Cook County sets new murder record and Foxx is to blame
Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx has set a lower threshold for fighting crime, creating an environment that encourages criminals in Cook County to believe that if they commit crimes here they will have an easier fight if caught. Since criminals only get caught maybe once every five crimes, the reduced emphasis on crime makes it even more likely they will commit crimes, which is why recent data shows Cook County last year experienced the highest crime level in decades
By Ray Hanania
I guess if I were a criminal in America, I would want to move to Cook County.
Cook County achieved another record this week, recording more gun-related homicides last year than in any other prior year. Until 2020, the worst year was 1994, according to the medical examiner’s office, with 838 gun-related homicides. In 2020, there were a record 857 gun-related homicides, according to a press release from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
I think it is a fair question to ask why? I believe the answer is simple and clear but wrapped up in so much politics and race that we can’t really speak to it.
When crime increases, it suggests that criminals feel they can get away with it. Of all the places where criminals are pampered, Cook County ranks as one of the nation’s softest on crime, thanks to our States Attorney, Kim Foxx.
Under Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx crime has worsened last year more Ethan in any previous year going back decades. That fact has signaled to criminals that they can get away with crime far easier today than they could before. The crime data and Foxx’s failed policies have created an atmosphere that has emboldened thew criminals
Foxx has raised the bar on serious crime. She stopped prosecuting shoplifting as a felony if the value of stolen items is under $1,000. It’s a threshold three times higher than the rest of Illinois, and double what it used to be in Cook County.
Worse, is that Foxx has made it harder to approve charges against criminals as we saw during the protests that followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Thousands of hoodlums, vandals and criminals assimilated into the legitimate protests against race-driven violence, and they committed all kinds of crimes. Very few were prosecuted although thousands were arrested, were identified and were known to be involved by the police.
I understand the argument Foxx is making. Our court system is jammed and our jails are packed. But I also understand that when a Law Enforcement eases consequences on criminal suspects, the criminals are smart enough to see that and they recognize they have a better chance of avoiding arrest, prosecution or conviction.
I have covered politics and crime in Chicago for some 45 years and here are some realities that I think Foxx doesn’t want to address.
Criminals are always looking for advantages and they tend to flock to communities that are perceived as soft on crime. We’re talking about intentional crimes from shoplifting to murder, not crimes of passion or accident.
These intentional criminals who embrace crime as a lifestyle, who steal, sell drugs, threaten and beat and kill people, and are members of street gangs, know that the odds are in their favor even when the police were allowed to be tough. With our police hamstrung by racist and political restrictions, the odds are even greater for the criminal to escape consequences.
I’m guessing that only 20 percent of criminal acts face prosecution, and of that probably 35 percent end up with serious consequences. The odds of beating the rap are on the side of the criminals, in Cook County’s pro-criminal environment.
Crime, not of passion or accident, is driven by an intentional effort to do something wrong. Criminals plan it out. They are seriously disturbed mentally. You can’t be that smart to risk your life by taking someone else’s life, unless you think you can get away with it, as most murderers and criminals do. If you think robbing a bank is easier that struggling hard to find work, you have something missing. Or maybe, you are just drugged up.
The odds of the criminals winning have increased because of today’s anti-police environment. I don’t know why anyone would want to be a cop considering the burden is on them more than on the criminals. When a criminal makes a mistake, they are given the benefit of the doubt. When police make a mistake, it’s treated far worse than when police mistakenly broke into the home of a woman who now claims the break-in was an intentional act of racism.
Criminals have the advantage in Cook County. Why wouldn’t the gun-related homicides increase?
Criminals know they have a better chance of getting away with it here, whether it is shoplifting or murder.
If you can steal a sweater and get away with it, you can steal money from a store. If you can rob a store, you rob a person. It doesn’t take much more to use a gun and injure or murder.
Crime shouldn’t be defined by the intensity of the injustice. You are either a criminal or you are not. Instead of focusing on race, we should focus on one standard of justice across the board.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. This column was originally published in the Southwest News Newspaper Group in the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers. For more information on Ray Hanania visit www.Hanania.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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