|Imagine being a white cop in an urban war zone like Chicago, Baltimore, Memphis, Birmingham, or St. Louis -- it's the equivalent of being in a 24/7/365 battlefield, where a black riot or lawsuit is only one simple act of "upholding the law "away...|
In a city far more violent than the war zone of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (with black people responsible for 75 percent of the murders between 2003-2011), Officer Healy was exposed to a battle field on a 24/7/365 basis with no opportunity for leave.
Cops in urban areas of America are engaged in a futile attempt to maintain some form of civilization, a thankless job when one act of simply stopping Spontaneous Blackness could either be fuel to start a black riot or set-in motion the wheels of Organized Blackness to boycott the city and call for your suspension.
For Ryan Healy, it was the wanton savagery he witnessed - the equivalent of being perpetually engaged on the front-line of conflict never ceasing or abating - that caused him to take his own life [For One Chicago Police Officer, The Job Became Too Much, Chicago CBS, 3-18-13]:
The Chicago Police Department is one of many around the nation that now accepts that law enforcement officers, like America’s combat soldiers, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Erin Healy Ross recalls her brother, 38-year-old police officer Ryan Healy.
“I received a text from him saying that he had decided to die and that he would be in the house,” she recalls.
Erin and Ryan’s father, a retired cop, raced to the officer’s house.
She says, “I just remember my dad saying, ‘Do you know how many times I have been on this kind of a scene? But never in my life could I imagine that it would be my own son.’ And that was just heartbreaking.”
Her brother was dead from a single gunshot wound.
Healy worked out of the West Side 10th Police District. Toward the end, he told his family he was “overwhelmed” by what he was experiencing on the job: the bodies, the violence and especially crime’s effect on children.
He told his family those kids had no way out and no hope. Then there was the squad car accident that left him seriously injured in 2011.
“Some people can handle it and they go to work and they come home and they don’t think about it,” Erin says. “But obviously for Ryan, he did think about it.”
The family believes he may have suffered from PTSD.
The Chicago Police Department recognizes PTSD is real among officers and has programs to diagnose and treat it. There are also suicide-prevention programs, but the officer must come forward himself and ask for help. In the tough culture of law enforcement, that is often hard.The black underclass in not just Chicago, but all across America is imploding in an orgy of violence. Brave police officers like Officer Healy put their lives on the line day in and day out to perform the thankless job of rescuing civilization from the dehumanization conditions the black community creates in the Second City.
And they understand the current system in place offers only the continued perpetuation of violence, vice, death, and misery -- engaging the black underclass in Chicago is the equivalent of living through a zombie apocalypse, knowing the enemy is always on the hunt for you : black crime/dysfunction never sleeps and it will never stop, only fueled by the augmentation of the numbers of blacks in a community and society's refusal to acknowledge the problem.
It's a black "Tribal War" taking place amid the skyscrapers of the civilizations whites created in Chicago, with civilization being driven into smaller and smaller sections of the city to avoid the bullets randomly fired in black sections of the city[Chicago police sergeant: "Tribal warfare" on the streets, CBS News, 7-11-12]:
Sgt. Matt Little leads one of the teams in Chicago's Gang Enforcement Unit. There are about 200 such officers in the city-- versus 100,000 gang members.
"Almost all the violence we're seeing now is from the gangs," Little said. "When there's a shooting we'll respond to the shooting. We'll figure out where we believe the most likely area for retaliation is and we'll work that area trying to both prevent retaliation and possibly build a case on offenders."
CBS News rode along with Little's team as dusk fell on poor neighborhoods of vacant lots and high anxiety.
"The gangs have lost their hierarchy, so to speak, and without a chain of command, there's really nobody keeping things in check," Little said. The leaders are mostly in prison -- or dead. Those left are young, reckless, and often terrible shots.
Sgt. Little is a decorated veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that parts of Chicago are comparable to what he saw in combat.
It's "tribal warfare," he said, "and as it continues to build unless we manage to interdict it, and manage to stop it long enough for the blood to stop boiling, the heat to die down."This is the civilization where Officer Healy worked to uphold the law he swore to defend, a place where the "lawless" rule and the law is just another plot of the white-man to "keep a brother down and in his place."
"There's very strong gang overtones to this particular event," police superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a news conference last week.
"This particular event" was the killing of Jonylah Watkins, the six-month-old who was shot in Woodlawn on March 11. Jonylah and her father, Jonathan Watkins, 29, were in the front seat of a minivan parked on the 6500 block of South Maryland when a gunman emerged from a gangway and opened fire. Bullets shattered the driver's-side window.
Jonathan was shot several times, and Jonylah was struck in her left shoulder. That bullet tore through her body, exiting her right buttocks. The shooter, who McCarthy said was a black man in dark clothing, ran through a vacant lot and fled in a blue minivan. He's still at large.
Her father was released from the hospital Thursday.
Earlier reports said Jonathan was changing Jonylah's diaper at the time of the shooting. But yesterday McCarthy said those reports were wrong; Jonathan was in the driver's seat and Jonylah was in his lap when they were shot.
Jonathan Watkins has a long arrest record, and police maintain he's also a Gangster Disciple. He clearly was the gunman's target, McCarthy told reporters at the news conference last week. "This is another tragedy," he said, "because no child, certainly not an infant, should be the victim of gang violence."
