Chicago has had some serious problems in the past. It’s even been so bad that some politicians have recommended that the National Guard be brought in to help quell gun violence. But now, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin suggested that the UN send in peacekeepers in the face of what he terms “quiet genocide.”
Boykin met with Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina. Fernandez-Taranco is the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Support. Boykin was seeking international help with “horrific levels of shootings” and other violent crimes in the West Side and South Side communities.
“‘I’m hoping to appeal to the U.N. to actually come to Chicago and meet with victims of violence, and maybe even possibly help out in terms of peacekeeping efforts, because I think it’s so critical for us to make sure that these neighborhoods are safe,’ Boykin said at O’Hare International Airport on Thursday.”
Chicago and Cook County leaders have failed to protect many communities from violent crime.
“‘There is a quiet genocide taking place in too many of our communities. Eighty percent of those who are being killed by gun violence are African-American, and often killed at the hands of another African-American,’ he said. ‘So we must protect these population groups, and that’s what the United Nations does. They’re a peacekeeping force. They know all about keeping the peace, and so we’re hopeful that they’ll hear our appeal.'”
Boykin believes that Chicago must “utilize every avenue” to protect its people from gun violence.
“‘They’ve been able to help in places like Africa and abroad, where they’ve sent troops in and sent forces in to help protect minority and vulnerable populations, and so quite frankly I think the same can be said for here in Chicago,’ Boykin said. ‘I’m talking about physical security. I’m also talking about maybe suggestions for what we can do in Chicago to help protect our minority populations. We’re being, again, decimated by the violence that we see here in Chicago. I mean this is really a genocide, and we have to do something to stop it.'”
Homicides and shootings were down through the end of November. Chicago has had at least 620 homicides. Although numbers have been down from last year, Boykin is still not satisfied with the high numbers of homicides.
“‘I know that the mayor may tout the fact that the number of people being shot is down, and the number of people being killed is down, but let me tell you, we’ve had over 600 people killed by gun violence already this year alone. That is a huge number,’ Boykin said.
“In my community of Austin, we’ve had 450 people shot, and 80 people killed this year alone, and so we have to do more to protect these communities, and that’s what we’re going to do. If we can’t get it done here with the leaders of the city, the state, and the county working together to utilize their budgets to help protect these communities, then I have to appeal to a higher authority, and a higher force,’ Boykin said.”
For more than a month, the UN has been planning this meeting.
“‘Quite frankly, we can’t wait until the mayor comes up with another 1,000 police to try to make the streets safer. Quite frankly, the people want to be safe right now in their homes and their neighborhoods, and we want to make sure that they’re safe,’ Boykin said.”