Dear Mayor Lightfoot,
You are jacking up the police budget to $1.9 billion to allegedly keep us safe. Once again, the people of Chicago are being deceived into pursuing the failed policies of aggressive and invasive policing. These policies of relying on the police and courts and prisons to keep us safe are designed to fail. They are designed to fail because all they are doing is propping up a corrupt, racist criminal justice system. They are designed to fail because all they do is make policing part of a dysfunctional environment of unemployment, homelessness and extreme poverty, violence, crime and an ever-deepening public healthcare crisis.
Are you even addressing the fact that Chicago is still first among the most segregated and racially unequal cities in the United States? It is a long-established sociological fact that poverty produces crimes and violence, to be sure poverty is violence. And the stubborn facts of life tell us over and over again that more police will not reduce the crimes of poverty or make our communities safer. What would help is that your administration work to reduce these bloated police budgets and use that money to put people to work, improve housing and public health. This would be a courageous break with a cowardly and trivial past of beefing up the police to maintain the status quo. We demand justice, not more power for the police to continue to perpetrate injustice. The road to justice is empowering communities for public safety.
All Power to the People!
Executive Director, Frank Chapman