Criminal Justice

Want to Get Away With Murder in Chicago?

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Join the Chicago Police Department.

An eight-month Chicago Tribune investigation of 200+ police shootings going back 10 years found that within hours of a police shooting, the police department convenes hastily-assembled, wagon-circling "roundtables" of law enforcement officials where police and witnesses are questioned but not sworn or recorded, where the officers involved are allowed to confer to get their stories straight before being questioned, and where the inevitable conclusion is always that the shooting was justified. From there, broader, show-investigations begin. Key witnesses go uninterviewed. Forensic evidence is ignored. And the shooting officer is inevitably exonerated.

The Tribune found that even when information is later made public that contradicts the findings of internal investigations, the police refuse to reopen a case.

Wrongful death lawsuits often prompt the only full accounting of shootings and the internal investigations that follow.

In a recent suit filed by Ware's family, a veteran detective who has been the lead investigator in numerous police shootings testified that she handles too many cases to go back and re-interview officers and reconsider roundtable rulings when autopsies and other test results shed new light.

"Once a case is closed, it's closed," said Sylvia VanWitzenburg.

"Your testimony is, once you close out a [police shooting] case, no matter what new information comes in, you're not going to go back and review it?" asked the attorney representing Ware's family.

"Correct," she replied.

The paper also found that even on those rare occasions when investigators find a shooting to be unjustified, the officer in question isn't disciplined.

Officer David Rodriguez asserted that he shot Herbert McCarter in the abdomen in a struggle over the officer's gun in December 1999. But Smith concluded Rodriguez lied and recommended his firing, according to Smith and a lawsuit filed by McCarter.

Key to that recommendation: medical records showing that McCarter actually had been shot in the back, and gunshot residue tests on his clothes indicating he had not been shot at close range.

Rodriguez, who declined to comment, remains a police officer. According to McCarter's lawsuit, no disciplinary action was taken despite the OPS chief investigator's conclusion.

McCarter, however, was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer. He was found guilty and sentenced to 5 years in prison.

In his 2006 lawsuit, McCarter alleged that city officials hid the OPS conclusions and recommendation from his lawyer in his criminal trial. The city settled McCarter's lawsuit for $90,000 this year.

The same officer was later sued in another questionable shooting. That suit resulted in a $4 million settlement from the city.

Finally, the paper found that this incredible deference to police officers extends also to officers who shoot people while off-duty. Cops who've shot people after drinking at bars, in road rage incidents, and during domestic disputes are given the same administrative privileges (privileges not given to you or I) as cops who shoot someone while on duty.

Via Rogier van Bakel.

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  1. Interesting film on the subject : “Dark Blue”.

    I highly recommend it, though in minor detail it was about LAPD instead of Chicago PD.

  2. I think that scariest part of this post is that none of it is at all surprising. Although I’m sure there are some cops sites out there discussing the report in way that I’d find scarier still.

  3. Radley, do you really need to post this during lunch? I think I’m going to have to throw mine back up, thanks.

  4. then again, i don’t know if it’s because of the story or because I had a boxed pot pie from a couple of weeks ago (i would think that it was still good?)

  5. Anyhoo…strike “Chicago” from the title and insert “just about anywhere”…

  6. Can’t wait for the Heather MacDonald take on this

  7. I have more the opposite reaction. Like David said, this should surprise no one. What is surprising is seeing it headline on the Trib.

    Have to wait to see if anybody cares three months from now. Isolated incidents scattered over ten years and all.

  8. Check out Thomas Sowell’s column today where he takes to task those who complain about cops firing off 50 or 60 shots at a “criminal.” Basically, you should shut up because you don’t know how inaccurate a pistol is. He cites a study that “even within a range of 6 feet or less, the police miss more often than they hit – 57 percent of the shots at that distance miss…” Now, sure, we get a jaundiced view watching the accuracy of pistol shots on tv shows, but 57% miss??? So, not only do cops end up justifying shootings, they seem to be able to justify spraying a neighborhood with dozens of shots in order to stop one person who was waving a menacing cell phone. And I’m shocked, shocked to learn that there was no way Roy Rogers could consistently shoot a gun out of the outlaw’s hand.

