April 27th, 2010
06:50 PM ET

Evening Buzz: National Guard Can Help End Chicago's Violence?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Should that National Guard be called in to help end the violence in Chicago? Two state lawmakers think so.  John Fritchey (D) and LaShawn Ford (D) believe the Guard can do a better job stopping the bloodshed.

"We have National Guard members that are living in the city, that have been trained in police and law enforcement, that have been deployed to Afghanistan to help train the Afghan Police Department in safeguarding those neighborhoods. We have the ability with very little effort to immediately deploy these men and women right here in their backyards to assist the (Chicago) police department. They can be out here, living at home , assisting the police department and saving lives," said Fritchey at a news conference on Sunday.

"If we send a message that the National Guard is working with the Chicago police, that is going to send a strong message to the community immediately that there is more effort to curb the violence," added Ford

We've been following the trouble in Chicago on 360° for years. Sadly it isn't getting better. Kids keep killing kids. The drug and gang violence continues. In one night last week, seven people were killed and 18 were wounded. So far this year there are 113 homicides in the city. That's up slightly from 109 at this time last year.

Victor Woods, a community activist in Chicago, is against the National Guard proposal. He says there's a "huge mistrust" problem with the Chicago Police that must change for the violence to stop. "Police are gonna have to take off their guns and vests and regain the trust of the communities."

Woods points to a shooting on April 12. That's when Robert Tate, 17, was shot in the chest on the West side of Chicago. As he lay bleeding on the street a police officer asked him he he knew who shot him. Tate said I'm not telling you. Tate, who ironically was nicknamed "C Murder" took his secret to the grave.

Chicago police officers, like many other big cities, have a problem where people refuse to give them information. Witnesses don't want to snitch. In February, the Chicago P.D. started a new campaign to try and change that way of life on the streets.  The TV and prints ads share the message: "Stop the violence. Stop the Silence.  Silence Kills." They're encouraging people to send confidential text messages that can't be traced. Joe Johns has discovered they got 559 tips last year that led to 22 arrests. Don't miss Joe's report tonight.

We'll also look at the grilling current and former Goldman Sachs executives took on Capitol Hill today. They maintained their innocence as lawmakers questioned their role in the financial crisis. It got heated many times as a Senate panel demanded answers. We're keeping them honest.

Plus, TV talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw on America's obesity epidemic and why it's costing all of us.

Join us for these stories and much more tonight on 360° starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Jose A

    If Obama with his sapience could not do a thing,. Do think that the National Guard will control Chicago? I do not think so.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  2. ronvan

    First of all to call in the Guard, for me, is an open admission that the Chicago police force CANNOT deal with this problem. IF you do call in the Guard then what do you expect them to do? Will they be armed, have arrest powers, and the authority to "shoot" if necessary? And how long would they be needed? You do know that this would cost the state monies that could be used, I am sure, for other things. And then there are the legal issues. Would the courts even recognize the
    Guard authority, and would attornies have a field day getting those acussed scum bags, the ones responsible for this entire problem, OFF on legal technicalities? Sadly, to many scream that something has to be done, but are not willing to make the tough decisions to PROTECT the citizens and our children.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  3. Bold

    I think that Gang related crimes should now be treated with Death penalty. what good comes of them living in society?

    April 28, 2010 at 1:59 am |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    National Guard troops using machine guns for crowd control ended very badly for many Kent State students, likely the same would result in civilian deaths in Chicago.

    I suspect this push for Soldiers to implement martial law in Chicago is part of the Republican Tea party's bigger plan to implement martial law across America's border with Mexico and thru-out many heavily populated American cities under the guise of 'keeping the peace' under the barrels of machine guns.

    April 28, 2010 at 12:10 am |
  5. Franco

    I've been shocked ever since i moved here from CANADA ! America has simple too many guns , America's easy solution would be to completely eliminate all guns without exception . Only law enforcement should have guns . Do you really see our future with guns ? Is the solution more guns ? Seems like ever one i meet here in Miami has a gun .
    I've been lucky to have lived a city where women could walk safely , anytime and anywhere and unfortunately the city is not in America and i worry about my two daughters .

    April 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  6. Taylor

    I am not sure how the National Guard will help in the city of Chicago but there definitely needs to be an intervention. I am from the neighborhoods where a lot of this violence takes place and I believe the only way that something is going to change is constant monitoring in these neighborhoods. A couple squad cars here and there aren't going to do the trick!

