Trying Times in Chicago

These are trying times, here in Chicago. On the national scale, the country is divided over Supreme Court nominations. The venom spouted in the media and on the Internet should sicken you as it does me. To add to this here in Chicago we have our own issues. The criminal courts are currently trying a police officer for murder in a case that has received nationwide attention.

Jason Van Dyke shot and killed a young black man. The trial is soon to end. The defense rested, and the summations are beginning. After that, the jury will be given their instructions, retire and deliberate. They will return with either a unanimous verdict or a mistrial will be declared. That is the way our judicial system works and that is the way justice is supposed to work.

Not here in Chicago. Certain groups of people have pre-judged Officer Van Dyke. They won’t be satisfied unless he is found guilty of murder. They said that long before any trial started. They gathered with a lynch mob mentality. They pre-judged this case based on a video without hearing evidence. Some demanded a conviction even before the video was ever released.

Our mayor is relatively quiet on the entire matter. Of course, he no longer cares since he announced he’s not running for reelection. I’m sure he’ll soon move on to a more lucrative address and put Chicago behind him.

Good citizens of this town are worried. Many remember the riots from the late 60’s when a section of the city went up in flames as looters burned and pillaged.

To further fuel this fear, posts on Facebook threaten violence to children and wives in predominately white areas.

Posts on light poles tell rioters where to gather to focus and direct this looting. They ask the looters to limit their looting and pillaging to neighborhoods outside their own.

This would be a great time for the church to step forward and offer leadership and try to calm the waters. Instead, a group of religious leaders is calling for a general strike, citywide, should the verdict not come in as guilty.

Father Michael Pfleger, a Catholic parish pastor, has been at the forefront of this action. Rather than calling for peace and calm, his actions further divide. His actions threaten the city he lives in. Does the Catholic Church step forward and attempt to rein him in? Not a chance. Once again, they sit silent and give tacit approval of his actions. Is it any wonder that with the pedophilia cover-up and this, the Chicago Church is losing parishioners?

Trying times

In response, the Chicago Police Department is mobilizing. Watches are being rearranged and days off canceled. They’ll try to do the best they can.

I saw one comment online calling for officers to call in sick and stay home to guard their homes against the forecast mob of rioters. I’m sure that won’t happen but the officers at work will have their mind split between work and their families.

For civilians in the city, living in nicer areas the looters plan on storming, the fear must be terrible. I’m sure the ammunition sales in the suburbs has increased recently.

For the nearby suburbs, don’t expect city boundaries to stop rioters if they come. You won’t hear “Oh no, that’s Niles. We can’t loot that store.”

The Chicago Police are understaffed, overworked, and out-numbered. It doesn’t look good.


Let’s say Van Dyke is convicted. What does that say for the climate in Chicago? The effectiveness or what little there is of the police department as well as city government will all but vanish.

I know one retiree who told me he has a load of #4 birdshot and a Remington 12 ga. in addition to his service weapons just waiting for mobs to attack his home.

This is 2018 Chicago. Sounds like a bad movie.

These are trying times. Stay safe, run low and zigzag.

As always your comments are always welcome.


– Robert Weisskopf (Lt. ret.)