It’s the sort of gun violence that happens every day, but is conveniently ignored by those who hate guns, except in the hands of repeat violent offenders. A seven-year-old girl was out trick-or-treating with her father in Chicago dressed up as a bumblebee. Suddenly, they were caught in the crossfire of a Latin Kings gang war, and the child was shot in the neck and chest.
While the identity of the suspected gunman has not yet been revealed, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that the target of the gunfire was a 32-year-old Latin King man “with a record of drug and assault arrests.” The man, who refused to cooperate with police even though he was the intended victim, was walking among the children who were trick-or-treating. The seven-year-old girl remains in critical but stable condition.
Once again, we see that so much of the gun violence in Chicago, a city with one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, is caused by known wolves who are out on the streets despite their criminal records. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is too busy fighting with Trump and promoting illegal aliens to actually deal with the epidemic of jailbreak policies allowing the worst gang members to remain on the streets. Politicians often dismiss gang violence as bad people killing other bad people, but this incident demonstrates how innocent people are often killed or injured in the crossfire.
The feds have a history of targeting Latin Kings members in Chicago on drug charges to take them off the streets when they escape justice in the state system. This was the big lie behind the First Step Act. Federal prosecutors don’t target “low-level, first-time, non-violent drug offenders” for long sentences; they target gang murderers and use drug laws (or firearms or racketeering) to get them off the streets.
The results of the federal jailbreak bill already came home to roost in Providence, Rhode Island, last month when Joel Francisco, who was released in February under the First Step Act, was charged with murder. Francisco was serving life in prison for a third drug trafficking charge in 2005 under the “three strikes and you’re out” law. However, he got such a severe sentence not because of drugs but because he was a known Latin Kings member responsible for a lot of violence in the city, including shooting a man in the back of the head, execution-style, in 1997. He pleaded no contest for that incident, so at the time he escaped full justice in the state system. The feds targeted him specifically for this reason, yet the First Step Act released him.
Once Francisco was released earlier this year, he tested positive for drugs several times thereafter and was caught attempting to break into his former girlfriend’s house armed with a knife but was never reincarcerated before the October 2 fatal stabbing for which he was arrested two weeks later.
This is the story of Chicago and other major cities as well. Politicians in both parties misleadingly parade convicts before the cameras who they believe were over-sentenced, but for every one of those, there are hundreds of people who are under-sentenced. Yet there is no voice for those victims. Hunter Best, 26, is another recent example of the worst criminals barely serving time in Chicago.
Best was charged with breaking into two homes in Lincoln Park last May and sexually assaulting two young girls in separate incidents on the same night. Surveillance images, video, and DNA testing all substantiated the charges. Yet, as always, it’s too hard, not too easy, to land a conviction, so, according to CWB Chicago, the prosecutor dropped 26 felony charges, “including four counts of Class X felony home invasion involving a sex offense” and “14 burglary counts and four sex-related charges.” Instead, the prosecutor accepted his guilty plea to just two counts of residential burglary.
According to the original charges, as reported by CWB Chicago, “the 13-year-old girl woke up when Best entered her bedroom. Best remained in the room for about fifteen minutes, kissing the girl and rubbing her shoulders as the girl pleaded with him to leave.” The second girl, eleven years old, told investigators that “the man kissed her on the lips and touched her private areas.” Yet, thanks to the plea bargain, good time credits, and time served, this man will be out of prison in a little more than two years from now.
These stories of the worst assaulters, robbers, and even murderers or child molesters barely serving time, despite massive rap sheets, happen every day. They are the stories politicians in both parties have no interest in telling. It’s a criminal’s world; we just live in it. They get the treats from the special interest groups, while we are left with the tricks – quite dangerous ones.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.