(The Center Square) – Violent crime in Chicago took the focus of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee with victims’ survivors and retired law enforcement prescribing solutions.
The hearing took place not in Washington D.C., but at the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police hall. Testifying was Gianno Caldwell, a Fox News contributor and someone whose teenage brother was shot and killed in Chicago. He said with the end of cash bail and do-not-chase policies, criminals feel emboldened turning The Windy City into Gotham City.
Chicago is savable, but he said residents have to make adjustments.
“If the folks in Chicago don’t start voting differently and demanding justice versus becoming numb to what we see is a daily slaughter, then we can’t get anything done,” Caldwell said. “We can’t have any movement.”
Retired Chicago detective John Garrido told committee members that criminal defendants may be more combative than they typically would be because of the recent start of no cash bail, where in many instances individuals charged with crimes don’t need to post bail before they are released.
“The bad guys are just learning, and they’re quickly learning because this stuff is just broadcast everywhere, that they don’t have to worry about any consequences,” Garrido said.
Carlos Yanez, a retired disabled Chicago police officer who was shot five times, said criminals know there are lax policies in holding them accountable.
“It is time to stop coddling criminals and holding them accountable for their actions,” Yanez said. “Only then will they stop and think before they carjack, rob, shoot or kill a law-abiding citizen.”
Democrats did not attend the hearing, some telling the media their focus needs to be on crafting a plan by the end of the week to keep the federal government open.
“This is very interesting when all of us should be in Washington trying to make sure that the government does not shut down because we have not reached an agreement on a budget or at least a continuing resolution,” said U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Chicago. “A forum at the FOP headquarters will not change their budget proposal that will hurt students, seniors, and rural communities, undermine law enforcement, and, in all probability, spark an increase in crime.”
Caldwell said Democrats should have been at the hearing.
“Many of the folks who’ve said ‘Black lives matter,’ and they do, but they’re not showing that Black lives matter by not being here today,” Caldwell said.
Chicago police crime statistics show overall crime up 77% over the past two years with vehicle thefts up 211%. Robberies are up 45% during that time.