Chicago: Innocent child, 9, shot and killed while playing with friends. City homicides soar as mayor loses all control.

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CHICAGO, IL – On Friday, July 31, 2020, nine-year old Janari Ricks played with friends behind the Cabrini Green townhomes on North Cambridge Avenue.

At about 6:45 p.m., he was shot twice; once in the back and once in the arm, and killed.

Like most kids his age, Janari had a lifetime of events and memories in store for him. And then he was robbed of all that, as were his parents, extended family, friends, and all those who would have otherwise come to know him. 

July of 2020 was a bad month for Chicago. There were more than double the number of homicides from the same month in the previous year, 105 compared to 44.

The last time a higher number was recorded was twenty-eight years ago, in September of 1992, when 109 homicides were committed.

The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, likened gun homicide to covid-19, describing it as “a health crisis.”

She went on to suggest that gun violence be treated as one would any other disease, with mental health professionals, street outreach, support for “community police officers” and gun control.

Lightfoot’s idea isn’t new and it hasn’t gotten any better with age. It would be nice if mental health professionals could search Chicago for troubled individuals and help them, thus preventing gun violence.

That picture might work if we had some reason to believe that all or most crimes involving gun violence were perpetrated by people suffering from mental illness.

It makes sense that gun crimes are committed by the mentally ill, because logically, who else would do it?

We’ve seen 200 mass shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2012, and many of them were perpetrated by people diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, 200 cases isn’t enough to establish statistical validity.

A better number to work with is the 120,000 gun-related killings recorded nationwide between 2001-2010. Of those, less than 5% were caused by people suffering from mental illness.

This doesn’t mean we should give guns to schizophrenics, confident that they will only commit five percent of gun-related murders. It means that we shouldn’t expect to solve more than five percent of the problem by utilizing the methods suggested by Lightfoot.

Lightfoot’s resolve to uphold law and order in Chicago can be seen in her response to demands made by the Marxist group Black Lives Matter (BLM). They told her to remove two statues of Christopher Columbus.

Lightfoot complied.

Her commitment to law and order, it seems, only extends as far as she is allowed by her leash, held firmly by Marxist agitators who seek to destroy law and order in Chicago and around the country. Lightfoot’s record speaks for her. More than double the number of gun crimes from the previous year.

The investigation of Janari Ricks’ murder has resulted in the arrest of 39-year-old Darrell Johnson.

Johnson previously served four years in prison for carjacking and weapons charges and two years’ probation for battery. Thanks to a surveillance video and police work, Johnson was identified and captured.

His arrest and, if found guilty, his punishment, will not bring Janari back. Janari is gone forever. The capture of Darrell Johnson may have prevented more murders he would have otherwise committed. Maybe he would benefit from some form of mental health treatment.

One thing that is certain is that Janari Ricks won’t benefit from anything that Lori Lightfoot’s office, Johnson’s prosecutor, or anyone else might do.

The best thing anyone could have done for Janari would have been to keep Darrell Johnson away from him and every other potential victim. The impulse to sympathize with the mental illnesses suffered by some criminals, their drug addictions, lack of intelligence, and the circumstances they inhabit shows that we are human.

However, if we allow altruistic impulses to favor the forces of destruction and evil, we will only encourage more tragedies like the death of Janari Ricks, left lying alone on the ground on a hot July afternoon.

One last thing, not that it matters and it doesn’t, but both Janari Ricks and Darrell Johnson are black. What matters is that one human, for whatever reason, killed another. That matters. It matters a lot.

As we reported earlier this week, the number of shooting victims under the age of 10 has tripled since last year. At the end of July 2020, 24 children, 10 years and younger were shot and five of those innocent children lost their lives.

According to Fox News, as of July 31st, there were 2,268 shooting victims of various ages for the year, marking a dramatic increase of 45 percent over the same time frame in 2019.

Of those who were shot, 222 victims were 17 or younger, showing an increase of 36 percent when compared to last year’s statistics.

Additionally, there were 30 children under the age of 17 who were shot to death in 2020, compared with 19 from previous year’s count. Many of the victims were shot while playing in their yards, lounging in their homes, walking down the street, or sitting in car seats. Several of the tragic deaths were infants under the age of 1-year-old.

Over the weekend, 25 people were shot. Nine of those individuals died from their gunshot wounds, including a young boy, who has since been identified as Janari Ricks.

Ricks, a 9-year-old boy was playing with a group of friends when he was shot in the chest. He was pronounced dead an hour after being transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital.

According to police, the gunman walked up to the children and opened fire. Brian McDermott, the Chief of Operations for the Chicago Police said that the young boy, Ricks, was an unintended target. 

Rick’s mother, Jalisa Ford told the Chicago Sun-Times that her son was a straight-A honor roll student preparing to start fourth grade. He called himself “Young Curry” in reference to his favorite basketball player, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Ford said:

“If he wasn’t able to pursue his dreams of becoming an athlete he wanted to do construction. He wanted to help rebuild the community, rebuild something that the kids can enjoy later down the line.”

