Murder & monitorsLast Updated: 12:18 AM, June 18,
Murder & monitors
Last Updated: 12:18 AM, June 18, 2013
Posted: June 18, 2013
If Eric Holder is looking for a police force that could use a federal monitor, maybe he should look in his boss’s hometown.
Last week at the last hour, the attorney general chose to insert himself in New York, where we have a trial in federal court over the constitutionality of the stop-and-frisk program. The argument is that the NYPD is violating the civil rights of minority citizens. So Holder’s Department of Justice entered a brief supporting the idea of a federal monitor for our cops, which is bound to happen because Judge Shira Scheindlin wants to do it anyway.
Meanwhile, in a city rapidly becoming known as Murder Capital USA, Chicago just experienced another bloody weekend. Forty-six people were shot, with at least seven killed. That brings the total number of killings in Chicago for this year to 171 — out of a population of 2.7 million.
Compare that with New York. We have had fewer murders (144) even though we have three times as many people.
Given these numbers, if ever there were a city crying out for a federal monitor it would seem to be Chicago. Especially if you believe that the government ought to intervene when police policies have such a disparate impact by race.
It’s hard to argue with the numbers. In Chicago, which is 45 percent white and 33 percent black, African-Americans make up 77 percent of the murder victims against only 2 percent for whites. In New York, blacks also suffer disproportionately from murder. The difference is that Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s success in bringing the murder rate down to record lows means hundreds of African-Americans in this city are alive today because of the NYPD.
If the Department of Justice’s concern is for fundamental civil liberties, it’s hard to see how there’s anything more fundamental than the right not to be murdered. Just ask the suffering citizens of Chicago.