BELLA: Chicago should be outraged over killing of Jonylah Watkins

Six month old Jonylah Watkins was murdered. Chicago killed her. Photo: Jonylah Watkins / Family photo

CHICAGO, March 12, 2013 — A six month old child was murdered. Shot five times and killed while her father was changing her diaper. According to police, the shooting had gang overtones, and the father was the apparent target.

How does it feel, Chicago? How does it make you feel? 

Doctors and medical personnel worked 17 hours in a heroic effort to save the infant’s life. 

Chicago, are you proud?

Travesties should be a clarion call to action, not silence. The same “move on” silence that envelops Chicago whenever serious issues occur. Reaching new lows, the “City that Works” can add infanticide to its blood soaked record. The motto should be changed to the “City that Kills.”

Chicago has an organized gang and drug cartel problem that is out of control. It has a political problem too. Chicago is home to numerous politicians who are protecting the gangs. 

In a January 2012 article in Chicago MagazineGangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance by David Bernstein and Noah Isackson write “… he says, he helped broker meetings between roughly 30 politicians (ten sitting aldermen and 20 candidates for City Council) and at least six gang representatives.”

The implication is that drug dealers are gang members who are being employed during elections to circulate petitions and work Election Day polls. In a tit-for-tat, when the police do crack down, those aldermen are the first to harshly criticize the police.

There are also credible rumors that the aldermen take campaign cash under the table from the crime lords who are then treated as valued constituents and allies. Chicago needs to look at the face of Jonylah Watkins.  The city, which elects and reelects the aldermen who, it is said, allows the circumstances that led to this infants death.

The aldermen that Chicago often elects are the same who enable the gangs and drug dealers to turn our city into a place where even infants having their diapers changed. are not safe.

Chicago elects aldermen who refuse to let the police dismantle these criminal organizations and by tacit approval, Chicago supports the community and social groups which enable the gangs and drug organizations. Chicago too often supports the political priests and preachers who gladly take money from the gangs and drug dealers and enable them to kill with impunity.

Jonylah Watkins. Remember that name, Chicago. Look at her photograph. Sear her image into your brain, if you have one. Remember that face, Chicago. You are responsible for her death.

In Chicago, Police Superintendent McCarthy and his command staff work for the mayor and the aldermen. They take their orders from the politicians. The fastest way back to New York for McCarthy is to take the handcuffs off the police and let them do their jobs.

The time is long past for a real solution to Chicago’s murder and mayhem problem. If the murder of this infant does not result in a total takedown of the major gangs and drug dealers in Chicago, then Chicago deserves the criminal government she elected.

You deserve to be the murder capital and now the infanticide capital of the nation. You deserve the blame for each and every child murdered in Chicago.

“If they think that they can use the gangs and the gangs aren’t going to want something in return, they are wrong. Once you start lying down with dogs, you are going to get fleas,” says former Police Superintendent Phil Cline in Chicago Magazine.

The Chicago City Council is flea bitten. Corrupt aldermen are fleabags. Maybe we should refer to them as “flea baggers.”

Gangs are not some social phenomenon; they are hardcore criminal organizations. Like traditional organized crime, they have infiltrated Chicago politics. Some of the politicians are proud of their associations with criminals.

The gangs and their drug cartel partners can be dismantled. The necessary laws and tactics are already on the books. The same laws and tactics used to crush the Chicago Outfit. It takes some time. It also takes courage. Courage from a populace that finally asserts that enough is enough.

But as long as the people in this city keep “moving on,” the gangs and drug organizations will prosper and gain more power. More children will die.

It is time for tough people to act harshly. It is time we demand an end to the gangs and drug organizations. Soppy sympathy, crocodile tears and national discussions about national discussions will do nothing. Forget those who would try to claim guns or the NRA are the problem. They are just as guilty of enabling murder as the politicians.

The NRA is not the problem; the organizations that are the problem are Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, Vice Lords, 26ers, and the others on the list of gangs in Chicago along with their drug cartel partners.

The City Council is the problem. Those aldermen who work with and for the gangs and drug organizations and help them to flourish and thrive are the problem. They should face more severe consequences.

It is up to you, Chicago. Not the compromised politicians. You, the people. It is time to finally say, “Enough is enough.” It is time to demand the Chicago police and federal authorities launch an all-out, salt the earth effort to dismantle and eliminate organized street gangs and drug cartels in Chicago.

Chicago, you refuse to push for harsh ethics reforms that would prohibit aldermen from associating with criminals. You refuse to demand an end to organized gangs and drug cartels. You refuse to elect honest politicians.

Chicago, you killed six-month-old Jonylah Watkins. You pumped five bullets into her tiny body. Are you proud?

Look at the photograph. Then, Chicago, decide what kind of people you really are.

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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