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FOP lashes out at politicians, but won’t say who they are

Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Fox Illinois

Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge President Chris Southwood issued the following statement regarding the police beating death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.

    Tyre Nichols died at the hands of bad police officers. All good law enforcement officers are outraged and sickened by his brutal and senseless slaughter. But there are some politicians in Illinois who are using Nichols’ horrific death as another opportunity to bash all police officers, painting the thousands of good cops with the same brush as the five Memphis officers who murdered him. Would those same politicians sit by silently if they were accused of being felons simply because several of their fellow office-holders have been sent to prison?”

    Those politicians need to realize that the so-called police reform laws they passed in Illinois have driven many good potential and serving officers away from the law enforcement profession. Many departments in this state have had to lower their hiring standards since those laws were passed just to get enough officers on the street. No one wants to be a cop in a state that treats police like villains, and lower standards in one of the nation’s most stressful occupations is a certain recipe for disaster.

    Good cops hate bad cops. Don’t lump the good in with the bad. And don’t think that bad laws will produce good results.

I also received that statement from the group’s spokesperson.

Since the statement refers to the “so-called police reform laws they passed,” I figured the claim that the same politicians who were using the death to “bash all police officers” were state legislators. So, I reached out to the FOP and asked what specific politicians had made such statement.

No response.

So, I tried again.

No response.

* We already talked about the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ statement

“The release of police body camera footage makes clear what we already knew: the murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was brutal and unjustified. Our deepest condolences are with his family and all those who knew and loved him. The police officers who beat this young man to death have no place in law enforcement, and were rightly dismissed. Still, this is not enough. These officers callously and viciously killed another human being, and Mr. Nichols’ family deserves justice. We know very clearly this is about more than a few bad apples.

“For the people who are angry, for the people who are sick of living in fear, we will always stand with you in the fight for justice. We are proud of the steps we have taken in Illinois, including restrictions on dangerous policing methods and closing prosecution loopholes in officer-involved killings, but we know there is still much more work to do.”

I guess maybe speaking to angry people and those living in fear could be twisted somehow into what the FOP was saying, but that seems like a real stretch.

* The Illinois House Progressive Caucus released a statement today…

The Illinois House Progressive Caucus today released the following statement on the death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, TN:

“As we begin Black History Month and Tyre Nichols is laid to rest today, the Illinois House Progressive Caucus today stands with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in response to his senseless death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, TN.

We strongly condemn the outrageous actions of these now-former officers and call for accountability and justice for Mr. Nichols and his family. We have taken important steps in Illinois to ensure the law is enforced equally and fairly. But this case is clear evidence our work is only beginning.

We share these powerful words from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus as we seek healing, accountability, and a recognition that we all are human beings who deserve much better.

‘The release of police body camera footage makes clear what we already knew: the murder of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was brutal and unjustified. Our deepest condolences are with his family and all those who knew and loved him. The police officers who beat this young man to death have no place in law enforcement, and were rightly dismissed. Still, this is not enough. These officers callously and viciously killed another human being, and Mr. Nichols’ family deserves justice. We know very clearly this is about more than a few bad apples.

‘For the people who are angry, for the people who are sick of living in fear, we will always stand with you in the fight for justice. We are proud of the steps we have taken in Illinois, including restrictions on dangerous policing methods and closing prosecution loopholes in officer-involved killings, but we know there is still much more work to do.’”

So, I’m still waiting. Have any of y’all seen anything?

       

39 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    “Would those same politicians sit by silently if they were accused of being felons simply because several of their fellow office-holders have been sent to prison?”

    That’s what politicians deal with every day, and most of them do it so silently this guy doesn’t even know it’s happening to them.

    But as the saying goes, only a hit dog will holler.


  2. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==Good cops hate bad cops.==

    I’m going to need at least one work cited here.


  3. - vern - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    Even the national FOP put out a straightforward condemnation on this one: https://fop.net/2023/01/fop-national-president-infuriated-by-description-of-assault-by-memphis-officers/

    Illinois cops need to come out of their defensive crouch and sit down at the table. If they want lawmakers to treat them like good-faith actors, they should act in good faith. It doesn’t have to be zero sum. There are a whole range of police reforms that will be good for police officers. But as long as the FOP refuses to engage productively, they won’t accomplish anything for their constituency.


  4. - Betty Draper’s cigarette - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    === No one wants to be a cop in a state that treats police like villains===
    There’s a state that does this? Which state?


  5. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:21 pm:

    were there any elected officials at the march in the Loop re the murder? because there were several signs in the crowd that said abolish police. I get that there is anger about what happened in Memphis, and any case of police brutality, but going overboard to abolish police or defund police is not helping the dialogue.


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===were there any elected officials at===

    No idea, but since the FOP sent me the statement, I figured they’d have some sort of evidence. Instead, cold silence.

    If you’re gonna send a statement, be prepared for at least one follow-up question.


