Friday, January 8, 2016

If Tasers won't help, what will?

     The paper allots only 750 words for this column, so an occasional elephant in the room gets deliberately ignored. Wednesday's observation that Rahm Emanuel's tasers-and-training Band-Aid won't solve the problem of police shootings left one pachyderm hiding behind the curtains. Readers were quick to point him out:
     "It is easy to show how everything he is doing or proposing is wrong," wrote Roger Hirsch. "But I didn’t see anything in the column that suggests what you think he should do to get Chicago back on track. Not even one single idea."
     Fair enough. Though tight space is only one factor, just as important is this: I try to never be the Advocate for the Impossible, and putting chips on police culture changing is a sucker's bet. They are machines designed to resist change.
     Still, the CPD is always toward the top of the list nationwide when it comes to shooting civilians. What should it do?

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  1. Thought provoking and sensible column, especially the ending.

    Presumably you receive some not so friendly emails from cops.

  2. Unfortunately, righteous anger seems to prevail everywhere.


  3. I don't often think it, but Mary Mitchell had a good column the other day making, at some length, the same point as Neil's concluding comment. And one expects it might be particularly impactful coming from a Black commentator.

    If only we could return to that golden time when Chicago was "the city that works," we had a Mayor known for planting trees and colorful malapropisms instead of sharp elbows, and peace reigned on the south and west sides. Say 2003, when there were only 667 killings. Or, better yet, 1994, when there were 931. But then I don't like to indulge in such nostalgia. It seems so...Republican.

    Tom Evans

  4. I respect the challenges our police officers face daily. I understand an important way to handle the stress is through camaraderie with their fellow officers. I feel the defensive nature of this camaraderie is based mainly on the lack of leadership to properly monitor the CPD and support them. I believe this same leadership has failed the communities where violence takes its toll on perpetrators, victims and the police. It's not possible to change the status quo unless needed resources and staff are increased to aid all involved, something I don't see happening in cash poor Chicago.

  5. Painting all Chicago police officers with the same brush is similar to painting all journalists with the "Brian Williams" brush. It just isn't right and adds to the distrust that is already there. All 11,000 police officers did NOT vote for the mayor and Richard Brzeczek left as most cabinet members leave when a new mayor is elected. What other cabinet members left when Mayor Washington was elected. Were they all racist as well? As a journalist, you have the power to help heal. It's too bad you choose to be as divisive as your blog reveals you to be.


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