I'm not trying to be the most unpopular retired cop in the world. However, I just have to say, no matter your opinion on the Jason Van Dyke verdict, if you are a Chicago Police officer please remember your sworn oath to serve and protect a city you love. Do not let the words of the President of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, Chris Southwood, in any way make you think you are not appreciated. His words immediately after the jury returned a guilty verdict against Jason Van Dyke were very disconcerting to me. Calling the American justice system a sham and suggesting that the jury was somehow duped into the verdict they reached is utterly preposterous. They (the jury) saved no ones butts, as he suggested.
It just so happens that it's the way Americans get to the root of justice. What cop doesn't understand that? As he well knows things do not always go the way some would want after it's all said and done.The appeals process will ultimately tell the story of what kind of decision the jury decided on. Chicago's finest need to remember that when the world, and indeed so called leadership says give up, "hope whispers, try once more, keep trying."
Both sides agreed on the jury that heard the the entire body of evidence in the trial. In my opinion this verdict is not a shot across the bow of dedicated servants. It was not as he suggested a message to all law enforcement officers across America. When he states that, " it's not the perpetrator in front of you that you need to worry about, it's the political operatives stabbing you in the back, to me he finally said something worthwhile that needs future scrutiny. How Police leaders are promoted and how police supervisors are judged. To many times the question of "WHERE WAS THE SUPERVISION" comes to mind.
While the screams for police reform are a constant drum beat in Chicago, one hears almost nothing about political meddling into police affairs. Fired Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is on record stating that City Hall under Rahm Emanuel was constantly MEDDLING in police affairs. Indeed,I guess they meddled once to often. Two glaring examples are when Mayor Richard J. Daley gave orders for cops to shoot to kill arsonists and wound looters, execution before a trial (just following orders) does the name Nuremberg come to mind, and of course the present Mayor, Rahm Emanuel's attempt to keep the infamous police video of the McDonald shooting from being made public.
The question now being asked by not only FOP President Southwood but by many others is "what cop would be proactive fighting crime after this disgusting charade, Southwoods words?" Make no mistake, to suggest that Chicago's cops are quitters is loathsome to me and an insult to all of Chicago's police officers. Chicago's finest are 98% of the most dedicated men and women.
Name another organization that can boast 98%. One verdict in my opinion is not going to cause an entire Department to become fetal as was once suggested by the mayor of the city they serve. No matter a man's title, a course in leadership after uttering those words was badly needed. If it appeared to him that was the case one cure would be to have a long look in the mirror. Leadership starts at the top, not from the bottom up.
Every single day hundreds and hundreds of Chicago's finest are getting it right under very difficult circumstances. There is the 98% factor. Most of our troubles are the results of over 60 years of political blundering. Cops have to stand fourth as the last in line, face to face dealing with those failures. Should anybody have any doubts that 98% of the time cops are getting it right, check those hundreds and hundreds of hours of stored video. Much too boring especially for the news media. They only want to see that ugly 2% that will never go away.
To suggest that those dedicated officers are going to be quitters and put people at risk is nonsense. It would be a solid slap in the face to those such as Commander Paul Bauer and the hundreds of other dedicated men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for a city they loved. Mark my words, they will be out there doing the best they can to keep a beleaguered and wounded city as safe as possible. Anyone who disagrees with that needs to move along and make way for those who will. Believe me the line will be a long one indeed.
I want to share something that our brothers and sisters at heyjackass.com left us with after the results of the trial were announced. For those of you who are not familiar with them, they are the beacon that holds the city and the department's feet to the fire when it comes to reporting the accuracy of the City's violence. Chicago has a long history of fudging crime stats. (See Chicago Magazine's 3 part expose in April 2014)----"Now that the jury has delivered a non- RIOTABLE verdict we can now return to the regularly scheduled maiming and fatalities that no one seems to give a crap about." ----Indeed from out of the mouth of babes.
No more shrieking, screaming headlines, just back to the normal routine of shooting and killing and the failure of leadership to do anything about it except to look for distractions. And as if on queue, Monday morning as I write this we learned the reality of it all. 19 people shot since Friday night, 4 murdered, a chilly rainy Chicago. Shamefully one victim a two your old toddler, the youngest to be murdered this year. No outrage, just another blurb in the morning paper. A two year old for chrissakes, dead by gunfire.. Hell! we may even see a return to the expressways. Remember all the good that did? A very famous guy said this and I wish it was me because I feel this way.-------"How happy I should feel if I could succeed in bringing a little light into all the murky ugliness."----- God love and help a great City that seems to have lost it's way.
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