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Chicago Police Adviser Is Robbed, Learns How Victims Are Treated

Anthony Driver Jr. will remember the gun pressed to his stomach. It had a blue beam and a nervous young holder. Driver feared for his life. “This little kid is scared,” he thought as he was held up on Jan. 23. “And he’s going to actually kill me because he’s scared.” The armed robbery was one of nearly 9,000 in Chicago last year, reports the Chicago Tribune. Unlike other victims, Driver is president of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, the seven-person group of community leaders tasked with helping Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson select a new police superintendent. The experience showed him firsthand how crime victims can feel overlooked and raised conflicting feelings about punishment, mercy and proper policing for a man playing an important role in shaping the Police Department’s future. The experience showed Driver that the Chicago policing system serves Chicagoans in different ways.

“It’s given me a firsthand look at what people in my community are experiencing when they call the police,” said Driver, a labor lobbyist and community activist. When a Black man like him is robbed on the South Side, he said, the treatment seems less resourced than what someone in a wealthier area experiences. Driver believes everyone should be cared for after they are victimized in a crime. The day after the robbery, neighbors shared videos of what looked like the same attackers robbing other people a few weeks earlier. Driver also saw surveillance footage of what looked like a similar car swapping license plates at his workplace. That was valuable information, he thought. He went to the 9th District police station to share it, but he said the desk officer simply told him that a detective would reach out to him within 72 hours. It felt like a blow-off. Political acquaintances asked Driver, director of the Service Employees International Union Illinois State Council, if he wanted them to flag the case so police would prioritize it. He declined. He wanted to experience the robbery like anyone else. Three days after the robbery, no one from the Police Department had reached out.


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