  9. Great. Now Reason and the Trib are collaborating with Al Sharpton to keep the 2016 Olympics out of Chicago.

  10. This sounds about the same for Orlando, where State Attorney Lawson Lamar (no connection) recently cleared out his backlog of deadly force cases in record time. It’s almost like they didn’t even look at them.

  11. …a veteran detective who has been the lead investigator in numerous police shootings testified that she handles too many cases to go back and re-interview officers and reconsider roundtable rulings when autopsies and other test results shed new light.

    Is she investigating cop shootings full time? Because that might be kind of a tell that there’s a problem…

  12. “Check out Thomas Sowell’s column today where he takes to task those who complain about cops firing off 50 or 60 shots at a “criminal.” Basically, you should shut up because you don’t know how inaccurate a pistol is. He cites a study that “even within a range of 6 feet or less, the police miss more often than they hit – 57 percent of the shots at that distance miss…” Now, sure, we get a jaundiced view watching the accuracy of pistol shots on tv shows, but 57% miss???”

    I’m in a position to confirm that yes, this is the case. No, it is not the inaccuracy of a handgun. The follow up should be an analysis of the average amount of rounds officers fire per year while in anything like a fighting situation. With a few exceptions (US Marshals, Air Marshals, hostage types), cops can’t shoot period.

  13. The “Thin Blue Lie” is as alive as it ever was!

    Ride it like you stole it

  14. With a few exceptions (US Marshals, Air Marshals, hostage types), cops can’t shoot period.

    Someone’s going to trot out “training” here, but it’s not that. Unlike specialists, regular cops shoot when they’re enraged, not when someone needs to get shot. Fury doesn’t improve accuracy.

  15. “Someone’s going to trot out “training” here, but it’s not that. Unlike specialists, regular cops shoot when they’re enraged, not when someone needs to get shot. Fury doesn’t improve accuracy.”

    I’ll one up you here. It is all training, including the fury part. As Malcolm Gladwell points out in “Blink”, when your heart rate exceeds some critical level, you revert to monkey brain. Appropriate training involves live firearms under stress such that cops can perform confrontational and aggressive acts with a lower heart rate on average. Accuracy of weapons would improve by way of repetition and firing under realtively realistic scenarios (i.e. you need to find cover, consider non threats, worry about shoot-through, and the like), and officer decision making improves because they aren’t using monkey brains.

  16. I am almost out of outrage. That the Domestic Occupation police force does this crap, doesn’t even surprise me anymore.

    Oh look, a “brother in blue” shot someone. Let’s all meet, get our stories straight, intimidate and cajole any criminal scum civilian witnesses. Then we’ll begin the foregone conclusion impartial investigation.

    Fuck!

  17. He cites a study that “even within a range of 6 feet or less, the police miss more often than they hit – 57 percent of the shots at that distance miss…”

    Well, that’s not shocking. < 6 feet is well under the minimum safe distance of engagement with a firearm. Half of the time they miss at less than six feet because by the time they draw aim and fire they getting punched in the face by the suspect.

  18. Hey, we have to let the cops have a lot of leeway in their shootings. Otherwise they might, you know, get overly reluctant to use their guns or something.

  19. Didn’t the Sun-Times learn anything about talking about the Chicago cops? I believe a review of this documentry is in order, unless the writer really wants to take a “vacation” to the Rockies.

    Side note, was watching Thomas Brokaw’s “1968” last night. Was quite proud of the CPD and their handling of a bunch of insurgents during the convention. Sometimes the cops do “tune-up” the right people for the right reasons. Unfortunatly, these days, it does not seem to happen too often.

  20. Ooops, the Tribune should learn from the Sun-Times in my previous post.

  21. I’d kindly suggest the writer of this piece to -not- go to Chicago anytime soon and if that cannot be avoided, to absolutely not engage in any kind of interaction with a law enforcement official.

