace to see the most robberies since 2017.

* Other stuff…

    * CWB | Chicago cops didn’t file a report, watched TV in squad car after random attacker killed man on Mag Mile: Moments after a River North man was randomly attacked on the Magnificent Mile this summer, an assault from which he would die days later, the assailant and two witnesses walked up to a Chicago police squad car parked on the Magnificent Mile. The cops inside the vehicle were watching a television show on a tablet. The officers let the attacker walk away, and the investigation found that they didn’t file a standard report to document their encounter with him. Other officers failed to file a basic initial case report, a step that would ordinarily launch an investigation by detectives. Those are some of the allegations laid out in a Chicago Police Department Bureau of Internal Affairs summary report that recommends suspensions of between two and five days for the cops. All of the officers are entitled to fight the allegations through a grievance or arbitration.

    * Sun-Times | Who should decide the fate of Chicago’s most serious police misconduct cases?: A City Council panel today could allow the main union for cops to contest firings and long suspensions behind closed doors.

       

54 Comments
  1. - Roadrager - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 10:51 am:

    A reminder that multiple things can be true at once:

    - Robberies in the city may be increasing.
    - Increases in crime are not good.
    - Robberies are only one component of the crime picture in Chicago.
    - Measuring the statistic in the oddly-specific “five-month period” suggests a statistical massaging to make the numbers tell the desired story. Like, I could tell you that in the five-month period from October 2022 through February 2023 the Bears had more wins than the Cubs, but trying to lead a reader to a conclusion anchored to that data point omits some rather important context.
    - “There’s more migrants in the city and there are more robberies” is a fine reminder that correlation is not equal to causation.


  2. - NotRich - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 10:56 am:

    Welcome to progressive governing. San Francisco here we come.


  3. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    I wonder if the Internal Affairs report includes what TV show Chicago’s Finest were watching on duty when they constantly complain they are understaffed.


  4. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    It’s very easy to set a narrative against progressive governing by blaming every societal wrong on the current administraiton. Unfortunately: 1) the mayor lives in an echo chamber and might not notice this, especially since he seems to have already written off Chicago media as already being too biased, and 2) He is not building out a Comms staff to push back against these narratives.

    At this rate, it’s going to be three years of people like Conway and Lopez running circles around the mayor publicly.


  5. - ChicagoBars - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:05 am:

    I remain baffled CPD & Mayor haven’t announced / publicized a robbery task force like the carjacking one that’s been around awhile. If it exists? It’s getting zero coverage. If it doesn’t? Long past due this year.

    That seems like a easy easy public relations move that might help.


  6. - Mary Beth - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:12 am:

    – “homelessness is not illegal” –

    So true…but sounds a little too much like an elite college President rather than the mayor of the City that Works.

    Holier than thou platitudes, mincing words and relying on legal fine points seem to be the calling cards of intolerant progressives to avoid taking any action to help regular folks address serious threats these days.


  7. - DuPage Moderate - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:18 am:

    As they say, elections have consequences. This is the City the voters wanted. I’ll just continue to stay away.


  8. - Mary Beth - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:24 am:

    NotRich - apparently San Francisco recently and very abruptly swept the homeless off their streets in response to a visit to the City by the President of China and Gov Gavin Newsom.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/san-francisco-cleans-up-citys-homelessness-ahead-of-xi-jinping-visit/ar-AA1jOHWF


  9. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    “San Francisco here we come.”

    Ron DeSantis says they have poopy all over the streets there! Not like our crime, drug and corruption free small towns!
    You guys are funny.


  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:29 am:

    ===set a narrative against progressive governing by blaming every societal wrong===

    C’mon.

    He was specifically warned something like this would happen, tried and failed to strongarm an ald. into voting against his ward’s wishes in exchange for providing some help, and then it happened.

    Stop whining.


  11. - New Day - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:30 am:

    For the 114th time. Don’t play politics and give opportunities to elevate the one Alderman out of 50 who has demonstrated he knows how to run a campaign and has the financial ability to do it. Fix this issue, now.


  12. - Nick - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:32 am:

    “that recommends suspensions of between two and five days for the cops. All of the officers are entitled to fight the allegations through a grievance or arbitration.”

    What a joke.