Watkins has been arrested 30 times, the vast majority for misdemeanors. He's been busted repeatedly for trespass, marijuana possession, gambling, and drinking alcohol on the public way, and has also been charged with two assaults and two batteries. As is often true with misdemeanors, most of the charges have been dropped. He has two felony convictions: possession of a controlled substance, for which he received one year of probation, and possession of a gun by a felon, for which he got a three-year prison term.
The perpetual focus on whether a crime is gang related ignores another common-denominator that's an even greater factor in Chicago's violence. Woodlawn is poor and black and has been for ages. Jonylah may or may not have died because of gang-related violence. She definitely was a victim of segregation-related violence.
Woodlawn's segregation wasn't chosen by its residents; it was foisted on them in the middle of the 20th Century by the neighborhood to the north, Hyde Park, with the essential help of the University of Chicago. Assaults on the first blacks to move to Woodlawn early in the century, and the burning and bombing of their homes, only kept blacks at bay so long. Restrictive covenants then were used to try to contain blacks in certain parts of Woodlawn and keep them out of Hyde Park. The covenants forbade white property owners from selling or renting to blacks. After the covenants were declared unconstitutional in 1948, U. of C. used federal urban renewal money for projects that insulated itself from Woodlawn.
Segregation combined with other forms of discrimination to concentrate the poverty in Woodlawn, and its residents continue to suffer from the legacy. The neighborhood's poverty rate is almost twice the national rate. It's even worse in Woodlawn's western two-thirds, from Woodlawn Avenue to King Drive. In the census tract that includes the block where Jonylah and Jonathan were shot, the poverty rate is more than two and a half times the national rate.
It's not surprising that police point to gangs as the chief problem in segregated neighborhoods, since they struggle with them constantly. And gangs are certainly a key element in the violence. But if we want to have fewer of these tragedies, we have to probe beyond this symptom. Why are gangs so prevalent in poor, black neighborhoods? Why are so many young men there drawn to them? And why are men in these neighborhoods often inclined to settle grievances with lethal violence?Restrictive Covenants existed because white property owners knew that the black population was far more prone to criminality then the white community -- and it was the black population that flocked to Chicago during "The Great Migration" to take advantage of the economic conditions white people had created in Chicago, while everyone flees the "blight" black people create in their own communities, when left to their own devices.
There is nothing to dissect about the killing of six-month Jonylah Watkins, for she was born into the black slums of Chicago, where the cheapness of both life and property values is directly correlated to the almost exclusively black population found there.
In Officer Healy's suicide, he was merely trying to escape the war zone black people had created in the city of Chicago, for on a daily basis he was forced to see crime scenes that resembled the battlefields of Darfur or the Sudan.
In fact, the only time white people (outside of cops) in Chicago venture into the "blight" that black people call their community is via a guided-tour to the ruins of the former Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Robert Taylor Homes, which once served as an incubator of black violence:
The yellow school bus rumbles through vacant lots and past demolished buildings on a tour of what was once one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country.
For the woman with the microphone, the "Ghetto Bus Tour" is the last gasp in a crusade to tell a different story about Chicago's notorious housing projects, something other than well-known tales about gang violence so fierce that residents slept in their bathtubs to avoid bullets.
"I want you to see what I see," says Beauty Turner, after leading the group off the bus to a weedy lot where the Robert Taylor Homes once stood. "To hear the voices of the voiceless."
Chicago Housing Authority officials say Turner glosses over the failures of public housing. They say the 25,000 units being built or rehabbed are enough for the number of people whose buildings were demolished.
"She is running out of bad things to show people," housing authority spokesman Bryan Zises said. "She is taking a circuitous route so she doesn't have to drive by the new stuff," including, he adds, Turner's own home in one of the new mixed-income communities.
On the tours, Turner talks about the strong, black women like herself who raised their children in the projects.
"This is where people lived, played, stayed and died here, just like in your area. ... Children played here," she tells the students, academics, activists and residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs who take the tour -- most of them white and visiting a part of Chicago they've only seen on television or from the expressway.
She downplays the years of violence, saying that all those news reports distorted what day-to-day life was like.
"All the horror stories that you heard about in the newspapers, it was not like that at all," she said.
But the stories loom over the tour. They are impossible to forget. By the time the city started pulling down or rehabilitating the projects in the late 1990s, each one had its own headlines that spoke to the failure of public housing in Chicago.
At Cabrini-Green a boy was struck by a bullet and killed as he walked hand-in-hand with his mother. At the Ida B. Wells project, a 5-year-old boy was dangled and then deliberately dropped to his death from a 14-story window by two other children.
And at Robert Taylor, where the illegal drug trade thrived, a rookie police officer was shot to death on a stakeout outside a gang drug base.
Turner could even add her own story. She saw a teenage boy shot on the very day she arrived at the Robert Taylor Homes in 1986.
Her approach had some on the tour shaking their heads.
"Are they romanticizing these communities?" asked Mark Weinberg, a 44-year-old Chicago lawyer. "These were drug-ridden, violent neighborhoods where people wanted to live a good life but couldn't."Officer Healy is dead.
He didn't die in the line of fire.
He died because trying to police the black underclass in Chicago is the equivalent of surviving a zombie apocalypse. Like the zombies the survivors in the hit TV shot The Walking Dead must continuously guard against and fight, black crime/dysfunction is always just a page or phone call away for a cop in the Windy City.