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Stop arguing and get to work

Friday, Jul 19, 2019

* Tribune

Mayor Lori Lightfoot continued sparring with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday over who’s to blame for Chicago’s gun violence.

After Preckwinkle sent a letter to Lightfoot this week that defended how the county judicial system treats gun offenders and called on Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to “stop misleading the public about why gun violence remains a challenging problem in Chicago,” the mayor responded by criticizing the county’s system for tracking gun crimes and calling on Preckwinkle to publicize her statistics weekly.

But first, Lightfoot reminded reporters about the sound defeat she handed Preckwinkle in the April mayoral runoff, when Lightfoot won all 50 wards and got more than 70 percent of the vote.

“So the question’s about the letter, the nice letter I got from Toni Preckwinkle,” Lightfoot said at a news conference about preparations for the expected extreme heat this weekend. “Well, it’s July, not March. The election’s over and we had a result. So we’re going to continue to take the high road and move forward.”

This fight is so tedious. People are dying in the street and “leaders” are relitigating the election.

* But whatever happened to this Lori Lightfoot?

As set forth in my public safety plan, we cannot arrest our way out of our violence problem. Instead, the city and its partners must treat this epidemic of violence as the public health crisis that it is. … In addition, we must follow the lead of cities like Boston and Oakland and increase the resources devoted to violence interruption techniques so we can stop violence before it happens.

And speaking of released offenders, this is also a Lightfoot quote

Furthermore, the city, philanthropic foundations and local businesses must place more emphasis on, and commit more resources to, organizations across the city that help ease the transition of the thousands of citizens released annually from state and county jails back into society and the workforce. Providing legitimate jobs that pay a living wage is one of the best ways to reduce violence and recidivism and improve our communities.

* Meanwhile

The Chicago Police Board voted Thursday to fire a sergeant and three other officers over their alleged cover-up of the murder of Laquan McDonald by CPD Officer Jason Van Dyke.

The board voted unanimously to fire Officers Ricardo Viramontes and Janet Mondragon for their roles in the case, as well as Sgt. Stephen Franko. According to the board, all three officers made false statements, among other violations of department rules, in an attempt to have the shooting of McDonald by Van Dyke deemed as justified.

Officer Daphne Sebastian was also fired, according to the board’s vote, which was posted on the City of Chicago’s police discipline website.

Sgt. Franko was charged with violating five different rules and regulations of the Chicago Police Department, including taking action to “impede the department’s efforts to achieve its policy and goals” and “making a false report, written or oral.”
Targ

* FOP response

Statement made to Police Board on ruling tonight:

Your ruling today, so contrary to the verdict against the officers criminally charged in this case, Gaffney, Walsh, and March, destroys the reputation and careers of three excellent police officers.

It will no doubt lead to more violence in the city and quite likely more violence against the police, because officers understand that, by your ruling, an officer can be fired or indicted merely responding to a job.

They filed police reports directly contradictory to the video evidence.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    Perfect headline. Lightfoot does have a point re: bail, but she could raise that point in private.


  2. - New Slang - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    The FOP’s response is exactly the kind of rhetoric which destroys the relationship with the black community and causes distrust of officers. It would be refreshing for the FOP to stand behind the very clear evidence in this case. The verdict was challenged by the AG(?) and was flawed in so many ways.


  3. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    Lightfoot has no point re: bail.

    Preckwinkle is correct: gun crimes are not being committed by folks awaiting trial.

    Gun crimes are being committed by people that have never been arrested.

    The University of Chicago’s research, which relies upon data from Lightfoot’s own police department, backs Preckwinkle up.


  4. - revvedup - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    Violence isn’t a public health emergency, it’s a crime emergency, caused by criminals who lack self-control, are allowed to roam Cook County freely on bond despite lengthy criminal histories for violent crimes, and are not held accountable for their actions. The false narrative concocted to propose the “cure” of gun control is easily discredited by the facts.


  5. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    Officers should insist on seeing videos prior to submitting reports in shootings.

    Not as stressful a situation, but what I saw on football game films was much better than my memory of the game.


