Chicago Not Releasing Video of Officer-Involved Shooting of a Baby Boy

#76
Why Chicago Didn't Riot After Laquan McDonald Video Release

In the moments before the city released the video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting 17-year old Laquan McDonald, Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged residents to stay calm.

“It is fine to be passionate but it is essential that it remain peaceful. We have a collective responsibility in the city of Chicago to ensure that this time of healing happens,” Emanuel said at a press conference.

Given the fever pitch nationally about police brutality and previous rioting in Ferguson and Baltimore, Chicago officials braced for an uprising in response to the video. They held closed-door meetings on how to handle protesters.

Young black activists did take to the streets Tuesday night — to honor McDonald and protest police brutality. But the march downtown didn’t result in property damage or anything resembling a riot.

As the Associated Press reported, the protests that began Tuesday evening were largely peaceful.

Malcolm London, 22, was among five people who were arrested on charges that included weapons possession and resisting arrest.

He was charged with hitting an officer. On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas dismissed the charge said the state's attorney's office recommended that the charge be dropped. and told London he was free to go.

London, wearing a T-shirt with the phrase "Unapologetically black" on it, walked outside the courthouse to loud cheers.

A crowd of supporters chanted, "We're going to be all right" and "Set our people free."

Prosecutors did not explain why their office recommended dropping the charge.

Veronica Morris-Moore participated in the protests Tuesday night. She didn’t expect chaos, and says the reason others did is because black youth are stereotyped as violent.

“I think people expected Chicago to burst in flames because the dominate narrative out there is that black people are reckless and we don’t care about our communities or neighborhoods,” Morris-Moore said.

She’s part of a coalition that includes groups such as Fearless Leading by the Youth, We Charge Genocide and Assata’s Daughters — just to name a few.

“At the end of the day what our movement is doing is exposing these contradictions, exposing these stereotypes, exposing this anti-black culture,” Morris-Moore said.

University of Chicago political scientist Cathy Cohen agrees that a spontaneous riot shouldn’t have been the default expectation.

“There is a way in which these young activists have a very deep understanding of who they need to target and where those targets are situated,” Cohen said. “They’re not going to burn down black communities.”

No matter how chilling, the dashcam video’s content was no surprise. And activism among these young people didn’t start with McDonald’s death.

“They understand that this is an issue not about one police officer but the system of policing and accountability and power,” Cohen said.

The groups have protested several police shootings and pushed for the firing of Dante Servin, the officer who killed Rekia Boyd. Just this week, Chicago’s top cop recommended Servin be fired.

Activists also lobbied for an expansive trauma center on the South Side, which is partly coming to fruition.

And Chicago is the only city in the country giving reparations to police torture victims — a direct result of years of activism.

From Fred Hampton in the 1960s, to the Black Radical Congress of the 1990s, to waves of progressive and feminist organizations, black activism in Chicago has a strong legacy.

The Black Youth Project’s Charlene Carruthers says activists will continue that legacy by demanding justice and investment in black communities.

“What I expect is for more people to continue to join the ongoing organizing that’s been happening in the city of Chicago for the past several years that’s led by young black organizers,” Carruthers said.

Link


He was charged with hitting an officer. On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas dismissed the charge said the state's attorney's office recommended that the charge be dropped. and told London he was free to go. -
Da Fuq?

“I think people expected Chicago to burst in flames because the dominate narrative out there is that black people are reckless and we don’t care about our communities or neighborhoods,” Morris-Moore said. - Just reckless about shooting each other.
 

Floyd1977

Registered User
#77
Link

He was charged with hitting an officer. On Wednesday, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas dismissed the charge said the state's attorney's office recommended that the charge be dropped. and told London he was free to go. -
Da Fuq?

“I think people expected Chicago to burst in flames because the dominate narrative out there is that black people are reckless and we don’t care about our communities or neighborhoods,” Morris-Moore said. - Just reckless about shooting each other.
Take two letters out of the Judge's last name and you have the answer.

Also what kept this from becoming a full blown riot is the fact that the officer was charged with 1st degree murder. When he's acquitted of that charge, make sure you're somewhere else.
 

