With shootings, robberies, and sex attacks way up, Chicago alderman says she will no longer share crime alerts because they create a bad ‘perception’

Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (lenifor48th.com)

CHICAGO — In a North Side ward where four people have been shot in the past week, and robberies and sex crimes are at their highest level in over a decade, the local alderman announced on Wednesday that she would no longer post crime alerts on social media or send crime alerts to her constituent email list.

Why?

Something about racism and her belief that “over-reporting of crime leads to an inaccurate public perception about crime rates.”

Do you know what else leads to a perception of high crime rates? High crime.

Which alderman with a skyrocketing crime problem is going to start playing “hide the football” with the people who elected her? Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th), whose ward includes much of Edgewater and parts of Uptown.

Constituents who want to receive crime alerts via email will have to “opt-in,” said the alderman, who suggested people call the local police districts if they want information about crime in the neighborhood.

Manaa-Hoppenworth claimed she made the move “based on feedback from our neighbors and commitment to our values of empowerment, antiracism, and community.”

“Only subscribers who have opted in for these crime alerts will get them. We will also no longer share these alerts on social media,” the alderman said in an email.

She said she would continue to email everyone on her mailing list if there is an “active threat to 48th ward neighbors’ safety.”

It’s strange that Manaa-Hoppenworth would take this moment to stop telling grown adults about the ward’s rising violent crime problem. Four men were shot in her ward between May 22 and May 27 in three separate incidents, according to Chicago police.

The first two shootings occurred at the exact same address, according to CPD records. Manaa-Hoppenworth tried to explain away the first shooting by saying it was “isolated.” That came back to bite her when the second shooting occurred at literally the same location. We ribbed her about that. Anyone want to bet our nudge was a major factor in her decision to shut up about crime?

Year-to-date shooting incidents in the 48th ward are at the highest level since 2015, according to the city’s data portal. As of May 13, 41 robberies had been reported this year in Manaa-Hoppenworth’s ward. That’s up 78% compared to the same time last year, and it’s the highest number of year-to-date robberies since 2012.

Also at the highest level in her ward since at least 2012 are criminal sexual assaults. There have been 14 reported so far this year, up from six at this point last year.

There has been one murder so far this year in her ward. That’s down from two during comparable periods in 2022 and 2023. The ward didn’t have a single murder year-to-date in 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021.

Manaa-Hoppenworth also posted a lengthy blog post with an explanation of her decision to embargo crime information. She tried to take an intellectual approach by linking to a couple of studies, including one from the University of Tehran. Any port in a storm, we suppose.

The alderman is more than welcome to blame information about crime for the concerns her constituents have about safety in her ward. But the real problem is that violent crime is up, people know it, and her misguided decision to hide information from them will not fix that problem.

By the way, 48th ward residents who want to receive information about crime via email can sign up for our daily newsletter. The sign-up box is toward the bottom of the page on mobile devices and in the right column on desktops. Unlike Ald. Manaa-Hoppenworth, we won’t hide the truth.

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About Tim Hecke 374 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com