Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Accidents will happen

"Untitled," by Robert Gober, Art Institute of Chicago

     Whoops!
     How clumsy of me. Almost spilled my coffee.
     Well, accidents happen. We've all dropped cups, tripped on rugs. So when the Chicago Police Department says that Bettie Jones was shot "accidentally" by police last Saturday, what else to do but nod our heads in sympathy for the poor officer, who took out his gun and spilled some bullets on a grandmother as she opened the door to let him in. Could have happened to anybody.
     Of course, accidents must be put in context. If I drop my coffee cup every other day, something might be wrong with me. Maybe a neurological condition. Maybe I should see somebody.
     Something is definitely wrong with the Chicago Police Department, though lest we be accused of picking on long-suffering, abused, misunderstood and bullied CPD, we should leap to point out it seems to be the same thing wrong with lots of city police departments. Being an officer is a dangerous job, one made safer by shooting first and then analyzing the situation later.

     Safer for the police officer, that is. For the teenager stumbling down the middle of the street or the woman opening the door, not so safe.

     To continue reading, click here.

 

24 comments:

  1. This should be required reading for the all-lives-matter folk.

    john

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    1. It should also be required for the blacks who do not seem to think that "black lives matter."

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  2. "Normally the CPD would blame the victim" Well it didn't take long for that to change. This morning driving to work, news reports ran through an extensive laundry of incidents Quintonio Legrier and his family have had with DCFS and police in various jurisdictions. In the scheme of things, the incidents were not very terrible, but the police seem to imply the kid got what he deserved. No doubt any year now the offending officer's list of incidents will also be made public, or would that be too unfair to the officer? One of the protest leaders, Jamal Greene, looks like someone with a promising political future.

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  3. The problems with CPD are due to the excessive political interference with CPD by the politicians.
    A couple of years ago, the black aldermen forced McCarthy to lower the standards that had been put in place not long before that required a four year college diploma, back to a two year college or junior college diploma.
    Far too many cops are related to other cops, it's a family affair & those in the family, get in no matter how incompetent they are.
    It also appears that the psychological testing they're doing to determine if the prospective cops have the correct temperament isn't weeding out the unfit.

    Anyone that fires 16 shots into a body 15 feet away from him, never should've been a cop in the first place.

    If you ever manage to read the disgusting Second City Cop blog, you'll see that they all hate their whoever is superintendent, the district commanders & not one of them can correctly manage to spell even the simplest words. They are of course the products of the wretched Chicago school system!

    Then there is the total disregard for the law they all have. No cop, whether on duty or off, obeys traffic laws in Chicago. Even when just driving around in marked or unmarked cars, they disobey every red light or stop sign in the city. I've never seen that in any other city! I was once lightly hit by a Lt. as he left the station, because he ignored the stop sign. His response: "Sorry" & drove off! Several years ago, The Reader had an article about a boy run down by cops breaking traffic laws on Ogden Ave. in Lawndale.
    They just don't give a damn about us!
    And they all know to take a bench trial, if they're charged with a crime, as the corrupt C[r]ook County judges will always find them not guilty.
    I guarantee you Jason Van Dyke will be found NOT GUILTY by the judge assigned to his trial!

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    1. Some suburban cops do that too, with the driving and hitting other cars.

      Well Clark those black alderman put affirmative action or played the race card before public safety.

      Maybe Greene can make a big name for himself and replace Jackson as leader.

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  4. If you think that is the only problem it is very naive. Instead of going after the easy mark how about this. Grab your divvy and bike down to these neighborhoods and figure out why the leaders haven't done a damn thing despite a boat load of funding in the last 40 years. What are the results of operation push? Or is it just headlines for its leader? To conveniently blame one person, the mayor, and one issue is a cop out. This city deserves better reporting than this.

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  5. Jackson likes publicity. He should be marching (Sharpton too) when thugs kill kids. Whatever happened to those questions years back of what Jackson was doing with the PUSH funding or his mistress? Those stories seemed to have disappeared.

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  6. Rahm's latest proposal is to equip every cop with a taser. That might be an improvement, though people have died from being tasered. Still, the odds are lower. In the meantime I would have every cop report for duty at the United Center and have an intensive day of training on the legitimate use of force. Trainers from the US Attorneys Office and community leaders from all over the city should drill the audience until they get it. No one gets to leave the building before passing a test with flying colors. Anyone who flunks is suspended indefinitely.

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    1. Richard...spare me. What do you know about the use of force or how we are trained? If a man came to your door with a gun or a knife what would you do? Cower in a corner and suck your thumb?
      What do US Attorneys know??? Community leaders like who....Sharp ton and Jesse "Felon Father" Jackson? Get a grip.

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    2. I know this. Too many on the Chicago police are either woefully ignorant or indifferent to the basics of criminal law and need to be trained or dismissed. What I would do in your hypothetical is completely irrelevant and just shows your ignorance of logic and reasoning.

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    3. Sure Richard. Most good cops know as nuch law as an average prosecutor or defense attorney. Faced with volatile situations, savage-like people and the public who do nothing but complain, cops in Chicago do an exceptional job. You make your judgements from a perch in a ritzy suburb with no knowledge of the type of violence officers face every day.

      What you would do in my hypothetical is very telling about your level of ignorance as to what cops are faced with every day. You think you would do better....love to see it...bring a change of underpants.

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  7. I agree 100%, cops shoot too many black people. Where do we go from here?

    This isn't a new problem. Remember the police riot in 1968? Cops resorting to violence is nothing new and there hasn't been a mayor in my lifetime that has changed anything to make police more accountable and less apt to use violence as the first response. I have had police point guns at me three times, twice while opening at door the the place where I was working and once while waiting for a train. Maybe they didn't shoot me because I was white, maybe because I help my hands out and stopped what I was doing. The reaction might have been different if I had shouted "back off pig" or put my hand in my coat pocket. Pointing guns at people is what they do.