KRSOne

Registered User
#78
In defense of the cop, if some ones gonna be a problem, I'm sure as shit not counting bullets. Unload and let the reaper sort them out.
No one needs 16 bullets... except for the state that is responsible for more deaths than anything else world wide. The cops think they can do whatever they want and the state will protect them and most times they are correct but if something gets media attention, the state will sacrifice an individual cop so people don't catch onto the reality of how the state operates.

More state control is what the people of Chicago voted for so I don't know what they are protesting about. They are getting exactly what they voted for, Its like Spike Lee complaining about the cops and in the same breath saying we need more gun control. How will those gun control laws be enforced? Who will kill people over those laws? What tool will they use to kill people over 'anti gun' laws?
 
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KRSOne

Registered User
#81
How was Rahm able to put together 5 million tax dollars to shut the family up and protect the killer but Chicago can't even pay off lotto winnings?

This is the real reason he was charged so quickly after they were forced to release the video, so people would put all the blame on one individual cop and ignore the fact that the 'good cops' helped cover it up and destroyed video evidence from burger king. Also to protect Rahm because it was election time and he needed the black vote (he got it) to win so he used 5 million tax dollars they don't have to keep the story quiet. The family is also disgusting, black lives matter but not when 5 million is involved.
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
#82
...lives matter but not when 5 million is involved.
I care about a good portion of my family too, but any 2 or 3 of them can go shit in their hat about anything that gets me $5 million.
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
#83
He bonded out, apparently.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
#84
The family is also disgusting, black lives matter but not when 5 million is involved.
That's all they ever care about.
Cashing in on the tragedy.

Look at all the memorial shit they sell after
every one of these monkeys gets killed.

It's nothing more than a lottery ticket to them.
 

Atomic Fireball

Well-Known Member
Donator
#85
i counted 10 shots. but my question is, the cop actually shot him 16 times? or fired his weapon 16 times? I'm slightly confused. i can completely understand him firing his weapon 16 times, in 15 seconds, pull the trigger till it doesn't go bang any more, but if he actually hit him 16 times., that is an INCREDIBLE hit ratio on a moving target in a stress fire situation. give that guy a metal! he should be teaching stress fire courses.
as for the guy laying on the ground, fuck em, keep shooting till the threat is stopped, stopped being a threat, is dead. the final should have been the cop putting two in his head.
Outstanding!
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
#87
Emanuel dismisses top cop Garry McCarthy amid pressure for change

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday announced he has dismissed Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, citing a lack of public trust in the police leadership in the wake of the high-profile shooting that eventually led to a white officer being charged with first-degree murder in the death of a black teen shot 16 times in a Southwest Side street last year.

"Superintendent McCarthy knows that a police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves," Emanuel said at a City Hall news conference where he appointed a task force to look at police accountability.

Emanuel said he and McCarthy on Sunday began discussing the future of the Police Department and "the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded."

"This morning, I formally asked for his resignation," said Emanuel, who said McCarthy can be proud of his record. "Now is the time for fresh eyes and new leadership to confront the challenges the department and our community and our city are facing as we go forward."

Emanuel said he asked new First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante to serve as acting superintendent during a "thorough" search.

"This is not the end of the problem, but it is the beginning to the solution of the problem," Emanuel said of Tuesday's moves. "There are systematic challenges that will require sustained reforms. It is a work in progress as we continue to build the confidence and the trust by the public in our police force."
McCarthy was not at the news conference, and so far has not responded to voice mails or text messages seeking comment. As late as 8 a.m. Tuesday, he was on the radio talking about the Laquan McDonald shooting and praising the mayor's task force plan.


Interim Chicago police Superintendent Escalante is 29-year veteran of force

"How am I? I'm a little busy and a little bit stressed-out, but staying the course," McCarthy said when asked how he was doing by WGN-AM 720's Steve Cochran.

The mayor, however, is changing course after his office issued statements of support for McCarthy during the past week.

For 4 1/2 years, Emanuel had stood by McCarthy through various rocky patches, including a major spike in homicides and a number of high-profile murders and shootings of young children caught in the gang gunfire of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. Then came the intense criticism of how the two handled the police shooting of 17-year-old McDonald. After Cook County prosecutors charged Officer Jason Van Dyke with first-degree murder a week ago, federal prosecutors disclosed that their probe of the fatal shooting remains "active and ongoing."