    I heard that the police look after their own, but the Chicago police are taking that expression to a whole new level.

  22. Great. Now Reason and the Trib are collaborating with Al Sharpton to keep the 2016 Olympics out of Chicago.

    Good, I don’t want to pay for that fucking boondoggle.

    I love this city, but the corruption from the lowliest cop all the way up to the mayor is so breathtaking that it often feels like we are living in a bad movie. It’s a small consolation that we have writer’s like John Kass at the Tribune who actually take these guys to task, publicly, for what every knows they are doing but no talks about.

  23. It’s either sad or funny that when I saw that headline in my live bookmark, the first think I thought to myself was “become a cop”.

    Seitz – Chicago (LP) resident since 2001.

  24. “He cites a study that “even within a range of 6 feet or less, the police miss more often than they hit – 57 percent of the shots at that distance miss…”

    That is not surprising at all. People watch too many movies. It is really hard to hit someone even under the best of condition letalone under the stress of firing for you life. The fact is that cops are more likly to shoot an innocent person or each other than they are to hit a suspect. That is why they should be damn hesitant to draw their weapons. The same goes for the bad guy. If a trained cop is unlikly to get a hit, what chance does your typical hood rat with no training have? Moreover, if the hood rat gets off a lucky shot and hits the cop, there is nothing the cop can do about it. The lessons cops should learn from those statistics is not to fire until you absolutely half to instead of just capping off rounds every time you feel threatened.

  25. Y’know, the military trains people to fire weapons in all sorts of screwed up situations and conditions, so getting a police force some realistic training doesn’t strike me as an impossible challenge.

    We have laws against discharging firearms in urban areas because it’s really dangerous, so maybe we should hold the police to a higher standard. If I get hit with a stray round I’m not going to feel any better about it because it was fired by a LEO with crappy aim.

  26. Y’know, the military trains people to fire weapons in all sorts of screwed up situations and conditions, so getting a police force some realistic training doesn’t strike me as an impossible challenge.

    Yea, and when I had to give up my 1911 for a .38 revolver I thought my new assignment was the pistol range for life. Always fired expert with the 1911 and would have been more accurate throwing the .38 (most people have the opposite experience).

    And don’t even get me going on those cute little Baretta 9mms. The Buck knife in my pocket was a better defensive weapon for me than those things were.

  27. It is really hard to hit someone even under the best of condition letalone under the stress of firing for you life.

    Sure, but six feet? Hell, you can reach halfway to them at that range, so the actual range is probably more like four feet.

    Put you back to a wall. Take two strides. Turn around. That’s a six foot range.

    I’m a pretty mediocre shot with a pistol, but my Gawd that’s some shoddy shooting.

  28. Y’know, the military trains people to fire weapons in all sorts of screwed up situations and conditions,

    Pat Tillman and his colleagues would like a word with you.

    Seriously, we already have a problem with the militarization of police departments. What the military standard is and should be for lethal force is far different than the police standard. As an aside, this dicotomy is, I think, one of the biggest obstacles to success in Iraq.

  29. Join the new copwatch cause if you are on facebook


    here

  30. Basically, you should shut up because you don’t know how inaccurate a pistol is.

    Out at my gun club we hold IHMSA matches. (International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association) We shoot handguns from a standing, unsupported position at steel animal silhouettes. The ram target, about 10X12 inches, is set at a hundred meters. Missing 57% of the time isn’t going to win a medal even in the lowest category.

    Handguns are not inaccurate. Any handgun carried by a LEO, certainly in a big department, can consistently hit a man-size target at a hundred meters, from a rest.

    It’s the shooter.

    He cites a study that “even within a range of 6 feet or less, the police miss more often than they hit – 57 percent of the shots at that distance miss…” Now, sure, we get a jaundiced view watching the accuracy of pistol shots on tv shows, but 57% miss???

