Shootings and Homicides Stymied Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

The continued rising homicide/murder rate in the City of Chicago predominantly in the Englewood and Austin Districts in Chicago have stymied the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Rahm Emanauel. Although overall crime is down 10%. Homicides are up 35%.

The Red Eye reports that August was the deadliest month of the year. In August there were 55 homicides recorded, which surpassed March and May which saw 50 homicides. In August 2011, 37 homicides were occurred. 

In a one week period from August 13 to August 19 there were 18 homicides, up 200 % from the 2011. Criminal Sexual Assaults were up 50%, with 21 recorded versus 14 from 2011 and Shootings were up 24% at 63 from the previous week in 2011 at 51. These statistics are based on CPD's Compstat report for the Week 33. 

This is on top of the increasing number of Officer involved shootings that are occurring. Chicago Police Officers are faced with increasingly bolder attacks. In the past offenders would flee from the Police. Now they are turning and engaging the Officers. Some have implied that it is because of increased Police presence,  which results in reduced response time to crimes in progress, so the potential for confrontation increases. However, the officers are also faced with increased automatic weapons fire, included TEC-9's, AK-47's and other assault style weapons. 

The shooter was shot in the foot in the Roseland neighborhood by Police when he pointed an Assault weapon at them. No Officers were injured. 

The shooters are getting younger and younger. On Tuesday morning 9/4, CPD Officers exchanged gunfire with a 17 year old teenager after the teen pointed a gun at Officers. The Shooting which happened in the are of 74th and Wabash resulted in the teen going to the hospital.

Chicagoan's do not feel safe. The Pill Hill Neighborhood has gone up for grabs after almost no homicides or shootings recorded in a four year period.

Over the Holiday weekend 8 people were shot and wounded from 9:55 pm Saturday to 4:00 am Sunday with three people being killed.

Every day the body count continues to rise. The numbers outpace the numbers of those soldiers killed in Iraq or even Afghanistan with the recent waive of "green or blue" violence.

Yet the Emanuel Administration and Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy continue to espouse the notion that overall crime is down 10 %.   The overall crime rate may be down ten percent, however, the general public does not equate that to safety. Being shot, wounded or murdered when the overall crime rate is down does not calm fears in a community where they are demanding government action.

Almost each week, we hear about another new anti-violence initiative that the Chicago Police Department is trying to get a handle on the violence. This new initiative calls for gang, narcotics and patrol officers to saturate zones along with federal assistance from the U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to assist in targeting over a four month period.This plan is modeled after a plan that started in January in the Harrison and Englewood Districts.

We have asked this question question before, so we will ask it again. Where is Jesse Jackson and Operation Push when young black men and women are dying on the streets of Chicago on a daily basis? A quick Google search with his name shows that he was in Saginaw Michigan. The reason: the death of a armed (with a knife) homeless man in Saginaw Michigan. Although any death is tragic, one persons death does not equate to the level of violence, death and destruction that is occurring on the streets of Chicago on a daily basis. But most likely this is a way to pit race against race, because the homeless man was black and the officers were white. What grabs Jesse Jackson headings, race against race? Perhaps!

Where are the elected Officials on the rising violence? 
Well lets see, Representative Bobby Rush (D) says on his Official Website that "The issue of Public Safety is important to our district and to my work in Congress."  Yet the last official piece of legislation regarding public safety that he authored or sponsored was the Families Beyond Bars Act of 2010.  There has not been a Public Safety related press release since he was asked to leave the floor of the House of Representatives in March of 2012 over the Treyvon Martin Murder. This despite the fact that March, May and now August of this year were the deadliest months in Chicago.  Additionally there has not been any press release activity since July 31, 2012.

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr (D) has been unavailable from his legislative duties since prior to June of 2012. Most of his press releases have been in the area of Economic Development, economy, jobs, education, healthcare and foreign affairs. Since he took ill there has not been any action and rightfully so. We wish Congressman Jackson well in his return to good health.

Representative Luis Gutierrez (D) is a very strong advocate for immigration issues. His strong stance on immigration issues would be an excellent platform to protect the immigrants who reside in Illinois from being victims of violent homicides. However, there is nothing event listed in any of his statements, news releases, press releases or his stance on political issues seem to bear fruit for those whose lives are being thrown away through senseless violence. His stance on Intelligence and the Military should say he opposes violence, "... my views on DI (Domestic Intelligence) have made it a priority to ensure that the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans are upheld as we work to protect our nation from threats."  What about their civil rights not to be gunned down sitting or standing on a corner Representative Gutierrez?

Representative Danny Davis (D) district falls right across the Austin District and the west side of Chicago as well as the Englewood neighborhood an area in which many young people have been killed over this summers senseless violence. Representative Davis sits on the House Committee on Homeland Security. Most of his legislative action has not born fruit, although much of the time he fails to vote. As a matter of fact he is absent from voting about 6% of the time, which is well above the 2.4% average for Congress. Representative Davis did have a "Back to school Picnic and Parade" on August 18 in the Austin neighborhood, but a check for his other activities yielded little or no information regarding the deaths of numerous constituents in his community.

Regardless of what our elected officials do or do not do, our police department in Chicago needs assistance and the first place is in involving the community, parents and business to support the efforts to reduce violence in the community. Here is a primer of what should be done to reduce violence.

