Chicago trying to surpass San Francisco in a race toward lawless anarchy
Two American cities, San Francisco and Chicago, seem to be competing to see which one can descend farther into the dystopia of gang rule, with honest citizens held captive to anarchy in the streets, afraid to leave their homes and finding nowhere to buy life's essentials if they do venture out. Master filmmaker John Carpenter got it wrong when he predicted which American cities would fail in his 1980s and '90s dystopian fantasies Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.
Monica Showalter covered the descent of the City by the Bay yesterday in her piece titled "The Fall of San Francisco." Today it is Chicago's turn, and even though I have lived in the San Francisco area for over three decades, I must say that Chicago is making an impressive sprint toward hell, leaving San Francisco in a cloud of bloody dust.
When it comes to retail theft, both cities have seen their premier shopping districts, North Michigan Avenue and Union Square, devastated by looters. In fact, while S.F. has recently seen storefronts boarded up, as Monica reported yesterday, over a quarter of all retail space downtown is now vacant, and on Michigan Avenue, where looting was extensive in the George Floyd memorial riots, lots of prominent retail space is going begging.
YouTube screen grab.
Not that the retail pillaging is over there. Shoplifters heisted 13 grand over the weekend from two beauty parlors.
But it is the realm of homicide where Chicago makes its case for pre-eminence. In what the corporate media would trumpet as a "grim milestone" if Republicans somehow could be blamed, Cook County yesterday surpassed 1,000 homicides for the year. That's in a county with 5.15 million people. San Francisco's much smaller population of 875,000 has generated only 41 homicides this year so far. If it were to match Cook County's rate, it would have to more than quadruple the death toll.
While Californians loosed looters on retailers by making thefts up to $950 a misdemeanor, Illinois has adopted "bail reform" that lets violent perps roam the streets awaiting trial, and then, even when convicted, the state often fails to meaningfully punish them. Consider this case chronicled by the invaluable website CWBChicago, which demonstrates how insane it has become, compared to a saner jurisdiction like Florida:
When Quinton Joiner stabbed a CTA worker in the neck on a Loop train platform in August, all of the corporate news outlets ran stories. But only CWBChicago followed the case to report that prosecutors only charged Joiner with a misdemeanor and then settled the case less than a month later with a sentence of probation.
On October 16, we exclusively reported that Joiner, still on probation for the CTA stabbing, was arrested again after she walked into a wedding ceremony in Millennium Park and allegedly brandished a knife to steal a woman's purse.
Once again, she was only charged with misdemeanors. Joiner walked out of the local police station on her own recognizance less than seven hours later.
Within days of her release from CPD custody, Joiner, 37, traveled to a suburb of Tampa, Florida, where she allegedly stabbed two strangers and threatened a third in two separate incidents this month.
Cops arrested her and Florida prosecutors, unlike their Cook County counterparts, charged Joiner with three felonies. A judge ordered her held in lieu of $32,000. She's still in the Hillsborough County Jail.
The details of Joiner's attacks are blood-curdling, if you care to read about them. Imagine the Chicago courts letting someone like that roam the streets. Lucky for Chicagoans that she decamped for a jurisdiction that actually functions properly.
Both cities are in an urban death spiral, becoming unlivable. They are being killed by progressivism — not by the departure of major industries and jobs, but by the failure of the justice system to work to protect the citizenry.
Hat tip: Peter von Buol
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