MEDIA WATCH: New York Times puts Rahm's failure against the drug gangs on its front page despite all the Chicago spin

America's newspaper of record ("All The News That's Fit To Print..." and all that) has been assiduously ignoring the massive organizing by the Chicago Teachers Union for the past several months. The last serious coverage of Chicago's public schools came out of the Times's Chicago News Cooperative. And that operation was murdered by the Times three months ago). But the Times still has a Chicago bureau, and on June 26, 2012, they surprised some of us by getting half the story straight about how Rahm's policies have led to the dramatic and tragic increase in Chicago's murder rate during the first year of the Reign of Rahm. A Page One story that gets even half the story straight isn't bad. (Readers can access it at the website of the Times, or read it below).

The half the story that the Times gets straight involves the fact that since the beginning of the Reign of Rahm, the furious shifting of budget dollars from public workers (police, firefighters, teachers mainly) to lucrative contracts has been the underlying scandal. Hence, the Times, despite a few insulting caveats, gets straight the fact that Rahm has undermined the police with his computerized data fetish (COMPSTAT) on the one hand, and his privatization fetish (technology gets dollars; people get cut) on the other.

The half of the story that the Times missed involves the schools and teachers. As anyone who has been paying attention knows, Rahm Emanuel spent the first year of his term as Chicago's mayor doing an unprecedented amount of teacher bashing, lying, public school bashing, lying, and union busting attacks — and more lying. One of the results of the teacher bashing, when combined with the cuts in the city's real public schools, is that the city's other main public institution, the public schools, is further crippled in dealing realistically with the massive drug gangs. After all, every bad guy in a school just has to get up and quote the mayor when he wants to announce "We run this __________" which is exactly what they have been doing. Rahm was the answer to the dreams of the Latin Kings and MLDs, of the Black P. Stones and the GDs.


CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s first reading material each morning, at 5:30, is not a budget update, a legislative proposal or a packet of headlines. It is an e-mail from the Chicago Police Department listing the crimes that were committed during the night that just ended. By 7 a.m., he is calling Garry F. McCarthy, the police superintendent. That is unlikely to be their final conversation of the day, or even of the morning.


Mr. Emanuel listed safer streets among his top three priorities when he became mayor a year ago, but Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, is now testing that promise. Homicides are up by 38 percent from a year ago, and shootings have increased as well, even as killings have held steady or dropped in New York, Los Angeles and some other cities. As of June 17, 240 people had been killed here this year, mostly in shootings, 66 more deaths than occurred in the same period in 2011.

“That’s somebody’s husband, somebody’s son, and they’re dying right on our block,” said Maya Hodari, who lives on a South Side street where two shootings have already taken place this year, one of them fatal and another as a toddler looked on. “It hurts.”

The violence has left its largest scars in some of Chicago’s most impoverished, struggling neighborhoods on the South and West Sides, places with views of the city’s gleaming downtown skyline that feel worlds apart. Wealthier, whiter parts of the city have not been entirely immune — shootings were reported in the last few days along the city’s Magnificent Mile shopping district and near the Lincoln Park Zoo — but a majority of the killings have been tied to Chicago’s increasingly complicated gang warfare, police statistics suggest, and to the gritty neighborhoods where gangs have long thrived.

There is no evidence of a broader crime wave; in fact, measures of crime apart from homicides, including rapes, robberies, burglaries and auto thefts, have actually improved by about 10 percent since a year ago.

“We’ve got a gang issue, specific to parts of the city, and we have a responsibility to bring a quality of life to those residents, and we are going to do it,” Mayor Emanuel, visibly vexed, said in an interview on Friday.

“My bigger issue is not only the homicides and shootings,” he added. “It’s what it does to all the legitimate citizens in that community and the kids.”

Gangs in this city have changed over the decades, splintering from a small set of well-established bands into hundreds of tinier groups with alliances so disparate and shifting that even a former Gangster Disciple member from the West Side, who refused to be named but revealed bullet scars during an interview as proof of his rougher days, said he could not begin to keep them all straight. In just the last two years, the police say, 500 monitored gang factions have fractured into more than 600, many of them with stunningly ready access to guns.

In one neighborhood last week, plainclothes officers searched parking lots and old addresses for 30 suspects as part of Superintendent McCarthy’s larger race to dismantle drug and gang operations. At one point, they said, they found themselves staring at a gun aimed at them by a man who was not even on the list of suspects they were searching for. Moments later, the gun lay shining on the ground, an officer’s shot left a bullet hole in a nearby car, and the man, 21, was added to the list of those arrested in the sweep — all before 11 a.m.

