MMB: Main, Sposato, & Tokenism

Main at it Again!

TokenismThis story is just another case of the local media exploiting violence and a salacious headline to get clicks and then not delivering a meaningful story.

I would bet very near 99% of guns used on the streets of Chicago start out being purchased legally through a gun store. This is not news. The fact that one of those guns traced back to a gun store in Cook County also is not news.

For those that may not remember this made the news a few years back. Also, the concept of gangs using straw purchasers to buy weapons from gun stores in Cook County is also not new. In fact the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago had a little program called Project Safe Neighborhoods for many years working to interrupt the pipeline of guns coming in from Indiana and from gun stores in Illinois, including Cook County, through straw purchases.

So, I must ask, what is the purpose of this article?

It provides some context about what happened at this shooting but far from all of the facts. It certainly seems like they used the fact that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) traced the gun to a straw purchase from a suburban gun as the motivation for publishing half a store about the shooting that night.

Also, I think the Chicago media has to get over the concept of calling shootings in Chicago that wound more than two or three people as mass shootings. The fact is that with most drive by shootings or other gang shootings there are multiple shots exchanged and multiple people that could be wounded. Is the motivation behind the shooting different if nobody gets hit or if 10 people get hit? Is the motivation different whether 1 person dies or 10 people die?

I abhor all shootings but without appropriate media coverage of the crime and violence in Chicago we are never going to have the space to find solutions. I just find it completely objectionable to use any language that links shootings stemming from urban violence to shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School , El Paso Walmart, or the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. If the journalists cannot see the differences between these shootings and the shooting in the article, they need to find another beat or maybe even a new profession.

Pure Tokenism

This is a decent story but I think they buried the lead and really missed something that should have been the main trust of the story. Superintendent Brown provided some, just some, additional details about what the they are calling the co-responder model. Next year the city will be testing a new model that seems to partner cops with mental health experts in response to some calls for police services in that district.

First, this is far too weak an approach to creating a new model or response. This new program will still have a person with a gun responding to calls that don’t require the gun. This is the very issue that creating an alternative response is trying to deal with. The vast majority of calls that police are currently responding to in Chicago do not require a person with a gun but under the Lightfoot program there is still going to be an armed response to situations that don’t require it.

This is an issue with the CAHOOTS program in Oregon. Residents are pushing for a completely separate number to call to get an alternative response and make sure a person with a gun does not show up when they are not needed. So, what does Lightfoot do? Ignores the problems with current programs and takes the smallest step possible towards creating an alternative response. This is the epitome of tokenism.

Just look at the budget: $656,000

Yes, Chicago is facing unprecedented financial pressure but just remember another number for some context.

TIF Money Collected in 2019: $926 million

Yup. Tokenism. Nothing more.

I wonder what Police Accountability Task Force leader Lightfoot would say if this was Rahm’s plan?

Chicago’s Trumpian Alderman

This guy should not be treated with any credibility by the media. He should be treated like the Catanzara of alderman. Maybe, even the Trump of alderman.

Alderman Sposato seems all hot and bothered that people dare defame his hero Christopher Columbus.

Some journalist in Chicago should force Sposato to defend the facts about his hero including:

  • Columbus kidnapped a Carib woman and gave her to a crew member to rape
  • On Hispaniola, a member of Columbus’s crew publicly cut off an Indian’s ears to shock others into submission
  • Columbus kidnapped and enslaved more than a thousand people on Hispaniola
  • Columbus forced Indians to collect gold for him or else die
  • About 50,000 Indians committed mass suicide rather than comply with the Spanish
  • Settlers under Columbus sold 9- and 10-year-old girls into sexual slavery
  • Indian slaves were beheaded when their Spanish captors couldn’t be bothered to untie them

Just letting Sposato spew his hatred without challenging him to defend his support for someone who is actively engaged in facilitating rape and condoned mass human trafficking and sex slavery. Get some courage and do your job.

Just a little more context here.

Yup. This is one of the aldermen that thinks the police accountability system in Chicago is too hard on cops.

Let that sink in.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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