The Chicago Mayoral Race And Rise Of Crime In The Windy City
A path to fix Chicago's crime problem.
File Photo/ Val Ojeda 2021
Val Ojeda, Writer
The race for Mayor of Chicago is hot. The current Mayor Lori Lightfoot is a failure to the Police, their supporters, and many residents in the Northwest side, Beverly and Mt. Greenwood. To the rest of the city, she is Robin Hood. The mother of welfare and entitlements, even handing out city stimulus checks to buy votes. Unfortunately, she will win again hands down. After all this is Democrat corruption at it's best.
Don't believe the “polls” Vallas stands no chance of winning.
Vallas ran more times than we can remember and can't get himself elected dogcatcher. WIllie Wilson can't buy enough votes to get him past the run off. He's lost time and time again. A loss in his investment. People say Vallas has a better chance than Wilson. He's white in a black city. Remember when McCarthy ran for Mayor? Vallas lost in the last election, not even making the run off. This election is already rigged.
In this run off it will be Chuy Garcia and Lori Lightfoot easily. Follow the trends. Follow the money. Follow the support. All the civic groups are behind Lightfoot. All the black voters are behind Lightfoot. All the churches are behind Lightfoot. All the politicians are behind Lightfoot. JB will dump 15 million through PACs on ads attacking Chuy and promoting her. He needs Lori for his agenda. Read between the lines and not the fake polls.
I, in no way, am supporting these candidates as they are all Democrats. The Chicago Republican Party as usual has failed to recruit a candidate in this “non-partison” race.
Lightfoot will win by 75% like she beat Toni Periwinkle.
So, if Lightfoot is re-elected, what can be done about the crime problem?
Let's face it, Chicago crime is out of control. You would think these were the days of the old projects being up like Robert Taylor homes and Cabrini Greens and the crime that came with it. When crack was first introduced and the hood became addicted. Robbing and stealing from anyone and anywhere to get their next fix. But that drug problem has been addressed. The buildings in the projects were torn down. So, why is Chicago so dangerous right now? Let's begin with accountability.
Cook County has a States Attorney activist instead of a prosecutor. The SA Kim Fox ran on a platform of being anti-Police. This after the Laquan McDonald fiasco. When elected she outright refused felony prosecutions including homicides. Ignoring shoplifting prosecutions and theft. Advocated releasing suspects for drug offenses, releasing them back into the streets thanks to Democratic advocate judges. You get arrested with a few grams of cocaine or a gun. No problem, you get an I-bond (no cash bond) why? Because black churches advocate for these “young innocent people” that have no choice to break the law to survive. For her, HB3653 was her prize. A defender of criminal civil rights. After all, George Soros funded her campaign. Because these proud young men can't afford a million dollar bail after killing two people in a drive by because they come from poor broken homes.
Cry me a river.
At the Police department level, they were under constant threat of the federal decree prohibiting them from targeting minorities. But it just so happens the demographics are blacks. Especially in the west side and Englewood. Whites are not causing the Homicides in Chicago, it's the blacks 90% of the time. Now we have Mayor Lori Lightfoot wanting to do away with foot chases,traffic stops, street sweeps, gang units, warrant services only done during the day and a lot of other programs which only help the criminals. The Cop's hands are tied. Especially with the Mayor encouraging blacks to file complaints on officers with COPA, Chicago Office of Police Accountability, which investigated officers. She is also quick to settle out of court with criminals on bogus complaints made on Cops. Meanwhile, these officers' records are tainted, preventing them from advancement.
Meanwhile, we have the elephant in the room. Carjackings. The number of carjackings through the first month of 2021 exploded with 218 vehicular hijackings reported, compared to 77 in January 2020, according to CPD data. That’s an increase of 183%. That's an average of 7 carJackings a day. 2020 closed with 1,400 carjackings at just 4 in a day. These criminals are having a heyday knowing the Police are prohibited from doing their jobs and with the HB3653 anti-Police bill signed by Governor Pritzker they know if arrested they would be back on the street because of the no bail clause that's in the new law. A reason for them to commit more crimes. Even if convicted. There is a little chance they would go to prison. By law, we are releasing murderers into the street and violent felons will be released without posting bail.
The majority of carjackings are committed by teenagers under 18 years old! In some cases 12 year olds were arrested with stolen cars and guns.
The department in 2022 announced a new strategy to combat carjackings, including the addition of 40 officers and four sergeants to task force teams in each of Chicago’s five detective areas. New crime data released showed that Cook County with Chicago is on track to break another homicide record. More than 695 homicides were reported in 2022, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. The office has handled less cases in 2022 than the 836 in 2021. The Chicago Police Department said some crimes have decreased in 2022, but rates of violent crime, including murder, were very high. Chicago has 70 different gangs with over 100,000 active members. The majority are black gangs contributing to most of the homicides. Most are black on black crime.