As in most of the nation’s big cities, killings have dropped precipitously in Chicago since the 1990s, as the police tried new approaches and crack cocaine faded. In the early 1990s, more than 900 people were killed annually here, a number that has long since shrunk and hovered around the 400s.

Homicides are down so far this year in New York and in Los Angeles, a fact that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration in New York has pointed to in defense of that city’s controversial stop-and-frisk program. But Chicago is not alone among major cities dealing with more killings. In Philadelphia, for instance, 173 homicides were reported as of June 20, compared with 143 in the same period last year.

Experts on crime say it is too early to know how much to make of the rise in killings here, particularly since a significant number took place in the first three months of the year — an oddly warm stretch for a city accustomed to winter hibernation and an accompanying chill in crime.

Mr. Emanuel’s critics blame his budget choices, at least in part. He consolidated three police districts, combined the police and fire headquarters, and reduced police spending by $67 million — mostly, his aides say, by removing more than 1,300 department jobs that had long gone unfilled but were left in city budgets only to be held up as savings on paper. Police union leaders argue that Mr. Emanuel should instead have filled any empty slots, however long they had been empty, with additional officers, and assert that the city has also failed to fill hundreds of slots left by retiring officers in recent years.

“Every district in the city is running short on manpower,” said Pat Camden, a Fraternal Order of Police spokesman. “It’s penny-wise and dollar foolish.”

But Superintendent McCarthy, who was director of police in Newark and deputy commissioner of operations in New York before Mayor Emanuel brought him here, says that the department’s new philosophy — one that includes a sharp focus on statistics and on building a deep knowledge within neighborhoods — is now aimed squarely at the gang problem, and that cost savings were matters of improving the department’s effectiveness, not shrinking it.

Nearly 1,100 officers who had been in administrative jobs or in special units have been sent back into police districts to work in neighborhoods. “Audits” of gangs — including details about members, turf fights and old grudges — are being used to try to prevent retaliation shootings.

The police this year have written tens of thousands more “contact cards” than last year, a practice in which officers stop people (though they do not, officials say, generally frisk them), document gang affiliations for a central database and seek information about recent crimes. The department is hiring officers for jobs vacated by retirements, Superintendent McCarthy said, though about 450 positions on the city’s 12,538-person sworn force are now unfilled.

Mr. Emanuel said he was drawing on his experience in Washington with the 1994 crime bill in efforts to pour resources into the roots of crime that stretch beyond police work. He has added $8.5 million collected from unpaid debts owed the city for thousands more summer jobs, slots for campers in the city’s park district and apprentice programs. Stricter curfews have been set. And the city is working with community groups in areas like Ms. Hodari’s neighborhood to build residents’ willingness to speak up and reclaim areas.

Not all of it seems to be reaching places like a district on the West Side, where a cluster of young men jumped from their cars on a recent morning to scuffle in the street, and where 24 homicides have already taken place this year. Tawaila Medley said she sees from the windows of the laundry where she works clusters of pre-teenage boys gathering at all hours of the night, and is grateful for the silent, out-of-view alarm beside her, adding, “We’ve lost our way.”

Steven Yaccino contributed reporting.


June 27, 2012 at 7:49 AM

By: Andres Durbak

New York Times Knows Chicago Gang Problems

Again, New York Times publshes some revealing reporting on Chicago's gang problems. In 2011, in an article prepared by the Chicago News Cooperative, "Police Struggle to Navigate New Gang Landscape", you find these revealing bits:

"Past crackdowns by the police had created a shifting landscape in the world of street gangs; as an older generation of gang leaders was put behind bars, the sociology of gangs changed, spawning fragmentation and turf wars. Even Mr. Weis admits that the department has arrested and jailed so many gang leaders that it has become, in a sense, a victim of its own success.",

and this bombshell, "... the tearing down of public housing dispersed gang activities into areas where members square off against rivals."

So, I'm not surprised by another, revealing report from the NY Time. But, for more revelations about the underlying cause of this upsurge in deadly violence, which has gripped our City during the past several years, read the study by the Urban Institute, "Public Housing Transformation's Effect on Crime in Atlanta and Chicago". You'll see that the included map of resettled CHA residents shows a strong correlation between shooting hot spots and resettlement concentrations. The "Public Housing Transformation" program in Chicago was roundly criticized by many clear thinking people, even before it started, but not even they could have predicted the extreme, violent, impact it had on areas already plagued by violence, and on heretofore peaceful communities in Chicago.