Van Dyke shot McDonald along a stretch of Pulaski Road near 41st Street in October 2014. For much of the past year, Emanuel and his lawyers fought in court to keep a police dash-camera video of the shooting under wraps, arguing that releasing it publicly could interfere with state's attorney and federal investigations into the shooting.



Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asks for police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to step down. Dec. 1, 2015. (WGN-TV)

But when a Cook County judge's ruling forced Emanuel to release the video to the public last week, the fallout for McCarthy and Emanuel was sharp and immediate. Protesters took the streets chanting "16 shots!" and on Friday blocked entry to Magnificent Mile stores on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Black aldermen called for McCarthy to be fired. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle urged Emanuel to do the same. Some Latino aldermen followed suit, as did newspaper editorial writers, television commentators, columnists and activists from around the country.

The more-than-weeklong protests and public backlash — in Chicago and across the country — contributed to McCarthy's ouster.

With it comes the departure of Emanuel's only police superintendent since he took office in May 2011. McCarthy's tour atop the department was longer than typical for the pressure-cooker job of running one of the nation's largest, and most controversial, police departments.

On Tuesday afternoon, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she wrote to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking the federal Justice Department to conduct a civil rights investigation into the Police Department's "use of force, including deadly force; the adequacy of its review and investigation of officers' use of force and investigation of allegations of misconduct; its provision of training, equipment and supervision of officers to allow them to do their job safely and effectively; and whether there exists a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing."

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago already is conducting a probe into the McDonald shooting that it announced in April.

At City Hall, Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 40th, the mayor's City Council floor leader, said he believed McCarthy in no way supported or condoned improper police conduct but nevertheless had become an impediment to Emanuel's effort to address the issue of police misconduct.

"Somebody had to be accountable overall, and I think unfortunately it was becoming clear that the discussion on what to do with the department and how to resolve these long-term community-related issues — we weren't able to have those conversations under the current circumstance.

"When the people that you are trying to work with have basically taken the attitude that they will not work with the current power structure, you can dig your heels in, or you can try and move forward towards a solution," O'Connor said. "And that's, I think, where the mayor has gone. He's trying to move forward towards a solution."

O'Connor also said Emanuel had difficult shoals to navigate. On one hand, he can't alienate honest, hardworking cops. On the other, he has "to find a way to try and show that they are doing more than the current system, which is basically to react to the next complaint."

Many African-American aldermen have been calling for McCarthy to be replaced for months or years because of stubbornly high violent crime rates in their wards and in some cases their that belief he wasn't taking their concerns seriously. Most of the 18 members of the City Council Black Caucus held a news conference in October calling for his ouster, and members renewed that demand after the McDonald video was released.

Minutes after Emanuel announced that he had asked for McCarthy's resignation, mayoral ally Ald. Michelle Harris, 8th, called the McDonald shooting investigation "the tip of the iceberg" in terms of the City Council Black Caucus' feelings about McCarthy. "The trust in McCarthy probably was gone before this," she said.

And Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., 27th, also a backer of Emanuel's agenda, said the simmering distrust of McCarthy built in its intensity after the video's release.

"You could feel the momentum coming from all over the city," Burnett said. "I know it appears it was just an African-American thing, but it was more than that. Those sentiments were shared with people all over Chicago, from every nationality. As a matter of fact, I went to my Korean cleaner's. He was upset about this situation."

Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, has long criticized McCarthy for failing to address "quality of life" complaints from residents of his West Side ward. He welcomed McCarthy's ouster but said it won't mean much if Emanuel doesn't demand serious changes in the way the department interacts with the community.


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...rintendent-garry-mccarthy-20151201-story.html
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
#88
The rest.

"This is the first step of many that need to be taken," Ervin said. "While I'm glad (McCarthy) has been relieved of his duties, we need to see a commitment to actually doing community policing. You can't just talk about it."

In hiring McCarthy, Emanuel sought a credible voice, a superintendent who came to Chicago after stints as a top commander in New York City and as the chief in Newark, N.J., where he built a career on using a combination of cutting-edge statistical trends and intelligence to knock back violent crime. Never hesitant to talk tough about gangs or guns in front of a microphone, McCarthy was the face of the Police Department, often taking pressure off the mayor to address crime issues.

