Crime pays as NYC DAs drop most post-death-of-George Floyd looting and rioting charges

North Michigan Avenue in Chicago last summer after rioting

By John Ruberry

A bit more than a year ago most large American cities were struck by widespread rioting and looting after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. 

Of course for the most part the rioting was termed “unrest” by the mainstream media. In case you think reporters forgot what the word “riot” means, the “R” word was front in center in January news coverage after a pro-Donald Trump mob stormed the US Capitol. 

Local television reporters across the country–who are generally more credible than their dead-tree media counterparts–brought viewers many scenes of unmasked people emptying out stores. Some of the looters even posted their crimes on social media.

Were these outrages open-and-shut case for prosecutors? Yes, but not in the way you think. 

From NBC New York:

NYPD data reviewed by the NBC New York I-Team shows 118 arrests were made in the Bronx during the worst of the looting in early June. 

Since then, the NYPD says the Bronx DA and the courts have dismissed most of those cases – 73 in all. Eighteen cases remain open and there have been 19 convictions for mostly lesser counts like trespassing, counts which carry no jail time. 

Jessica Betancourt owns an eyeglass shop that was looted and destroyed along Burnside Avenue in the Bronx last June.

Those numbers, to be honest with you, is [sic] disgusting,” Betancourt said when told of the few cases being prosecuted.

According to the NBC New York, prosecutors are claiming that there is a backlog of cases because of the COVID-19 epidemic. “If they are so overworked that they can’t handle the mission that they’re hired for, then maybe they should find another line of work,” says former NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman.  True, that.

There is a similar pattern of prosecutorial malpractice in Manhattan too. The DA in Manhattan is Cyrus Vance Jr, the leftist zealot who is on a Captain Ahab-like quest to charge Donald Trump with crimes.

The primary focus of any prosecutor should be to protect the public. But are prosecutors subject to the “CSI Effect” that plagues trials? That is, short of videotaped confessions of criminals, there is always room for a scintilla of doubt–because cases laid out perfectly when presented in a television drama.

Maybe. But instead I suspect there is an even worse possibility.

During the rioting last summer in Chicago I watched live coverage on WGN-TV of a couple of women calmly loading their car with what must have been looted goods. The license plate of their car was readable. Locating the criminals should have been quite easy. I wonder if Cook County’s state’s attorney, the woke Kim Foxx who of course dropped the hoax charges against Jussie Smollett–since reinstated with a special prosecutor in charge–botherered to investigate those two looters?

Yes, I had to bring up Smollett. As a black man and a gay man–that’s a two-fer–the former Empire actor is automatically a double-victim. And since many of the looters were minorities, they are victims too. Not of course the owners of stores that were looted last year even though many of those shop owners were minorities too. The criminals are the victims here, it’s not the other way around. If this quasi-reasoning makes sense to you then I recommend that you watch less CNN and MSNBC–and cancel your subscription to The Atlantic.

Some in the dead-tree media have called these riots and outbreaks of looting an uprising. Here and here, for instance. Meanwhile, the investigation of the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, which The Media Elect is calling either a riot or an insurrection–is being aggressively pursued by federal prosecutors, and the allegd perpetatrors are being charged with low-level crimes such as tresspassing. Yes, they should be prosecuted. But to call the Capitol Riot, in the words some federal prosecutors, an “existential threat” to the republic is a gross exaggeration. And some of those alleged rioters are being held in solitary confinement in Gitmo-like conditions, including the moron who put his on Nancy Pelosi’s desk and the so-called QAnon Shaman. Yeah, I get it, the feds have jurisdiction over the Capitol attack, not New York or Chicago prosecutors. But the message to the public should be clear here.

Then there is Antifa, which for weeks was violently attacking nearly every night the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Where is the dogged federal investigation of those riots? 

But I fear some in prosecutorial circles sympathize with Antifa, as I strongly suspect they do in regards to the George Floyd “uprising.”

It seems that prosecutors are taking sides. And that in the right circumstances crime pays well for the criminals. 

But civil society cannot survive such a mindset. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Jussie Smollett’s protector Kim Foxx, citing “Trump-like name calling and fear mongering,” backs out of debate with GOP opponent

By John Ruberry

The Jussie Smollett outrage has not gone away. But the dropping of charges by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for the alleged hate-crime hoaxter, since reinstated after the appointment of a special prosecutor, are not the biggest campaign issue facing the suburban Chicago Democrat as she faces Republican and retired judge Pat O’Brien in the general election in November. 

Rather it is the revolving door, or if you prefer, catch-and-release philosophy in regards to criminals used by Foxx, who was elected in 2016. 

Disclosure: In the ’16 Democratic primary Foxx defeated incumbent Anita Alvarez. Her husband is a friend of mine.

