Monday, January 11, 2021

Problem is, he represents the cops too well


     Saturday morning: coffee, sunshine and an email with the subject, “John Catanzara, Chicago FOP President, IMMEDIATE REMOVAL FROM OFFICE.”
     Hmmm, thought I, must be from a retired police officer.
     It was, Richard W. Sanchez Sr., “CPD Retired.” I knew it!
     In retirement, Chicago police officers go through this marvelous metamorphosis. They serve for decades, mute caterpillars of the silent brotherhood. Then they disappear into their retirement cocoons, to emerge in the sunshine of Florida or Arizona or, in this case, Valparaiso, Indiana, as these glorious butterflies of opinion, their colorful views on display for the world to admire.
     Not Catanzara, of course. As you know, he is the bigmouth president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the one CPD job where the gag comes off. He’s made it his personal mission to remind the public at every opportunity just how touchy and reactionary police officers can be, how passionately devoted to serving and protecting themselves.
     Self-regard and bottomless grievance make them the ideal Trump fan demographic. One of the least surprising fallouts from Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol is how many police officers from around the country joined the mob. Wonder why Catanzara wasn’t there; maybe he was busy, talking.
     While you and I and every decent person were slack-jawed in horror at the sight of the mob sacking the seat of democracy, someone at WBEZ had the presence of mind to stick an open mike in front of Catanzara’s eternally flapping yap, and he justified away.
     “There’s no, obviously, violence in this crowd,” he began.

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  1. I really want to call Catanzara a pile of shit, but then I realized, shit at least can be used as fertilizer.
    Cantazara has absolutely no known useful reason for existing!

  2. I know your ready for the blow back. I know how the blue shirted ones can get when they feel as if they're being attacked - even when they aren't. Trumpettes.

  3. Well done, thanks. There should be an organization to help retired officers speak out to promote reform, something along the lines of the Center for Defense Information but for cops.

  4. I come from a cop family: my father, uncle, and grandfather were Chicago Police Officers and my brother was a policeman in Peoria for a while and joined the Army to be a military policeman. Even my sister worked as a policeman at the the U of C before she decided to go to nursing school. Despite these credentials, I don't consider myself "pro-police," having personally seen during my misspent youth what unhampered police power is capable of. The very words "Police union" seem oxymoronic. And in practice their main thrust seems to be to protect police in general and individual policeman from the consequences of bad behavior and/or mistakes. Which seems to translate into leadership devolving to the most radical and fire-eating aspirants, who remind me of George Wallace after a political loss, vowing never to be outniggered again. Cataranza appears to be a prime example. The only surprise was that he apologized, however insincerely with an eye on his upcoming hearing at which he might be fired from the Department. Not all the rats have fled Trump's sinking ship, but quite a few. I'm not gratified.


  5. “There’s no, obviously, violence in this crowd,” is only ridiculous in retrospect. Ostensibly, that "crowd" was there to defend the constitution, not to destroy it. Unfortunately, the metamorphosis from First Amendment crowd to Bastille Day mob was precipitated by Trump's abhorrent demagoguery and the catalyst of just enough maniacs and thugs. What's done is done and cannot be undone.
    You should be pleased, though. The real danger that Trump's 75 million would forever feel that Biden is a usurper, the danger that the division would fester and ultimately explode, no longer pertains. Trump, by instigating the riot and then abandoning his loyalists has antagonized his hitherto blind followers. Now he has nothing. Even if he pardons the civil liability of the trespassers, he has lost his demographic. Donald Trump, God bless him, has healed The Union.

    1. EE - Isn't it pretty to think so?

      His followers aren't "antagonized." If anything, they're even more fanatical, and a lot of them have guns. Not a pleasant thought.

      And it's one reason Republicans can take their newfound preference for "healing" and "unity" RIGHT THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. We'll "heal" when the SOBs who instigated the riot get called to account, and that includes some of the same people now bleating about "healing."

    2. This is truly becoming "the winter of our discontent"...not even two weeks into the new year, and in too many ways, 2021 is even worse than the horrible year that just ended. Thousands dying of the Plague every day, economic misery, racial unrest, and now the opening salvos of what may turn out to be a civil war, a catastrophe that would trump (pun intnded) everything else on our shitlist.

      I moved to Cleveland, from Chicago, almost thirty years ago. After the Indians dropped their "Chief Wahoo" logo a few years ago, the diehards (and I used to be one) clung to it even more fiercely, the way pedestrians wrap their coats more tightly about themselves when the north winds blow in the dead of winter.

      The Trumpsters are the same way now, clinging even more desperately to the Dear Leader of their sick personality cult. They love him even more now, enough to fight and to kill and to die for him. On the other hoof, the haters of Trump (of which I have been one since Day One) are startng to feel the same way. That can only lead to one final outcome: Mr. Matches say hello to Mr. Gasoline.

      We may soon be able to yank the demented driver away from the wheel, but the bus is still headed for the cliff, and into the abyss. I have always believed Joe would save us in the nick of time. I don't feel that way now.

      God help America, and God help President Biden. He will need all the help he can get. If you are a person who prays, you had better start praying now.

  6. I hope this guy at least had the decency to be embarrassed when it came to light that a police officer was killed in the riot.

    I suppose asking for accountability on the part of the police brass who criminally mismanaged the response to the riot would be too much to hope for.

  7. My cop fiends and family make it seem to me that police officers feel pretty put upon. If they do their job according to the book , and there is one , they are often savaged by the public , politicians and the press. If they take a less severe tact they are blamed for allowing criminals to operate with impunity. If they stick together it's all "code of silence " silliness. If they step up to blow the whistle they are ostracised by their peers.

    The book is very pro police use of force. Even after the latest revisions police power is based on the officers discretion. If they feel their safety or that of the public is threatened they can use deadly force even against a fleeing suspect. Hundreds of officers are injured every year. Theirs is a job where the threat of death or serious injury is a constant concern. In order to protect themselves and their livelyhood the "union" exerts extreme pro cop measures. The best officers have tough circumstance and that's the vast majority of the force. They resent the actions of bad apples who make their job harder and strain their relationship with the public. Even these criminal cops are protected by statute and the FOP. Even supposedly independent watchdog groups regularly protect the police. The judicial system especially prosecutors protect the police . If this wasn't so officers feel their job would be even more dangerous.

    Don't get me wrong I'm a defund the police guy. Bordering on abolish the police. But I'm a realist and wonder how effective policing can be done if people don't fear the police and they don't have the ability to use force based on their assessment of the circumstances they find themselves in which the average person can hardly imagine.

    All of this is complicated by racial bias and stressed out officers many of whom do rotating shifts that disrupt their sleep patterns.
    If we want better policing maybe we should all take a turn doing the work. In addition to the career officers maybe everyone should have to do 6 months community service on the beat in our early 20s to have a better perspective of what it's like to do the job.
    Coos are like everyone else. Sometimes they can be real dicks. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes what the public sees as mistakes are within the parameters of their job description . It's a real problems when the cops who abuse their authority always seem to victimize poor people and people of color. Maybe that's because society on the whole doesn't value or respect these people.

  8. "My cop fiends"
    You that one correct, even thought it's a typo!


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