By: Matt Rosenberg
Over 2021 and into 2022 major crimes have spread from Chicago’s South and West Sides to the city’s downtown and upscale neighborhoods north and south. Now Chicago’s seemingly intractable crime problem is spreading across city and county lines, as well. This is what happens when basic principles of policing and law and order are subverted by a political establishment which puts the rights of the accused ahead of the rights of victims.
It is less than six months until cash bail is all but illegal in Illinois, but we are already reaping the whirlwind of what passes for “criminal justice” in Cook County. That is: failure to detain high-risk suspects before trial, deadly-low sentencing standards, and violent, corrosive antipathy to police. In addition, state lawmakers have already implemented an array of measures harmful to police morale. These include anonymous complaints and the envisioned end of so-called ‘qualified immunity,” which protects cops from lawsuits for doing their duty. It all amounts to a green light for lawbreakers.
The threat is not only to life and limb: it has become economic, too, as spreading crime chases away major employers and taxable wealth. Job one must be to stop the hemorrhaging. That takes more than a band-aid. It only happens with better policies and better policy-makers. We all bear responsibility.
It’s urgent. The landscape in Cook County and its collar counties is increasingly dotted with alarming reports.