    In the Texas concealed handgun license practical we shoot from 9, 21, and 45 feet, and students must score 70% or better to pass. Instructors must score 90%. Note that this is a point score, with a five point, four point, and three point rings on the target, not just hit the silhouette with 35 out of 50 shots.

    Of course, we aren’t in crisis situations. But I would expect my poorest student to be able to consistently hit at six feet.

    It is really hard to hit someone even under the best of condition letalone under the stress of firing for you life.

    Not so. With proper training and practice almost anyone can learn to shoot and hit even under threat. “Proper training and practice” is not, however, annual requalification.

  31. Economists are rapidly turning into the same annoying asshats journalists and lawyers have been for years. “My huge economic brain allows me to understand the nuances of any subject in less than 30 minutes!” Not so much, Tom. Stick with the econ, thanks.

    Cops are, in general, notroiously bad shots and the amount of “training” they undergo is laughable. I train more on my own dime than any 6 average cops. I won’t have the institutional advantages, up to and including perjury from fellow officers, that cops have if I ever have to use any of my weapons, so I’d damn sure better not miss 60% of the time from 6 feet. Cops start spraying bullets like they’re using suppressive fire instead of aimed fire. I do that and I’m going to have huge problems, no matter how justified I was.

    Is anybody surprised? The whole argument that it’s only the few bad apples is more and more suspect when it comes to cops. Power corrupts.

    To summarize: NWA is still right.

  32. “It is really hard to hit someone even under the best of condition letalone under the stress of firing for you life.

    Not so. With proper training and practice almost anyone can learn to shoot and hit even under threat. “Proper training and practice” is not, however, annual requalification.”

    Standing on a range and shooting at paper cutouts is a lot different than shooting when you are actually being shot at. On the range you methodically go take out each target. You are right, with practice, it is not that hard. When those targets are moving and shooting at you or you think they are shooting at you, it is a different story. It is indescribable the adreniline that goes through you when you are actually shot at. Yeah, you can shoot and training is absolutely necessary, but if you think your scores on the range translate to how you will shoot when the time comes to do it in real life, you are either the biggest balls on earth or you are kidding yourself.

  33. John,

    You will descend to the lowest level of your training. If all the training consists of is showing up twice a year to put 20 rounds in a paper target, yeah, you’re pretty much screwed in a gun fight. This describes most cops. The people that shoot literally thousands of rounds a year in practice are going to be a little better prepared. Making excuses for the piss-poor job cops do of weapon handling in general and shooting in particular is not going to address the root cause of the problem, which is inadequate training. Fundamentally, it far less important for your average cop to be an expert pistolero than it is for him to be honest and competent in all other areas of police work. Budgets for officer training reflect this, and unless we’re all willing to pay a lot more for police services, that’s just the way it’s going to be.

    However, the price we pay for that is incompetence from the cops on those (hopefully rare) occasions when it actually becomes necessary to use the weapons they are entrusted with.

    What we all have a right to expect, however, is a higher standard of ethical behavior from the police when they kill (or try to kill) someone. Personally, given the facts of this case, I’d advocate against increased training for the Chicago PD. It gives the innocent a better chance of surviving the encounter.

  34. Once again I’ll ask, where are all the so-called good cops that I’m constantly assured make up the majority of police? How could this kind of thing go on if even a small majority of cops were good, let alone the “large majority” I hear talked about?

    It seems sadly appropriate this time of year to observe that the “good” cop is looking a lot like Santa Claus. He’s someone we’ve been brought up to believe exists to make us feel happy and secure, but ends up leaving us feeling disappointed and deceived when the mounting evidence of his nonexistence leads us to start asking questions that cannot be answered.

  35. T,

    You do go to your lowest level of training and that level is pretty low for anyone short of maybe SF guys who train all the time. Cops, since they have other duties as you note, will never get to the SF level. The answer is to make sure they draw their weapons as little as possible. A trigger happy cop is a real menace.