June 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

By: John Kugler

McCarthy Watch Continues

Could this be the end game?

McCarthy is gone August 1 and Wysinger will be the new Superintendent.

In the next few weeks, City Hall will play up how terrible crime is in Chicago. Expect the Times and Trib to headline any murder drama that pops up.

Rahm told McCarthy that the Cease Fire partnership was going to happen and Garry told Rahm he would have nothing to do with it. Garry refused to be at the press conference and said he would not tarnish his reputation by taking part in this. Rahm was forced to make this announcement today after the NY Times ran a cover article about Chicago's homicide rate. Rahm again called McCarthy and basically begged him to go to the press conference. McCarthy told him No Way! Rahm was himself supposed to go to the press conference but sent a lackey because he didn't want to answer questions about McCarthy's absence.

McCarthy has basically dared Rahm to fire him. If Rahm's reporter-supporters can get the public screaming about crime, then McCarthy is gone August 1.

This ties in perfectly with the points we made in the post right below this one about Wysinger being placed front and center while McCarthy is nowhere to be seen and Rahm isn't around for the announcement that the Chicago Police Department has been forcible partnered up with gang bangers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 28, 2012 at 6:50 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Cease Fire and the CPS dog-and-pony show

If the hiring of Cease Fire for a million dollars by a desperate Rahm Emanuel was the first iteration of a history ("tragedy") on the same morning we had the second part of the narrative ("farce") as the Chicago Board of Education cooed, oohed and aaahed like someone in the old First Ward Levee while the CPS security leadership (none of whom has ever done real security) took up more than a half hour explaining how CPS would stop suspending kids because of the bad data sets. The word "gang" was barely spoken, and the members of the Board acted as if they didn't know a GD (really, "Dr" Hines) from a Latin King (c'mon, Jesse and Rodrigo, you've got to be kidding) resulting in a dog-and-pony show that was so silly it will be good to save the video for the first time a kid is murdered in a school and CPS makes sure there is no suspension.

The easiest way to reduce the suspension rate is to edict that it go down. Compliant principals will make sure it does. Teachers will be under pressure to "kill crime" as the saying goes. And anyone who isn't on message will be told to go see "The Interrupters" (this year's version of "Waiting for Superman," with cops instead of teachers as the villains).

Despite the Vitale Stall (which delayed public participation on June 27 until way after noon), reality arrived quickly, although the Board members dozed as it was told to them. With a Board of Education now committed to reducing suspensions ("Which murder should we drop the suspension on?" "How many batteries before the kid goes to out-of-school suspension?"), a couple of parents and students told the Board (which was not paying attention at all) that this program will encourage bullies and kids who want to game the system.

More than 20 years ago, Cease Fire was around in the form of another group like it. Same problems. One cheer for Garry McCarthy for not going along with the latest Hooray for Hollywood Rahmscam. And pity the decent kids and families in the schools and on the streets.

June 28, 2012 at 11:43 PM

By: Anthony Smith

Rahmulus should put a bounty on the killers of children

Our Mayor, Rahmulus, continuously tells us how he "cares about the children."

So let him prove it. I propose that his media cronies publicize it and that his millionaire and billionaire buddies in Big Business back my proposal with their money to truly show that they "care about the children."

Here goes: simply put a bounty on the head(s) of those who rape, seriously assault, paralyze, or kill a child. $50,000 ought to do the trick. And those who are concerned about being labeled a trick or snitch will have 50,000 reasons to not care about that label anymore.

Big Business has made record profit these past years as most of the rest of us suffer.

This would be one way to show that they are human and have a soul.

Words won't convince us, no matter how passionately they are delivered on television.

Deeds. Deeds and money. That should do it.

June 30, 2012 at 12:16 AM

By: john kugler

No More Extra Days Off for Cops

It seems like CPD is imploding just like CPS. Rahm brought in high priced carpetbaggers to bust the city unions having drastic results for the residents of Chicago.

Fuck You Wysinger

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2012

First up, thanks to SCC for letting us run the site today as they were en route to the hidden bunker.

Secondly, can anyone reach over and slap Wysinger for us? Talk about forgetting where you came from. We got this after the CompStat meeting today:

CompStat is out of control today SCC. McCarthy raked ol' Carrothers over the coals again for some low performing Area teams. One team that produced only 1 arrest and 105 Contact Cards in a month was recommended for immediate dumping. Wysinger concurred stating, "Maybe they should go back to a slow district where they don't have to do anything." While I understand teams are a good spot if you produce for the boss, why be so deliberately negative toward traditionally slow districts? Are they looking to cut manpower ever more in the slow parts of town?

