Driving in the car this morning, listening to DJ Hot Sauce on WGCI, the topic came up about yet another police-involved shooting video that a judge was ordering shown to the public. It’s crazy what you can get used to, the news simply the latest in an increasing trend for the Chicago Police Department as the noose gets tighter with the Department of Justice bearing down on them by the day. Listening to the radio as the morning DJs talked it over, one call-in struck me in it’s simplicity. One resident of the south side simply said, “I’m just tired of my city getting dragged through the news across the country everyday because of the people who are supposed to be on our side.” Truer words have never been spoken on the matter.
It’s hitting a breaking point here in the Second City, with tensions mounting by the day. The latest video, of police gunning down 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman in 2013 who was shot and killed by police while escapong from a stolen car. He was dead just seven second after leaving the vehicle with police officers chasing him on foot. Officers reportedly did not give any direction to Chatman befoe gunning him down, blaming his black iPhone in his hand for a mistaken weapon.
It’s just the latest in a series of shootings that have rocked the city to its core and brought about much-needed scrutiny to City Hall and embattled mayor Rahm Emanuel. CNN interviewed Lorenzo Davis, a former police officer who reviewed the footage for the Independent Police Review Authority believes that he lost his job after deeming the shooting unjustified. A higher up reportedly changed the shooting to justified before dismissing Davis.
Such is the culture around the CPD that is only now coming to the surface after decades of abuse which included former south side lieutenant John Burge who’s actions in torturing victims to confessions resulted in a $5 million settlement late last year for victims. That on top of the $5 million hush money paid out earlier in the year to Laquan McDonald’s family by the city.
While the city deals with yet another abuse of power from the police that has only found it’s way to the public after nearly three years, the weight of the responsibility the CPD owes to it’s consituents is growing exponentially. Thinking back to the man on the radio earlier, I can’t help but agree. It is a shame that our city is being put through the ringer in every national publication because of those supposedly protecting us.