Chicago Watchdog Warns City is Unprepared for Summer Violence


Chicago, June 4, 2024 — As the Democratic National Convention (DNC) approaches, a recent report from Chicago's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has raised serious concerns about the city's preparedness to handle potential summer violence. The report highlights significant deficiencies in the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) planning and coordination for large-scale events.

The watchdog’s inquiry comes amid escalating tensions, with activist groups criticizing the city’s readiness and its handling of protest permits. Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws, a coalition focused on LGBTQ+ and women's reproductive rights, filed a lawsuit against Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration, claiming their permit to protest near DNC delegates' hotels was wrongfully denied.

Despite receiving $75 million in federal funds for convention security, the activists argue that the city’s alternative proposal to move protests to Grant Park, away from the main convention site, undermines their visibility and impact. They emphasize that such restrictions violate their constitutional rights to protest.

The OIG report underscores the CPD’s ongoing struggles with violent crime, particularly in minority communities. Data from the city's Violence Reduction Dashboard shows a high number of homicides and non-fatal shootings, with African American and Latinx communities disproportionately affected. From 2016 to 2020, over 3,200 people were killed, and more than 13,500 were injured in shootings.

Critics argue that the city’s focus on policing has failed to address underlying issues like systemic racism, poverty, and lack of social services. Mayor Johnson’s administration has faced backlash for not presenting a clear and effective strategy to curb violence and protect civil liberties simultaneously.

Additionally, a new ordinance restricting items such as laptops and large bags within the DNC’s security perimeter has drawn criticism for granting excessive discretion to police. Activists fear this could escalate tensions and lead to arbitrary enforcement against demonstrators.

As the DNC approaches, the dual-layered security plan involves the Secret Service managing security inside the main venues and CPD handling external perimeters. This arrangement aims to mitigate risks, but the OIG's findings suggest that Chicago’s overall readiness remains questionable.

In the coming months, Mayor Johnson’s administration will face intense scrutiny as it navigates the challenges of ensuring public safety while respecting constitutional rights. The city’s ability to manage potential unrest during the DNC will be a critical test of its leadership and commitment to both security and justice.

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  1. F ’em! Pull the police out of the area and let the DNC handle their own damn security. They are at fault for this so make them spend their own damn money. After all, it was some brain dead official of the DNC that decided on Chiraq. And for those of you who say; ‘Well, what about the RNC Convention? Aren’t we spending tax payer for their security?’ I tell you what. I bet I can come up with 1000 combat Vets who would travel to Milwaukee and, for shelter and chow, guard the Convention.
    To my brother Vets: any takers? It’s next week.


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