It’s no secret that crime rates have been steadily rising in Chicago in recent years. In nearly all categories, ranging from murder and other violent crimes to carjacking and property theft, the rates have gone up. One other statistic that’s heading in the opposite direction but doesn’t receive nearly as much media attention is the rate at which the Chicago Police Department has been making arrests for these crimes. The Chicago Sun-Times reported this week that arrest rates for all crimes have plunged to barely 12%. In one of the more stunning examples of a failure to collar some killers this weekend, a police supervisor ordered cops who were in pursuit of a group of suspects in a drive-by murder to stop their pursuit of the shooters’ vehicle. Even the cops were stunned by the order, with audio recordings of the police radio traffic making their way out to the public. (CWB Chicago)
A Chicago Police Department supervisor on Saturday ordered patrol units to stop pursuing a car that officers saw being used by three gunmen in a murder just minutes earlier.
After being told to stop pursuing the car, a stunned officer responded, “The car wanted for the murder?”
“This department’s a joke,” another said.
The pursuit of the four men, three of whom were reportedly captured on video firing shots by a CPD surveillance camera, came just one day after the Sun-Times reported that violent crime arrests in the city are at historic lows.
It’s true that the Chicago PD remains understaffed after the “defund the police” movement of the past several years, but that can’t account for everything we’re seeing. A 12% arrest rate is simply pathetic. That means that a suspect is only being identified and taken into custody in barely one out of ten cases of a crime being reported. It’s a big city, but it’s not that big. And there are far more surveillance cameras and ShotSpotter microphones installed in high-crime areas than there used to be.
In the Sun-Times article linked above, one mother was interviewed who lost two of her sons to gang shootings in a short period of time. She and other neighbors were able to identify a gang member who had bragged about shooting the first son on social media. He also stole a sign memorializing the victim from the woman’s lawn and posted a picture of himself pointing a handgun at it. The woman’s younger son was gunned down a short time later. How many more clues do they need?
When the mother called the police multiple times to get an update on the investigation she was simply told that the process was “ongoing” and they were waiting for witnesses to come forward. But don’t you imagine that they could have at least rounded up the guy posting selfies and bragging about killing the victims for questioning? It seems rather unlikely that he would be able to pass a background check, so if nothing else they could probably tag him on an illegal weapons charge. At least that would get him off the streets for a while.
If you go to the CWB Chicago link provided above, you can listen to the audio recordings of the police radio traffic during the pursuit of three shooters in a stolen vehicle. When the supervisor orders them to break off the pursuit, the officers sound appalled. There was security camera footage of the shooting available and it also clearly showed the license number of the stolen vehicle they were driving. Clearly, the cops were in pursuit of the correct car and it was related to a murder that had just happened.
Why was the pursuit called off? There’s no indication that this is some new Chicago PD policy, so perhaps the supervisor was just making a bad call on the fly. But that’s not going to do much to improve the confidence of LaTanya Gordon, the mother I mentioned above who lost two sons to gang killings. The Chicago PD is quickly building a reputation as a team that is less interested in actually catching suspects than they used to be. And that’s only going to embolden the gangs and further depress the lawful residents of the city.