Chicago resident and activist Paul McKinley blasted Aldermen John Pope, James Balcer and Carrie Austin at an October Committee on Public Safety hearing in City Hall, for failing to address the issue of violence, murder, and drug cartels operating throughout the city’s south and west sides.
Although violence and murder were not on the agenda for discussion at the hearing, McKinley insisted on addressing the committee about drug cartels that are “dumping crack cocaine” in his community, and heroin in “white suburban communities” which he says is the real cause for all of Chicago’s violence.
McKinley alleged that “Mexican-narco-terrorist-drug cartels” are operating freely “because Chicago is a sanctuary city,” for illegal aliens. McKinley specifically pointed to Alderman John Pope’s 10th Ward, and Public Safety Committee Chairman, Alderman James Balcer’s 11th Ward, where McKinley alleges mass shipments of illegal narcotics and guns come into the city, before being distributed throughout the rest of the city, and across the Midwest.
Bloomberg Magazine reports that drugs coming from Mexican cartels through Chicago are shipped as far away as both U.S. coasts and British Colombia, Canada, in a $3.5 billion dollar drug trafficking operation run by the Sinaloa Cartel, in Mexico. The committee has failed to respond, McKinley says, despite him having previously addressed the issue and asked council members for help.
“This is narco-terrorism headed up with the complete understanding of you aldermen down here…They can not do this without you aldremens [sic] implicit and a part of this…They can not be in my community dumping all these drugs and guns…they have been allowed to run free.”
“An AK-47 on the street costs $2000, these are not gang related, these are narco-terror related” murders, he said. “These are skirmishes about debt.”
In the video, Alderwoman Carrie Austin can be seen leaving her post at the beginning of McKinley’s remarks, and begin speaking with two other council members, ignoring McKinley as he expressed concern for his community and asked the committee on Public Safety to do something about it.
McKinley then addressed the committee about Austin’s own lack of concern, saying, “I notice that the Negro, she’s not even interested in what I’m talking about.” To which, Austin replied, “No I’m not.”
McKinley’s emotions became heated after being asked to end his remarks and an apparent security person approached and put his hands on McKinley to usher him away from the microphone.
During the exchange McKinley noticed Austin, who is a black Alderwoman standing aside and laughing.
McKinley asked Austin, “It was funny talking about them black folks all messed up. You was laughin’. It was a joke to you wasn’t it? [sic]
Austin replied, “Yes.”
McKinley asked again, “Yo people all f***ed up like that. You think it was all funny?”
Austin responded again, “It was.”
As McKinley was being ushered to his seat, he spoke to the entire room, saying, “All that murder and death out there is a big joke…You don’t represent us. Not one of ‘em upset about it. Ain’t none of y’all upset?”
Austin can then be seen clearly in the video, replying to McKinley’s comments and questions, saying, “No,” as she went back to her seat for the rest of the hearing.
After the hearing, I spoke to Alderman John Pope about McKinley’s allegations of Mexican drug cartels and narco-terrorists operating in his ward. Pope said he “couldn’t take McKinley seriously” after his behavior in the council chambers.
When asked however, about recent reports from Bloomberg that address the same concerns as McKinley, Pope said he had not read the article, but, “by virtue of our geographic location, being a hub, we do well in terms of trade. By virtue of that locale, we have negatives too, such as the drug trade.”
Pope, rejected the idea that Chicago’s sanctuary city status is enabling cartels to operate in his ward or the rest of the city, saying, “just because we are Hispanic, doesn’t mean we are drug dealers.” In October last year, a field with more than $10 million of marijuanagrowing in it was busted in an industrial freight and shipping sector of Pope’s 10th ward.
Despite Austin’s lack of concern for the issues McKinley brought to the committee, and Pope’s denial of cartels running the streets of Chicago as McKinley and others havebrought into the public forum, Vice Chairman of Public Safety Alderman Willie Cochran told the committee, “I think despite the way that Mr. McKinley made that statement, those issues associated with safety in our community, are issues that our safety committee should talk about, and we should assure him that is something we will do.”
McKinley’s concerns were not on the agenda, nor addressed at the following Chicago Committee on Public Safety hearing onTuesday October 15. The only item listed on the meeting agenda was a call for hearings tougher gun laws.
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