No Minister

The Five Pillars

No, not the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the autobiographical account of the experiences of Lawrence of Arabia.

This one involves much less wisdom. So much so that it’s likely that there is no wisdom at all involved.

This is the grand plan of Chicago Democrat Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, to combat the increasing violence in Chicago this year even as the CPD find themselves on the back foot with mass retirements, funding cuts and prescriptive restrictions on how they interact with criminals.

  • Empower and heal those actively engaged in violence, whether victims or perpetrators.
  • Reclaim neighborhoods and safe spaces by directing resources to neighborhoods with most violence.
  • Improve relations between police and communities “by developing credibility, trust and authentic relationships.”
  • Consider the impact of ordinances and laws on violence and advocate for policies that will increase support for those impacted.
  • Constant collaboration, proactive planning and coordinated efforts between the city and … the justice system, community groups and private companies.

So how’s this approach been working out for the city?

As expected. At best things have not improved on 2020 and may turn out worse. Clearly the city’s District Attorney, Kim Foxx, is starting to (finally) feel the heat over all those people she’s refused to prosecute on gun laws and such, although rather than front up she sent out a minion who specialises in spin. However, after starting with a bang even he had to admit the obvious:

A top advisor to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told reporters last month that it’s a “misconception” to say gun violence is skyrocketing in Chicago. “2020 did have a lot of shootings in it,” Matthew Saniie, Foxx’s chief data officer, said. “But it’s also important to put this into perspective.”

“2020 was a pretty gross year for murder,” Saniie allowed. “June and July were the worst June and Julies that we’ve had going back 60 years…May was the 2nd worst May. September was the sixth-worst September.

Saniie told the reporters that there is no reliable data regarding the number of shootings from more than ten years ago. So, he looked at murder data, which goes back several decades instead.

“A good proxy for shootings is murder,” Saniie claimed.

But as the CWB pointed out:

But is it a good proxy? The city’s population has declined 25% over the past sixty years, 20% since 1970, and 11% since 1980. But Saniie did not adjust historical murder counts for population changes.

Here in New Zealand we don’t have the gun crime problems that Chicago has, but the thinking behind the Five Pillars approach is coming to New Zealand, if not already here in Andrew Little’s head. I expect it will have a similar failure.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 3, 2021 at 6:00 am

One Response

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  1. A sixth pillar of “Lock up all the bad bastards” would be a great idea, too, but there’s also got to be a serious move towards prevention. A whole community of unskilled, unemployable, illiterate young men is a recipe for disaster – in Chicago, London, Paris and Auckland (and Tauranga, Hastings, etc).

    Cassandra

    August 3, 2021 at 7:22 am


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