Amidst an epidemic of deaths and mayhem, only 20% of the victims are helping the police to solve the crime. As the CPD interviewee ruefully reminded us, it's hard to turn the tide when the victims are hostile witnesses.
Hearing that, I had to stop and wonder, were they hostile or were they afraid? Were they prepared to settle the score themselves, or were they frightened that further damage would be done should they choose to help? Did they feel so uncertain, so insecure, that laying low was their only option? What is it like, being unable to trust the police?
Politics aside, I'm making a connection between the people in those neighborhoods caught up in gang violence and villagers in Afghanistan. Both here and there, random guys with great big guns are tearing around, shooting up the populace. The police are trying, but they aren't getting much help from the victims; it's too dangerous to speak out.
At least, in Chicago, the local officers aren't turning their weapons on one another. Would that the same could be said for the Afghans. NPR posed the question clearly - how do you trust someone with a loaded gun? Working side by side makes no difference; the distrust is so deep, the political environment so toxic, the weaponry so available that safety becomes relative. The US military has begun stationing armed troops with the police training forces, for the safety of the US trainers.
We are there to help them build a nation.... and they are shooting at us?
Fly back with me to Chicago. I wish I could embed this map but the interwebs won't let that happen. If you click through you'll be able to hover over fists (representing assaults) and guys in black (robbers) and bulls-eyes (shooting) and see the date, time and details, like these
One man was shot.... shooting stabbing no perp info....shooting stabbing.... armed robbery.... 37 year old man shot in the back.....15 year old boy was fatally wounded...and on and on and on. Yet 80% of the victims won't work with the police to bring their assailants to justice. Like the Afghan villagers, they are at the mercy of the thugs who rule the roost. The police, the soldiers, they all go home at night. The residents remain, in thrall.