Friday, June 19, 2020

A proposal for reforming the Chicago police

Officer Ja’Lance Hunt poses for photos with a student from Southside Occupational Academy High School, 7342 S. Hoyne, in West Englewood in 2016.

     Lots in the paper lately about race, and protests, and police.
     Sometimes it seems that’s all there is. Seismic unrest rattling the country. Politicians frantically trying to respond. Corporations too, scrambling — a bus ticket jammed into poor old Aunt Jemima’s hand, booted off her pancake mix box and sent back to Chicago, whence she came.
     Cases of police misconduct swirl like leaves in a storm. It can be hard to track them all. Meanwhile, a pandemic is going on somewhere, whoops, make that everywhere, and it’s a sign of just how frenetic things are that sometimes it falls from mind. “Oh yeah! I can die from going to the grocery store. I forgot!
     A jabber of voices. But anyone we don’t hear? Anyone missing?
     How about police? Here they are, public howling for their blood. Yet not a peep. Shy? That can’t be it.
     Being a journalist, of sorts, I thought I would fill that gap, to find their perspective. To discover what police officers think of all this. Futile, I know. But there is a ceremonial aspect to my job. So I ritualistically phoned CPD news affairs and, feeling ambitious, the Fraternal Order of Police, and explained what I want to do. Get police officers to talk about how these protests affect them, deep down in the little blue-flamed smithies of their souls.
     Neither wanted any part of it. Not that they said so. They didn’t say anything — echoes of the old Code of Silence that Eddie Johnson never noticed. Because the police aren’t part of Chicago. Oh, they live here, wink wink. And they work here. But really, police live in a separate Land of Blue, a dreamscape where everybody is a cop, and only cops understand other cops, and they’re all brother cops gazing in cop solidarity over the sharpened pine stockade of their Cop Alamo, blinking their cop eyes at the noisy mob of non-cops they’re supposed to keep safe — ”animals,” in police lingo — and the various idiot politicians like the mayor — ”Groot,” in racist police lingo (they sell derogatory t-shirts with Lightfoot as the Marvel Comics character, a talking tree) — issuing nonsensical directions based on naiveté, ignorance and malice.

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  1. Here's another way Chicago's rotten to the core cops could get more community support: Obey the traffic laws! Stop running red lights & stop signs, when you're not on a call!
    They all do it, with absolute impunity!. I once saw a sergeant, pissed at waiting for a line of cars to turn left from SB Clark to EB Devon. So what did this arrogant asshole do? He turned on his lights & siren & blew past everyone & as soon as he was on Devon, he turned it all of & then drove down the street.
    Since I live near the Rogers Park Police Station, I see them going to & from the station on Ravenswood Ave. Ravenswood has a bunch of stop signs almost every block, but the cops drive there like flat out maniacs, blowing off every stop sign, not only in their police cars, but in their private cars at shift changes!

    Why should we obey the laws, if you, who are sworn to obey they, can't?

    As for the claim it's a dangerous job, the federal government statistics show that's total bullshit! There are numerous jobs that are far more dangerous, such as mining & commercial fishing.
    Having watched cops for most of my life, what they really are is lazy! That video of the congressman's office is one more proof of that.
    They are also poorly educated & can't spell to save their own lives. I occasionally gird my loins to browse the Second City Cop blog. What a hate filled disgrace that is! They hate everyone. Every supervisor, every politician, most of the public. That insane hatred is what killed George Floyd, what killed LaQuan McDonald, what caused those two women to be beaten for no reason at the Brickyard last week.
    I'm betting that if they got a busload of shrinks to really look at our cops, they would find they also deeply hate themselves!

  2. I hope people who don't always agree with Neil read the whole article rather than throwing the paper down with, "Another cop-hating piece from the suburban commie." They would miss the happy ending, the good apple attempting to transform the barrel. Wouldn't it be lovely if that happened in real life, if goodness were as contagious as evil. Encouragement from the top couldn't hurt of course. Cops who rescue babies get rewards; cops who nurture neighborhoods should at least get a pat on the back from on high.


  3. Good idea. It would expose cops to the good people they are protecting in their territory. A good friend of mine is a cop and said after a few years you stop liking people. Almost all interactions are tense and far from cordial.
    Interacting in more amiable situations would go a long way for everyone.


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