What happens when police won’t even chase down and apprehend criminals? Well, a lot of people get victimized. Bad guys get more brazen. And the cycle continues.
Take this instance of a young woman getting robbed by at least a quartet of young thugs who had no concern that police might catch them.
Imagine if that was your wife or daughter.
CWB Chicago has what’s just another day in Robbery City USA:
CHICAGO — It’s 4:25 a.m. as the woman rolls her luggage through one of the busiest intersections in Chicago, the heart of Wicker Park. She’s probably heading to the nearby Damen Blue Line station, possibly heading to O’Hare. She won’t make it.
Unbeknownst to her, a silver car pulls into the left turn lane behind her as she begins to cross North Avenue. It’s loaded with an armed robbery crew, including at least one armed with a rifle. They’re in the middle of a crime spree, and they’ve already decided to introduce themselves.
She crosses the street as the silver car moves toward her. It’s still moving when a rifleman in the back seat opens his door, preparing to cut her off. He jumps out, pointing the business end of the weapon at her head, as his accomplices pour from the car to shake her down.
The gunman turns his attention to the six-way intersection, looking out for witnesses and cops as his buddies take everything of interest from the woman. When an SUV pulls to a stop for the red light on North Avenue, the rifleman directs his gun toward its driver and waves them through the intersection. Wisely, the motorist complies.
A city surveillance camera recorded the whole thing as it happened on September 23. Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications refused to hand over the footage when we asked for it a few hours later via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Of course. The video makes Chicago look like a dystopian shithole. Which it is.
After driving away, the crew stopped again about a block down. They clocked that victim in the head with the butt of a rifle.
CPD surveillance officers who reviewed the video you just watched radioed descriptions of the men and their car to patrol units. The car’s left headlight was out, cops were told. The back right window was broken, probably because the car was stolen and the thieves had to break the glass to get inside.
A few minutes later, the holdup crew displayed at least one rifle to rob another woman in the 900 block of West Randolph in the West Loop. The robbers hit her in the face. They rolled up on another woman around the same time, near Lake and Elizabeth streets.
A Chicago police sergeant spotted the robbers’ getaway car as they drove through the West Loop. He mentioned it on the radio but did not pursue it.
Across Chicago, robbery reports are up 24% from last year and 38% from 2019.
The increase is primarily due to incessant armed robbery sprees like the one that popped up on September 23: Small groups of young men, usually traveling in stolen cars, sometimes committing more than a dozen robberies at a time.
But the Chicago Police Department has become so risk-averse that its supervisors almost always order patrol officers to terminate pursuits of violent offenders, even if the cops see an armed robbery committed firsthand.
The story goes on for longer, but you get the idea.