Chicago is mostly known for bad things: organized crime, dirty slaughterhouses, and political corruption. The short-lived Starz series Boss was about corruption and starred Kelsey Grammar as Chicago’s mayor. After Baltimore and Detroit, Chicago may be the most notorious city in America.
However, Chicago does have a “Magnificent Mile” of upscale hotels, restaurants, and shops on Michigan Avenue. Like many American cities, it relies on the mile to attract tourists, who want to avoid the “bad” parts of town. What happens when every part of a city goes bad?
The “Magnificent Mile” now has empty stores that once hosted such attractions as Macy’s and Disney. The Mag Mile produced \$150 million in sales taxes in 2019, but just \$60 million in 2020, the year of the George Floyd riots. President of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association Rob Karr says that the “impression around the nation is that Chicago is not a very place safe to be.” Alderman Brian Hopkins says new businesses don’t want to open where shoplifting rings have been “operating with impunity downtown.”
“With continued robberies in the area, Chicago police have issued a warning about suspects only described as young men, in their teens, robbing items on display,” reported the local CBS station. The “only” tells us all we need to know. “No one is in custody, and the robberies are still under investigation,” the story concluded.
Thieves are working systematically. Last week, a gang robbed three 7-Elevens in 30 minutes. In September, a black gang robbed a beauty store in the suburbs and employees treated it like a regular occurrence.
Other gang attacks within the city hit perfume stores and Walgreens. These are not romantic criminals stealing bread to feed their children. People who work downtown say they are afraid to leave the office at night.
What happens if police arrest suspects? Thanks to George Soros-financed Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, possibly nothing. She has told prosecutors not to bring felony theft charges if someone steals less than \$1,000 worth of property. That means a ticket for a court appearance and no bail, so thieves go back to work right away. Miss Foxx also presided over the Jussie Smollett hoax. She dropped charges, even though he staged a hate crime against himself. Her supporters weren’t bothered; she easily won reelection in 2020.
The police can’t stop brazen shoplifters, but they did launch an investigation in 2019 because somebody put up stickers of the American Identity Movement. I’ve seen no report of arrests.
We can’t accuse the media of covering up crime. The Washington Post noted that Chicago is on pace for its highest homicide rate in 25 years. The Chicago Sun-Times publishes lurid descriptions almost daily of mass shootings. On October 19, there were fifteen shootings (two fatal). Two more were shot to death the next day. A story came out on October 22 about a woman who heard about a shooting in her neighborhood, and then found out the victim was her brother. Fox News has a “Chicago’s Crime Wave” section. In late September, one victim was an eight-year-old boy. Voters don’t seem to care, at least not enough to vote out Miss Foxx or support a different party.
In April last year, we wrote about “The Great Replacement” in Chicago. From 1910 to 2020, the city went from almost entirely white to just about one-third white. In 2016, murders soared after a white police officer shot a black teenager, and the problem has only gotten worse. Curiously, other violent crimes have declined over the last two decades (barring a short-lived spike around 2016), but homicides keep going up .
Kim Foxx can be unintentional funny. Earlier this month, the “body snatchers faction of the Four Corner Hustlers” used home-converted automatic weapons to attack the “Jack Boys faction.” Three men were shot, one died, and the “Jack Boys” refused to leave their hideout, prompting a standoff with the SWAT team. Kim Foxx didn’t bring charges. Her office explained this was, in part, because the shootout was “mutual combat” and therefore possibly not a criminal matter. Even far-left black mayor Lori Lightfoot thought that was too much, though the state’s attorney and the mayor reportedly met to talk out their differences — with the helpful mediation of Jesse Jackson. In the case of a young man stabbed to death, Miss Foxx again brought no charges, in part because she called it another case of “mutual combat.”
It’s not surprising that affluent shoppers want to stay away. Unfortunately, Chicago is not alone.
In California, a 2014 law lowered penalties for theft under \$950. In San Francisco, the result has been a wave of astonishingly brazen shoplifting. The city’s district attorney is Chesa Boudin, who won office in 2019 with help from George Soros. Car break-ins, gun crimes, and homicides are all up — though robberies are down.
Earlier this year, about 40 percent of residents said they planned to leave the city. Some businesses already have. Walgreens is closing several locations. Some data show that theft and shoplifting were declining in some of these locations. However, the head of the California Retailers Association says most robberies aren’t reported. The reason? Nothing would happen if they were. Criminals don’t fear consequences.
So we get this:
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) June 14, 2021
This week @Walgreens closed five more stores in the #SanFrancisco area. That makes twenty-two stores the retail-pharmacy giant has shuttered in the Bay area over the last five years, always citing the same reason: out-of-control shoplifting. #crime pic.twitter.com/MmtfrxJPhh
— James Rosen (@JamesRosenTV) October 15, 2021
5 more Walgreens in San Francisco are closing as a result of skyrocketing shoplifting.
Police can only take action in SF if the theft exceeds $950, otherwise private citizens need to act.
— America Rising (@AmericaRising) October 15, 2021
Another city with a George Soros-supported prosecutor is Philadelphia. District Attorney Larry Krasner has presided over increasing crime since he was elected in 2017: homicide, carjackings, and theft. Mr. Krasner has also discouraged prosecutions of shoplifting. He easily won the Democratic primary (and thus, the election) in May 2021.
On October 13, a black man raped a woman on public transportation. Bystanders merely watched, some reportedly filming the crime. The suspect is Fiston Ngoy, who came to the United States on a student visa that expired in 2015. He should have been deported then. Instead, he remained in the country and built up an arrest record including for sexual abuse. A judge ruled that wasn’t a serious enough crime to merit deportation.