Recent history shows that the Obama Department of Justice cannot be counted on to perform a competent investigation, but at least this particular inquiry is not without cause. The city has earned the nickname “Chiraq,” because by international standards, certain Chicago neighborhoods have some of the highest murder rates anywhere in the world. Even as the city has become an abattoir, police have been routinely abusive–a series of troubling investigations suggest the police were operating a “black site” out of an off-the-books warehouse where cops were holding and interrogating suspects without due process. Such extraordinary tactics are intolerable in principle. and the fact that they generated no notable-decline in crime suggests they were also bad in practice .
A finger must inescapably be pointed at the city’s police union for keeping bad cops on the beat.
The shooting is even more outrageous when you consider that events described in the original police report diverge wildly from what was caught on tape and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel may have been involved in a cover-up to protect his reelection prospects.
The citizens Police Data Project maintains a database of misconduct complaints against Chicago police officers. While not comprehensive, the database shows Van Dyke had 20 complaints filed against him in his 14-year career, many of them accusations of excessive force. Van Dyke has been cleared of most of the charges, but in one instance a Chicago jury awarded $350,000 to a man on whom Van Dyke used excessive force during a traffic stop. This past spring, while Dyke was still on the job, the city paid $5 million to McDonald’s mother even though she had yet to file a lawsuit.
To put Van Dyke’s record in perspective, of the 12,000 police officers in Chicago, only 402 have had 20 or more complaints filed against them, according to the Citizens Police Data Project database. One Chicago cop against whom 68 complaints have been filed is still on the job There is little doubt that the resources and clout of Chicago’s police union are keeping dangerous and incompetent cops on the streets.
But the magnitude of Chicago’s police problems suggests that the union’s fanatical approach to defending officer misconduct makes no concessions for officers who are a demonstrable threat to public safety.
Chicago’s entire city government is based on patronage and union payoffs to politicians. The result is a city where the debt service and annual pension costs for public employees are closing in on claiming half the city’s annual revenue.
source–weekly standard (12/21/2015), mark hemingway