Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Carjacking should be pol’s wakeup call

By Ray Hanania

A disturbing consequence of the violent and destructive protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 was the far left’s clarion call, including from many African Americans, to “defund the police.”

The call to defund police became a war cry of their movement, and received much political support. The irony is that despite the few, highly publicized police officers who violated their responsibilities to treat citizens fairly, the majority of police are professional and put their lives on the line every day to defend victims of far greater violence.

The defund police movement creates an environment in which police are basically stereotyped. It resulted in passage of Illinois House Bill 3653, which re-enforces rights for criminals and eases prosecutions.

RayHanania 1

Ray Hanania

The hypocrisy of the “defund the police” movement surfaced when one of the loudest advocates of HB 3653, Illinois State Senator Kimberly Lightford, was carjacked in Broadview on Dec. 21.

Three masked criminals driving a Dodge Durango carjacked Lightford as she was driving her black Mercedes Benz SUV in the 2000 block of South 20th Avenue, near Fillmore Street.

I always wanted a Mercedes Benz or other high-end cars, but I can’t afford them. Very costly. But I never considered carjacking as an option, because I am law-abiding.

Lightford and her husband, Eric McKennie, were lucky. They survived the encounter without injury. Lightford reportedly pled with three armed gunmen not to shoot her husband, whom they forced to lie down on the street as they took her purse and car. Friends nearby reported hearing 15 gunshots during the crime.

Lightford is truly lucky because these criminals have found it easy to kill, destroy and do so with impunity, knowing that today’s environment has put the police under public scrutiny and pressure, not the criminals.

I am sure Lightford would like to see the criminals arrested, right? I assume the people who might arrest the criminals, and investigate the crime, are the police.

It’s not so easy when you browbeat police, cut their salaries and funding, and restrict their ability to do their jobs, just to pander to a voter base for an elected official’s re-election.

I think life is more important that popularity or votes. I am happy the senator and her husband were not injured.

In today’s world, criminals “have rights” as codified in HB 3653 that Lightford aggressively fought to pass.

Maybe in her calls to defund police and expand rights for criminals, she means police shouldn’t try to identify her carjackers, or recover her car? Fortunately uninjured, the senator can easily purchase a new one. Don’t defund the insurance lobby, that’s for sure!

To me, police are heroes who put their lives on the line every day to protect law-abiding citizens. HB 3653 empowers criminals and weakens police.

Lightford should urge the repeal of HB 3653 and call for tougher sanctions of criminals, like the ones who put her and her husband’s lives in peril.

The chairman of the Black Caucus and first black Senate majority leader, Lightford called HB3653 “necessary,” saying it would bring “social justice” for the black community. The changes would allow blacks to “reach their full potential.” She said she is “tired of waiting” for change.

On Feb. 11, 2021, Lightford hosted a Zoom conference in defense of HB 3653, declaring, “I am a black woman, mother and wife. And I tell you we are tired of waiting. Black and brown families and black and brown communities still see barricades keeping us out of places they deserve to go. Every generation we see lives lost. People beaten. People shot. People humiliated for no reason other than the color of their skin.”

She added, “I am glad I have lived to see this change.”

Race didn’t stop her from being a victim.

Yes, there are a few bad apples, just like there are a few bad apples in every profession: politics, government and business. Those bad apples should be punished through a fair criminal justice system that isn’t twisted for partisan political and racial reasons.

Too many people I know and many businesses have been the victim of the violent protestors, losing their businesses and being physically attacked.

The way to confront crime is to fund the police even more than we do. Stand by them. Stop bullying and demonizing police. Give them the power to target criminals, regardless of the race. Criminals should be defined as criminals and nothing more.

If it weren’t for the police, all this horrible violence would be even worse.

Check out Ray Hanania’s columns and political podcasts at hanania.com.

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