Chicago Sent 'Peacekeepers' To Stop Memorial Day Weekend Violence. It Didn't Go Well.

Police charged man wearing 'Peacekeepers' vest with violent attack during deadly weekend

A police officer in Chicago (Getty Images)
May 30, 2023

Chicago's left-wing leaders prepared for the Memorial Day weekend's expected uptick in violence by deploying non-police "peacekeepers." The city went on to see its deadliest weekend in almost a decade—with one attack possibly being perpetrated by a "peacekeeper."

At least 11 people died in shootings across Chicago, while at least 46 others, including 2 toddlers, were injured. The death toll is the highest since 2015, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, with one murder occurring steps away from soft-on-crime Mayor Brandon Johnson's (D.) doorstep.

The news comes days after Johnson and Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker (D.) announced the creation of the Citywide Crisis Prevention and Response Unit, which deploys "peacekeepers" to "provide essential assistance in deescalation, conflict resolution, and crisis support across Chicago." Democratic politicians across the country, including far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), have prompted similar programs.

The Chicago program costs Illinois taxpayers $700,000, the Center Square reported.

While "peacekeepers" were tasked with quelling violence, at least one might have been more interested in committing crime than preventing it. According to prosecutors, Oscar Montes, 31, was one of several people who "pulled a man from a car and punched and kicked him on the ground," the Sun-Times reported. When police arrived at the scene, Montes was "trying to take off a neon vest that read 'peacekeepers.'"

The Sun-Times was unable to confirm whether Montes, who spent 12 years in prison on a firearm charge, was working for a peacekeeping agency or organization.

Johnson ran on a platform that touted having "health professionals, not police, respond to crisis calls." The mayor, a longtime union organizer, supported the Defund the Police movement in 2020, though during last year's election he backtracked on his support.

Update 1:40 p.m.: This piece has been corrected to say that this Memorial Day weekend was the deadliest in "almost a decade." It originally said "more than a decade."