  7. - Yiddishcowboy - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    You’re not helping your cause or your members, Mr. Southwood, with that type of press release (and the statements therein). Seems to me it does nothing but foment additional, unnecessary anger. Do better


  8. - Pundent - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:29 pm:

    So is the FOP claiming to somehow being a victim here? Because it sure sounds like it.

    The death of Tyre Nichols only underscores the need for police reform (so called or not). The FOP’s response is tone deaf and reeks of indignation. Read the room guys.


  9. - DHS Drone - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    Good cops may hate bad cops but, time and again, they’ve shown their perfectly willing to sign false statements on bad cops’ behalf.


  10. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    they should bring the evidence. think they are referring to local candidates. there are people running for some local police board in Chicago and it is getting heated.


  11. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    - another opportunity to bash all police officers -

    Maybe if you guys took a break from crying you could do something about your abysmal record of actually solving crimes.


  12. - Yiddishcowboy - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    @Amalia: I agree. Overboard indeed re the signs and what the signs represent.

    I just don’t understand the desire to defund or abolish the police. There are plenty of good cops out there, officers that I’d gladly welcome showing up at my house to protect my family and me. No police officers to serve and protect others would be a huge mistake with an even worse outcome: Lawlessness running amuck.


  13. - Corn-fused - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:41 pm:

    ===There’s a state that does this? Which state?===

    Ask Kim Potter…


  14. - Corn-fused - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===Maybe if you guys took a break from crying you could do something about your abysmal record of actually solving crimes.===

    What crimes specifically? What Department(s)? and what percentage are you saying is “abysmal?”


  15. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    I think the defund people are usually not wanting to totally defund, just shrink the budget enough to allow for social workers and other specialists to actually help people before we wind up with bloody confrontations. (”… people don’t you understand, the child needs a helping had.. or he’ll grow up to be an angry young man some day…”)
    If you look at Chicago’s police budget it’s huge for the paltry solve rate it has. And the fact that the rules of the road have become suggestions due to no enforcement, not saying that’s the wrong call, but if that’s the solution, then we don’t need to spend as much on patrols.

    Adding police is not the answer if the crime rate doesn’t go down and the solve rate doesn’t go up as a result of said hiring. (and checking rates in different cities should give a good indication of that).


  16. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:47 pm:

    –No police officers to serve and protect others would be a huge mistake–

    That’s what we have now. If you think otherwise, you should read the Supreme Courts own words on the matter in DeShaney vs. Winnebago, or Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales

    The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the government has only a duty to protect persons who are in custody.

    To ’serve and protect’ is a meaningless slogan, not a mode of operation for police.


  17. - Corn-fused - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===That’s what we have now. If you think otherwise, you should read the Supreme Courts own words on the matter in DeShaney vs. Winnebago, or Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales===

    Don’t confuse what is a legally mandated duty (only) with what many officers still consider a moral duty (to serve and protect).


  18. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    Wait for it… Sheriff Mendrick may want to make a statement…


  19. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:00 pm:

    –what many officers still consider a moral duty–

    I’m not confusing it at all. The fact that these cases exist at all and multiple ones have made it all the way to the highest court, shows quite clearly the slogan is more important than the action. These cases happen when the expectation of the public runs up against the way the departments are run in reality.

    Do you need to rewatch the Uvalde videos again?

    I will give you credit for using ‘many’ instead of ‘most’. You’re getting there, if slowly.


  20. - Lake villa township dem pc - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:02 pm:

    Law enforcement officers swear an oath to uphold the constitution, thus qualified immunity should be done away with with the caveat that it should be acknowledged that police officers make split second decisions that can be perceived at the time as life or death. LEOs should be better trained in hand to hand combat and martial arts which I’m my opinion would help with deescalation.


  21. - A Guy in Illinois - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:08 pm:

    Just wondering, but do “the good cops who hate bad cops” end up reporting the bad cops so that they can be taken off the street before they can cause harm to their community?


  22. - Jerry - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:14 pm:

    “Defund the police” is a boiler plate Republican talking point. Why do they want to do this? Why do they hate the police?


  23. - Jocko - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:22 pm:

    ==Good cops hate bad cops==

    No offense to Chris Southwood, but you are doing a terrible job calling out your own BEFORE the fact.


  24. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:39 pm:

    “All good law enforcement officers are outraged and sickened”

    Thought & Prayers Mark II

    – MrJM


  25. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    The FOP press release appears to me to be more an expression of frustration than an expression of a positive position. Seems the FOP and Police groups in general are less effective in the General Assembly than they were in the past.
    I remember when they would not support some candidate and be effective. Other than local police officers working against the state rep from the Riverside area (who lost after supporting consolidation of Police pension funds, which FOP ended up supporting) I just am not sure where they have made a difference in a General Assembly race.
    Absolutely agree 100% that good cops really do completely hate bad cops.