    The mayor isn't going to fix this problem, just like the mayors preceding him didn't solve this problem. The city council isn't going to fix this problem, they approved a payoff to McDonald's family just like they pay off all the other victim's families. If Rham was stupid enough to resign, the vice mayor wouldn't fix this problem either. Hell, Jesse Jackson couldn't fix this problem. The problem is going to be fixed when the police department decides that there are other ways to disable a suspect and it is in their best interests to do it in a way where they don't shoot the suspect full of holes. It will be require discipline and it will require training.

    The other problem that no one seems to talk about is that every time you open a paper someone is getting shot in this city. People are shooting kids, rival gang members and anyone else that happens to be walking around. I expect that every police officer has to assume that the person that they pull over or talk to or open a door to is carrying a loaded weapon. They would be nuts not to, it's basic self preservation. Who wouldn't be a little paranoid after a while? The 6' 5" 350 pound guy on the green line that mumbles about spilling white blood makes me a little nervous. If I had a gun and he came within 5 feet of me, I'd probably shoot him.

    There are a lot of problems and there is no simple solution, but it is going to take more than blaming the mayor or criticizing him for taking his family on vacation to solve this. The mayor has to make this a focus, but the police department has to do the heavy lifting. The city council has to take a look at the police contracts to ensure that there is accountability and that bad cops get fired and there is no excuse for good cops to cover for the guys that are making their lives more difficult. The communities have to do more to make themselves safer for the folks who live there. They had to report the evil doers and make sure that their own streets are safe. Families have to support each other and keep each other on the straight and narrow path. Parents have to set high expectations for their kids and make sure they understand that they way out is through education and hard work.

    Changing who sits in the mayor's office doesn't fix this. There are a lot of cultures that need to change here. No one is off the hook for these problems. It's time to stop looking for folks to blame and start implementing the solutions.

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    1. Cops shoot too many black people? Do you have stats to back that comment up? Most blacks that get shot by police are in the midst of committing a crime and therefore are shot because they DESERVE it. You keyboard cowards kill me...like to see how you would feel if these thigs climbed into your window at night.

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  8. Before the video, Emanuel first ignored, then angrily dismissed gun violence in African American neighborhoods, citing statistics of lower murder rates. He criticized Spike Lee's Chi-Raq for showcasing said violence. He bemoaned the high-profile incidents of other police attacking citizens, resulting in police becoming "fetal" in their responses, backing off rather than confronting individuals. (I don't think shooting people is backing off.) Instead, the Chicago media backed off, as he intended. Pay offs to victim's families continued to the Mayor's Office's response. Then one brave man demanded the video's release and a judge agreed.

    Now Emanuel wants transparency, though he claimed this was just "one bad cop"in the McDonald shooting. He agreed to federal intervention a day after arguing against it. He said he was sorry before the City Council and promised to "fix" the problem. He's rushing back to pretend he can make a difference in this latest shooting.

    Bottom line, African Americans can't trust him any more than they can trust the CPD. He's still playing the optics, desperately hoping something else (besides another cop shooting) will distract the city from this problem. He knows it will take years to achieve cultural change in the police department. His time will be up long before that happens.

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    1. African americans cant trust CPD? Idiotic statement. Blacks get more police service in their neighborhoods than any white people do in the whole city. Why? Because their neighborhoods are crime-ridden, gang banger occupied and drug ridden. The cops cant trust the people in these neighborhoods caise they are violent and lack any morals.

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    2. Cultural change at CPD???? How bout advocate for cultural change in the black neighborhoods where teen pregnancy, drug abuse and violence is an accepted way of life.

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    3. The above comments are why Emanuel won't see significant change on his watch. I'll agree cultural change goes both ways, but the CPD cannot succeed in community relations while viewing African Americans as the enemy.

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    4. Agreed, Wendy. While Unknown is correct that some African American neighborhoods are crime-ridden, he seems to miss the point that not only does that mean that the perpetrators of crime there are black, for the most part, but that the victims are also black, and that there are many more victims than perpetrators.

      I wonder if he wants to see the minority of "bad apples" on the force removed. Nothing he's said today gives me that sense.

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    5. Hmmm...we dont see AAs as the enemy...they see us that way. There are a few bad apples that none of us want but AAs and the media paint us all as bad.

      The PDs command staff are filled with political appointees that are placed in positions cause of their connections, not cause they are competent.

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  9. Chicago could use more African American leadership on this issue. Would hiring a black police superintendent help? It's obvious the whole CPD structure needs reform, and Emanuel needs to step up and do something. Now.

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    1. CPD has had black leadership....doesnt change anything. The entire command staff right now has never PASSED A PROMOTIONAL EXAM. All "merit" appointees. Democratic lap dogs that only worry about career aspirations and not doing the right thing.

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  10. Emanuel makes a convenient whipping boy, but I'm not sure he had authority to release the video. It was in the custody of the State's Attorney and part of an investigation, albeit one that everybody now says went on too long. And deciding in advance that he won't do anything to fix matters does seem a bit unfair.

    Tom Evans

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    1. The State's Attorney wasn't fighting the release; it was the City of Chicago.
      From the Tribune article:

      "...a Cook County judge ordered the release of the police dashboard cam video by Wednesday, saying in an 18-page ruling that lawyers for the city had failed to prove that making the recording public would jeopardize any ongoing investigation. Judge Franklin Valderrama also rejected the city's attempts to delay his order pending an emergency appeal. Within hours, the city did an abrupt about-face, dropping its court fight and saying it would comply with the judge's order by making the potentially inflammatory video public before Thanksgiving."

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