Did Pritzker’s plan go awry? Man in ‘peacekeepers’ vest charged with robbing, beating Chicago man

Following the brilliant move by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker who deployed European-style unarmed yellow-vested “peacekeepers” in Chicago to “de-escalate” potentially violent conflicts ahead of Memorial Day weekend, a man in one of those vests was arrested Friday night after brutally beating and robbing a motorist.

(Video Credit: ABC 7 Chicago)

Oscar Montes, 31, was just one of dozens of the so-called “peacekeepers” who fanned out across the city over the three-day weekend. He was part of a group of seven or eight people who allegedly pulled a 37-year-old man from a car, viciously punching and kicking him while he was on the ground before robbing him, according to Cook County prosecutors who leveled accusations at him during a Sunday bond hearing.

Montes allegedly stole the man’s cell phone and hit him over the head with it. Another criminal stole his wallet, prosecutors stated. This happened as Chicago saw at least 37 shootings with 9 fatalities in a bloodbath sweeping the city during the holiday weekend.

The victim’s face and ribs were fractured due to the merciless beating. His eye was damaged so badly that he suffered partial blindness, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The whole incident was caught on video by a police surveillance camera unfortunately for Montes. Officers were dispatched, redeploying them from a large crowd nearby. Montes reportedly threw the cell phone in the street as he left, according to officers who witnessed it.

As officers arrived on the scene, they saw Montes walking away, attempting to take off a neon vest that read “peacekeepers,” according to a police report. Shockingly and unsurprisingly, no one in court mentioned a peacekeepers vest or a connection to an anti-violence organization.

It’s unknown which violence prevention organization, if any, he was working for.

A spokeswoman for Enlace, the violence prevention group that provides “peacekeepers” in Little Village, said a statement would be forthcoming, but so far, none has emerged.

Montes is being held with no bail by Judge Maryam Ahmad on charges of aggravated battery, robbery, and vehicular invasion.

The assistant public defender questioned how police could have identified Montes in the dark during the time of the attack, at 11:15 pm. The judge, however, said she was familiar with the area and noted how well-lighted the street is below the police surveillance camera where the attack occurred.

This isn’t Montes’ first run-in with the law. He was released from an Illinois prison in May of last year following an aggravated discharge of a firearm conviction. That case was from 2012 when prosecutors charged him with attempted murder in a gang-related shooting. Montes accepted a plea deal of 12 years in prison, bargaining for just the discharge charge.

Chicago has hired over 500 people as “peacekeepers” evidently without running background checks. They have been ostensibly trained to de-escalate violence in Chicago as part of a state-funded, $11 million anti-violence program. The “peacekeepers” are part of more than a dozen community violence prevention groups. Pritzker has been roundly mocked for it.

The governor authorized the funding for the anti-violence strategy in 2021 when he signed the Reimagine Public Safety Act, creating the state Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. Funding for the program is expected to increase to $30 million next year.

Most of those taking part in the “peacekeepers” program are not full-time outreach workers with salaries. They’re recruited in violent neighborhoods and are given a $100 daily stipend. Some in the program reportedly still have connections in the gang world and are violent criminals themselves which makes absolutely no sense.

“Peacekeepers” themselves are at times the victims of violence as well. Two peacekeepers were wounded, with one getting shot and another one getting stabbed, between February and April of 2023, according to a study by the Center for Neighborhood Engaged Research & Science.

In May, a participant in the violence prevention group CRED was shot and killed while walking in the parking lot of its Roseland outreach center.

No one on social media seems surprised in the least:

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