Mar 1, 2021
Last spring, the City of Chicago got 480 million dollars in discretionary CARES Act money to help deal with the pandemic. The city could decide to spend that money where it wanted.
So what did the city decide? Did it focus on the homeless, or rental assistance, or improvements to the schools so they could reopen safely? No—Chicago spent 60% of that money, 281 million dollars, on the police.
The massive spike in unemployment as the shutdowns went into effect, plus the closing of schools, meant increasing numbers of Chicagoans were being thrown out, desperate, onto the streets. In that context, the city government moved to protect the property and interests of the wealthy, the same way it always does: by making sure there were enough cops on hand to keep the population in check.