The Trib Gets Into It

If you haven’t seen the front page article, go here and read about the procedures and issues resulting around police shootings. What’s interesting about this is that the “Voice of DuPage County and Disaffected Whites” Chicago Tribune doesn’t normally do this sort of journalism. And check out the comments (over 205 in one day and counting). A lot of people are pretty upset and calling this “Sun-Times” style journalism. Heh.

Regardless, it goes to the standard beef I have with the Chicago Police. This is a complaint that has been around for decades, if not over a century. It’s that if you are shot by the police, or beaten, or tased, or maced, it’s going to be your fault, right or wrong.

First of all, it has to be. Simply put, it has to be. The cops are only justified in using force when, well, it’s justified. That’s the point. “Justifiable use of force” obviously implies that you have a reason to use it. So, no matter how innocent you are, how non-resisting, how completely unjustified it was in the use of force against you, it will ALWAYS be your fault that you got booted up, maced, shocked or shot. It can’t be any other way.

Second, the “blue wall of silence.” This is the code of “honor” or silence necessary to enforce the social norms among policemen and women. You know, they’re soldiers, fighting a war against the masses. They’re the last, best hope, holding back the surging tide of social scum. They can’t break that silence, because betray one, betray them all.

Don’t believe me? Listen to them in their own words.

Now, I like Second City Cop because it’s well written and has a biting, cynical edge I appreciate. But too frequently, it falls into this Nitchzean trap where the writer believes that the great unwashed masses are barely worth the contempuous gaze he regards them with. And while he is certainly not one to applaud officers who he thinks bring disregard on his own, Second City Cop cannot EVER believe it when a jury or judge rules against cops. Almost never, at least.

In fact, Second City Cop operates with the same myopia that all cops operate with. If they’ve convicted the person in their mind, then no jury, judge or lawyer will ever convince them otherwise. You are guilty for your color, or criminal background, your attitude. Not for the facts or evidence, or the lack thereof, but for the presumptions all those non-factual things imply.

I appreciate this sort of reporting by the Chicago Tribune. Hopefully it helps raise awareness in this town. We’ll see.


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