The [Wednesday] Papers
A Beachwood reader writes:
"There was a book I read in the 80s, pretty good police novel, can't recall the name. In it, the detectives are staking out a suspects home in Spanish Harlem. One policeman looks at his watch and says, 'It's 3 o'clock, whatever the Board of Education is doing to hold down the New York City crime rate is about to end'."
And still, today the Sun-Times reports "Teen Is 29th CPS Student Killed This School Year."
"A 15-year-old boy was shot to death near his South Side home this week, Chicago Police said."
Near his South Side home.
As I wrote on Monday, a Sun-Times editorial last week said noted that "Bryan Samuels, the top CPS official who oversaw [a] data analysis, found the shootings were typically much closer to the victim's home than to his or her school. The median distance from the shooting to the victim's home was 0.4 miles, while the median distance to the victim's school was 1.2 miles.
"CPS also found that 70 percent of the shootings took place between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. - outside the hours of the school day and after-school programs."
The Sun-Times story goes on to say:
"Now police are investigating the death of another Chicago teen. Jonathan Wilson, 17, was shot Sunday night in the 5000 block of West LeMoyne and died Tuesday. It was unclear whether he was a CPS student."
Apparently he won't be added to the count if he isn't.
"The drug gangs are involved in most of the dead kids in Chicago every year - not the city's public schools," George Schmidt writes at Substance News.
"If anything, the public schools are one of the last safe havens in many communities."
But the impression we get from using the CPS metric is that public schools are both dangerous and to blame for youth violence.
"For the past five years, with the general cooperation of Chicago's corporate media," Schmidt writes, "Chicago has shifted responsibility for the deaths of young people from the city's failure to eliminate the huge drug gangs to the schools."
Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say this has been a conscious strategy; I don't doubt the mayor's passion when it comes to guns and gangs, though I'm not a big fan of his policies. But in effect, to at least some extent, Schmidt is right. Once you frame the issue around how many CPS kids are killed, CPS becomes the focal point for not only blame but solutions. That's neither CPS's job nor within its capabilities.
"And everyone stared at everyone else."
Let's Ask Cusack, Too!
Oh Schwimmer, you're killing me!
No, really, you're killing me. Please go away.
And memo to the Trib: stop it.
"Although Leo Burnett and its Chicago 2016 Olympic (OC) client bypassed Chicago production companies to shoot beauty shots of their city, they twisted some local vendors' arms for the lowest possible rates for last week's shoot."
Smoke Up, Johnny
* The Trash Man's Gamble. Why Al Sanchez took the stand.
* Sanchez Gets Cross. Oops.
Al Capone by Cesar Calderon
The Beachwood Tip Line: Cross-examined.
Posted on March 18, 2009
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