Ken Berwitz

Chicago is seething.

The reason?  Release of a video tape from last year\’s shooting/killing of 17 year old Laquan McDonald, by police officer Jason Van Dyke.

While we still do not know all the facts regarding this case, the video, by itself, seems to make it clear that this was an unjustified police shooting.  Even if Officer Van Dyke\’s first shots do turn out to be justified, there appears to be no reason for him to have then emptied his revolver into a now-wounded and immobile McDonald.

But, as much as this troubles me – and I say that not for effect but for real – here\’s what also troubles me:  The fact that a police shooting is just about the only thing that will mobilize the protesters and activists who are now on Chicago\’s streets.

To explain further, let me show you the following chart from an unfortunately-named web site:, which compiles data on Chicago shootings/killings.

There have been 453 homicides in Chicago this year (so far) – 401 of which were fatal shootings.  Here is how they break by race.  In reading the chart, please note that the number of assailants is far lower than the number of homicides, because they can only include those in which an arrest has been made, part of a murder/suicide, self-defense, or if it involved the police.

Race of Victm/Assailant  

Race Victim Assailant
Black 355 81
Hispanic 71 19
White/Other 17 9
Police 7
Unknown 10
As of 11/24/15

This shows that Black people account for 80% of the homicide victims in Chicago this year, Hispanic people are at 16%, and Whites are at 4%.

And who are the assailants – the ones we know of?  About 70% are Black, 16% are Hispanic, and 8% are White.

Now let\’s add in the shootings that have not been fatal (2,311).  That makes a total of 2,712.Add in 

Finally, how many police killings have there been in Chicago this year – keeping in mind that police are the ones who go running toward, rather than away from these 2,712…not to mention the countless other incidents of violent crimes which ravage Chicago (e.g. shootings that do not result in injury, assaults, rapes, etc.) the people shooting these guns?  

A total of 7 so far this year. 

So while it is understandable that Chicagoans, especially Black Chicagoans, are outraged by what appears to be the needless execution of a young Black man by a cop…

…where has the outrage been for the hundreds of fatalities and thousands of non-fatal shootings shown above?  Where are the marches demanding that Black on Black crime must stop?  Demanding that the violent, murderous gangs, which, based on numerous news reports, are often drug-cartel related, be aggressively attacked and broken up, so the streets of primarily Black and Latino neighborhoods can be safe? 

When will we start seeing those protests – the ones that address the 99% of killings in Chicago which have nothing to do with Laquan McDonald?

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