Last weekend's orgy of violence in Chicago actually made the national news. With 78 shooting victims and 12 dead, it well and truly should have. But as a closer look makes extremely clear Chicago has a virulent gang problem, not a gun problem. What's more, Chicago Police internal documents show gang involvement in virtually every victim of Windy City violence last weekend.
Last Sunday, on the day after the observance of Illinois' new Barack Obama Day holiday, Chicago saw some truly horrific violence – even by Windy City standards. It was almost as if John Wick had come to visit Rahm's Paradise by the Lake after someone killed his puppy.
Behind the scenes, Chicago Police put out a "Detailed Situational Report" (DSR) each weekday. On it, their "Data Warehouse" lists shooting incidents and murders along with guns recovered.
Inside, the report details the names and descriptions of each of the victims and suspects, including any gang affiliations and the location of each incident. Furthermore, it shows each person's criminal history, a description of their injuries and their Strategic Subject List score. Lastly, it contains a narrative of what happened.
Because it's Chicago — where support from "the community" typically hovers near zero — police seldom identify any suspects, much less make arrests. In fact, CPD has made arrests in only 13% of homicides so far in 2018.
A casual glance through the confidential DSR reveals that virtually every victim of Chicago violence last weekend had gang ties. Either as a member of a gang or those (often young females) who hang out with gang members. The other glaring common thread: the victims themselves usually have criminal histories, too.
In fact, poring over the fifteen pages of incidents (pasted end to end, that's over 10 feet of incidents), only 21 of the 78 victims did not have a criminal history. Meanwhile, those with arrest records garnered a total of 813 arrests between them.
Eight hundred thirteen arrests.
At the same time, Cook County's infamous "catch and release" criminal justice system only managed to gain convictions in 120 of those 813 arrests.
For example, one 23-year-old Black P. Stone gang member who was shot in the gut had 35 arrests and zero convictions. One perforated 66-year-old had 55 arrests!
Another 32-year-old Four Corner Hustlers member, Charles Green, had 62 arrests, but he won't re-offend. Not after he suffered multiple gunshot wounds that proved fatal. Green's colorful past included arrests for dope, more dope, armed robbery, and a murder for which Cook County prosecutor Kim Foxx released him without charges.
Tip for the day, besides avoiding Chicago: mommas, don't let your girls hang out with gang members. Otherwise, they can find themselves caught in the crossfire, and they don't always survive.
Three young adult women without any criminal history or gang affiliations suffered gunshot wounds in a single incident at 1338 S. Millard Ave. Two offenders began shooting into "a large street gathering" wounding a total of seven. Tragically, a 17-year-old girl named Jahnae Patterson died there from a wound to her face.
In the above photo, a grieving friend kisses Jahnae Patterson's photo at a street memorial. Some truly sad stuff. Each one of these victims has friends and family.
Meanwhile, another victim at that same location, aged 14, remains in good condition. How terrible, you say? That same 14-year-old named Marion already has two arrests for car burglaries and a Strategic Subject List (SSL) score of 385. The SSL score serves to indicate potential future criminal behavior. As defined by the City of Chicago:
Based on this time frame’s version of the Strategic Subject Algorithm, individuals with criminal records are ranked using eight attributes, not including race or sex. These attributes are: number of times being the victim of a shooting incident, age during the latest arrest, number of times being the victim of aggravated battery or assault, number of prior arrests for violent offenses, gang affiliation, number of prior narcotic arrests, trend in recent criminal activity and number of prior unlawful use of weapon arrests.
So how does 385 stack up? In layman's terms, it does not bode well for Marion reaching his 21st birthday.
For a more formal assessment, let's go to the NY Times:
…Over a third of those with a risk score of 500 were involved in a shooting or a murder in 2016. Mr. Wernick said about “one-third of the top 400 will be involved in a shooting in the next 18 months.” The data appear to back up that assertion.
A CBS Chicago report from May 2016 cited the police department as saying that 1,500 people from the S.S.L. are responsible for the majority of gun violence in Chicago.
The top 1,400 people have scores of 429 and up, and they are in fact disproportionately involved in violence. But that disproportionate share amounted to less than 20 percent of the total gun violence in Chicago in 2016.
One non-gang-related shooting victim stood out: a 62-year-old man. He sat in his car when another car rolled up and they pulled a gun on him, demanding his money. The victim declined. The robber took offense to Mr. 62-year-old not giving it up and opened fire. The victim took two gunshot wounds around the edges. Thankfully, he will likely recover. Unlike most victims of violence in Chicago, this man offered police useful information to track down his attacker.
Another very sad case that CPD may well solve comes from 1516 W. 78th Street. According to the Chicago Tribune, family found Robin Boler dead in her bathtub.
Woman found dead in bathtub with hands tied
Taisha Bailey felt a growing sense of dread as she walked up the stairs toward her niece’s South Side apartment.
It had been four days since anyone had heard from 32-year-old Robin Boler.
The apartment door was unlocked. A few flies were buzzing around, and a faint smell permeated the room.
Bailey and her sister, Boler’s mother, walked around the apartment, checking each room, until they arrived to the locked bathroom. Bailey’s sister jiggled the lock with her nail until the door swung open.
A swarm of flies rushed at the two women, Bailey said. Then, her sister screamed.
Boler was dead inside the bathtub, her hands and feet bound together, according to Chicago police.
The Detailed Situational Report has more.
"The victim's parents had not been able to make contact with her for the last two days. They then went to her apartment and found the door closed, but unlocked, and made entry. The victim was found face down, unresponsive in the bathtub, and bound with some type of clothing or fabric. The victim's mother related that the victim has an ex-boyfriend who lived with her until recently. The two had recently had a dispute over a 50" television, which was missing at the scene… Medium threat level GD [Gangster Disciples]."
Killing a woman over a 50-inch television? That seems like feral behavior. Unfortunately, we cannot put people to death by wood-chipper in Illinois. Not legally at least.
Another case caught my eye. The victim, Miguel, a 19-year-old Hispanic male, told police he saw some people who recognized him emerge from a convenience store. For some unknown reason (he says) they began chasing him in the 3900 block of S. Rockwell. In the alley behind the store, he heard gunshots and felt pain.
Before you start oozing sympathy for this poor teen, know that CPD says Miguel also moonlights as a Satan Disciples gang member and has built his SSL score to 500. With a SSL score that high, Darwin will probably catch up with him soon enough, assuming he survives this hospital visit.
In his short career, Miguel has amassed 28 arrests with…wait for it…no convictions. His charges have included shooting someone, threatening someone else with a gun, a juvy gun case, yet another juvy gun case, dope and gang loitering. Seems Miguel does not have a problem finding illegal guns to carry illegally. And illegally threaten others with them.
In another case, a Black P Stone member named Austin refused to cooperate with police after he got his latest piercing.
"The victim, who is a Black P Stone was uncooperative and stated that he was shot, he didn't see anything and he would not cooperate with the investigation. Detectives learned the victim was possibly playing a game of chance (shooting dice) in an alley with others when he was shot. A crime scene of spent casings was located almost a block away from this incident. Victim is on the SSL with a score of 418 & has 2 arrests that include Burglary and Mob Action."
Yes, Austin had just finished serving communion between singing songs in the choir. He will have to attend church on crutches this coming Sunday.
The bottom line in looking over 15 pages of violent incidents: Chicago has a one of the worst gang violence problems in the nation. No matter what you hear from the mayor or superintended of police, it's not a gun problem.
Obviously Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and crew find that gang problem – and the violence these people inflict upon their neighborhoods – acceptable. Sadly, as Jack Dunphy writes, there's no real political price to pay for allowing this problem to continue unchecked.
After all, if there was a political price to pay for the feral behavior of Chicago gang members, politicians would have cracked down long ago.