But the McDonald shooting exposed a perceived weakness — that Emanuel and McCarthy had not done enough to institute meaningful reforms in a department long known for a culture of corruption, torture, wrongful convictions and lax discipline.

As the mayor and McCarthy both prepared for the fallout of hundreds of thousands of people watching the video of Van Dyke repeatedly shooting McDonald, both sought to portray the incident as the case of a bad apple that did not reflect more systemic problems in the department.

But for many Chicagoans, the story of McDonald's death held an all-too-familiar set of circumstances: City Hall initially casts the incident as an act of police self-defense, only for the facts to bear out a different story later.

Immediately after the shooting on Oct. 20, 2014, a Chicago police union spokesman said that McDonald had lunged at officers before he was killed. And in an official statement the next day, Chicago police said McDonald "refused to comply with orders to drop the knife and continued to approach the officers." The video, however, showed McDonald walking down the street, away from officers as Van Dyke opened fire.

With that video airing on newscasts across the country and online around the world, McCarthy and Emanuel's one-bad-apple narrative of Van Dyke's actions didn't square with Chicago's sordid police history that once again was back in the national spotlight. Serving as the backdrop: decades worth of police torture and wrongful conviction cases, corruption and ineffectual oversight in shootings and other excessive-force actions. Time and again, the department had quickly cleared officers of allegations, only to have civil litigation later reveal video and other evidence that painted a much darker picture of police misconduct.

It took Emanuel more than a week after Van Dyke was charged with murder to publicly address the notion of change, appointing a task force to make recommendations to improve police accountability. It was the type of announcement many politicians make when faced with a crisis to buy time and create breathing room.

But it wasn't enough to spare McCarthy from losing his job, one that made him a household name in Chicago.

McCarthy's familiar New York accent, flattop haircut and thick mustache quickly made him well-known in the city, particularly after he spearheaded City Hall's response to the 2012 NATO summit that brought scores of international leaders, and days of large-scale protests, to Chicago.

As protesters had violent clashes with police in the streets, McCarthy could be seen standing behind his line of officers in his white shirt and blue cap, running the show as protests unfolded. At the time, McCarthy had struggled with criticism from within the department that he had brought an arrogant, New York-knows-best attitude and was too cozy with Emanuel, but his decision to be visible on the ground helped his standing with the rank and file.

"It's where I'm supposed to be," McCarthy said at the time. "And I have great reverence for officers. I interact with them very easily. You can't fake it. You either are or you aren't. I'm very comfortable in that role."
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
#89
I think it's funny they want the mayor to resign also, bite the hand that feeds
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
#90
I think it's funny they want the mayor to resign also, bite the hand that feeds
Douchebag has no problem firing everyone else, but once it's him "that would be irresponsible".

Fuck you, cunt stick.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
#91
Douchebag has no problem firing everyone else, but once it's him "that would be irresponsible".

Fuck you, cunt stick.
yep quit and give up your armed guards you fuck..
 

Biff Hardslab

I have the t-shirt
#92
How was Rahm able to put together 5 million tax dollars to shut the family up and protect the killer but Chicago can't even pay off lotto winnings?
The lotto/lottery is a state of Illinois program. Not a city of Chicago program. One doesn't have anything to do with the other.
 
#93
Emanuel dismisses top cop Garry McCarthy amid pressure for change

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday announced he has dismissed Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, citing a lack of public trust in the police leadership in the wake of the high-profile shooting that eventually led to a white officer being charged with first-degree murder in the death of a black teen shot 16 times in a Southwest Side street last year.

"Superintendent McCarthy knows that a police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves," Emanuel said at a City Hall news conference where he appointed a task force to look at police accountability.

Emanuel said he and McCarthy on Sunday began discussing the future of the Police Department and "the undeniable fact that the public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken and eroded."

"This morning, I formally asked for his resignation," said Emanuel, who said McCarthy can be proud of his record. "Now is the time for fresh eyes and new leadership to confront the challenges the department and our community and our city are facing as we go forward."

Emanuel said he asked new First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante to serve as acting superintendent during a "thorough" search.

"This is not the end of the problem, but it is the beginning to the solution of the problem," Emanuel said of Tuesday's moves. "There are systematic challenges that will require sustained reforms. It is a work in progress as we continue to build the confidence and the trust by the public in our police force."
Umm charged... so ummm never mind was going to do a civics lesson... but pissing in the wind.... totally the Superintendent is responsible for dat rayciss police officer shooting dat boyscout with dat knife...
 

