Chicago lawmaker says ‘anti-racism’ behind decision to limit community crime alerts

A Chicago councilwoman is limiting the number of crime updates sent to her district, emphasizing the values ​​of “anti-racism.”

Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th Ward) informed her community in a blog post last week that it would now be mandatory to sign up for crime alerts instead of receiving them automatically. This decision, she wrote, was based on feedback from neighbors and a desire not to perpetuate racist ideas.

“Based on feedback from our neighbors and commitment to our values ​​of empowerment, anti-racism and community, our office is updating our public safety alert system,” Ald. Manaa-Hoppenworth wrote. “Newsletter subscribers can now sign up to receive crime alerts. Only subscribers who have signed up for these crime alerts will receive them.”

The councilor says that crime reports are also no longer shared on social media.

To further clarify the new change, Ald. Manaa-Hoppenworth explained that the move is in line with the 48th Ward’s mission and values ​​of “empowerment, anti-racism, community, service and joy.” She also described a desire to curb the tendency to “over-report crime.”

Our updated alert system is not only based on input from our community, but also draws on research from recent years that shows how over-reporting of crimes leads to inaccurate public perception of crime rates,” she wrote. “Research also shows that over-reporting of crime negatively impacts our most marginalized and disadvantaged neighbors.”

The council did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The National Desk (TND) on Tuesday.

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Chicago’s leaders have a history of downplaying the severity of crime in the city. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson in 2023 corrected reporters who used what he called “inappropriate” language to describe a group of youths who had looted a 7-Eleven.

“No, that is not appropriate, we are not talking about mafia actions, I did not say that,” he told a reporter who used such words to describe the incident. “It’s important that we talk about these dynamics in an appropriate way. This is not to gloss over what is actually happening, but we need to be very careful when we use language to describe certain behavior.”

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