Then it got real bad.

McCarthy and others kept harping on manpower considerations. McCarthy actually asked if Time Due should be removed from the Watch/District control and given to the Areas for granting/denying time off. Then Wysinger, in a kool-aid induced fit, actually stated to the assembled gold stars and other attendees of all ranks that "There should be NO TIME DUE GRANTED FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE." I didn't get to write down the exact quote, but Wysinger told everyone that the city had given the Department the "4 on - 2 off" schedule, so Time Due shouldn't even be an issue. After all, you get 15 extra days off a year. No need to take off Saturdays, Sundays or plan for family days, ball games, whatever.

This place is truly circling the drain.

OK, so no more Time Due for anyone? All summer? All year? Fuck you Wysinger. You were a worthless cop when we knew you, a multiple-time promoted merit hack, a thief of awards that better cops than you have paid for in blood and you've only gotten worse with age. Now you're drinking the Rahm/McCarthy koolaid by the barrel full and we're pretty sure that isn't a sugar glaze on your face. You disgust us and we're damn glad all we see of this Department is in our rearview mirror.

Anyone who was at this meeting ought to be calling FOP and asking if the Department, specifically Al Wysinger, can deny you time off that you've earned. Time Due means that it's "DUE" to the men and women who have it. Stop fucking with the troops.

June 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM

By: John Kugler

It's comical.. the gun buy-back publicity stunt

Sounds like rahmbo and mcjersey got punked on their recent gun buy back pr stunt!


“If you were a criminal, you would be a fool to go there with the police presence,” he said. “What criminal would turn in the tool he uses to do his trade for a $100 card?”

“This was rusty, non-firing junk that we turned in,” Boch said. “We are redirecting funds from people who would work against the private ownership of firearms to help introduce the next generation to shooting safely and responsibly.” Sixty of the guns and several BB guns were turned in by the Champaign-based Guns Save Life. In return, the group received $6,240 in gift cards, said John Boch, president of the group.

here is the whole story from the Chicago Sun-Times.


BY FRANK MAIN, Staff Reporter,, Last Modified: Jun 30, 2012 07:47PM

A Downstate pro-gun group says it turned payouts from Chicago’s firearm buyback program last weekend into a fund-raiser for a youth summer camp — a National Rifle Association shooting camp, that is.

The city collected 5,500 guns last Saturday in the annual buyback. The city gave out $100 MasterCard gift cards for each gun and $10 cards for BB guns and replicas.

Sixty of the guns and several BB guns were turned in by the Champaign-based Guns Save Life. In return, the group received $6,240 in gift cards, said John Boch, president of the group.

Guns Save Life is known for the pro-gun signs the group posts along Interstate 57 between Chicago and Champaign. It also publishes a monthly gun journal.

Most of the money will go toward buying ammunition for an NRA youth camp in Bloomington. The rest will pay for four bolt-action rifles that will be given away to campers.

“This was rusty, non-firing junk that we turned in,” Boch said. “We are redirecting funds from people who would work against the private ownership of firearms to help introduce the next generation to shooting safely and responsibly.”

Despite the no-questions-asked policy of the buyback, police officials asked Guns Save Life members where they got their guns, Boch said. Still, the police officials allowed them to turn in their guns, he said.

Todd Vandermyde, the NRA’s chief lobbyist in Illinois, said Guns Save Life turned the tables on Chicago.

“I think it’s a very good example of the resourcefulness of the pro-gun side to take the initiative to turn something used by anti-gunners into a positive,” he said.

Vandermyde said he’s heard that gun-shop owners also have used the annual gun turn-in for profit.

Vandermyde said he was told one suburban gun dealer imported junk rifles for less than $50 each and received $100 gift cards for each of them.

“It’s comical,” he said.

But the city doesn’t think so.

“We host the gun turn-in event on an annual basis to encourage residents to turn in their guns so we can take guns off the street and it’s unfortunate that this group is abusing a program intended to increase the safety of our communities,” said Melissa Stratton, a police spokeswoman.

Boch said he doesn’t think the crooks who have pushed the number of Chicago’s homicides to 38 percent over last year’s total are the ones handing over their weapons.

“If you were a criminal, you would be a fool to go there with the police presence,” he said. “What criminal would turn in the tool he uses to do his trade for a $100 card?”

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