Arrest of Chicago 'Peacekeeper' police substitute demonstrates the folly of 'defund the police'

A man wearing the vest of the new "Peacekeeper" corps deployed over the Memorial Day weekend, to stem the mayhem on a holiday weekend that has become an opportunity for murder tallies to soar, was arrested for a violent attack.  David Struett of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

A man in a neon "peacekeepers" vest beat up and robbed a man in Little Village on Friday night, police said, as dozens of violence prevention workers fanned out across Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend.

Oscar Montes, 31, was in a group of seven or eight people that pulled a man from a car and punched and kicked him on the ground in the 2300 block of South Washtenaw Avenue, Cook County prosecutors said in a Sunday bond hearing.

Montes took the man's cellphone and struck him over the head with it, and another person stole the man's wallet, prosecutors said.

The man's face and ribs were fractured, and his eye was damaged to the point that he suffered partial blindness, prosecutors said.

One of the many fantasies of the progressives is that there is something inherently wrong or dangerous with police.  Instead of armed police capable of using the threat of violence to restrain offenders, unarmed social worker–like alternatives can reduce violence by sympathizing with offenders and understanding the root causes of their behavior.  

The Chicago Police Department's 1,700 vacancies are so catastrophic that Democrat politicians are desperate to deflect blame for their support of defund the police and anti-cop measures.  Chicago's new mayor, Brandon Johnson, ditched his former defund-the-police rhetoric during the campaign but still won't commit to adding funds to the police.  Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, who has presidential ambitions and billions of inherited wealth to fund his races, signed a 2021 bill that was widely seen by police as "anti-cop" and helped lead to mass early retirements and resignations.  But as the holiday weekend approached, Pritzker claimed credit for the deployment of 30 "Peacekeepers" to Chicago neighborhoods, funded by that 2021 bill.

Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services are launching a Citywide Crisis Prevention & Response Unit (CPRU), a highly mobile team that is specifically designed to prevent violence and address conflict and crises in the City of Chicago. The CPRU will coordinate with community-based organizations and City and State agencies to deploy 30+ trained neighborhood "Peacekeepers" and street outreach partners to provide essential assistance in de-escalation, conflict resolution, and crisis support across Chicago.

"The most important work we do is keeping our communities safe, and this is another important step towards addressing violence and conflict through research-based, community-focused approaches," said Governor JB Pritzker. "IDHS is creatively utilizing their funding to find high-impact solutions to the current problems facing Chicago, and I'm thankful for their hard work heading into the summer months."

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Chicago's Mayor Johnson joined in, offering what looks like, in retrospect of the Peacekeeper's arrest, an embarrassing endorsement:

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Fortunately, there were some genuine police nearby when the peacekeeper was allegedly assaulting his victim.

Officers watching the attack on video from a police surveillance camera dispatched officers who were nearby tending a large crowd, prosecutors said. Montes was allegedly seen by officers throwing the stolen cellphone in the street as he left.

When officers arrived, they saw Montes walking away and trying to take off a neon vest that read "peacekeepers," according to a police report. No one in court Sunday mentioned a peacekeepers vest or a connection to an anti-violence organization.

The system of policing that has evolved, with armed, trained officers, is not perfect, but it is far better than the fantasy that unarmed social workers can defuse situations and improve public safety.  Cops are not systemically racist, as the progressive rhetoric claims.  A small sliver of the population for whatever reason is inclined to prey on the rest of us, and many are unafraid to employ violence.  They cannot be understood and sympathized into dropping their inclinations.  They require the application of force and the threat and use of imprisonment to remove them from society and incentivize behavioral change.

The man arrested wearing the Peacekeeper vest, it turns out, according to his defense attorney, had a criminal record of his own, had been involved in gang activity, and could not have qualified to be a police officer.

Montes is on parole for a 2012 case in which he pleaded guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle. Golaszewski said those allegations stemmed from an incident involving a rival gang member of Montes in Little Village. Court records show Montes was originally charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol

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