Chicago’s Anti-Violence Efforts Overblown

On today’s pod we take a look at recent reporting by the Better Government Association that focuses on the city’s Anti-violence efforts and the inability of leadership to detail specific steps they have taken to reduce gun violence. This inability to detail their anti-violence efforts hasn’t stopped leadership from claiming those mysterious efforts have had an immediate impact on reducing gun violence this summer in Chicago.

In the long tradition of Chicago politicians Mayor Lightfoot and Tamara Mahal, the Mayor’s point person leading the city’s anti-violence efforts, have been spreading misinformation about the impact of the city’s anti-violence efforts in every forum they can. According to the BGA this is not the first time Mahal has spread information that is clearly untrue to bolster her resume or the forcefulness of a program she is running. Mahal led the city’s effort to distribute COVID 19 vaccines and was caught by the BGA bragging about how Chicago’s efforts to distribute vaccines was the most equitable of any large city. Unfortunately an academic study rated the city’s efforts at best 10th best out of the 16 largest cities in the country. Mahal was also caught spreading misinformation about her role in disaster relief including being a point person for a university as they worked through a drought. The only problem is city officials remember that their recommendation to the university consisted of water their grass less. It is this kind of puffery and dishonesty that gets you promoted within city government to lead citywide anti-violence efforts.

Also on today’s show we discuss Robert Boik’s firing from the Chicago Police Department’s Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform for having a disagreement with Superintendent Brown. Boik is widely respected within the CPD as a straight shooter. The disagreement seems to stem from him request for 23 additional officers to be assigned to the police academy to help the CPD meet their obligations related to training officers throughout the department that has a deadline specified in the consent decree for March of 2023. Brown not only didn’t approve the 23 officers he request over 40 officers from the academy be transferred to the Bureau of Patrol for street duty. Thus assuring the CPD would not meet their obligations for in-service training for all their officers.

To end today we examine an column by some local religious leaders claiming to know that the was to reduce gun violence in Chicago is to improve the CPD’s clearance rates for violent crime. Clearly from the piece you know for sure the authors don’t know anything about clearance rates or what impact putting pressure on officers to clear homicides might have in communities of color. Thankfully we do.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Chicago Justice Podcast

This is our Chicago Justice Podcast that covers crime, violence, and justice issues in Chicago. We will feature deep dives in to justice system data, interview with researchers and justice system reform advocates, as well as evaluations of justice system practices.

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