As residents of Chicago deal with sustained murder rates and gun violence, the police department is looking for ways to combat it. Their latest attempt to resolve the issue was by adding 1,000 new officers, detectives, lieutenants, and sergeants within the next two years.
The gazebo where Tamir Rice was shot by Cleveland Police for holding a toy gun has become a landmark of sorts. It’s turned into a place for collective mourning and a reminder of the same justice system that allowed the officers to walk away free.
The physical reminder of Rice’s death, and, to be quite honest, a somber memorial to black death, is being moved to the South Side of Chicago.
Fidencio Sanchez, 89, lost his only daughter this past July. According to CBS, she was his main means of support and her loss forced him to devote even more time to his business to make ends meet. That business was selling fruit popsicles, commonly referred to as “paletas” in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
When Joel Cervantes Macias was driving by and saw his elder working so hard, he felt moved. After buying 20 paletas and giving him $50, he took a picture and posted it to his Facebook.
Chicago native Jessica Disu, also known as FM Supreme, is an activist and rapper who reps her city everyday. Many were introduced to her when she stood up for police abolition on Fox News but there is so much more to this young organizer. Her new video for the powerful song, “This is not a drill” details the ways that her activism is informed by her community, her experiences, and her faith.
Since 2004, Chicago has spent $642 million on police-related legal claims. Between 2012 and 2015, the City paid out a total of $210 million to settle police misconduct lawsuits, many on the receiving end of the settlements were Black and Brown folks. This is now the same city that will be hiring more police officers, putting more Black and Brown Chicagoans at risk. There is no nice way to say this, but Chicago is wasting its time – and money – hiring more police officers.
Four-hundred people were shot in Chicago within the span of 31 days. Ninety of them died. Multiple outlets, including The Washington Post and CNN, are calling August the deadliest month the city has experienced in two decades.
Some news reports implicated widespread gang violence within the city for the drastic uptick in crime, while others focused on the influx of firearms from neighboring states with looser gun laws. A new documentary from BBC, titled “Lost Streets Chicago,” hones in on the impact of the seemingly inescapable violence concentrated in minority neighborhoods, with residents describing them as tantamount to “third-world countries.”
It’s been nearly two years, but the fallout from Laquan McDonald’s death at the hands of Chicago police is far from over. Out of the ten officers that were involved in McDonald’s killing, and cover-up that followed, five are now being brought before the Chicago Police Board for possible termination at the request of Supt. Eddie Johnson.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been centered on making grand statements that many voters never force him to follow through on. Outside of building walls and fixing the U.S. economy practically overnight, he’s also claimed that he can end gun violence, specifically in Chicago.
While Trump often uses Chicago as an example of how bad gun violence can be, he’s never really said what he’d plan to do. Even when his staff made a claim that they’d talked to a top Chicago police official that informed them of a way to resolve the problem in a week by being “much tougher.” Well, CPD’s calling his bluff.
The Chicago Police Department has made claims that it would work to be more open and transparent following a scandal tied to the shooting death of Laquan McDonald when Former Officer Jason Van Dyke shot him 16 times. However, the Chicago Tribune still had to wait seven months and threaten a lawsuit to be given data about the department’s recent shootings.
The Tribune found that, in a six year period between 2010 and 2015, 92 people were killed in police shootings and another 170 were injured. Four out of five of those shooting victims were black males. The data also showed that a Chicago police officer fired their weapon at someone once every five days, on average.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is currently in a position where he must command the trust of the public and the loyalty of the officers he presides over. In an effort to try and maintain that balance, Johnson wrote and sent a letter to the department’s rank-and-file officers stating that he is looking to fire eight of the ten officers who were on the scene for Laquan McDonald’s shooting death.