Ford said that her son had been inside most of the day before the shooting. She said:

“He didn’t come out until 5 and he came out to play with his friends and my baby never been able to make it back home. He was very, very loved by so many people, everything knew him, everyone.”

Darrell Johnson, 39 is facing a first-degree murder charge in the murder of Ricks. Allegedly, surveillance video shows Johnson coming to and from the area of the shooting. Multiple witnesses also identified Johnson as the shooter.

On Monday, during a news conference, Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan credited neighbors with helping officers find Johnson as quickly as they did. Deehihan said in a statement:

“We’re not in this position without the help of the community who came forward and gave us information, which allowed us to identify and arrest the suspect.”

Johnson’s criminal history includes a 2005 conviction for aggravated vehicular highjacking. He was sentenced to serve four years in prison for committing the crime. 

Back on July 4th, a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot at a Fourth of July party with her family. According to reports, the girl was standing on the sidewalk in the 100 block of North Latrobe just after 7 p.m. Two shooters got out of a light-colored car and opened fire in her direction.

The young girl, since identified as Natalia Wallace, was rushed to Stroger Hospital, but was later pronounced dead. According to the autopsy, she died from her injuries and her death has been ruled a homicide. 

So far, police have arrested three men allegedly involved in the deadly shooting of Natalia. Charges have been filed against Reginald Merrill, 33, the alleged driver in the shooting and Davion Mitchell, 22, one of the alleged shooters. 

Terrell Boyd, 30, is now the third person charged in her murder. He was arrested on Monday on a warrant in Racine, Wisconsin.

Chicago is not the only city seeing a spike in gun violence where young children and teenagers end up being the unintended targets. In New York City, there have been 237 homicides in 2020 compared to 181 for the same time frame last year.

In Atlanta, there have been 76 homicides so far this year compared to the 56 for the first seven months of 2019. In Boston, after recording 25 homicides in the first seven months of 2019 they had 35 during the same time period and 15 of those were during July.

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Here is another article for Law Enforcement Today about the gun violence in Chicago:

CHICAGO, IL – As riots, protests, and anti-police rhetoric continues, Chicago is seeing an unprecedented amount of crime and shootings. 

The city has become like the wild west, with the most recent count of 25 shootings in one day. 

On July 20th, 25 people were shot, four of them being fatal, aging from 24 to 65 years old. The specifics on all 25 shootings differ slightly. However, the re-occurring trend is that all of the victims were standing outside, and many were fired upon by people driving by in vehicles. 

All of this was just in one day, not including the incredible number of shootings and deaths that took place on the weekend.

Over the weekend, Chicago saw 63 people shot, 12 fatally. 

This represents a 76% increase in crime from June 2019- June 2020.

Things have gotten so bad in Chicago that the Police Chief has now called on President Trump to intervene and clean up the Mayors mess.

Mayor Lightfoot is obviously against the idea of help from President Trump, but something needs to be done to stop the madness Chicago is currently facing. 

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Here is more information on the police chiefs plea for help that Law Enforcement today brought you. 

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police’s president John Catanzara has asked for help from President Trump to combat Chicago’s gun violence problem.

The months of May, June, and July 2020 were a filled with shooting sprees across Chicago.

FOP President Catanzara wrote:

“I would be willing to sit down anytime and discuss ideas about how we can bring civility back to the streets of Chicago. These politicians are failing the good men and women of this city and the police department.

“Mayor Lightfoot has proved to be a complete failure who is either unwilling or unable to maintain law and order here.”

Catanzara also complained that he has been to City Hall to speak to Chicago’s leadership about the increasing gun violence.

Catanzara said:

“These politicians are failing the good men and women of this city and police department. …. I have pushed back on their failing liberal policies. I really believe your help and cooperation could make a big difference and rally the silent majority to say enough is enough.”

He continued:

“These politicians are failing the good men and women of this city and police department. …. I have pushed back on their failing liberal policies. I really believe your help and cooperation could make a big difference and rally the silent majority to say enough is enough.” 

President Trump has criticized the leadership of Chicago as well. In June, Trump sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Lightfoot and Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker demanding the to “urge action on the devastating violence in Chicago.”

This urgency stems from the recent months of gun violence in Chicago. It is only July and already the numbers compared to last year are way up.

President Trump wrote:

“Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect. I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”

Mayor Lightfoot responded to President Trump’s letter.

She wrote:

“If you really wanted to help the city, let’s start with the fact that you would weigh in, Mr. President, on common sense… gun reform. It makes no sense that people from Chicago can go across the border to Indiana and buy military grad weapons and bring them to our city and kill our children.”

Chicago has experienced many of its deadliest weekends since the summer holidays began, peaking at Memorial Day weekend and Fourth of July weekend.

Over Memorial Day weekend, over 80 citizens were shot and almost 24 killed. In June, in one weekend there over 104 citizens shot and 14 killed. On the Fourth of July weekend there were over 70 citizens shot and 16 killed.

Chicago Police Department released data mid-June 2020 in response to President Trump’s remarks on their murder clearance rate of 47% in 2019. Chicago PD stated their murder clearance rate in 2019 was 53%.

