With much ballyhoo yesterday, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy announced rare good news: the arrest of “leaders of an $11 million West Side drug empire.” But the news conference quickly derailed into scrutiny over whether any $11 million operation could honestly be termed an “empire.”
This visibly annoyed McCarthy, long known to resent any questioning of his law enforcement or etymological expertise.
“Don’t challenge my authority on empires – drug or otherwise. I’ve disrupted drug empires from Newark to New York City and seen every episode of Breaking Bad,” McCarthy said. “Plus I would wager – if that weren’t illegal – that I’ve hiked more of the Inca Trail in Peru than anyone here.”
McCarthy punctuated his point by noting Cuauhtémoc was by far his favorite Incan Emperor. To this, La Raza reporter Hector Blablazo tentatively asked, “But wasn’t Cuauhtémoc an Aztec emperor?”
“And how would you know?” McCarthy said.
The reporter: “I grew up in central Mexico City next to the remains of the great Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, where the invading Spanish conquistadors hung Cuauhtémoc in 1525.”
“Next question,” the superintendent spat.
Busy researching the superintendent’s claims on her smart phone, one reporter quickly found 10 individual local drug seizures in the last year exceeding the $11 million estimated annual value of the “West Side drug empire.” These included:
- Seizure of $17.5 million in cocaine announced Wednesday by McCarthy’s department
- The December arrest of seven men in a $22 million marijuana drug bust in Chicago Heights
- The March arrest of a California woman who traveled every six weeks into the Chicagoland area carrying an estimated $6 million in drugs
“What’s your point?” McCarthy snapped. “Are you saying members of my police force exaggerate?”
The reporter: “If $11 million is your definition of an empire, then doesn’t Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson – with his four-year $52 million contract – sit atop a pitching empire?”
The superintendent then stormed out of the news conference. However, later in the day, the police department conceded the point without comment by suspending the poetic licenses of one district commander and the four lieutenants who oversaw the drug bust.
Pitching kingpin Edwin Jackson had no comment.
SkitSketchJeff is Jeff Burdick, who wonders who he must bribe to get one of those Police Benevolence Association license plate frames.
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