A Victim Of “Bipartisanship”

From the Guardian…

Tension between gangs of teenagers in Chicago’s schools that last year saw the killing of a record 42 young people has reached a peak in the city following the beating to death of a 16-year-old that was captured on camera.

Derrion Albert is seen being struck on the head by a boy in a purple shirt who hits him from behind with a long wooden board, thought to be a part of a railway sleeper. Albert falls to the ground, then stands up and is immediately punched in the face by another boy. He slumps to the ground a second time and stays down for more than a minute. Then he struggles onto his feet for a third time, at which point a separate boy strikes him again over the head with a wooden board before a fourth boy stomps on top of his head.

That time he stays down for good.

How much would it cost to put enough police on the street so that nobody in the 10 square miles around Derrion Albert’s school in South Chicago was ever more than one block away from a cop?

Figuring a city block as somewhere in the ballpark of 10 blocks to a mile, 10 square miles is about 1000 blocks.

If you divide those 1000 blocks into 4-block squares, with a cop at the intersection in the middle of each of those squares, that’s 250 cops, on a shift from 3 PM to 11 PM.

The average cop in the USA makes about $45,000, and other expenses add about the same amount to the price of a cop on the street, so…

250 cops @ $90,000 in salaries and other expenses is a lot of money!

It’s about $23 million!

So for one tenth of what Obama gave away to Republican and Blue-Dog tax cutters out of his anemic stimulus, which is to say about $35 billion, you could saturate the neighborhoods around 1500 high-risk schools with cops on the street.

Looking at the budget numbers from another direction, the population of Chicago is about 2.8 million people, slightly less than one percent of the population of the United States.

If the $350 billion which disappeared from the stimulus into tax-cuts had been distributed according to population, Chicago would have received slightly less than $3.5 billion, and one tenth of that amount could have paid for saturation policing of 15 high-risk neighborhoods.

In July 2007, shortly after one of the most notorious killings of 16-year-old Blair Holt, then Senator Obama said: "Our playgrounds have become battlegrounds. Our streets have become cemeteries. Our schools have become places to mourn the ones we’ve lost."

You might almost think he cared.

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