Last month in a debate at the Daily Herald offices called Foxx a “cheerleader of criminals” and a “social worker.” And Foxx, who has accepted campaign contributions from a PAC supported by left-wing billionaire George Soros, certainly seems to side with criminals in Cook County, which is dominated by Chicago.

Earlier this month Foxx backed out of a televised debate scheduled for later this month, bemoaning “Trump-like name calling and fear mongering” by O’Brien. Such behavior by the GOPer lives only in her head. It’s unclear if Fox will participate in a second debate scheduled in October. 

The state guideline for charging shoplifters in Illinois is $300. In one of her first actions, Foxx raised that to $1,000. Shortly afterwards–and most notably well before the two rounds of looting that struck Chicago this summer–shoplifting flash mobs began popping up in the city. Other criminals are receiving light bonds and overly generous plea deals. Crime, not surprisingly, is skyrocketing in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs. 

You see bits and pieces of the prosecutorial malfeasance by Foxx in the local media but to really get to the truth about her you need to read these two blogs, CWB Chicago and Second City Cop

Here are a few examples of Foxx-trocities from the former.

“They robbed a man together in 2018 — now, they’re accused of pulling off a carjacking together too.” CWB Chicago said last month. The duo “received luxurious plea deals after they robbed a man on the Far North Side in 2018.”

Another criminal got a second chance from the office of Kim Foxx. He was among three men charged with “robbing and battering a pregnant woman and her friend” at an el train station earlier this year that blog tells us. But a month after receiving that second chance prosecutors allege that he robbed a convenience store.

CWB Chicago reported this news last month. “Tobacco and booze targeted as convenience store robberies soar to record high.”

And finally, CWB Chicago tells us that September’s murder total, when finally tabulated, will be the highest for that month in a generation.

After the August outbreak of widespread looting in Chicago even Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a fellow leftist, and her police chief, David Brown, questioned Foxx’s prosecutorial philosophy.

Pat O’Brien is telling the truth.

Republicans face daunting odds in heavily-Democratic Cook County. In 2016 Hillary Clinton captured nearly 75 percent of the vote. But the Daily Herald–man, that must have been a horrible debate for Foxx–has endorsed O’Brien, as has the Chicago area’s most-read newspaper, the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Sun-Times, which is partially owned by the Chicago Federation of Labor, backs Foxx. I feel compelled to mention that the group that owns the Sun-Times purchased the paper three years ago for $1

Not only has the Chicago Federation of Police thrown its support behind O’Brien but it has contributed $58,000 to his campaign.

And sure it’s just one home, but I feel the need to mention that on my way to work I drive past a home in Niles that is dominated by yard signs for Democratic candidates and liberal causes. All but one of them. There’s a Pat O’Brien placard on that lawn.

O’Brien has a chance.

John Ruberry regularly blogs from Cook County at Marathon Pundit.

Jussie Smollett’s protector Kim Foxx faces Cook County voters in two weeks

By John Ruberry

February was a nasty month in Chicago. Not the weather, as it was pretty good. Just a day or two of sub-zero weather and no major snowstorms.

No, I’m talking about crime. Just as there are contested primaries in Cook County for state’s attorney, which consists of Chicago and its inner suburbs, on both the Democratic and Republican sides. There are three challengers to Kim Foxx in the Democratic side, two GOPers are battling for their party not.

Bill Conway seems to be the leading Dem challenge to the incumbent prosecutor.

Foxx, best known for her still not-fully explained decision to drop charges against alleged hate crime hoax charges against Jussie Smollett. A grand jury empowered by a special prosecutor issued new charges against the former Empire star last month, 

Murders of have been decreasing in Chicago since 2016 when there were 762. But last month there were 34 murders–ten more than in February, 2019, a 41 percent increase.

In 2019 there were 123 shootings in February. This February there were 166.

Carjackings are up too. As with murders in Chicago, the clearance rate is abysmally low, year to year, according to Hey Jackass, hovers around ten percent. But that clearance rate is declining. 

There are no figures on gangs of shoplifters in Chicago, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate there are more of these roving mobs. Twice last month the ritzy North Michigan Avenue was hit. Both times no one was arrested. 

Foxx, a leftist, refuses to charge shoplifters with a felony who are caught steeling less than $1,000 in merchandise. The Illinois threshold is $300. Crime seems to pay in Chicago and suburban Cook County as long as you don’t get caught and especially if you don’t get too greedy.

Northeastern Illinois seems to be part of the wave that I called here the Age of the Criminal.

Election Day is March 17 here. Of course I’ll be taking a Republican ballot. 

UPDATE March 19: Cook County voters proved to me just how dumb they are. Foxx easily was won renomination two days ago. The Republican nominee is Pat O’Brien, who has my support.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Welcome to the Age of Criminals

By John Ruberry

“Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints,” Mick Jagger first sang in 1968. The late 1960s were a period when many people believed that society, not individuals, was responsbible for crimes. There was a predictable backlash which led to the “Get Tough on Crime” movement that benefitted the political careers of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and countless other politicians. In 2016, Donald Trump once referred to himself as “the law and order candidate.” He should have stayed with that meme, in my opinion.

