Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin went to the United Nations to seek help with Chicago’s violence problem Thursday. Mr. Boykin met with Assistant Secretary General of the U.N. in New York — in a meeting that was planned over a month ago — to ask for assistance with the seriously high level of crime in Chicago, the City of Big Shoulders.
Arriving in New York, the County Commissioner told reporters: “I’m hoping to appeal the UN to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peace keeping efforts.”
“We’ve had over 600 people killed by gun violence already this year alone. That is a huge number, in my community of Austin we’ve had 450 people shot and 80 people killed this year alone 18 so we have to do more to protect these communities,” he added.
Violence in Chicago is particularly severe among many African American communities.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it was a nice idea, but it won’t solve Chicago’s violence problem. “I appreciate the commissioner’s energy and his anxiousness to help reduce the gun violence in Chicago, I really do commend that, but at the end of the day the UN has no jurisdiction here, they really have no jurisdiction in this country,” he said.
Mr. Johnson also added that in spite of a record number of murders in 2016, the latest policing strategies are improving the situation in Chicago. “This year we are down about 110 in raw numbers from the murders last year and about, over 700 shootings down, so I’m pleased with it. It’s not cause for celebration but it is showing progress,” he told reporters.
President Trump offered help in dealing with the violence problem in the Windy City by using the National Guard, but the mayor’s office dismissed the idea as a gimmick. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also labeled Mr. Boykin’s trip to the U.N. as a political stunt.
Critics of Mr. Emanuel claim that his poor leadership of the Chicago Police Department have exacerbated the city’s problems. In the two years since the mayor fired former Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Chicago police have dealt with over 1,400 homicides — representing an astonishing 70 percent increase in murder cases since 2015.
Much of the violence stems from Chicago’s failing public school system, in which just 26 percent of students are currently considered prepared for the next grade level, according to state testing. Approximately 91 percent of students require remedial classes before they can begin the standard school curriculum.
However, rather than addressing the crime and education problems in Chicago, Mayor Emanuel has spent much of his time launching public verbal assaults on President Donald Trump. He recently proclaimed to Stephen Colbert on CBS: “Chicago, our schools, our neighborhoods, our city as it relates to what President Trump said will be a Trump-free zone. You have nothing to worry about,” referring to the illegal immigrant students protected under former President Barack Obama’s executive order.
Returning from his meeting at the United Nations, Commissioner Boykin said his 40-minute meeting with the Assistant Secretary General went very well. He told correspondents in New York that the U.N. is now working on a global youth violence report and that the Assistant Secretary General has offered to travel to Chicago upon its completion to discuss the findings.