Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Revenge of The Thin Blue Line 32: Highways to Hell (i.e. Chicago)

The Illinois State Police released statistics for gun violence on the Expressways in and around Chicago.  Targeted ISP enforcement resulted in a 50% decrease in shootings and a drastic reduction in violence.  According to the report Illinois State Police will continue this targeted focus and enforcement, 
[T]he Illinois State Police (ISP) is reporting the total number of Chicago area expressway shootings dropped 47% in 2022 compared to 2021. The number of non-fatal injury expressway shootings in the Chicago area was cut in half and the number of expressway homicides decreased by 88% compared to last year. 
ISP will continue to take the multifaceted approach that has shown to reduce violent crime on our expressways.
  1. Increased ISP presence
  2. Focused, strategic violent crime reduction missions. Proactive enforcement - Statewide Anti-Violence Enforcement (SAVE) Unit 
  3. Multiple jurisdiction collaboration 
  4. Unified Command - Multiple ISP divisions focused on expressway violence 
  5. Technology - automated license plate readers, air operations
This kind of Police work is what Police at municipal, county and state levels should be doing.  Instead because of slashing taxes, cutting services, and generally dumping everything into the laps of the Police over the past 40 years, the focus of effort has devolved into Police adjacent calls for service and efforts to bolster revenue.  Worse than that the sensationalist media coverage of crime reporting during that timeframe lead to two of the worst initiatives in history; Stop-and-Frisk and Broken Windows, which should properly be understood as Stop-and-Fuck with People and Broken Trust of the Community.   

Besides the rampant racism of Police Officers writ large, U.S. Police Departments have always had an insular Us-against-Them mentality but those two "theories" of Police Work, turned many a department into Occupying Armies.  

What's needed in Policing and what Police Reform has haphazardly tried to address, with programs like CIT, are Officers with a capacity for deductive reasoning, a modicum of humanity and compassion, and the ability to communicate especially under stressful conditions.

Every "Democrat" City according to Faux News
Of course, complicating all of this has been the steady adoption of Law & Order as a cultural wedge issue since the time of Dirty Tricky Dick Nixon.  We saw this used again in 2020 with the dubious and deceitful Republicans bemoaning Defund the Police efforts leading to rampant crime.  One of the unshakeable Republican tropes trotted out daily on rightwing media, is that Democratic Cities are all smoking dystopian ruins, akin to the images of Boston in the HBOMax series The Last of Us.  Whether it was Portland, Oregon being burned to the ground 6 or 7 times in 2020 and 2021 by BLM and Antifa or the Highway to Hell that is Chicago despite the "strictest gun laws in the Universe" or when a simple gay Brazilian immigrant Congressman named George Santos was mugged at 3 in the afternoon in broad daylight in downtown Manhattan and robbed of his shoes just for being a Republican!

Now, the are multiple reasons both gross and fine for Republicans continually claim Democratic cities are hellholes (See Pig Fvcker Darren Bailey's comments on Chicago as he ran for Illinois Governor in 2022); the Republican Party has wedded themselves to the idea that Crime is a Black problem and its' exacerbated by Democrats who love Criminals.  This has been the overarching rightwing strategy since Dick Nixon ; to equate crime with Urban centers (and thus by minorities and elite liberals who live there) as opposed to the Rural America where the Real Americans live and the suburbs to which all good white people flee the smoking ruins of Democrat Cities. 

And facts don't matter in this Narrative.  For example when Democratic candidate Joy Hofmeister corrected pointed out that violent crime in Oklahoma was higher than New York City or California under the Republican Governor's mismanagement.  Governor Kevin Stitt was all, 'Aw shucks can y'all believe she's correctly pointing out the facts when all you good Real Americans know Escape from New York was a documentary?'  Facts, as was long ago pointed out, have a liberal bias...

So, getting back to Chicago.  After every Mass Shooting, Republicans jump onto the Corporate Media to repeat CHICAGO! CHICAGO! CHICAGO! which is of course code for Blacks, to dispute the fact that flooding the Nation with Firearms has not made Americans safer.  And, more importantly, guns are most often used to kill their owners after the gunman has murdered his family.  So here a few recent shootings which didn't rise to wider national coverage;
Guns used to kill the owner after HE has killed someone else.  And these four incidents are by no means the only recent ones or at all unusual in the United States.  But, none of this matters to the cadre of Gun Nuts, Republicans, and Firearm Manufacturers who profit mightily off the blood of dead and wounded Americans.

But, Gun Nuts simply ignore this fundamental truth and as they are fanatics who fight every gun law, regulation or restriction adopted at every level of Government by a politically powerful Well Financed groups of scumbag attorney's America keeps losing.

But, this is merging into another post I'm working on about the Rightwing effort to undo the Illinois Assault Weapon Ban and the Unending War conservatives are waging on the American People to ensure unrestricted gun violence is unstoppable plague forever and ever. 

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