  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:42 am:

    =As they say, elections have consequences. This is the City the voters wanted. I’ll just continue to stay away.=

    As a resident of the city, thank you. Please stay away


  14. - Stuck in Celliniland - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:43 am:

    Hopefully those cops were watching reruns of “Cops” in hopes of at least trying to learn something that would improve their work. Like file police reports.


  15. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:51 am:

    There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a deliberate strategy by FOP. They just aren’t answering calls.
    I’ve lived in the city for 65 years. I have lived in the two police districts (16 and 18) always considered the most responsive. On the very rare occasions I have ever called 911 prior to this year, I have always had police respond within 5 minutes, if not sooner.
    In the past 6 weeks I’ve unfortunately had 2 criminal encounters. In the first, someone was violently trying to break into my house at 1 am. The dispatcher could hear the pounding and said the police were on their way. They never showed up. I’m grateful to my 22 pound dog who managed to sound like a pack of dobermans.
    Last week a man was beating up a woman on the street down the block. As in hitting her head on the sidewalk. I called 911 as did another neighbor. It was 5pm on a Sunday. No one ever came.
    The first incident, while scary and not excusable, could be explained by shortages and a busy friday night. But 5 o’clock on a sunday? C’mon. It’s not a coincidence. It’s intentional and extremely disappointing.


  16. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 11:52 am:

    There doesn’t appear to be a connection between the 2 cops involved and any specific policy set out by Johnson. Bad, lazy cops have existed under every mayor. Johnson deserves a lot of criticism for his actions (and inactions) but I don’t see a connection in this specific case.


  17. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    I don’t think anyone is blaming Mayor Johnson for the cops loafing on the job.

    I’d love to hear Catanzara’s excuses for this one.


  18. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===doesn’t appear to be a connection between the 2 cops involved and any specific policy===

    There isn’t.


  19. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:07 pm:

    ==I’d love to hear Catanzara’s excuses for this one.==

    He promised ‘blood in the streets’ if Johnson won. I guess this is one way to keep a promise.


  20. - LastModDemStanding - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    For someone who claims to be focused on “community safety”, the Mayor has certainly done a great job of blatantly ignoring the communities observations and complaints on this specific homeless encampment.


  21. - Drury's Missing Clock - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:16 pm:

    Conway taking an early lead in the generic-moderate-white-guy lane to replace Brandon.


  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===Conway taking an early lead===

    This is his ward, for crying out loud. Try not dismissing legit concerns like that.


  23. - Frida's boss - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:29 pm:

    Progressive politics are fantastic, progressive governing the jury is out long term, short term it’s a train wreck so far.

    Even Progressive Caucus member Taylor feels that they can’t govern and shouldn’t be on the 5th floor. Vazquez hitting the 5th floor for the Brighton Park issue is another Progressive smack on the 5th floor.
    In the meantime- CRR is touring the country to promote the One Wage ordinance that hasn’t been implemented here. He’s doing what progressives do best, campaign. Ald Rodriguez is overtly focused on Isreal-Hamas.

    Such a weird dynamic from the progressives. You would think after winning the fight, they would govern. You would think with how good they campaign they would be communicating well. It’s baffling.


  24. - Opening Date - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:34 pm:

    Let’s say it out loud: Mayor Brandon Johnson is a complete disaster for Chicago. And it’s only a matter of time until this disaster impacts the entire state. As Chicago goes…so goes Illinois.

    Total disaster.


  25. - low level - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:51 pm:

    == It’s very easy to set a narrative against progressive governing by blaming every societal wrong on the current administraiton. ==

    Nope. As a lifelong resident, I could care less if an administration is progressive. I’m looking for competence which is lacking in this administration.


  26. - Frida's boss - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:51 pm:

    Does anyone have a copy of the “stock letter” sent to the residents in Conway’s ward reprimanding them for misrepresenting this particular area?


  27. - Mark D - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 12:55 pm:

    == There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a deliberate strategy by FOP. They just aren’t answering calls. ==

    Nor are they making any effort whatsoever to engage in “community policing”. We have frequent discussions about safety and policing in our social circle. None of us can remember the last time we saw a CPD officer outside of their vehicle. Intentional or not (and it’s difficult to believe that it’s anything but intentional), the strategy needs to change. I see hundreds of responses to crime posts on social media, and they’re all blaming the Mayor or the local alderperson. How about blaming the handsomely compensated people who are explicitly tasked with addressing the problem?


