A woman’s body was found bound, and gagged, in an empty commercial building in Chicago. Another woman’s body was found beaten, and stuffed inside of a mattress. A man was shot in the head, while driving, on the Far South Side. All three aforementioned victims have something in common: They’re officially classified by the Chicago Police department as “non-criminal” death investigations.
They don’t call it “Crook County” for nothing. Despite the abnormally high level of gang violence, it turns out that politicians are the inheritors of Al Capone’s style of injustice. It seems that politicos in Chicago would rather see a couple of decent headline stories, than keep murderers and criminals off the streets. Cleaning up the streets of America’s Murder Capital, apparently, is not as important as making sure Rahm Emanuel’s poll rating remains intact.
Chicago magazine recently released an exposé on the city’s newly adopted habit of reclassifying murder cases in an effort to pad their crime statistics. I guess the CPD decided that it was whole lot easier to fudge the crime numbers than fix any underlying issues that lead to criminal activity in the first place.
Truthfully, data manipulation is nothing new. Heck, newspapers are still reporting that we have 6.7 percent unemployment – despite the fact that there is a record number of people who have been pushed "out of the labor force". And anyone that has purchased gas, paid a utility bill, or bought groceries will be willing to testify that “1.1 percent inflation” is a highly cherry-picked statistic.
But, in the case of Emanuel’s Chicago, the data fudging is having a deadly effect throughout the city. Criminals are remaining on the street, families are left to grieve without closure, and CPD brass are willing to tolerate miscarriages of justice, in exchange for a pat on the back from the local press and city leaders.
Deadly assaults have been downgraded to “non-criminal” deaths. Unsolved murders are routinely listed in the official record as “unsolved death investigations”. Of course, this all has a very real impact on headline statistics and political campaigns… But it also leaves the suspects free to roam Chicago streets without serious consequence. According to Chicago Magazine: (emphasis added)
On March 17,  the body of Michelle Manalansan, a 29-year-old college student, was found stuffed into an air mattress in a Pilsen apartment. Her death certificate says she died by homicide, citing blunt head and neck trauma. Police suspended the investigation until a suspect could be “located and interviewed.” A year later, they had still not classified the case as a homicide. [This obvious murder was not counted in 2013 murder records.]
On July 23,  the decomposed body of Tiara Groves, 20, was found naked and gagged in an empty West Side warehouse. The medical examiner ruled her death a homicide by “unspecified means.” A lieutenant reclassified the homicide investigation as a noncriminal death investigation on December 18, citing the medical examiner’s “inability to determine a [specific] cause of death.”
On September 21,  a suspicious fire broke out in a Roseland apartment building. Third-floor residents Millicent Brown-Johnson, 28, and her son, Jovan Perkins, 8, died of smoke inhalation. The medical examiner ruled their deaths homicides. At presstime the cases were classified as noncriminal death investigations, not homicide investigations.
On November 29,  22-year-old Patrick Walker was fatally shot in the head while driving in the Far South Side. His death certificate says he died by homicide. The medical examiner deferred a finding of the cause and manner of death “pending police investigation.” The case is still classified by police as a noncriminal death investigation, not a homicide investigation.
Heck, even the mass shooting during a pickup basketball game (where two gang members shot 13 people) was classified as a singular shooting incident (no one died). In another case, a woman was beaten so badly she could hardly speak to her rescuers. She was gasping for breath, and ultimately died at the hospital. Despite the life-threatening injuries she sustained in the attack, her death was classified as “natural causes”, because of the medical examiner’s conclusion that a blood clot had ultimately killed her. Her attacker even managed to escape any battery charges, and he still walks the streets as a free-man.
And as atrocious as this manipulation of statistics might seem, it’s a logical progression of government-sponsored data. What do we expect when the government is able to shovel out “official” numbers with little or no scrutiny from the press? With ambivalent indifference, the markets and much of the public swallow the BLS’s employment numbers, HHS’s Obamacare enrollment figures, Census numbers on income growth, and FBI murder rates.
Of course, in this case the unintended consequence isn’t merely an underperforming economy, or manipulated monetary policy. It is quite literally an abandonment of justice. Killers, thugs and assailants walk the streets of Chicago – all so Emanuel, McCarthy and some CPD brass can keep their cushy public positions of trust.
After all, it is much easier to pad the numbers than fix the underlying problem. Heck, just yesterday the New York Times reported that the US Census bureau will be changing how they calculate healthcare costs; which (according to the Times) will make tracking the impact of Obamacare on the US Healthcare system nearly impossible. (But I’m sure that is coincidence.) Chicago may very well be the most outrageous example, but it is not uncommon for government to tweak the data to suit political purposes.
Obama Inc. routinely spouts cherry picked data, and inadequate metrics of economic growth, as “proof” that the worst recovery in US history is actually a ringing success of Keynesian economics. And, really, where do you think this community organizer from Chicago learned the tactic of number manipulation? Chicago, it seems, exports corruption in the same way banana-republics export extremism.
So, while people continue to get stuffed into mattresses, shot in gangland disputes, and left for dead in abandoned warehouses, Rahm Emanuel – and his well paid underlings in the CPD – will continue to tout the “success” of their war on inner-city violence. And the victims in Chicago, just like the victims of authoritarian governments around the world, will continue to live in a city blind to their injustice.
It’s tragedy. And, regrettably, it is an unsurprising result of “Crook County” politics.
PS: I highly encourage you to take the time to read Chicago magazine’s investigative piece by clicking here.