The Chicago Police Department also reported a nearly 300% spike in violence against CPD officers. “This has been a difficult year for law enforcement throughout the country as COVID-19 and civil unrest have converged to create charged environments in major U.S. cities,” said Superintendent David Brown in a statement. “Chicago is no exception. And yet, our officers continue to work hard every day to make our home a safer place. I want to commend our brave officers for putting their lives on the line and working to improve public safety. “Last year, officers were shot at 71 times, and 10 cops were shot. This year's crime rate was a big jump from last year and also higher than the murder rate in 2016 150% which was Chicago's most violent year in recent memory.
As a former Detective and a political strategist, I look at this and I see a solution to this crisis. I remember in 2008 when Mayor Daley was in office, Chicago had 500 homicides. Jodi Weis, formerly of the FBI was law enforcement but no street Cop, was the Superintendent. Governor Rod Blagojevich was upset by the homicide and gang problem. He wanted to send in 500 Illinois state Troopers. Because they were fighting at the time over the budget. The Mayor denied his help. Picking politics over saving lives. A typical Democrat. Later, Daley left his office in shame. Even after Daley farmed out housing residents to the suburbs, crime continued to rise steadily. Now it's out of control because of the war on Police starting with the Mike Brown fiasco and the "I can't breathe movement" The riots came and the politicians gave criminals free reign otherwise they would be labeled racists. Then crime became rampant because the politicians tied the hands of the Police.
What can be done to fix our problem with crime?
My plan would be to create a task force. Beginning with of course Chicago Police. Then reaching out to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart to use every available Sheriff's Police to patrol these targeted areas. Currently, there are only 500 Sheriff's Police Officers patrolling the entire county of 5.1 million residents. In Kane County there are 100 Deputies patrolling for 500,000 residents. Both agencies need to create a reserve Police force like other big cities and counties to assist in patrolling and combating crime.
At the state level, bring in UNIFORMED state troopers to be a presence as well. 500 hundred of them. Utilize the Secretary of State Police for robbery prevention in car jackings using decoys, as they are investigators specializing in this already. Bringing them in from other districts. Have the Illinois State Attorney General office deputize a few hundred retired Police to work part-time doing surveillance. And using National guard helicopters for surveillance and Intelligence.
Chicago needs federal resources. The federal government needs to create a task force consisting of ICE, Homeland Security investigations, FBI, IRS, Marshals service and Secret Service. Remember Chicago Police didn't take down Al Capone, the IRS did for tax evasion. To save lives, we have to set aside politics and spend some money to combat crime in Chicago. If not in 2023 they will surpass 1,000 homicides in a year. More Police officers will be killed as well. If SA Fox refuses to prosecute, then hand it off to the U.S. Attorney's office for federal offenses and RICO charges. Deputize more local law enforcement as federal officers.
I spoke to a suburban Police Chief recently, and we were discussing the problem for felony authorizations in Cook County.
If you were never the police this is how it works. If an officer makes an arrest for a petty offense (local ordinance) or misdemeanor he draws up the report and complaint and that individual can be issued a ticket and released on the spot just like a driving offense. Most driving offenses are misdemeanors If an officer chooses to take you to jail, there already is a set bond which is usually low, and you are released with a promise to appear in court for your first court date to enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. Then you decide to go to trial to fight your offense. Most of these offenses can land you up to a year in the county jail. These are the cases that are back logging the system.
The next type of arrest is a felony. If you are caught with a gram of cocaine or driving on a revoked license, you can be arrested for this type of offense. The categories are 4 being the lowest and 1 being the highest. So if you were arrested for a felony including a robbery. Carjackings or even murder, you cannot be released by a set bond. You would see a judge who sets your bond instead.
Upon making the arrest the Police Officer would contact the felony authorization hotline of the prosecutor's office, in this case the Cook County State's Attorney's Office to approve the arrest. They are given the circumstances of the arrest and prevent evidence of necessary. Upon approval, the offender is locked and not released until they see a felony bond call judge. Only that judge can set the bond according to the crime. The State's Attorney has the authority to drop the charges at any time, including there.
The problem in Cook County is that the SA Kim Foxx is refusing to prosecute cases including murders. In my conversation with this Police Chief we discussed a murder he recently presented with the evidence, weapon and standards, and they refused to approve the charge of murder. Meanwhile, this offender can be in the wind and may never be found again. This department has no funding to even sit on this murder suspect.
