• Says: ‘Police/ATF Must Focus on gunrunners, drug lords’
[By Chinta Strausberg] If you are serious about reducing the violence in Chicago, the police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should focus on the gunrunners—those who are selling illegal guns to our youth in Chicago, said Tio Hardiman, executive director Violence Interrupters Inc.
“Every year the police say they confiscate up to 6,500 guns ( off the streets of Chicago,” Hardiman said. “Another 65 percent of the police department’s energy needs to be stopping the guys on the front end of the drug trade…those who are the heavy hitters who are selling the drugs. The top of the pipeline needs to be plugged up.”
“We have police officials, not all of them because about 95 percent of them are doing the best they can do, but you have a small percentage of police and FBI officials who are in bed with some of these guys who are in the drug trade,” charged Hardiman.
“There have been many stories about how guys are allowed to be wired up and allowed to go out and commit crimes because they are helping to lead to more arrests, but he continues to wreak havoc in the community. In the interim, a lot of homicides have been taking place that probably could have been prevented if some of these undercover operations would cease.
“All you hear was a young guy who was shot on the street, but nobody is talking about the back story. Over 75 percent of homicides in Chicago takes place with African American youth and that number never changes no matter what the number of the homicides may be,” Hardiman stated.
“It is time for the police department, the ATF, the FBI and other agencies to focus on the gun sellers in our community, and they need to bring an end to the practice of allowing people to continue to commit crime while being wired up or under investigation.”
Explaining, Hardiman said,  “these undercover criminals who are being used as moles for police and federal officials are like free agents out there.
“The failed war on drugs is a perfect example of why this undercover practice has to end. You can read a lot of stories from the old mob days, the old Italian gangs on how they were collaborating with law enforcement but while they were cooperating with federal officials they were allowed to commit crimes even though they were under investigation,” Hardiman alleged.
According to Hardiman, the goal of these city and federal officials is to take whatever time is necessary to get a solid case against the criminals, which included the use of moles. “By the time you get everybody in, you have more dope being sold, more guns being brought in and young people’s lives are at stake. The problem is none of the community leaders are taking this issue on.”
“Everybody wants to march when a homicide takes place, but we also need to march on these issues because these specialty units that allow certain things to happen in the community under the jurisdiction that an undercover investigation is going on with certain people need to be dismantled,” Hardiman stated. “These covert undercover sting operations are hurting more than helping.”
As an example, Hardiman pointed to James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger, Jr., an American, who was convicted of murder. A former organized crime figure, he was indicted for 19 murders. In 1975, he became a mole for the FBI.
According to the Wikipedia, “the FBI largely ignored their mole’s organization in exchange for information about the inner workings of the Italian American Patriarca crime family.” Ultimately, Burlgar skipped out on the FBI and was on the run for 16 years including being on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for 12 of those years.
Whitey was working with the feds and killing people at the same time,” Hardiman said. “You got many testimonials of guys here in Chicago doing the same thing.” “A lot of people say they cooperate with the system and set people up but crimes continue to be committed. The law enforcement needs to stop that practice.”
“If a guy is guilty, he needs to be dealt with and the law needs to deal with them. Catch these guys straight up. Don’t allow crime to continue to take place. You are not reducing the crime by allowing violence to take place by using them in these undercover operations.
“We have a 92 unemployment rate among African American between the ages of 16-19,” Hardiman said. “When I talk about that, nobody wants to hear it but it’s the truth. This has been going on since the 1970’s.
“The black community has been flooded with drugs. There is a diabolical plan to destroy African American youth.
“You have the prison industrial complex. When these young guys go to prison, the prisons benefit from it because everybody gets a job in the mix. The lawyer gets a job. The guard gets a job. The public defender gets a job, the people who supply the food, the social workers. Everybody is making a living off the backs of these young misguided men out here who are caught up in a vicious cycle.”
Hardiman said the youth who are committing these crimes don’t understand “what they are dealing with because a lot of them think it’s about trying to make a few dollars. The few dollars they never make may cost them a life time.”
“In the African American community young men have to stop looking up to these street images. These guys who are dealing in the drug lifestyle are their enemies because you have one or two guys who operate with the people on the higher level who bring the drugs into the community. They don’t mean these youth any good.” Hardiman said these youth are “expendable” to the drug lords who only want to sell their illegal drugs.
“I encourage law enforcement to spent more time in stopping the illegal gun trafficking and stopping those at the top of the drug chain from bringing dope into the community,” Hardiman said. We need to put a plug in the top line of the pipeline.”
Not wanting to paint the entire police department with the same brush, Hardiman added, “You got 95 percent of the police department doing the best they can do but some of them are in bed with the guys in the drug trade.”
Explaining, Hardiman said some of these young men “are wired, allowed to commit crimes to lead to more arrests but those who are wired up continue to complete havoc. The black community has been flooded with drugs.
“There is a diabolical plan to destroy black youth,” he said. Referring to the drug lords who some how get their drugs to the black community, Hardiman said, “They benefit from blacks going to prison. Everybody benefits….
“The lawyer gets a job. The public defender, the guards, the social workers. Everybody is making a living off these young men who have been caught up in a vicious cycle. The few dollars they never make may cost them a lifetime, but black men must also look at the greater plan,” Hardiman said.
“In the African American community, young men have to stop looking up to these street images. These guys who are dealing in the drug lifestyles are their enemies. You have one or two guys who operate with the people on the higher level to bring the drugs into the community. They don’t mean those young guys any good. Those young guys are expendable out there,” Hardiman said.
To illustrate his point, Hardiman gave Frank Lucas (  and Nickey Barnes out of New York City  (
as examples of black men who were used by law enforcement officials to bring drugs into the community and though they were informants, they were later prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“Street life is no life for anyone,” warned Hardiman. “All those guys ended up telling on each other anyway like Lucas and Barnes.” Giving a special message to today’s youth, Hardiman added, “You need to abandon the street drug game. Police already know who is selling the drugs.
“Lay down your guns and stop selling drugs that is if you want to survive and achieve the potential God has for you.”
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