  6. - DIstant watcher - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    This is on Lightfoot. She won. Now she needs to see the Cook County Board President as an ally and not a challenger. It may be a hard transition, but she’ll figure it out.


  7. - Nuke the Whales - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    Re: revvedup
    Citation needed.


  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===false narrative concocted to propose the “cure” of gun control===

    You have no idea what you’re talking about. This isn’t about gun control. Either up your game here or leave.


  9. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    The FOP is a cancer on our City. They will defend all cops no matter how crooked or destructive. If we assume that 95% of cops are basically good and decent public servants, their defense of the few bad ones disgraces the whole department. They deserve scorn and contempt for the corrosive role they continually play. This is just the latest example.

    Oh, and not guilty of a criminal offense is not equivalent to complete vindication and a right to a job.


  10. - Streator Curmudgeon - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    ==It will no doubt lead to more violence in the city and quite likely more violence against the police, because officers understand that, by your ruling, an officer can be fired or indicted merely responding to a job.==

    FOP is playing to its audience again: the members of the FOP. That, apparently, is more important than their credibility with the public.

    But Rich’s headline says it all. Voters are sick of the feuding. Let’s see the solutions that were promised.


  11. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    More violence interruptor programs, getting the word out about witness protection programs, getting the word out about safe haven programs, more jobs, more mental health clinics…

    All these would help. But it’s a heavy lift.


  12. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    I always thought bail reform in Illinois never addressed the legitimate issue that you have (a) a right to bail in the Illinois constitution and (b) the reality that some people are too dangerous to be released. Before, the courts got around this by giving people enormously high bail, but they can’t do that now since all bail should be affordable. You still have judges doing the old “I’ll give whatever bail I feel like giving” too. The kids who vandalized the Bean got $10,000 bail. Stupid thing to do, but in no way are they more dangerous than the people accused of violent offenses that get no bail or very little bail.


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===But it’s a heavy lift===

    It’s called governing, which is in short supply in that city right now.


  14. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    I get it that as a labor union the FOP has the mandate to protect their members, but gee gosh almighty. These guys lied.

    This doesn’t really protect the officers who want to do a good job. It does the opposite. If lying is allowed what do you do as a police officer if you want to tell the truth? How would you like to be the police officer who is pressured to lie, who might even be considered a traitor by coworkers or his supervisor for telling the truth?


  15. - PublicServant - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    ===How would you like to be the police officer who is pressured to lie, who might even be considered a traitor by coworkers or his supervisor for telling the truth?===

    Pretty sure that was a factor with these officers, and the FOP knows it. Pretty sure that’s still the dirty, little not-so-secret today and into the future. The FOP knows that too. Not sure how to finally get rid of that reality in the police department.


  16. - Pawar Lost - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    Ameya Pawar blamed all of those guns from Indiana for Chicago’s skyrocketing crime rate. Meanwhile is Lori Lightfoot out of town yet again this weekend?


  17. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    I’m not sure either, PublicServant and Wolf. It’s not just being ostracized in the station.
    Whistleblowers also fear slow backup response from other officers.


  18. - Roadrager - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    ==Pretty sure that was a factor with these officers, and the FOP knows it. Pretty sure that’s still the dirty, little not-so-secret today and into the future. The FOP knows that too. Not sure how to finally get rid of that reality in the police department.==

    Especially when you can be pretty sure that’s how the FOP likes it.


  19. - The Most Anonymous - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:04 pm:

    I understand the messy history between these two leaders, but I didn’t think Toni P was looking back at the race she already lost when she wrote her letter. I think she’s looking ahead at the race Kim Foxx has ahead of herself. I read Preckwinkle’s letter as her laying down a marker or setting the stage to help shape the narrative for the next election when people start coming after Kim Foxx for allegedly letting too many people off.


