Saturday, June 23, 2012

UChicago Crime Report: 57th and Woodlawn Robbery Alert!


Woke up to this email from UCPD commander Marlon Lynch. Some of you might have gotten it, but for those who did not, it's important to know.

Security Alert : June 23, 2012 

At approximately 12:45 a.m., Saturday, June 23 – a victim not affiliated with the University walking west on the sidewalk on 57th Street between South Woodlawn and South Kimbark was approached by two males, one of whom was armed with a handgun. The suspects took the victim’s back pack and ran west on 57th Street. 
The suspects immediately approached a University student walking east on 57th Street between South University and South Woodlawn and took her purse before fleeing south in the west alley of Woodlawn. The suspects may have escaped in a waiting 4-door blue vehicle seen parked in the alley. The preliminary investigation has revealed information that may lead to suspects. Neither victim was injured.

That's probably the safest area you can get in Hyde Park without actually being on the UChicago quads. Don't let your guard down even, or especially, if you are somewhere that is supposedly 'safe'.

Also, this is one of those alerts that is obnoxiously and harmfully politically correct (a style shared by the UCPD and the Chicago Tribune). There is no decent description of the attacker. Hell, there's no description of the attackers AT ALL. No height, no clothing, no skin color, nothing. And don't go and tell me that those aren't important details. Two males who concealed a handgun? Based on the "two male" description, I saw probably 15 pairs of people that matched that description the other night while walking back from dinner.

It is a bit of a generalization, but I would be willing to bet that the attackers were black precisely because the UCPD did not report on their race. That has nothing to do with any string of racist thought, and everything to do with the fact that it might be politically incorrect to make that racial statement in an official UCPD communication. If it had been two white guys, I guarantee you that this would be noted; that would be a remarkable demographic anomaly, especially in this area. \

In light of this oversight by the UCPD, I have sent an email to their suggestion address: ucpd-pio@uchicago.edu. I for one walk around the area at all times of day (when I can tear myself away from the DOTA 2 beta) and would feel much safer knowing what these attackers looked like. Here is the email as I am sending it. Hopefully I hear back from the Department soon. It's hardly Hemingway, but it gets the point across.

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Dear UCPD,

My name is Sheridan Lardner, and I am both a graduate of the College here, and currently a grad student working towards my social work degree at UChicago.. To start, I really appreciate the security alerts that you send out to students now and in the past. I teach the UChicago self defense club, and I always direct my students to the daily incident reports and the security alerts that your department issues.

The recent security alert on June 23, concerning two robberies, was timely and informative. Unfortunately, it did not include any description of the attackers. The community would be safer if it knew the height, build, clothing, and complexion of the perpetrators. I understand that witness reports may be sketchy and inexact on this matter, and that there might be inconsistencies in the descriptions by the victims. There might also be protocols concerning the politically correct way to describe the alleged perpetrators of a crime. But even some basic information would help students and community members be safer.

Thanks for your consideration in the matter. Keep up the great work.

Sincerely,
-Sheridan
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