So, the case that he presented to the SA is dropped into a purgatory program called “continued investigation” In the case of this Chief they stated that they need more witnesses and evidence. Though, it's a perfect case to present to a grand jury for a true bill and prosecution. After an audit made by the General Assembly, there are literally thousands of cases in CI. Every Cook County suburban Chief has complained to no avail because this is perfectly legal because it's the authority of the States Attorney to cherry-pick cases to prosecute.
The Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul who was recently re-elected can step in easily and override the State's Attorney Foxx to prosecute these cases, but they are both Democrats and will never do so. Birds of a feather I guess.
Chiraq, as Chicago is called, had more killings than one year in Iraq in a time of war. If you were killed right now in Chicago, there is a 75% chance your murderer will not be found. If the 25% the Police arrest, what are the chances the SA will prosecute them. That's the problem with the crime problem. The Police do their jobs only to release the ones committing these dangerous crimes. The SA goes as far as to advocate for murderers when the Police take the case to a judge for felony authorization.
There were two cases in 2022 when violent felons were arrested and the SA refused to authorize the arrest. Instead, the Police went to a judge who authorized the arrest only to have the prosecutor have the judge overruled, and the criminals were set free.
In October 2021, there was a shootout between multiple gang members with pistols using extended magazines and fully automatic rifles. The Police were on scene and made an arrest, with the weapons seized as evidence. The shootout, which took place in the city’s Austin suburb, began between two factions of the Four Corner Hustlers gang.
One shooter was left dead, and two suspects were wounded in the shootout, which required the assistance of a SWAT team. The gunfight, which was caught on a police surveillance camera, ended when a police cruiser pulled up to the block. More than 70 shell casings were found on the street — though the amount was likely higher, given it didn’t include shots fired from the other location.
Five men were taken into custody, with the police insider detailing that law enforcement were going to seek murder and aggravated battery charges against them.
But by that Sunday, they were all released – without charges.
“Mutual combatants was cited as the reason for the rejection,” read the police report, according to the Sun-Times, adding that the suspects were not cooperating with investigators. Mutual combat is a legal term defined as a “fight or struggle that two parties willingly engage in.”
The Cook County state’s attorney explained in a statement that prosecutors had “determined that the evidence was insufficient to meet our burden of proof to approve felony charges,” adding that police officials agreed with the decision. A similar “mutual combat” incident reportedly happened a week before in Schaumburg, Ill., where an 18-year-old man was killed in a stabbing that was caught on camera.
Manuel Porties Jr., died last Tuesday after he got into a fight with a 17-year-old, who punched and fatally stabbed the victim.
“They’re saying that it’s mutual combat,” Porties Jr.’s father told WGN. “How is it mutual combat when my son didn’t have anything to combat with — the only thing he had was his two hands?”
The man added: “He stood over my son and finished him, and that’s not murder?”
This is unheard of in other counties in Illinois!
What can be done?
In order for the Police to be the Police, we need to do away with the CIs. Our Police depend on these charges to move forward through the courts to find prison time for the offenders, or guess what? They will continue to commit crimes.
The State of Illinois has a very little known prosecutions unit called the States Attorney's Appellate Prosecutor's Office, composed of a board of elected State's Attorneys throughout the State. They have the authority to investigate and prosecute cases anywhere in Illinois, including Cook County.
We need to weaponize this unit to prosecute cases in Cook County until we replace Foxx or produce legislation to grant special powers to Cook County judges to authorize charges and issue contempt charges if the SA refuses to prosecute. Only then can we make a dent in the criminal justice system.
We do this for the forgotten ones. The victims of crime. The battered mother of three children. The mother of a slain innocent 5-year-old girl caught in the crossfire. I can give you hundreds more examples, but we need to become accountable to them for they are the ones that demand and deserve justice.
We can no longer afford to appease to Black Lives Matter and other groups that advocate for criminals.
There is going to come a day when the members of those groups will need a Policeman. They, too, will demand justice when they become victims. Crime is blind, but we are not.
If we choose not to open our eyes about the crime problem now, our children will pay for it later.
Regardless of who wins the mayor's race, we still have to look outside the box for answers to combat crime. Because the Democrat agenda doesn't have this on their list, unfortunately.
Val Ojeda is a Republican Author, Media Personality, Strategist and Consultant. Ojeda manages federal political campaigns also serving as President Trump's Hispanic Coalition Leader. Ojeda is also a businessman, entrepreneur and the founder of FAMA a 501c3 Chamber of Commerce. Ojeda served as law enforcement Veteran Officer/Detective.