  26. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    In many ways the response to the death of Tyre Nichols shows progress. Officers were charged with murder. Body cam and surveillance footage was released. The unit responsible was disbanded. The sad reality is that this country is huge, bad people exist, and bad things happen.


  27. - Occasionally Moderated - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 2:41 pm:

    Yuck. Whiney statement. My advice as an active FOP member: Condemn the actions of the Memphis officers and move on. Maybe make some noise about what we have done and WILL do to insure this doesn’t happen (again) here.


  28. - Occasionally Moderated - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 2:44 pm:

    And to Rich: Thanks for giving my friend Chris a chance (or two) to clean this up even though he was too dense to take you up on it.


  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===a chance (or two) to clean this up===

    I was legitimately curious. Also a bit concerned that I apparently missed something. By the second request, I was growing a bit peeved at the silence. lol

    Seriously, don’t send me a press release if you won’t answer further questions.


  30. - TR - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    Remember, union leaders run for election, too. And the leadership of police unions have found that one of the best ways to throw red meat to their members (which helps crank up the vote at union election time) is to complain bitterly about the media and politicians not being supportive of police. It feeds the siege mentality many police officers share. Never mind that it helps kill their influence the Dem-controlled legislature…the union boss gets elected and scores a lot of social media likes.


  31. - New Day - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 3:51 pm:

    “Tyre Nichols died at the hands of bad police officers.”

    That statement right there is something that the Chicago FOP has never been capable of which is why they are part of the problem, not the solution.


  32. - Huh? - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 3:54 pm:

    “Would those same politicians sit by silently if they were accused of being felons simply because several of their fellow office-holders have been sent to prison?”

    One of the prevailing messages during campaigns is that a candidate wants to “clean up the corruption in [location]”. There is and has been a broad brush that the incumbent officials are corrupt and use their offices for illegal purposes.

    That being said, more than a few Illinois politicians have landed in jail and/or are under indictment.

    And the incumbents are silently enduring the attacks.


  33. - Stormsw7706 - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    FOP has never met a bad cop. Ever.


  34. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 5:01 pm:

    Chris Southwood

    Remember, he went on Jim Leach’s WMAY show and said the shooting of Laquan McDonald by Jason Van Dyke was legal.


  35. - Payback - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 5:18 pm:

    “Good cops hate bad cops. Don’t lump the good in with the bad.” Really? Then how did CPD detective Jon Burge and the midnight crew operate for 20 years? It probably helped that Richie Daley was Cook county State’s Attorney for part of that time.

    “Don’t confuse what is a legally mandated duty…” You can’t sue the police for never showing up.

    “…what many officers still consider a moral duty (to serve and protect).” Where did you learn your moral values, watching “Dragnet” while mom was at work? Grow up.


  36. - Give us Barabbas - Wednesday, Feb 1, 23 @ 6:48 pm:

    ==the so-called police reform laws they passed in Illinois have driven many good potential and serving officers away from the law enforcement profession. Many departments in this state have had to lower their hiring standards since those laws were passed just to get enough officers on the street.==

    I’m still trying to parse the statement that the new requirements are so stringent and discouraging, that the cops could not meet them quit, so the departments are hiring people that prima facie don’t meet those qualifications, …using the very same qualifications.

    So exactly what -kind- of candidates -are- they hiring?

    I suspect Memphis has some idea now. You pay peanuts, you’re going to get squirrels. You lower standards, you get what we’ve seen. Pay what the job is worth, bring a higher standard to the hiring. Don’t re-hire the troubled ones from some other department. Require thoughtful officers that have a decent education, not just a fast draw on a weapon they statistically never pull in anger, their entire active careers.

    Hire. Better. Cops.


  37. - Corn-fused - Thursday, Feb 2, 23 @ 11:24 am:

    ===…what many officers still consider a moral duty (to serve and protect).” Where did you learn your moral values, watching “Dragnet” while mom was at work? Grow up.===

    Is that what your vast knowledge of law enforcement procedures would lead you to believe? How much direct knowledge do you have concerning what Officers’ motivations are?

    And while we’re at it, how about losing your preconceived notions about how I obtained my moral values? You be you, but just because my morals may seem foreign to you doesn’t mean they are wrong.


  38. - Betty Draper’s cigarette - Thursday, Feb 2, 23 @ 1:55 pm:

    === Ask Kim Potter===

    “Good cops hate bad cops.”
    Is Ms. Potter a good cop or a bad cop?
    She did kill someone.


  39. - Corn-fused - Thursday, Feb 2, 23 @ 7:06 pm:

    ===Is Ms. Potter a good cop or a bad cop?
    She did kill someone.===

    Do you think she intended to kill the person? Is she a ‘Villian’ in your eyes because she committed a fatal error? Do you not see a distinction between that incident and the one in Memphis, or are they the same to you?


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