At the end of 2019, 419 citizens were killed in the span of a year, which is a 13% reduction from 567 murders in 2018. This marks a drop in murders for three years straight. 

Mayor Lightfoot commented on Memorial Day weekend’s violence, one of the most deadliest Memorial Day weekends in a long time.

At the time, Mayor Lightfoot said:

“The reality is there is no circumstance like the one that we are facing.”

She commented the city is lacking federal resources, jail admittance and court hearings during COVID-19 pandemic. This is also making community police very difficult, perhaps the most difficult in over 20 years.

President Trump signed an executive order on police reform in mid-June as well.

Before signing the executive order, he said:

“Every day, police officers make great sacrifices o keep our community secure and safe. In 2018, our police arrested nearly 12,000 citizens for murder, 25,000 citizens for rape and nearly 1.5 million for assault. Very dangerous criminals. In many cases, local law enforcement is underfunded, understaffed, and under-supported.”

The full letter from President Trump and the White House:

“Dear Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot:

“I write to you today to call your attention to and urge action on the devastating violence in Chicago.  While I have been heartened to see crime reductions nationally the last few years, I have been horrified by the continued violence in this great American city.

“I recently read an article from the Chicago Sun-Times on June 8, 2020, “18 murders in 24 hours: Inside the most violent day in 60 years in Chicago,” which discussed the severe crime and lack of law and order in our Nation’s third largest city.  The article details how “85 people were shot and 24 killed the previous weekend, the most in modern history in Chicago.”  Your lack of leadership on this important issue continues to fail the people you have sworn to protect.  I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.  The article recounts the following horrors:

“A hardworking father killed.

“A West Side high school student murdered.

“A college freshman who hoped to become a correctional officer, gunned down.

“18 people killed Sunday, May 31, the single most violent day in Chicago in six decades.

“The weekend of May 29, 25 people were killed and another 85 wounded by gunfire.

“The most violent weekend in Chicago’s modern history, stretching police resources that were already thin because of protests and looting.

“Violence and death, which are disproportionately harming young African Americans, are tragic and unacceptable, particularly on such a shocking scale. According to the Chicago Sun Times, “shootings across the City increased by 71 percent last month,” and just this past weekend 102 people were shot in the city’s most violent weekend of the year. 

A 3-year old toddler was killed.  

More Americans have been killed in Chicago than in combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq combined since September 11, 2001, a deadly trend that has continued under your tenure.

“The American people (hardworking taxpayers) send you millions of dollars in Federal funding each year to support public safety in Chicago.  

In 2018 and 2019, the City of Chicago benefited from $136 million in funding from the Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Program, and another $68 million was recently announced for Chicago from this important program.  

The Department of Justice awarded and is in the process of awarding nearly $20 million to support law enforcement and law-enforcement related entities in the City of Chicago and Cook County across 2019 and 2020, including resources for combating opioid abuse and recidivism reduction. 

The Department of Labor has also awarded funding to programs targeting prisoner re-entry and recidivism reduction in the Chicago area.  My Administration allocated $898.6 million to the City of Chicago and Cook County from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which helps support your first responders on the front lines.  

In the absence of any modicum of leadership, however, these substantial sums of taxpayer money are not being turned into results, and the safety of your most vulnerable communities continues to deteriorate.  These funds are in addition to those collected through your combined insatiable appetite to tax the people of Illinois and Chicago.

“I will continue to lead the way to support historically disadvantaged communities and would welcome your help in these endeavors.  In December 2018, I signed into law the First Step Act, marking the first major reforms to our criminal justice system in over a decade.  

This brings historic reforms to make our justice system fairer and to help inmates successfully transition back into society by providing prisoners with a second chance through rehabilitative programs and fair sentencing.  

Additionally, when I signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, we created Opportunity Zones.  Nationwide, nearly 9,000 communities have designated Opportunity Zones, including over 130 in Chicago, which are incentivizing investments in areas that have been forgotten for far too long.  

My Administration has also provided robust, unprecedented support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Recently, on June 16, I signed an Executive Order advancing important reforms to elevate a noble profession and strengthen the essential bond of trust between police officers and the communities in which they serve.  

My Administration continues to work closely with Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and others across the political spectrum to advance further policy improvements and meaningful reforms.

“Unlike previous Administrations of both parties, I am willing to tackle unsolved challenges.  If you are willing to put partisanship aside, we can revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Chicago, together.  But to succeed, you must establish law and order.  

The combination of crime, high State and local taxes, and onerous State and local government regulations have caused thousands of Illinoisans to flee to other States.  Between 2010 and 2019, Illinois lost more of its population than any other state in the Nation. 

If you are interested, I am willing to ask members of my Cabinet to meet with you and help devise a plan to make Chicago safe, since a successful formula has escaped both you and your predecessors.  

My Administration would also welcome the opportunity to engage with you and your colleagues as you develop bipartisan policy recommendations to improve policing and make our great cities safer for all.

“Unfortunately, you continue to put your own political interests ahead of the lives, safety, and fortunes of your own citizens.  The people of Chicago deserve better.”

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