On Sunday, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired a report on the surge of murders and violence in Chicago. When describing the increase in violence as a “surge”, 60 Minutes is certainly not exaggerating; this year’s homicide total in Chicago is up by 56% from last year, and up almost 75% from 2013.
However, CBS is certainly exaggerating when it compares Chicago to a “war zone” – in Afghanistan, for example, US forces have averaged 300+ murders per 100,000 since the 2001 invasion. With a 2016 homicide rate of ~29 per 100,000, Chicago’s homicide rate hasn’t reached the 1992 peak of ~32 per 100,000. Can anyone recall CBS comparing Chicago to a “war zone” in the 1990s?
60 Minutes centered its coverage on a drop in stops and arrests by police, with a focus on blaming the police for creating a crime-filled environment, with scarce mention of the perpetrators behind the increase in violent crime. They also mentioned low police morale, new policies on racial profiling and police reporting, gang members posting video of confrontations with police, and “fear of becoming the next viral video” in their piece. What was conveniently left out of the entire report?
Any mention whatsoever of Black Lives Matter, or any of the other nationwide protests against police that are primarily driven by race. Of course, these protests almost always occur when the “victim” is black, regardless of whether or not the perpetrator in question was wrongfully shot or not.
Its not as though 60 Minutes didn’t have ample opportunity to mention BLM in their report. Featured in the piece was an interview with former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. 60 Minutes made sure to discuss how McCarthy was dismissed following the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video and the subsequent protests. However, the same day that CBS aired its report, McCarthy blamed nationwide protests for creating a “political atmosphere of anti-police sentiment.”
“So what’s happening, and this is ironic, is that a movement with the goal of saving black lives at this point is getting black lives taken, because 80 percent of our murder victims here in Chicago are male blacks,” McCarthy said. “Less than half of 1 percent of all the shootings in this city involve police officers shooting civilians.”
McCarthy directly cited BLM as responsible for creating an atmosphere of fear in police departments the same day this report was released, yet none of this was in the report on 60 Minutes. Since McCarthy has been singing the same tune since he was dismissed, it is reasonable to believe that CBS deliberately edited any mention of nationwide protests or BLM from the portions of their interview with McCarthy that they chose to air.
The closest CBS came to mentioning BLM was their commentary regarding Officer Veronica Murillo. Remember that bit about becoming the “next viral video”? Below is the 60 Minutes commentary on Murillo:
Officer Veronica Murillo says it was the fear of becoming the next viral video that kept her from pulling her gun as she struggled with this suspect. He knocked her down and bashed her head into the pavement. She suffered neurological damage that has endangered her career.
Absent from this was any mention of nationwide news coverage or protests, which was what drove Murillo to fear use of deadly force. Months ago, ZeroHedge filled in their readers to the actual reaction to the incident:
Many people have attributed the rise in Chicago violence to the co-called “Ferguson Effect” in which criminals lash out against what they view as a “de-legitamized” police force while the police retreat from actually enforcing the law out of fear of inciting the next major riot. In fact, below is the perfect example of a female police officer in Chicago that was recently hospitalized after being “severely beaten” by a violent criminal. In subsequent interviews, the female cop said she was afraid to use lethal force primarily because of the national backlash she may have faced as a result. The encounter happened on Chicago’s violent West Side when cops responded to a car accident. The attacker, apparently under the influence of drugs, launched a brutal attack against responding officers that resulted in three cops being hospitalized. Per ABC:
“She thought she was going to die. She knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to, because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news,” Supt. Johnson said.
“It is terrible. It is total disregard for law enforcement. They put their lives forward every day for us and to see somebody do this, to pummel the police officer is terrible. It is a terrible thing,” business owner Louie Rainone said.
60 Minutes included commentary from Flora White, mother of a Chicago murder victim. She blamed the police for pulling back patrols, stating that they weren’t doing their job. They also interviewed pastor Michael Pfleger, who participated in a protest wearing a Colin Kaepernick jersey. Of course, Kaepernick is an NFL quarterback who supports BLM, which inspired his national anthem protest. It is also worth noting that Kaepernick waited until a backup quarterback took his job to begin his national anthem protest. It should come as no surprise that Pfleger implied that police were failing to do their job, though he not seem to understand why:
Michael Pfleger: I’ve never seen there to be a combination of anger, distrust, and a feeling like communities have been abandoned.
Shame on us that our children are afraid to go out of their house of being shot and killed. When is the tipping point, do we all say, enough?
Even current Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, also featured in the 60 Minutes report, has begun following in predecessor McCarthy’s footsteps, and now ascribes part of the blame of officers’ unwillingness to engage on the streets to anti-police sentiment.
At a press conference on Sunday, Superintendent Eddie Johnson said “anti-police sentiment” and a negligent criminal justice system were in part to blame. “In many instances, the individuals who chose to pull the trigger are repeat gun offenders emboldened by the national climate against law enforcement and willing to test the limits of our criminal justice system,” Johnson said…
Obviously there was no mention of Johnson’s blame of anti-police sentiment deriving from nationwide protests. Yet another chance to mention BLM and national protests that 60 Minutes chose to omit. More convenient editing?
The majority of the 60 Minutes report focuses on police and how they have changed doing their job, without any mention of the primary reason why: a national anti-police atmosphere which has hamstrung police and led them to fear doing their job to the best of their ability. Nowhere is this more pertinent than Chicago, a large city with a massive gang and criminal element centered in a few bad neighborhoods.
If there is ever to be any meaningful police reform, race should not be the focus. Reforming our for-profit criminal justice system is a great place to start instead. The majority of police activity is profit-based, not crime-based – just think about the number of cops writing speeding tickets who could instead be solving crimes. Making profound changes to an overmilitarized police force is necessary, as countless people of all races are illegally surveilled, wrongfully arrested, have their personal property seized, sometimes in unnecessary SWAT raids, and all of this police conduct is totally tolerated by the MSM. Real reform in the war on drugs, which is driving a large amount of this activity, needs to be done for any other reforms to be effective. Holding police accountable for their mistakes is but one piece of a much larger puzzle to solve regarding police reform.
At least 60 Minutes finally got something correct this time around in their reporting. They did not blame gun laws as the problem for Chicago’s violence. That is quite a turnabout, given the program’s history in blaming gun laws for all gun violence in the USA. I’d say its a positive development, but I won’t hold my breath expecting CBS to all of a sudden turn away from its MSM narratives and the “news” they peddle to the masses.