Will Reparations Reduce Crime Rates? Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson Thinks So

Will Reparations Reduce Crime Rates? Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson Thinks So

Does he have a point?

Chicago’s mayor, Brandon Johnson, hopes reparations will reduce the violent crime rate of the Windy City.

A segment on CNN’s This Morning touched on the spiking crime rate in Chicago and how a proposed $500,000 of reparations programs in his budget may fix it. Host Poppy Harlow touched on recent statistics revealing violent crimes are up 17% percent regardless of a drop in murder rates. She asked, “Are Chicagoans going to be safer in 2024?”

Johnson said that depended on the government’s response to the “full out community safety plan” and “critical investments.”

“A quarter of a billion dollars to address homelessness, $100 million for violence prevention. We added 80 million more dollars to our youth employment program, of which we hired 25,000 young people just this summer,” he listed as investments. “That’s a 20% increase from the previous year.”

Funds for a half-million dollar reparation plan would address “the cycle of violence, which looks like school closings, the closing of mental health facilities, of which I’ve invested in now,” Johnson said.

“We’re going to open up two mental health clinics that were closed from two previous administrations ago.” He has also proposed a plan “to hire 4,000 additional young people this summer.”

The program would be considered a way for incarcerated individuals to successfully re-enter society as a “welcoming space for them.”

However, some aren’t a fan of Johnson’s plan. Fox News contributor and civil rights attorney Leo Terrell said he would be the first lawyer to file a lawsuit, as he argued the program violates the 14th Amendment. “Last time I checked, Chicago has never been a slave city,” Terrell said. “It is illegal, it is racist, it violates the 14th Amendment, it violates equal protection. This is nothing more than a pandering to Black citizens where there is no correlation between reparations, slavery in Chicago, and violence.”

Having only served as mayor for seven months since his election in May 2023, Johnson’s focus has been on public safety and the city’s youth. In his very first address to the city, the father of three promised his strategy would be rooted in more mental health care, violence prevention programs, and police accountability.

“A safe Chicago means a safe Chicago for all, no matter what you look like, who you love, or where you live,” Johnson said.

More and more elected officials are paving the way for reparations to be distributed to their African American residents. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) signed a bill in early December 2023 to create a state commission that will study New York’s history with slavery and how it impacted African Americans. Evanston, Illinois will be the first city in the country to pay reparations to its Black residents. The city was projected to distribute $25,000 each to almost 140 residents by the end of 2023.