Floyd1977

Registered User
#94
Umm charged... so ummm never mind was going to do a civics lesson... but pissing in the wind.... totally the Superintendent is responsible for dat rayciss police officer shooting dat boyscout with dat knife...
Look, I get that this one looks bad. But shouldn't shithead at least wait for the outcome of the trial before cleaning house. Especially by his own admission the superintendent can be "proud" of his record.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
#95
Look, I get that this one looks bad. But shouldn't shithead at least wait for the outcome of the trial before cleaning house. Especially by his own admission the superintendent can be "proud" of his record.
I don't see how the head of Chicago PD could be proud of his record...his record consists of a massive amount of mostly unsolved murders.
 

Floyd1977

Registered User
#96
I don't see how the head of Chicago PD could be proud of his record...his record consists of a massive amount of mostly unsolved murders.
You have a point there. They guy probably should have been fired long ago. But if you're going to cite this Laquon business as the reason for his ouster, shouldn't they wait until the trial is over? If this cop gets acquitted then the guy was fired under false pretenses, which means he's got a shot at a lawsuit (I suppose)
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
#97
You have a point there. They guy probably should have been fired long ago. But if you're going to cite this Laquon business as the reason for his ouster, shouldn't they wait until the trial is over? If this cop gets acquitted then the guy was fired under false pretenses, which means he's got a shot at a lawsuit (I suppose)
Don't worry, I'm sure Chicago can afford it.
 
#98
Laquan McDonald Police Shooting Needs Special Prosecutor, Petition Says
The formal request says Chicago States Attorney Anita Alvarez is too cozy with police to be trusted with the first-degree murder case.


Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez has a conflict of interest in prosecuting Chicago police misconduct cases, critics say.

Citing a lack of confidence in Chicago's top prosecutor, a coalition of politicians, lawyers and community leaders on Tuesday formally called for an independent prosecutor to handle the trial of the police officer charged in the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald.

Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez's political allegiance to the city's powerful police union creates a conflict of interest that prevents her from "zealously and effectively" prosecuting the cop charged in the killing, claims a legal petition filed in criminal court and signed by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-lll.) Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), the Cook County Bar Association and the Chicago Urban League, among others.

"States Attorney Alvarez lost the public’s confidence when she delayed charging Officer Van Dyke for 400 days,” Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia said Tuesday during a news conference announcing the petition.

Officer Jason Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times as the 17-year-old walked away from police in October 2014, but wasn't charged with first-degree murder until the city was forced to release police dashcam footage of the killing in November 2015.

Carrie Antlfinger/AP
Attorneys G. Flint Taylor, left, and Locke Bowman, right, listen to a question from a reporter at a news conference at the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016.
Calls for a special prosecutor are increasingly common in police misconduct cases, but few formal requests are actually filed. Even fewer are granted.

"It only happens when there’s a great public outcry," said Flint Taylor, a civil rights lawyer with the People's Law Office who helped file the petition.

Taylor said an independent prosecutor has only been appointed in a handful of Chicago cases in the last 40 years. "It always takes a tremendous amount of public pressure to have an independent prosecutor appointed," he said.

Under Illinois law, institutional connections between the police and the prosecutor's office aren't enough to require an outside prosecutor, Taylor said.

There’s no denying that a politician offends the Fraternal Order of Police at his or her peril in this city." Locke Bowman, Attorney

"What is required is proof that there is actually a conflict. That is, a competing interest on the part of the states attorney that actually interferes with her ability to conduct an independent and zealous investigation and prosecution," said Locke Bowman, executive director of the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University's law school who also is a co-petitioner in the independent prosecutor request.

Alvarez's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but defended her record in a statement to the Chicago Tribune and called the timing of the petition "more than a little coincidental."

Alvarez faces a diffiicult re-election this year. Many of the petitioners back her election rival, Kim Foxx.

"Anita Alvarez has cast her lot with the Fraternal Order of Police and that political alliance is interfering with her ability to act independently," Bowman said. "And there’s no denying that a politician offends the FOP at his or her peril in this city."

Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty to murder. Police video shows him firing shots at McDonald even after the teen had fallen to the ground.

The Fraternal Order of Police version of the shooting cast McDonald as a crazed, knife-wielding aggressor who prompted the officer to "fear for his life" and fire in self-defense. Dashcam footage that contradicted the police account was only disclosed after a legal battle with journalists -- hours after Van Dyke was charged.
Link
 
File under "WELL DUH"

Gun Violence Spiked — And Arrests Declined — In Chicago Right After The Laquan McDonald Video Release



Chicago police officers on Dec. 18 watch demonstrators protesting the fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald in Chicago.



The severe spike in gun violence Chicago is experiencing can be dated to the release of the video in the Laquan McDonald case, a FiveThirtyEight analysis of crime data shows. The same analysis shows that the city has seen a significant drop in arrests made for homicides and nonfatal shootings, as well as other crimes, since the video’s release on Nov. 24. This suggests a decline in law enforcement activity that may be contributing to the rise in gun crime.

McDonald, a black 17-year-old, was shot 16 times and killed by a white police officer in October 2014, but video of the incident was not made public until a judge ruled that it had to be released more than a year later. Intense protests, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, and calls for the resignation of the police chief and mayor followed.

Chicago police officers have said they are confused by public scrutiny in the wake of the video’s release and have pointed to new and burdensome paperwork as discouraging them from making street stops and engaging in other “proactive policing.” Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi acknowledged that officers might have been more uncertain since the release of the video but suggested that the majority of the change was due to the paperwork requirements. Late last month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed a new interim police chief, Eddie Johnson, in the hopes of improving department morale. Johnson faces the prospect of the bloodiest year since at least 2003: Chicago is on pace for roughly 570 homicides and nearly 2,100 nonfatal shooting incidents, numbers that could be even higher if the violence increases with warmer weather.

After some cities saw a rise in crime last year, police chiefs and even the head of the FBI suggested that the United States was experiencing a “Ferguson effect”: Police officers sensitive to public scrutiny in the wake of protests over the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, were pulling back on police work, the theory went, and emboldened criminals were seizing their chance. The evidence for any such effect nationally was mixed — our colleague Carl Bialik analyzed crime data from 60 major cities in September and found an increase in homicides in some places, but a decrease in others. Chicago had seen a 20 percent increase in homicides from the year before, but, as Carl noted, crime statistics are volatile.

The spike in gun violence in Chicago since the end of November, though, is too sharp to be explained by seasonal fluctuations or chance. There have been 175 homicides and approximately 675 nonfatal shooting incidents1 from Dec. 1 through March 31, according to our analysis of city data.2 The 69 percent drop in the nonfatal shooting arrest rate and the 48 percent drop in the homicide arrest rate since the video’s release also cannot be explained by temperature or bad luck. Even though crime statistics can see a good amount of variation from year to year and from month to month, this spike in gun violence is statistically significant, and the falling arrest numbers suggest real changes in the process of policing in Chicago since the video’s release.

News coverage of the recent spike in violence has so far focused on the murder count since the beginning of the year. But using Chicago’s open data portal, we were able to pinpoint the start of the increase in gun violence — and the concomitant policing slump — to the wake of the release of the video showing McDonald’s slaying.


The increase in gun violence starting in December is especially notable for a time of year when there are typically fewer homicides and nonfatal shootings. After a summer that saw a level of gun violence that was roughly in line with those over the last decade, Chicago has had its worst winter3 for gun violence since 2003. Nonfatal shooting incidents and homicides over this period were up about 73 percent and 48 percent, respectively, from the same period a year ago.

Higher temperatures are associated with more violence for a variety of reasons. But although Chicago experienced an unusually warm winter,4 historical data suggests that this would move the rate of violence only slightly. For example, the winter of 2012 was even warmer than this year’s, but we observed no similar spike in gun violence then.

And warmer weather would do nothing to explain the drop in arrest rates.5 Data from Chicago’s incident reports shows that arrests for all crimes fell moderately6 each of the last three winters compared with the previous winter, before plummeting 31 percent this season compared with last year. Arrest rates for nonfatal shooting incidents showed the biggest drop. Narcotics arrests were also down, a trend that began earlier in 2015 but accelerated at the beginning of December, about a week after the video’s release.
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