Crime has me ready to rant

As crime in Chicago spirals out of control, our elected leadership has been quieter than a church mouse

Opinion

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

I haven't ranted in a while and a good rant always allows me to get things off my chest that have been irking the heck out of me.

As crime in Chicago spirals out of control, our elected leadership has been quieter than a church mouse. Is there anybody surprised about that? The mayhem is now so bad that our criminal element have no qualms about shooting someone driving 55 mph on the expressways and risking everyone else's lives just so they can take out a rival.

One of the main reasons is that the State Police, who are supposed to patrol those expressways, are even more invisible than our elected leadership.

So my first rant is asking the questions that many don't want to hear: Is it time for black legislators to stand at the forefront to call for the return of the death penalty? If there is one criminal who truly deserves to pay the ultimate price for their bad behavior, it is one who shoots at or kills someone on any expressway. We currently haven't had a major catastrophe occur in addition to the shooting, but it is only a matter of time before it does happen.

Then what? Will we have the normal amount of indignant outrage that is in truth tepid in temperature? When the debate was happening about ending the death penalty, there were tons of voices that they wouldn't want to spend the rest of their life in prison. But with a population of young people who don't expect to live to be 30, the rest of their life at age 16 is viewed as being 14 years.

They aren't worried about spending their life in prison until they reach age 30 and recognize that their actual death is probably in another 50 years. Then they come to their senses, but it is too late. I'm not advocating just throwing away our young people, but some of them are lost causes who will have to pay the ultimate penalty. Societies in general did public executions to send a visual message that kept others in line. As we have become a society too afraid to address real-life situations without warning messages while we allow folks to take in murder and mayhem in both movies and video games, we have created our own Catch-22 mess.

Speaking of criminals, how come after Dante Servin, the off-duty Chicago police officer got off on a technicality for having shot and killed Rekia Boyd, he hasn't been charged with a crime for having used an unregistered 9mm Glock handgun in his crime? Servin was scheduled to appear in an "evidentiary hearing" before the Chicago Police Board when he suddenly resigned. His resignation means he is still allowed to collect his pension and other benefits. The average Chicagoan caught using an unregistered handgun would have hell to pay, and we need to do all we can to make sure Chicago's version of George Zimmerman isn't allowed to just walk free from his crime and not lose everything.

Recently Alderman Ray Lopez (15th Ward) offered a proposal similar to one I suggested weeks ago. Whereas I wanted cameras on houses to monitor crime and the police would come to us for data should they need it, he wants to link individual homeowners' security systems to Chicago's vast surveillance network of cameras. Amazingly his suggestion is being called "innovative" while the aldermen in the Black Caucus rarely make news for offering any creative ideas to combat crime. Since the majority of crime is coming from people living in their areas, it is time to hear from them with ideas and solutions.

Silence is golden only when it is justified. It is time for everyone to speak up and speak out on the criminal behavior of individuals not coming into our community from the outside but coming outside from within our community and wreaking havoc.

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