    April 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  7. Stop the New World Order

    Thank you "Surprised" we need to stop fallin for the old "problem,reaction, solution game.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Have you or do you live in Chicago? If not, then you have NO IDEA how crooked these police officers are. Granted not all of them are but a large majority are. I can understand where the distrust comes from. This will just turn into a police state

    April 27, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  9. Mark Jackson

    Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. All that does is to let the criminals know the public is not armed. They need to adopt conceal and carry for the citizens. Nothing scares a bad guy more then a armed and able public. This may sound bad, but the facts don't lie. Crime drops where conceal and carry permits are allowed.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  10. rosebud400

    If the police have beenb unsuccessful thus far then obviously a different tactic needs to be used. National Guard is that choice, so let's support the effort. The alternative is more dead kids.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  11. T

    I pose this question... ask the AMERICAN CITIZENS that are RESIDING in that area of our beautiful country if they need the aid of the National Guard. In the 50's and 60's they(National Guard) stepped in because the local authorities chose to turn the other cheek while horrible crimes were committed on their watch. I think they(locals) would respond better if you had a local committee or tribunal of sorts, from within, dole out the punishment for petty non-violent or sexual offences. The solution may lie in early intervention, but we have a whole generation that is being raised with a foundation that is seriously lacking in many critical areas, I think to truly solve the problem education and reinvestment from the people who grew up there would help the most in stemming the rise in crime. But what do I know I am just a regular guy... The Mayor and Governor will talk it over with their advisors and think of something that will help Chicago. Or then the people with camo and REALLY BIG GUNS will come in and treat americans like they treat Iraqi's and Afghan's. Yeah that will help the people there a lot.

    April 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  12. Frederica

    As a resident of the city, I cringe at the thought that my community would become a police state. Aggression begets aggression. We need to get to the heart of the problem and do something to alleviate poverty. When people want, they often go to desperate measures to get. Years of instutionalized poverty, socioeconomic and racial segregation, and generational distrust of law enforcement can't be fixed by brute force. Many may see this as yet another attemempt of the powers that be to further marginalize them. It may feel like a temporary reprieve, but it doesn't correct the underlying issues. It's reactionary.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  13. surprised

    I am surprised anyone would ever want the military in thier city as law enforcement. This would be the start to a police statein Chicago. The crime is horrible, but additional laws won't change the nature of a disillusioned society that has no value of life.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  14. Disolusioned

    Lock 'em up and throw away the key!

    As usual, we only see the typical 'get tough,' cliches, while no real, workable solutions are offered, such as splitting up and relocating housing projects throughout low crime neighborhoods, and reforming K-12 education.

    Pretty soon we'll be charging 8 year-olds as adults. Oh, but wait. That's already happened in Arizona...is anyone truly surprised?

    The concepts of fairness and reform have eternally departed the American justice system many years ago.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  15. malcolm

    Unless you upgrade/improve the environment, you're wasting your time and things will continue to get worse. Jobs, jobs, jobs leading to economic development!!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  16. Gregory Box

    The national guard is a step in the right direction to curb the violence in chicago right now, but the States Attorneys Office must step up to the plate. What we need is for them to start handing out death sentences in these cases and maybe these trigger men would think twice before pulling it.
    Right these gang members when they are prosecuted look forwarded to going to jail and living among other gang members.
    if you noticed the States Attorney Office is quiet on this situation, because they don't live in these neighborhoods and its not there childrens that are being murdered, if so then i bet you the guards would have been deployed without question.
    Bring back the death penalty and this murder rampage will stop!!!

    April 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  17. Vilmore E. Shirley

    I join Lashawn and John Fritchey's idea of having the National Guard assist the Chicago Police in fighting against crime. It's a brilliant idea. As a former soldier of the Jamaica Defense Force years ago, I was charged with similiar duties. To every police officer that went out on patrol, thare was a soldier by his side. It worked out just fine, and eventually put criminals in check. Another thing, some criminals outright hate police officers, but like soldiers and vice versa, which in this case should provide some sort of check and balance as far as dealing with the various communities are concerned. Go for it! Enough is enough with these thugs.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  18. v

    Send in the troops retrain or retain a portion of the police force

    April 27, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  19. The Specter's Soul

    with shay, that is.

    April 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  20. The Specter's Soul


    April 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  21. Shay

    No! I don't believe it's their responsibility or duty to teach thugs who have no concern for human life how to be men!

    April 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm |