Not even three years ago, current Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson didn’t think “defunding the police” went far nearly enough. Not if that meant cutting the budget for law enforcement, anyway. Instead, he wanted to totally zero out police budgets and do without policing entirely in America’s third-largest city.
He wasn’t shy about that position either. He offered that view as a Cook County board member official representing a crime-ridden district within Murder City, USA.
Johnson, backed today with millions of dollars from the Chicago teachers union, also waved aside the orgy of looting and violence that racked the city in 2020 as “an outbreak of incredible frustration” with “a failed racist system.”
Of course, normal citizens in Chicago have seen what defunding the police — merely taking a meat cleaver to the CPD’s funding — and putting fewer cops on the streets has meant for crime in the Windy City. Chicagoans are turning to the Second Amendment to protect themselves and their families.
Of course, ‘Let’s Go’ Brandon Johnson also rails against gun rights for the little people. And now that he has a shot at the Mayor’s office, he’s running away from his anti-law enforcement record.
This week Johnson is claiming, “I never said, defund the police.” But that’s not what the record shows. Confronted directly in last week’s Chicago mayoral debate, Johnson sidestepped any explanation of his 2020 comment – shown on video during the debate – that defunding police is not “a slogan, it’s an actual real political goal.”
Those comments by Johnson were one of a series of remarks that were either at odds with maintaining present funding levels for law enforcement, or that excused looting.
In 2020, as Cook County Commissioner Johnson said, “Reducing the sheriff’s budget is a case that I believe that we want…There is no number big enough.”
That year speaking at (a) panel titled “We Don’t Call Police: A Town Hall on a Police-Free Future,” Johnson said, “part of it is removing ourselves away from this, you know, state-sponsored policing, but also the tools that have been placed against Black folks that have been used violently, whether it’s policing, or administering standardized tests, or … around how white supremacy finds its way in every facet of our lives, that we have to fight and resist that.”
Johnson doesn’t seem to like having his own words thrown back at him.
In a WGN-TV interview as the city reeled from Michigan Avenue looting and rioting in the summer of 2020, Johnson also defended looting as “an outbreak of incredible frustration and anguish” tied to “a failed racist system.”
One thing is certain. Sane voters in Chicago, of which there appear to be a few, are undoubtedly saying, “Let’s go, Brandon,” and not in a good way. Lori Lightfoot has already been fired for failing to combat violent crime in America’s murder capital.
In April, voters will have the final say. For the time being, the candidate for law and order, Paul Vallas, is leading, but only by about 6%. As the race heats up, there’s a good chance that Chicago voters will see the fruits of even more radical de-policing in the coming years.
If Brandon Johnson is elected, they will get exactly what they voted for good and bad.