Key Factors

  • They must involve a diverse group of community members in the planning and implementation. All members of a community can contribute to the health and well-being of children. When community members from all walks of life work together and pool their energy, resources, and expertise, prevention efforts can be much more effective. In some communities, prevention planning groups include: teens, parents, business leaders community groups, the media, city and school officials, police, probation and parole officers, clergy, and social service, health care, and mental health providers.
  • Efforts should be designed and implemented by people with a deep understanding of the community, its history, and its strengths and resources. Gang violence may be a serious problem in one area; in another, bullying or dating violence may be of greater concern. To be effective, youth violence prevention efforts must be tailored to a given community and its needs. What works in one district or school may not or will not work in another.  No "one-size- fits-all" program will work everywhere.
  • Is the community's ready for change? Violence prevention programs are most effective when all members of the community embrace and support the effort. It is important to assess community leaders' and residents' beliefs and attitudes about the problem of violence. In some places, residents may not acknowledge that youth violence is a problem or may be actively participating in the problem, because they reap financial benefits.. In others, they may recognize that it is a serious problem, but may not believe that prevention efforts will make a difference, or they may believe in and support only one particular approach to address the problem of youth violence. It is essential that planners collect and review data from the community to determine how to raise awareness, educate community members, strengthen prevention strategies, and focus efforts in a way that will gain community support.
  • Effective prevention efforts seek to identify and reduce the risk factors for violence in the lives of children and teens, and put protective factors in place. Researchers have identified important risk factors at the community, family, school, and individual/peer levels that increase risk for young people to become involved in violence and related problem behaviors:  
    The community level, factors that can increase the likelihood that children and teens will become involved in violence and related problem behaviors include the availability of drugs, alcohol, and firearms; extreme poverty; neighborhood disintegration (e.g., vacant lots, graffiti, crime, drug-dealing, and boarded-up houses); and resident views that are tolerant of misbehavior and violence.
    The family level, factors that can increase the risk that children and teens will become involved in violence include lack of parental supervision or monitoring of children's activities; severe, harsh, or inconsistent punishment; ongoing conflict between family members; and parental involvement in violent behavior.
    The school level, factors that can increase the likelihood that a child or youth will become involved in violent behavior include early aggressive behavior in school; lack of attachment to school; and school failure.
    At the individual/peer level, the factors include friendships with other youth who engage in violent or antisocial behavior, and individual factors such as tendencies toward sensation seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety, and eve n sadness or depressed mood.

  • Risk and Protective Factors When children and teens are exposed to such risk factors, they are more likely to become involved in violent behavior. Normally, the more risk factors present, the greater the likelihood a teen will become involved in violence.

    If several protective factors are also in place, teens that are exposed to a number of risk factors are less likely to become involved in violence. The goals of a community violence prevention program should be to reduce risk factors for violence in the community and increase protective factors. One of the most effective ways to protect young people from risk exposure is to encourage them to develop strong, supportive relationships with positive, pro-social adult role models. These adults might include family members, teachers, coaches, and youth leaders. Another effective way is to encourage families, schools, and communities to develop and communicate clear standards and expectations for behavior.

    Clearly, the risk and protective factors that need to be addressed will vary with the community. In one community, school failure may be a risk factor putting many teens at risk; while in another, a lack of community norms against some types of violence (e.g., bullying or dating violence) may be a more serious concern. At an early stage in the process of developing a violence prevention plan, individuals need to collect data to identify and assess risk factors in their communities and determine which are the greatest priorities. They also must inventory their resources (protective factors) and use the information gathered to guide their efforts.
  • Communities should select and implement programs and strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective, or at least promising, in previous evaluations. Once a community has identified the risk factors to address, it needs to develop strategies to reduce the factors. In recent years, researchers have carefully evaluated the effectiveness of a number of  violence prevention programs and strategies that have been implemented around the country. 
  • Chicago has experienced numerous examples of in-effective wasteful prevention based programs that just left voids. These programs were either rife for corruption or political influence that left the community confused, bewildered and uncaring. 
Examples of programs that will be effective include:
  • Positive youth development programs, including after-school programs that give a child or teen the opportunity to learn new skills and build relationships with caring adults, and mentoring programs that pair a teen with a supportive, nonjudgmental role model.
  • Family strengthening and support services, including programs that provide home visiting for new parents, help parents improve their parenting skills, or offer support groups.
  • Skills training programs in schools, daycare centers, and the community. These try to give children and youth the social, emotional, and problem-solving skills they need to deal with difficult social situations.
  • School-based programs, including those to: reduce the risk of academic failure, truancy, and dropping out; increase academic motivation; and reduce disciplinary problems and drug and alcohol abuse. 
  • Counseling and intervention services for youth involved in violence, and for their families. Individual counseling generally has been found to be ineffective with delinquent youth. Some programs that provide family therapy have proven effective, however. Intensive treatment programs that look at the many influences on the youth, including the family, school, peer, and neighborhood environments, also have been shown to have a positive impact.
To conclude:

Will this solve all of Chicago's problems would Chicago even be able to implement all or any of it is not yet known. But what is known is that the citizens, business and police department can not continue down the path they are on, without much more bloodshed and increased loss of life. Good luck!


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