  28. - Don't You - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    = Even Progressive Caucus member Taylor feels that they can’t govern and shouldn’t be on the 5th floor. Vazquez hitting the 5th floor for the Brighton Park issue is another Progressive smack on the 5th floor. In the meantime- CRR is touring the country to promote the One Wage ordinance that hasn’t been implemented here. He’s doing what progressives do best, campaign. Ald Rodriguez is overtly focused on Israel-Hamas. =

    This is what I don’t understand. The progressive bloc feels completely disconnected from the local issues facing Chicago.


  29. - Some guy - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    == There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a deliberate strategy by FOP. They just aren’t answering calls. ==

    The cops not making the arrest in the above story is ridiculous. They certainly deserve discipline.

    Anybody who thinks John Catanzara and the FOP has that kind of influence over the rank and file CPD officers is not well informed. A majority of the FOP members can’t stand him.

    == How about blaming the handsomely compensated people who are explicitly tasked with addressing the problem?==

    The police receive plenty of blame daily. Negative police stories are always big news. However, you can’t blame e police or crime at the same time you say “we can’t police our way out of rising crime”. The progressives claim there are better ways to address crime. They have some power now. It’s time to prove their strategy is going to work.


  30. - Ares - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:30 pm:

    Will be interested to see what happens when the DNC comes to town in August. Still remember panhandlers using squeegees to wash motorist cars in the 1990s, and the homeless encampments by the Circle Interchange, which were aggressively cleared by the Daley II administration before the 1996 Democratic National Convention.


  31. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:34 pm:

    - Progressive politics are fantastic, progressive governing the jury is out long term, short term it’s a train wreck so far. -

    Oh please, Johnson’s problems are his own. Everyone seems to forget one of the most stable and successful periods in US history was when the country was run by progressives including a guy named Roosevelt.


  32. - SteveM - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:37 pm:

    == A majority of the FOP members can’t stand him. ==

    Haven’t a majority of them elected him multiple times now?


  33. - Anon324 - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==A majority of the FOP members can’t stand him.==

    The most recent election results announced in March this year suggest otherwise.


  34. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    ==Haven’t a majority of them elected him multiple times now?==
    He won in 2020 with 55% of the vote, was reelected in 2023 with 57% of the vote.


  35. - supplied_demand - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:55 pm:

    ==Progressive politics are fantastic, progressive governing the jury is out long term, short term it’s a train wreck so far.==

    The Governor is a progressive, he seems to be doing a great job. does that not fit your narrative?


  36. - Garfield Ridge Guy - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    ==The most recent election results announced in March this year suggest otherwise.==

    For whatever it is worth, retired police officers are able to cast a vote, and are far more likely both to vote in general, and to vote for a “rah-rah” guy instead of someone who’s able to work with people and effectively advocate for the Department. This point isn’t meant to justify the FOP’s very poor choice in leadership, but I do think it’s more nuanced than just “the cops on the job now want this guy.”


  37. - Me. - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    The most recent election results announced in March this year suggest otherwise

    Meh. The majority of voters in the past election were retirees. Yes. FOP lets the retired vote on issues other than pension. That’s how he wins. He lobbies in Florida. Change requires allowing only serving po’s to vote on their representation.


  38. - supplied_demand - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==However, you can’t blame police or crime at the same time you say “we can’t police our way out of rising crime”. The progressives claim there are better ways to address crime.==

    The question could be flipped and asked to the CPD, right? Their preferred method has resulted in zero progress for over 30 years. Has their increased staffing and budget led to reduced crime? We have tried the other method for 6 months a gotten fewer murders, but more robberies.


  39. - Garfield Ridge Guy - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:12 pm:

    ==The question could be flipped and asked to the CPD, right? Their preferred method has resulted in zero progress for over 30 years. Has their increased staffing and budget led to reduced crime? We have tried the other method for 6 months a gotten fewer murders, but more robberies.==

    Sure, but nobody talks like this about the Department of Buildings. The Mayor gets to install his leadership into CPD, and (together with City Council) decides their budget. CPD is not an independent government body; it exists under the Mayor’s purview. Mayor Johnson is not responsible for the problems that came before, but it is reasonable to expect him to have a plan to improve things. If it isn’t, then why even have mayoral elections?