Clearly, at least in America’s big cities, the law enforcement philosophic pendulum is swinging back to the liberals. A big part of the reason is the left-wing political monoculture in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco. The Democrats are the only effective political force in these places, and the two-party structure, such as it is, consists of the left and the far-left. It was the far-left, aided by the uninformed who only vote for candidates with “D” next to their names, who elected Kim Foxx the state’s attorney in Cook County, Illinois, where I live, as well as Larry Krasner as district attorney of Philadelphia, Rachael Rollins as district attorney in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, which is dominated by Boston, and earlier this month, Chesa Boudin as San Francisco’s district attorney.

Boudin takes us back to the 1960s. You probably haven’t heard of his parents, David Gilbert and Kathy Boudin. Both were members of the terrorist group the Weather Underground, which was founded in 1969. Dad is serving what is effectively a life sentence for murder for his role in a deadly 1981 suburban New York Brinks truck robbery, done in conjunction with the Black Liberation Army, one that saw a security guard and two Nyack police officers shot to death. One of those slain cops was the only African-American on the Nyack force. Mom was released from prison in 2003, she is now an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Getaway cars for the heist were rented using personal information taken from customers who shopped at a New York boutique, Broadway Baby. The manager of that store, using a phony name, was Bernardine Dorhn. She was also a member of the Weather Underground but was never charged in Brinks case.

Since Gilbert and Kathy Boudin were unable to raise Chesa, who was a toddler at the time of the heist, they chose their radical pals, Dohrn and her partner, Bill Ayers, who of course was another Weather Underground member, as his guardians. Dohrn and Ayers’ home in Chicago is where Barack Obama began his political career in 1995. Ayers and Dorhn, now retired professors, are rarely mentioned in the generally sympathetic mainstream media reports about Chesa. As for that younger Boudin, he did well by attending an elite private school, then Yale, then Oxford. Prior to becoming a public defender in San Francisco, Boudin worked as a translator for the Venezuelan government at the time Hugo Chavez was running that once-prosperous nation into the ground.

Next year voters in California will vote on an initiative to eliminate cash bail there. Boudin doesn’t want to wait that long. The district attorney-elect told NPR last week that his first act in office will be to tell his prosecutors never to ask for cash bail, “Because we shouldn’t be putting a price tag on freedom, because we shouldn’t be determining incarceration based on wealth, and it’s what I intend to implement as policy on day one.” In place of prison time, Boudin, with victims’ consent, supports something called “restorative justice,” even in cases involving murder, kidnapping, and rape.

Not surprisingly, the local police union opposed Boudin in the election, spending $700,000 and calling him “the No. 1 choice of criminals and gang members.” Boudin has called for the prosecution of cops and ICE officials for, wait for it, doing their jobs. 

Bernie Sanders endorsed Boudin in the DA race.

Back in Cook County, Illinois, where Boudin was raised, Kim Foxx is the top law enforcement official. She endorsed Chesa, as did those leftist district attorneys in Philadelphia and Boston. Nationally Foxx is best known for her bizarre–unless you are a leftist–decision to drop all of Jussie Smollett’s charges involving staging the phony “racist” attack on him in Chicago earlier this year. But there is more to dislike. The Illinois threshold for charging shoplifters with a felony is stealing items worth $300. Foxx, with the snap of her fingers, raised it to $1,000. Not surprisingly, retail theft is on the rise in Chicago. Who pays? The store owners? Not exactly. To recoup their losses, prices for their unstolen merchandise goes up. So honest people suffer. Now there are reports of roving bands of shoplifters in Chicago. Retail theft can be a career choice, it seems. Presumably the swiped goods are resold by these bandits on the black market, at a cheap price, undercutting the sales of legitimate merchants. And Chicago doesn’t collect its whopping 10 percent sales tax on these transactions. Crime is indeed expensive. Yet for some people it pays.

When Foxx took office three years ago, shoplifting was the second-most prosecuted crime in Cook County. Now it’s the eighth-most prosecuted one. The long term implications for society are dire as shoplifting is viewed by some as a gateway crime to more serious offenses.

In her video regarding announcing her run for reelection in 2020, Foxx admitted she botched the Smollett case, but she also attacked Chicago’s police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, which in a spring protest outside of her office called on her to resign. In a July letter to Foxx, the FOP cited that a “deep mistrust now exists between your office and ours. We no longer believe that your office will treat our members fairly either in the arrests they make or when they are victims of crimes.”

It appears that the Age of Criminals, at least in some big cities and their inner suburbs, is upon us. Supporting law abiding folks are the cops. Leftist prosecutors are on the other side.

The crime gateway is open.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.