  36. John,

    Part of my point is that there’s a vast middle ground between say, Delta Force or a SEAL team and the qualify semiannually average cop. The cops need to up their level of training. The knowledge of what to do in stress situations and how to train for them is fairly well disseminated at this point, and any number of companies are available to help tailor training programs. A miss rate of 60% is acceptable for an infantry squad laying down covering fire. At 6 feet with a pistol, it’s inexcusable.

  37. T,

    Perhaps they need more expensive pistols to improve accuracy? Along with tagents in the powder and RF badge ring thingies to prevent the gun from being used by someone else. and laser sights, heat sensors and . . .

    Perhaps federal study is in order?

  38. There’s a factor here nobody has mentioned. Cops are zealously unionized. It’s probably cheaper for Chicago to pay out settlements to victims than it would be for them to litigate disciplinary hearings, administrative appeals, and wrongful-termination lawsuits for each bad-apple cop that does something vile/stupid.

  39. Depressing as that may be, ChrisO, you’re probably right.

    Guy,
    I agree. A federal study is needed to determine if more expensive pistols can help improve accuracy. I’ll write up a grant proposal and get on that. Shopping for lab equipment is gonna be fun if it gets approved.

  40. Unlike a lot of people here, I have nothing against the police. I’ve never had a “bad” experience with a LEO in my life, but I’m a fat, middle-aged white guy, and I’ve heard that helps.
    Nevertheless, if they’re going to carry a firearm, and be expected to use it, then they should be trained to use it properly in conditions exactly like what they might encounter in the really real world. Anything less would just be…criminal.

    Oh, I never suggested additional militarization of the police (Hell, I think they need to go back to wearing dress pants and shiny shoes), I was merely pointing out that if your typical 18-year-old Infantry soldier is expected to hit the enemy at 200 yards while being shot at, artillery shells are going off, his best friend is screaming and holding his intestines in his hands, and he hasn’t eaten or slept in 2 days, then dismissing a police force’s inability to hit a target because “getting shot at is really really scary” doesn’t hold up. They need to be able to hit what they aim at under realistic conditions, or they need to find another job.

  41. Radley? Isn’t this stuff supposed to be unconstitutional?

    I’m only asking because of the reference to constitutionality and roadblocks that recently appeared at your blog. I mean, they could never happen because the Supreme Court said it’s unconstitutional.

    Where’s your faith, mate?

  42. “I’ve never had a ‘bad’ experience with a LEO in my life, but I’m a fat, middle-aged white guy, and I’ve heard that helps.”

    Here’s an idea, “Johny Clarke”: let your hair grow out an go riding on a Harley. Just ride around. Sooner or later, you’ll find yourself in “the wrong neighborhood”, and watch what happens.

    Ask me how I know this.

  43. I was merely pointing out that if your typical 18-year-old Infantry soldier is expected to hit the enemy at 200 yards while being shot at, artillery shells are going off, his best friend is screaming and holding his intestines in his hands, and he hasn’t eaten or slept in 2 days

    I was just pointing out that you have an unrealistic view of the actual capabilities of the typical american soldier, especially 18yr old green ones. They are the best in the world, but nowhere near their hollywood depictions. In today’s military, a typical servicemember is generally considered a load, rather than an asset, for no less than one year of actual real-world experience. And this is after whatever training pipeline they go through. He (or she) generally becomes a a productive member of the team only at the 3-4 year point, which is normally signaled by tasking them to teach the FNG vice just doing stuff themselves.

    As another data point, while good hard data has been extremely difficult to obtain, it seems that as an order of magnitude about 200,000 bullets per day were being fired in Iraq in 2004. So, the soldiers ain’t hittin’ much either. ( although to be fair, the main objective of machine gun fire isn’t to hit the enemy, its to force the enemy to keep his head down so he can’t aim and shoot at you)

  44. As another data point, while good hard data has been extremely difficult to obtain, it seems that as an order of magnitude about 200,000 bullets per day were being fired in Iraq in 2004.

    Call The Lancet! 200,000 Iraqis were killed in 2004. What do you mean that there might e a flaw in my methodology?