  40. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===it is reasonable to expect him to have a plan to improve things===

    Yep, and the new FOP contract he negotiated will result in the same sort of “punishment” those officers received.

    So, perhaps I was wrong when I said he had no role in this.


  41. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    - A majority of the FOP members can’t stand him.-

    …and yet they kneel in his (Catanzara’s) direction.


  42. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:18 pm:

    ===A majority of the FOP members can’t stand him===

    Haven’t seen any numbers on that, and he just convinced the super-majority Democrats to approve a pension bill like the ones the firefighters got. So, I wouldn’t be so sure.


  43. - UP Norseman - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:20 pm:

    The most recent election results announced in March this year suggest otherwise

    Meh. The majority of voters in the past election were retirees. Yes. FOP lets the retired vote on issues other than pension. That’s how he wins. He lobbies in Florida. Change requires allowing only serving po’s to vote on their representation.

    As OW says cite? You say the majority and the now you backtrack by saying retirees vote,so they put him over the top with 57% of the vote. Do you have any hard concrete evidence that the rank and file do not like him


  44. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:21 pm:

    - “homelessness is not illegal” -

    They have a home…it’s located in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

    What they lack is a permanent shelter/structure…like yours…and mine.


  45. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:31 pm:

    - The progressives claim there are better ways to address crime. -

    Could that include the fantastic idea of identifying and addressing the societal/structural causes of crime?…are systemic poverty, racism, easy access to alcohol and guns, factors that should be…ignored?


  46. - Some Guy - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:32 pm:

    Catanzara received 57% of the 7192 votes cast. My math says he would have received roughly 4,100 votes. 2023 sworn headcount is roughly 11,720 officers. Even if retirees didn’t have a vote, 4,100 is certainly less than half of 11,720. As I see often on here, google is your friend.


  47. - Pundent - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:33 pm:

    = As a lifelong resident, I could care less if an administration is progressive. I’m looking for competence which is lacking in this administration.=

    Amen. Competence is the most basic expectation for our leaders in government. Political leanings mean nothing when it comes to executing the blocking and tackling of government. It’s a lesson Johnson and all elected officials, regardless of party, should heed.


  48. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:40 pm:

    ==How about blaming the handsomely compensated people who are explicitly tasked with addressing the problem?==

    And often have second jobs which undoubtedly sap their vim and vigor when at the first.


  49. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    ===4,100 is certainly less than half of 11,720===

    lol

    Half of eligible voters don’t cast ballots either. Doesn’t mean they hate their leaders. Often means they just don’t care either way, are basically satisfied, or hate the system or both major party candidates.

    I mean, you could ultimately be right, but those numbers don’t necessarily say what you claim they say.


  50. - Some Guy - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    “Often means they just don’t care either way, are basically satisfied, or hate the system…..” You made my point more eloquently than I could. lol

    In fairness, somebody pointed to his election percentages to illustrate his support and influence among CPD officers. He is not the puppet master some in the comments believe he is in regards to the daily performance of the rank and file PO’s.


  51. - Sue - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    CTU’s imposition of Johnson on the residents of Chicago will go down as one of the worst election outcomes for Chicago residents in the last 100 years. But CTU will be rewarded when Johnson rolls over during the next Teachers contract negotiation


  52. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:50 pm:

    ==somebody pointed to his election percentages to illustrate his support and influence among CPD officers==
    I am that somebody. I pointed out the percentages to illustrate that Mr. Cantazara’s vote percentage increased in his re-election. That would indicate his support and influence on his members increased as they worked under his leadership and grew to know him.


  53. - Stormsw7706 - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 5:19 pm:

    Slow walking by police is a serious problem, especially in large urban communities, and especially if that community has prominent black political figures. These types of cops are the worst. Complaining about everything, doing nothing, and abandoning a community to crime. Citizens complain about police and talk about redirecting funds is frequently a response to just bad police protection. No other profession with the failure metrics of CPD would be spared an in depth look at their organization


  54. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 6:52 pm:

    =CTU’s imposition of Johnson on the residents of Chicago =

    Please. Give me a break.

    Correlation does not imply causation.


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