November 03, 2016
Rather than getting into all the headline-grabbing stuff that came out about the election over the past week, I want to talk about something that, for whatever reason, no one else is. And I’m enraged by it.
Nobody on either side of the aisle has said a word — not one word — about the fact that 17 people were killed last weekend in Chicago and an additional 43 were shot. Seventeen! That brings the total number of killings in Chicago – a city of only 2 million people – to more than 600 for the year.
That’s obscene, as is the silence that has followed. Where is the outrage? Where is the outcry from around the country?
There have been more people killed in Chicago this year than in Kabul, Afghanistan, and no one is saying a word. This should be the issue for both of our presidential candidates. It’s also the issue that I’m most sensitive about.
Have you ever seen 10 people shot in the head? I have, and it’s something I’ll never forget: the 1984 Palm Sunday Massacre in Brooklyn, New York. Ten people, including three women, a teenage girl and six children under the age of 12, were shot dead. I locked up the creep who did it, Christopher Thomas. It was horrible, and it was all for crack cocaine, which was the real problem in the mid-1980s.
But that was then. Gangs are the real problem today. Most of the killings in Chicago – 90-95 percent – are committed by gang members.
So how do you stop the killing? Common sense: Lock up gang members.
You may think that’s simplistic, but with the commitment of our elected leaders, we can stop a majority of these killings within months, if not weeks.
We have a federal statute called RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). RICO was passed in the 1970s to combat organized crime. It can be used to prosecute people involved in criminal enterprises, like gangs. With a RICO indictment, we can lock up hundreds of gang members and get them off the streets of Chicago. With RICO, we’d have warrants to hit their apartments, recover weapons out of their homes, their cars and so on. With RICO, we can get guns and gang members off the streets and stop the carnage.
This year’s electoral campaigns have been an ugly game of he said-she said with accusations from both sides to grab headlines. But gang violence and the carnage suffered by the innocent should be the issue of this election.
No matter which side wins, I’ll work with our elected leaders to find solutions to the issues that are destroying our inner cities. This is one of the reasons why I’m running for mayor of my hometown, New York City.
For the families and friends of the 17 people killed in Chicago last weekend, and for the rest of us, it doesn’t matter who was Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. They were all Americans. Now they’re gone, and no one is saying a word about it.
My hope and prayers are that whoever wins this election takes immediate action to stop the violence that is happening right now in our own country, especially in Chicago.
Bo Dietl is the founder and chairman of Beau Dietl & Associates, a leading investigative and security firm based in New York City, and one of the most highly decorated detectives in the history of the New York City Police Department.