A Shooting By My Apartment

Yesterday, we drove back from Minnesota. As I pulled down Wabash an unmarked police car raced down the street in front of me. A policeman got out, left the door to his car open, and drew his gun. He started running.

We wheeled our way into our garage. There were police cars all over Michigan Avenue. That’s where the shooting was.

Turns out, a person on a bicycle shot a person walking on the sidewalk at Millennium Park. You hear a lot of stories about the violence in Chicago. Most of it is contained in one area of the city, not close to where you and your family would be if they were here.

This looks to be a random act of violence, not a gang crime or terrorism.  No law in the world would have stopped it.

My neighborhood has the usual city crime. It has a lot of it-but it’s crimes of opportunity. Shoplifting. Stealing personal items from people. Small time robbery. Never shootings. There are bums on every street corner panhandling and many of them have gotten very belligerent.  I saw that they are having similar problems in New York City.  I have seen the same people panhandling in the same spots for years and years and years.  Here is an Instagram of where the shooting was.

#nofilter. Shooting in front of our apt in Chicago by Millennium Park

A video posted by Jeff Carter (@pointsnfigures) on

We spoke with some news people and some policemen. They got the guy who they thought did it.

The other day, Mayor Emanuel made a speech in front of city council. He’s got some big problems he inherited, and some big ones he hasn’t done anything about. He said he will add a lot of personnel to the police force. Here is the rub.

Of the policemen he is adding, 400-500 are already in the police force. They are getting a promotion. The other bunch won’t cover the normal level of attrition the police force has. The reality is if you do the math, it’s all show but the police force isn’t going to get bigger.

Chicago can’t afford it. Read Wirepoints daily and you will see the plain unvarnished truth.

The biggest crisis Mayor Emanuel inherited is the public pension crisis. 95 cents of every $1 increase in our taxes goes to pay pensions-not for what the tax is designed to fix or improve. No government entity has done anything on public pensions in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner has tried, but has been stymied by the Democratic Machine. Anything government has done in Illinois is kick the can down the road. Or, they have rejiggered duration on their bond portfolio’s to have accounting gains-or they have utilized kept auditors or actuaries to make sure the publicly reported numbers aren’t what they really should be because those people make poor assumptions.

The police force in Chicago is overtaxed. They are under assault from independent groups, and from politicians. Certainly, there are some bad apples and they can be taken care of. But, it feels like it’s a part of a much broader organized top down movement.  Many of the arrests in Charlotte, NC were not local people.  They were imported from out of state.  No doubt, it’s because North Carolina is a state in political play.  I noticed there were no protests in Oklahoma.

The shootings that go on in other neighborhoods are part of a broader gang war.  If the US would change drug policy, the violence would decrease.  Milton Friedman was right about the War on Drugs.  There is only so much a city government can do to stop that kind of violence, although very liberal gun laws might help.  Changing educational policy to allow for school choice would help. Lowering minimum wage and mandatory union laws so people could have better opportunities to find work would help.

Politicians say they want to do something-but their solutions are always the same.  More laws, more regulations, higher taxes.  At the same time, the gang leaders help them get out the vote, so there is little incentive to change when politicians are just interested in power and not helping the electorate.

If you lose the lakefront and the Loop, you will lose Chicago.  My wife and I have always said, upper middle class and wealthy people will put up with a lot to live in a city.  They’ll pay taxes to a point and absorb the increased cost, to a point.  It is convenient and all the things that come with city living are great.  But, as soon as they don’t feel secure, they are out.

We haven’t reached that tipping point, but that’s the way momentum is going right now.

 

thanks for the link Glenn Reynolds.

  • subotaibahadur

    1) You live in a city that is financially, and criminally doomed to collapse if nothing is done.
    2) You have laid out the reasons why it is not possible, and never will be possible, to do anything.
    3) It is acceptable, so long as the violence does not hit the middle class [noting that the Nomenklatura have the legal and illegal means to protect themselves] and their living areas.
    4) Shootings are happening now in your middle class area.
    5) What is it that is there, that is worth staying in a war zone where there is no hope for relief when you have laid out the reasons for leaving?

    Mind you, for many of us, the question is academic curiousity, because Chicago really is not part of America any more.

    Subotai Bahadur

  • furytrader

    Over 3,000 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year, and we now have more murders than LA and NYC combined. How much worse does it have to get before decisive action gets taken? How about sending in the Illinois National Guard to patrol the streets? What are politicians waiting for?

  • Ipso Fatso

    What was the race of the shooter?

    • At this point, what difference does it make?

    • (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

    • the shooter and the victim’s race weren’t released yet. and like Hillbilly geek says, what difference does it make? It’s not an act of terror.

      • Ipso Fatso

        Terror is not my point. If you look at the figures for say 2015, 79% of those murdered were black who represent 1/3 of the population. For whites like you, 3.7% or 18 total murdered and whites also represent 1/3 of the population. (For the record, I am not white). My guess is that non-lethal shootings follow the same pattern. It is usually very safe to be a white person in Chicago and it is usually very safe in your neighborhood, although because of the lake, park, etc., your area will attract people from all over the city. For blacks living in parts of the south or west side, not so much. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Chicago doesn’t have a gun problem. Chicago has a black males with guns problem and until the black community starts to deal with the issue of why so many of their men have to commit murder and or shoot someone to settle their disagreements these killings, shooting, etc will continue. BTW, my numbers came from heyjackass.com.

        • Ipso Fatso

          I just read that the victim has died.

  • Ray Wylie Hubbub

    Require every citizen to own a firearm. They will all become very polite.

  • Nate

    In a couple of months I’ll be a new resident of Indiana, happily fleeing Chicago…but not before I cancel out some dead person’s Hillary vote….

  • ChupaMe (Deplorable)

    Rahm is full of shit.

    I lived in the Gold Coast for 5 years. We had some of the usual street crime and lots of smug “it doesn’t happen here” among the local well-heeled democrats.

    It’s changing. Last weekend there was a fatal gang shooting a block from my old place. I should feel some empathy for them, but I don’t. They keep voting for clowns like Rahm and Preckwinkle, and get what they deserve.

  • Waylon

    Although I moved away from my beloved city over four years ago, I am saddened to see what I had already suspected was occurring by the time we left. When I first moved into the city back in the mid – 1980’s, it was actually worse in many aspects. You didn’t even think of walking into River North after sunset, same goes for the Loop and forget about most of Wicker Park and Bucktown. I saw the first signs of the same kind of decay that I saw back then when graffitti started showing up again in my old neighborhood of Roscoe Village. The graffitti often stayed on the public buildings and often the private residences for months, when in earlier days everyone (including the city) usually removed it within days, if not sooner. Then the petty theft and other minor crimes increased exponentially as the city, the county and the state’s finances eventually began wrecking the expected havoc on the overall infrastructure and civic resources. I still believe Chicago can come back but as the author says, if the near North Side and the Loop go, it will have to get a lot worse before it gets better. The same dynamic played out after the ’68 riots, when the only neighborhoods that didn’t empty out were the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park, and both areas barely hung on during the 70’s and early 80’s.

  • AnotherPattyJ

    It is a top down, organized movement. See the two white guys with the “people not money” shirts on in NC? Who the heck were they, and why were they shaking hands with all the rioters as they ran down the street?

    Guess that’s not interesting enough of a story for the “news.”

  • edgehopper

    If you really want to see the S hit the F, watch for crime spreading not to the rich urban districts but to the suburbs. Morton Grove/Skokie/Glenview/Northbrook had a police alert about a week ago of a gang of youths carjacking and mugging people. Chicago can barely survive a militarized Loop. It can’t survive if the upper-middle class commuters can’t count on safety–and in turn, property values.

  • tdiinva

    Legalizing drugs will not reduce crime in the ghetto because the cause of crime is the disintegration of the family and other civil institutions. Crime in Denver has not gone down since legalization, it has actually gotten worse. Legalizing weed has had the perverse effect of taking away a tool to take rank and file gangbangers off the street.

    The idea that legalizing drugs will reduce the influence of gangs is based on the misconception that the street corner dealers are getting rich. Freakonimics has shown that the average corner dealer is getting about the same income as he would working at McDonald’s. They send most of the money upstream. The attraction of the thug life can be summed up in the old Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing and the Chicks are Free” so whether drugs are legal or not the current ghetto culture will roll on.

    • Don’t disagree with the breakdown of the nuclear family as a problem-but we have start where we can.

  • Raptor Jesus

    Welcome to the next Detroit.

    • I don’t think Chicago will be the next Detroit. Far different town. Diversity of business is far greater. But, it will have many similar problems. Go to Englewood and it feels just like Detroit.

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  • Randall Linton

    You might have added, “and Hyde Park”. When I was in High School in the far west suburbs hunting pheasants every morning before school, The South Side was so thick with assaults and murders that the University of Chicago decided to leave the city, the Board had made the decision and taken options on land 100 miles out of the city. Mayor Richard Daily I, finally called them back, resulting in Operation Whistle stop and 5 agencies of police patroling that since then make the Hyde Park Kenwood neighborhood more saturated with police per square foot than anywhere on earth except for the Vatican. I went to DePaul not U.Chicago but the late 1970’s were bad for similar and different reasons.

    Visiting the Kids when at U. Chicago felt like visiting a land under military occupation enduring 5 -10 minute patrols. The attitude of the grad students was like living in a city with Vampires. “if you were on the street at or after sundown, whatever happened to you was your own stupid fault” Miracle Mile of Michigan Avenue felt the same evening of Thanksgiving Dinner, pairs of police pulled in from all over stationed every 30 to 50 yards. That was 3 years ago, I hope things have improved.

    My son-in-law did his MD at Pritikin, U.Chicago, my Daughter did her MS Nursing at Rush, and served in an Emergency Room at night on Harlem Ave. Oakpark / Maywood, where she saw it all there. There is a theory among Medical Residents and Nurses that when they are wearing scrubs, there is no crime against or traffic tickets given to Doctors and Nurses … the two sides of crime and law enforcement know they will need those medical professionals very soon and don’t want them angry at them.

    Were they to remain living there, I would by now have given the daughter a semi-auto pistol, and a purse with the hidden holster in the back. If I had no other choice but to live in Chicago, I would do the same, plus a shotgun in the car or truck that I became such a good snapshooter with as a boy. That $100,000 + of court costs for a trial over self defense and unregistered firearms is a barrier to entry to the city for many people like me. I will not be moving back. Tho I suspect many who have remained subscribe to the don’t ask don’t tell firearms possession understanding in dealing with their personal safety going on about their daily lives plying honest livings.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/12/22/gun-restrictions-have-always-bred-defian

    The Daughter and her Husband have since moved to Denver. They are outstanding medical professionals and have two children. I feel utterly safe there at all times with just a farmers pocket knife.

    People are voting with their feet, and it will only continue.

    After 30 years here, due to similar public pension malfeasance in California, we will be leaving California San Francisco, East Bay for suburbs of Denver in 3 years.