9/5/16

"... a complete lack of comprehension ..."

Speaking of self-serving politicians ... Chicago's Mayor Rahm 'Dead Fish' Emanuel easily fits that model.

Remember Laquan McDonald?

The investigation needs to begin with the Police Department’s news release of Oct. 21, 2014, which incorrectly states that Mr. McDonald was shot while approaching police officers with a knife. A dash cam video that was likely available within hours of the shooting on Oct. 20 shows Mr. McDonald veering away from the officer when he was shot 16 times, mainly while lying on the pavement. Why does the video completely contradict that press release?

In the aftermath of that one, the higher ups, the ones where supposedly 'the buck stops,' are bailing out and going for retirement and/or better jobs ... leaving the street cops to twist in the wind:

One top cop gone after blistering report issued on McDonald case

Amid turmoil, Escalante takes top job at Northeastern Illinois U.

The No. 2 official in the Chicago Police Department announced his retirement Tuesday to become police chief at Northeastern Illinois University as the department braces for more fallout from the Laquan McDonald scandal.

Here's another one:

Chicago Rarely Penalizes Officers for Complaints, Data Shows

Then, in 2011, [Finnigan] admitted to robbing criminal suspects while serving in an elite police unit and ordering a hit on a fellow police officer he thought intended to turn him in. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. “My bosses knew what I was doing out there, and it went on and on,” he said in court when he pleaded guilty. “And this wasn’t the exception to the rule. This was the rule.”

Then there is the Paul O'Neal shooting back on July 28.

Videos from the fatal shooting of Paul O'Neal by Chicago police show a succession of apparent procedural errors, including police firing at a fleeing vehicle with other officers in harm's way and an admission by the officer who believed he fired the fatal shot that he had no idea whether the 18-year-old was armed.

Comments from that officer caught on video indicate he may have erroneously thought O'Neal had fired from a stolen car barreling in his direction. In fact, those shots were fired in the officer's direction by other police shooting at the stolen car in apparent violation of departmental policy.

How much of this confusion can be attributed to what we might call 'the fog of war,' and how much to the screwed up leadership and the manner in which that failure of leadership trickles down to the rank-and-file. Are the cops at fault? Well ... arguably they are. They did pull the triggers. OTOH, the more we look at the relationship between that rank-and-file and the self-servers in CPD command and admin, the more we see that there is no trust at all. Why is that? What effect does that have on training, supervision, use of force, attitudes?

One of the most common shrug-offs on these things is ... "Well, the shootee had quite the criminal record, you know."

What does that mean? DRT'ing the guy this time makes up for all the things he got away with?

Peel away all the usual 'But he was such a nice young man,' and 'He was just starting to get himself together,' and 'Oh, he was going for his GED and was turning his life around.' That's all irrelevant. It makes no difference if the shootee was a first class thug or an altar boy on his way to Mass.

What does matter is that the use of force was way out of proportion to the matter at hand; police reacted in an undisciplined and unprofessional manner; investigations show lies, deceit, cover-ups, often on the part of the command and administration.

There are problems in many of America's law enforcement agencies.

Denying this doesn't make it go away, and it doesn't make it better.

"Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on."
                                                                           - Robert Kennedy

The 'insistence' seems to be building up.