Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute writes insightful commentary on policing matters. She’s the author of The War On Cops — How The New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. The title of this book is apt — it’s not just a “war on cops” that has been created by the misguided efforts by the woefully misnamed and misconceived “Black Lives Matter” organization , it’s actually a war on law and order in cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. The ending of “stop and frisk” by activist judges and politcal demagogues has given criminals and gang bangers cover to perpetuate murder and mayhem. The idea that this police practice in unconstitutional is ludicrous given that the U.S Supreme Court specifically sanctioned this practice in the 1968 case of Terry v. Ohio. The demagogues have labeled it racist by the usual trick of ignoring crime rates in predominantly black areas of major cities.
President Trump recently told Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel he will send in the Feds if the authories there are unable to quell the violence. Heather MacDonald recently gave a retort in the Wall Street Journal in which she says, In Chicago, “The Feds” Are Part of the Problem.
She’s referring to the Federal Government’s already unjustified intrusions into local crime fighting in Chicago. A while back Obama’s Justice Department began negotiations with Chicago for a consent decree with the Chicago police. The Mayor has said he will sign a consent decree to put Chicago Police under a Justice Department monitor. Just a week before Trump’s inauguration Obama’s Justice Department released a shoddy report accusing the Chicago police of engaging in a pattern of unconstitutional and unlawful force. The report was shoddy MacDonald says, because it “…lacked the most basic statistical integrity and transparency; it failed to disclose any data that justified its conclusion.” She labeled “outrageous” the claim that Chicago police don’t care about solving black-on-black crime.
The first thing Trump should do, MacDonald Says, is announce that he is suspending the negotiations over a consent decree and that he is ending the Federal encroachment on local policing that Constitutionally is the province of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.
Secondly, Trump can instruct the Justice Department to vigorously enforce and prosecute federal firearm laws in Chicago. Almost every single shooting that makes news in Chicago is committed by a person or persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms under the Federal Crime Control Act of 1968, one the the three main Federal gun laws, the others being the Federal Firearms Act of 1934 and the 1992 Brady Act. These statues create Federal Felonies punishable with up to 10 years in a Federal Prison and a fine up to $10,000. Many of the black gang bangers in Chicago can easily afford the maximum fine and they can certainly do the time in a Federal prison which is exactly where they belong.
Proactive policing, including “stop and frisk”, should immediately be reinstituted. It is a proven method of discovering and seizing lots of illegal firearms, all of which should be sold to legal and licensed firearms dealers for further sale to law-abiding citizens for their personal protection, and for target prcatice on the new gun ranges the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Chicago to allow to be built.
If Trump does this he will be hailed as a genius because enforcing Federal Firearm laws alone will cut the murder rate in Chicago back to small town levels. The only thing else that might be needed is a few more Federal prisons, and positive steps to break the unholy alliance between Chicago politicians and the gangs.