Fault Lines
20 April 2017

Are Chicago Police Too Politically Correct?

January 27, 2016 (Fault Lines) — Here’s a good rule of internet article titles. If there’s a question mark, the answer is no. Why am I pretty sure that Chicago police aren’t too politically correct? Well, the DOJ has some hints:

In one suit, the victim asked the officers why he was under arrest to which they responded, “We got something for big mouthy niggers like you” before beating him. In 2013, a CPD officer arrested a Chinese-American citizen working at a massage parlor and used excessive force. A video of the incident captured an officer screaming, “I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the fuck you came from,” and another officer hitting her in the head while she was on her knees.

Or take this sustained complaint:

The third sustained complaint was sustained because the victim’s husband was a police officer in a neighboring municipality who took extraordinary measures to document the incident. In that case, the officer was suspended for 15 days for the incident, which involved an altercation with the victim at a dog park that involved the officer telling her: “Fuck you, you fucking nigger, you should keep your big mouth shut.” When the woman’s husband told the officer that the officer should not speak that way to the woman, the officer responded: “Why? Because she’s pregnant? I don’t care if she’s pregnant. I’ll beat her fuckin’ ass too.”

Or, if individual anecdotes aren’t enough, how about this admission?

Black youth told us that they are routinely called “nigger,” “animal,” or “pieces of shit” by CPD officers. A 19-year old black male reported that CPD officers called him a “monkey.” Such statements were confirmed by CPD officers.

So let’s be clear. The problem with Chicago police is probably not that they keep their pinky fingers out when shooting civilians. It is probably not their refined diction. It is more likely that the problem is that they are not accountable to the communities they police.

The president thinks otherwise:

This year, which has just started, is worse than last year, which was a catastrophe. They’re not doing the job. Now if they want help, I would love to help them. I will send in what we have to send in. Maybe they’re not gonna have to be so politically correct. Maybe they’re being overly political correct. 

The solution, then, would be to use more force, in more places, at more times. To send in federal forces. But as any war historian can tell you, it is difficult to be an occupying force in a hostile environment. Unfortunately, if Mr. Trump thinks that is necessary in Chicago, there’s a lot of other places that need the full 3rd Amendment treatment as well. See, Chicago doesn’t even crack the top ten for most violent crimes per capita.

You won’t just need occupying federal forces in Chicago being politically incorrect. You’ll need them in St. Louis, Detroit, Birmingham, and Memphis. And it would have to be above and beyond the ATF, DEA and FBI agents that already regularly work with local law enforcement.

Even Heather MacDonald, the nation’s #1 advocate for the idea that unfair criticism of law enforcement makes them less effective, seems to think that further intervention would be a “terrible idea.” National Guardsmen may have some idea what to do in a war zone, but we rebelled as a nation some time ago against the idea of military police guarding our streets.

If liberals have decided to make themselves opposed to this sort of thing, then it might be time to start recognizing some portions of the constitution that have been neglected as outdated. Federalism isn’t just an arbitrary roadblock to requiring all states to have transgendered bathrooms—it also provides an important check to the federal government’s power when it wants to interfere with local affairs. If you don’t like tying federal funding to rounding up immigrants, you probably also shouldn’t like forcing states to pass minimum drinking ages and DUI laws.

I wish I could say that this was an unprecedented intrusion. But the fact of the matter is that all these same sorts of ideas have been flying under the radar of the public for years. Killing American citizens without due process? All fine, as long as we like the guy doing it. Federally seeking the death penalty in a state that has roundly rejected it? No problem, if we’re mad enough. All these shoulder shrugs over the past eight years have taken a toll. When something really is wrong, it’s hard to take the complaint seriously.

If I may, let me be politically incorrect for a moment. It is delusional to assign the government authority as though someone malicious or incompetent won’t some day be in power. And when that day does come, those who stayed silent when a leader they liked claimed power will be branded as hypocrites when someone a little less amicable is sitting on the throne.

To everyone who is feeling outrage at the moment, please try, just a little, to hold onto it when the government overreaches in your favor. Remember, the Constitution is just a scrap of paper. Liberty lives in our expectations, and our actions when those expectation are not met.

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  • Timothy Knox
    27 January 2017 at 4:26 pm - Reply