The following is part of a rare interview with a Chicago police officer and Federalist Staff Writer Evita Duffy-Alfonso, in which they discuss the surge of violence, political corruption, gun control, Black Lives Matter, and rap music. To protect the officer’s safety and his job, he has been granted anonymity. Note that this transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
Police Officer (PO): I’ve been living in Chicago my entire life. I actually did not want to become a police officer growing up, but I think engaging with the police on various occasions played a role in me becoming the police at a later time.
And when I was in college, there was a recession, so I had to choose a career where I could actually pay back a lot of those loans and things plus, I thought law enforcement would be a great opportunity for me to improve the community, so I ended up being involved in law enforcement. I’ve been an officer for 10 years.
Evita Duffy-Alfonso (ED): As an officer now, how would you say safety and crime in the city is and maybe compare it to when you first started out?
PO: I think crime has definitely gotten worse since I’ve been an officer for a variety of reasons. I think it’s people failing to prosecute and the offenders continuing to commit crimes. Education plays a role, as well. If a person is not getting a proper education at their local schools, that affects a person’s ability to be productive, and they’re more likely to get involved in criminal activity.
One of the main ways I think we can make Chicago safer is to change the music that our children are listening to and try to find a way to stop a lot of these big music organizations and executives from exploiting our children to promote their own destruction. And I say that in regard to rap music or a specific sector, drill music.
So let’s just say you’re part of a gang, and I’m a part of a gang, and we’re both rapping, but we are in opposition to one another. I rap about your group, you rap about mine, but my group comes and kills someone from your side. And then I rap about it. I mock killing your loved one or your best friend, or a person in your gang. You get back on the same song or different song, and now you rap about retaliating — coming to kill someone that means something to me, and it just goes back and forth.
And a lot of these executives, they come into our low-income communities, and they say, ‘Oh, man, this guy got 5,000 or 10,000 likes on his song, let me give him $1,000,000 to rap about that stuff at a bigger level,’ so people around the country can listen.
ED: Kim Foxx has caught a lot of flak for dropping cases. Some of the cases that people are really upset about are murder accusations, sex crimes, attacks on police officers, and people accused of shooting other people. How do you think Kim Foxx has done as the D.A.?
PO: I really didn’t feel the effects of Kim Foxx’s policies until they started affecting me personally. Without saying too much, I know someone that was the victim of a murder, and the detectives were able to get substantial evidence to present to the state’s attorney in order to prosecute the case. However, in court, the case was rejected for what I feel would be minor or minimum reasons. And as a result, that person, the offender, remains unarrested and free to walk the streets as he will.
I felt like that was very unfair to the family of the victim, especially when there was substantial evidence — what I felt would have been beyond a reasonable doubt — to prove that person committed the crime and should be arrested.
ED: J.B. Pritzker passed a law banning semi-automatic weapons — possession and sale in the entire state. Do you think that’s going to help with the crime?
PO: I do not think that’s going to be beneficial whatsoever. If anything, it’s going to help the criminals because the criminals are the ones that are getting these high-capacity magazines and AR-15s and using them for destruction. If you disarm law-abiding citizens, when criminals come and do the same destruction, who’s going to stop them? We have to wait for another officer or call the agency to get involved versus a citizen stepping in at that moment and neutralizing the threat. So if anything, this is more harmful to law-abiding citizens, and it’s a threat to everyone’s Second Amendment rights.
Just like how they have concealed carry, I think they should have open carry, but they should have a course to educate everyone on the uses and the laws in regard to it. I believe if there’s open carry, more people will think twice before they do a criminal act. If he’s got a big gun on his waist, you might think twice before you try to rob him. Or if everybody over here has a gun, you might think twice before you try to harm this person because this person may harm you. So I think if there’s open carry, it would actually deter a lot of criminal acts from happening.
But I think sometimes our politicians get so set in their ways that they limit us from a lot of our freedoms, or they limit us from being able to protect ourselves out of fear. They make us believe that we’re helping ourselves by giving up our liberties when actually we’re damaging ourselves and giving more power over to the criminals.
Watch the rest of the conversation here: