CHICAGO, Ill. – It’s common knowledge that in terms of safe cities to reside in, Chicago is not one of them… not by a long shot.
But while most are privy to that notion, you’d be surprised just how unsafe it is for law abiding residents, and how lucratively generous the city is for the murderous criminals that live there.
Let’s just say that if the city of Chicago were running a casino that carried the odds of one’s likelihood to be arrested and prosecuted for a murder they committed within the city, the casino would be bankrupt in a matter of days.
If you’re curious as to the possibility of being arrested for committing a murder within Chicago, under the assumption that you were to commit one, there’s a more than fifty percent chance that you will get away with it.
Data stemming from the city showed that there were 5,534 homicides in Chicago between 2007 and 2017 and 26 percent of these homicides resulted in an arrest. Overall, victims of homicide and their loved ones are left hanging by this sad statistic, but the question is: why is the arrest rate so low for an area inundated with murder and violent crime?
Experts say a key reason is a lack of cooperation, either because people distrust the police or because they’re afraid to speak out. Either way, Chicago police clear fewer homicides than departments in other large cities.
You’ve heard the expressions before like “snitches get stitches”, there’s an innate stigma between residents of lower-income neighborhood and cooperating with the police. Although, what good is “street cred” when you’re dead?
The only thing you can be sure of is that there’s a high chance that justice won’t be doled out if you or a loved one dies in that city.
The proof is in the proverbial pudding, and one need not look any further than the slaying of Terry Green Jr. to understand the struggles that the police are faced with when trying to get suspects behind bars for murder.
Back in March of this year, 25-year-old Terry Green Jr. was shot and killed outside a West Side fast food joint. A cell phone video shows the incident that led up to the shooting. There were also numerous witnesses seen on the video, as well as a possible suspect. If video evidence was not enough in the case, Terry Green Jr. had also told police who arrived at the scene who the assailant was shortly before he succumbed to his injuries.
Still, no one was charged with the murder because authorities said that no one was willing to testify.
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The victim’s father in that case spoke to a local news team about the frustrations associated with the lack of resolve in his son’s murder.
“Well, a lot of these people, Terry actually knew them. For them not to come forward and not give up any information to help solve his murder is like a slap in the face to him,” he said.
However, police officers in the area are not at all surprised by the lack of outcome in cases such as these and mention that it’s a common problem.
Eugene Roy, a former Chicago police official, commented on the culture plaguing investigations.
“Witnesses definitely don’t feel safe or protected. There may be an amount of short-term protection, getting them to and from [a court date], but over the long term… it’s going to be gone. It isn’t there.”
The Cook County state’s attorney relocates roughly 50-100 families a year to protect them, in exchange for cooperation. The office would like to help more but can’t. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx released a statement about the inability to properly protect witnesses in cases.
“I think the fact of the matter is we’re woefully lacking the resources that we need to be able to protect people,” Foxx’s office said.
She plans to ask state lawmakers for additional funding to help protect witnesses.
In the meantime, the Green family clings to the hope that someone there that night will come forward. Cook County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Green’s killing. The number to call is (800) 535-STOP.
The city has gotten so bad, the current chief has announced that he’s no longer up to the job.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson plans to announce his retirement, three years after his appointment.
Johnson, who was sworn into the position by former Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, has become something of a lightning rod over the past several weeks, including a high-profile spat with President Trump and his police department.
Another issue that is hanging over Johnson’s head is an incident where he was found sleeping in his car near his home, according to the Chicago Tribune. Further clouding the issue is Johnson’s apparent flip-flop on the cause of his sleeping. The same Tribune article says that while Johnson initially attributed the incident to fatigue from high blood pressure, he later admitted to Mayor Christine Lightfoot that he had a “couple of drinks” at dinner earlier in the evening.
Johnson made headlines last month when the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) held their national conference in Chicago. Johnson boycotted the meeting due to the presence of President Trump. And President Trump, true to his trademark “pull no punches” style, went after Johnson.
“He’s not doing his job. Last year, 565 people were murdered in Chicago,” Trump said. “Since Eddie Johnson has been police chief, more than 1,500 people have been murdered in Chicago, and 13,067 people have been shot,” he continued.
As far as Johnson’s pending retirement goes, there is no definite timeline for his departure, although sources say it would likely be announced this week and an interim replacement could be named by the end of the month.
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