Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a rabid Democrat, is facing mockery for deploying unarmed yellow-vested “peacekeepers” in Chicago to “de-escalate” potentially violent conflicts this Memorial Day weekend.
“If there’s unrest downtown or mass shootings elsewhere in Chicago this Memorial Day holiday — often among the year’s most violent weekends — a special team of 30 ‘Peacekeepers’ wearing yellow vests will be mobilized to help calm things down,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported last Tuesday.
Pritzker later shared the story on his Twitter account:
This weekend, Chicagoans should expect to see yellow-vested Peacekeepers on the streets.
As part of the state’s anti-violence strategy with a community-focused approach, these outreach workers will help de-escalate and keep our neighborhoods safe. https://t.co/Qu1cquGaHB
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) May 25, 2023
By late Saturday, the strategy didn’t appear to be working, as at least four people had been already killed and 16 injured, according to local station WMAQ.
“In the latest deadly shooting, a man was shot and killed at around 11:16 a.m. Saturday in the 1100 block of North Ridgeway. … At around 2:55 a.m. Saturday, a 36-year-old man was killed and a 37-year-old woman was critically wounded in a shooting in the 2300 block of West 18th Street,” the station reported.
“Less than an hour earlier, a 34-year-old man was discovered on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to the chest in the 500 block of West Surf Street. … In the first deadly shooting of a weekend, a 33-year-old man was discovered unresponsive on the sidewalk in the 7800 block of South Seeley Avenue at 12:50 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the left armpit.”
Critics of the peacekeepers weren’t surprised. If anything, they suspect that all the peacekeepers are really doing is putting their own lives at risk — and all for nothing:
Oh, look targets with yellow vests on. GTA fo real.
— G-Dub (@GDub78253) May 27, 2023
You do know 12 people were shot last night and 3 of them died-right?
— Wendy Kortepeter (@WKortepeter) May 27, 2023
Are those yellow vests bullet-proof?
I sure hope so.
— David Wohl (@DavidWohl) May 27, 2023
brilliant. like i’m gonna walk around chicago wearing a neon yellow vest on memorial day weekend. way too easy a target in my opinion.
— harold smith (@4pishing) May 28, 2023
“Multiple people in yellow vests killed in Chicago after they tried to stop gang violence while unarmed”
— Spaceballs The Twìtter Account (@Grunt0313) May 28, 2023
Who signs up for this? Dad: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Little Johnny: a yellow-vested peacekeeper!! I’ll probably get killed on my first shift, but dammit dad, I get to wear a yellow vest!”
— Fortified Covfefe (@XluvnuX) May 26, 2023
WHat is the over/under on:
1. How many yellow vests get beaten?
2. How many get shot?
3. How many quit before the weekend is over?
— Ryan Steele (@wcrtchicago) May 25, 2023
But despite the mockery and the ongoing crime, the peacekeeper’s program — which is reportedly comprised of over 500 peacekeepers — has allegedly worked, or at least to some degree.
“From Feb. 15, when the program was launched, through April 15, 90 of the 102 hot spots had zero shootings, according to a study by the Center for Neighborhood Engaged Research & Science, which also found that the other locations had 22 shootings, compared with 23 over the same period last year,” according to the Sun-Times.
Here’s the catch: “Two Peacekeepers were wounded — one shot and the other stabbed.”
Plus, the study stressed that “the findings here are preliminary and in no way represent a causal relationship.” The study also noted that the peacekeepers haven’t had the best relationship with local police officers.
Speaking of local cops, newly elected Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has also recruited them to help this Memorial Day weekend.
“At a … press conference, Johnson said the city will boost police presence during the long weekend. He also announced that the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of private and public organizations, pledged $2.5 million to fund 253 grassroots groups working across 24 communities in the South and West sides, the areas of Chicago that have struggled economically,” Bloomberg reported.
All this comes as Chicago continues to face a crime wave that most critics expect Johnson is ill-equipped to handle. The reason why is because of his proposed solutions to the crisis:
I’ll take Al Capone any day over these evil communist scumbag Democrats that run town now. Chicago is finished. Over. The end. Finito. Hasta la vista baby. https://t.co/6oMuiU9er4
— Wayne Root – Wayne Allyn Root – TV & Radio Host (@RealWayneRoot) April 7, 2023
Appearing on CBS News last month for an interview, he went through them one by one, and according to critics, the ideas were very underwhelming — such as the idea of having social workers, not cops, responding to crimes.
“One of the things that I think is actually quite fascinating about our position here in Chicago, we’ve been pushing this ordinance called treatment, not trauma. In essence, first responders, social workers, counselors, EMT, these individuals which show up to cause that require those type of interventions,” he said.
“In fact, in Chicago, almost 40 percent of the 9-1-1 calls are mental health crises. We’re asking police officers to do their job and someone else’s. Like, that’s not strategic. In fact, sixty percent of the violence that happens in the city of Chicago, it occurs in six percent of the cities,” he added.
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