  20. - ktkat - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    Unfortunately the answer isn’t easy (and I have no idea what it is)… Violence is as it is because gang leaders were all sent to prison and the factions have been fighting each other (as well as other gangs) in order to gain control. When there is no one to be accountable to (within your gang) then accidentally shooting kids or innocent bystanders goes unpunished and pulling out a gun to solve a problem becomes a lot easier. What can be done? In my chats with others we just haven’t figured out a solution…

    At the same time the number of shootings isn’t far off from the 1980s…


  21. - City Zen - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    ==At the same time the number of shootings isn’t far off from the 1980s==

    300,000 less people.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    - City Zen -

    Is Chicago more or less safe than the 1980’s?

    Thanks.


  23. - Il Bosco - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    “It’s called governing, which is in short supply in that city right now.”

    Rich is spot on.

    I hear the exact same thing from folks in or connected with city government: there is no direction or governing coming from the Mayor’s office. And the city council is simply waiting for the next shoe or shoes to drop from the Feds.

    She needs to start governing and setting her vision and policy agenda for the city very soon or other power interests will coalesce to impede her and implement their own agendas. Ending aldermanic privilege is not going to magically make her job easier.

    And I don’t expect the sniping and arguing to stop between the mayor and President Toni either. It’s probably just begun.


  24. - Steve - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    According to the Hey Jackass website the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago , as of July 1, leads the year in homicides plus wounded. So Mike Madigan haters don’t blame his neighborhood because it’s not his neighborhood.

    https://heyjackass.com/category/chicago-crime-2019/


  25. - Perrid - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    The judge the FOP referenced said the tapes that showed McDonald being murdered was proof the officers lied because it didn’t show it from their angle, then said McDonald convulsing as he was shot was proof he tried to get up, as the officers said. She had her mind made up before the trial, so referencing her decision is meaningless


  26. - Bond Reform - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    ===Lightfoot does have a point re: bail===

    ===Lightfoot has no point re: bail===

    Honestly, neither of you know this. Preckwinkle said herself that the clearance rate for murder cases in Chicago is one of the lowest in the country. Does anyone know what the arrest rate is. If we don’t know who is doing the shooting, then how do we know if they’ve been released or not.

    Doesn’t help that Preckwinkle’s tweet response was: people don’t care about spreadsheets. Ugh.


  27. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    the Most Anonymous is correct…this is all about Kim Foxx and laying a mattress for her. So Lightfoot is doing the right thing in asking for the numbers. both sides can make claims, but data points matter. Lightfoot seems to think she can call Preckwinkle’s bluff. oddly, what Lightfoot says is backed up by the Second City Cop types.


  28. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    Nah, this is about Preckwinkle wanting to fire Eddie Johnson. The letter is clearly an attack on Johnson. The thing is Preckwinkle is not the mayor.


  29. - Shall not be infringed - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    >>>>oddly, what Lightfoot says is backed up by the Second City Cop types.

    They can’t be spot-on once in a while?

    The police see it all from a certain jaded, contract-expired-2years, days-off-cancelled-whenever-there’s-a-new-urgency perspective.


  30. - Amalia - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    all will be revealed by the numbers. whether or not the cops or Lori or Toni are right, the numbers are the numbers. and the numbers should give some policy thoughts. meanwhile shootings are happening over and over


  31. - revvedup - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    The harsh reality is that neither Toni nor Lori, nor the CPD can stop the shootings by themselves. Blaming cops for the decisions of liberal judges and prosecutors (who Toni and Lori have zero control over) refusing to prosecute or keep violent offenders behind bars until trial, only to rearrest the same offenders for new crimes renders law enforcement impotent. T & L are hunting for scapegoats in desperate attempts to look like they’re doing something, while refusing to admit their policies have failed or are failing.


  32. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 4:36 pm:

    Is it time to look past the War on Crime…and re-focus on the actual cause(s) of crime?

    What are the causes of crime …is a good question?


  33. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Jul 22, 19 @ 9:30 am:

    ==Blaming cops for the decisions of liberal judges and prosecutors (who Toni and Lori have zero control over) refusing to prosecute or keep violent offenders behind bars until trial, only to rearrest the same offenders for new crimes renders law enforcement impotent.==

    When the FOP backs police that write false police reports they tell all future juries that police reports can’t be trusted. So don’t blame “liberal judges and prosecutors”. Blame the FOP for corrupting the process.


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