  45. The inaccuracy even at close range is not surprising. In a life or death situation you’ll have so much adrenalin pumped into your bloodstream your whole body will be shaking. You won’t be able to aim worth damn even if your life depends on it.

    I’m a rather good shot with a pistol, but if I’m faced with a thug attacking me, I’m going to unload the entire magazine and hope one shot hits the bad guy.

    I’m in no way excusing the police for the cover ups. Some serious law enforcement house cleaning is long overdue.

  46. As another data point, while good hard data has been extremely difficult to obtain, it seems that as an order of magnitude about 200,000 bullets per day were being fired in Iraq in 2004.

    I’d say that we used a large percentage of those rounds in the live-fire training exercises and rehearsals that began after the first replacement brigades rotated into Iraq in 2004.

    My old Cav unit burned through more ammo shooting pop-ups in the local shoot-house, or at the range, than we did in almost all of the combat situations we were involved in.

    As for cops missing 50% of live targets at 2m or greater, that’s not a surprise.

    Ogre is on the money, once the adrenaline is up, things can get pretty dicey.

  47. Chicago is a shit hole.

  48. The problem with Chicago is that politics there are as crooked as anywhere on earth. No one from the Chicago area should ever be elected to high office. i.e. Barack Obama. It would be like bringing in the mob to run the country.

  49. I’m not quite sure where to start, since the last time I posted here was 2 years ago,and at that time I stated that I would not be posting again, since all this website seemed to have was a bunch of cop haters posting on it, but here goes.

    On the issue of shooting investigations, the officer in question will always be advised of his Garrity Rights. For those of you who don’t know what they are, here ya go—–>http://www.njlawman.com/Garrity.htm

    The reasons that officers are given the time to go home for 24 hours and then come back in to make a statement are numerous, but one of the most important is the availability of a Union Rep, as well as a Lawyer. Quite often shootings occur in the early am hours, or on weekends, when these people are not always available. You have rights guaranteed to you under the Constitution, and so do the police. They don’t have as many rights as normal citizens, but they do have some. Representation is one of them. Also, it has been proven time and time again, that critical incidents create a very high level of temporary short term memory loss. The vast majority of officers involved in shootings have no idea how many shots they fired right after being involved, let alone many other salient facts that come from decompressing in the hours after a shooting. I could go on for hours simply on the shooting and use of force scenarios, and I’d be glad to answer any questions that you all might have, if they are germane, and civil.

    On the corruption question, unfortunately that has been a part of big city policing for years, and I don’t see it ever being completely stomped out. Smaller departments have a better handle on it, because the dirty cops stand out better, and are more easily isolated and dealt with. Big departments are very easy to hide in, if you are a bad cop, and unfortunately a lot of big cities have bad cops.

    Another factor that comes into play with the big city departments is huge push in the late 80’s, early 90’s, to hire more minorities. While diversity is hugely important in law enforcement, most city administrations took diversity over quality. Couple that with the massive amount of retirements in Law Enforcement across the nation during those times, as the Vietnam Vets left, left us with many new cops that were not properly vetted during the interview process. I know this because I was hired at Detroit PD in the early 90’s, shortly after I got out of the Marine Corps, and I saw the disasterous results of the new policies 1st hand. 3 years of that was all I could take, and I am now with a much nicer, more regimented, and better paid Department.

    I’ll probably post more later, but I am still digesting some of these posts here. It’s obvious that some people here have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, and it is also obvious that some have had bad experiences with their local LEO’s. Some of this may have been due to poor communication on the LEO’s part, ignorance of police procedures on the citizens part, a combination of both, or simply a bad cop. I’ll try to help, if I can.

  50. ‘wagon-circling “roundtables” of law enforcement officials where police and witnesses are questioned but not sworn or recorded…’

    I’m not familiar with Chicago law but there could be a very powerful series of legal reasons for that ( I speak here from an Aussie perspective; things may be different in the U.S.).

    People have a right to silence. But police can be compelled, via disciplinary rules, to answer questions put to them by a superior officer- and would be expected to when their use of firearms is reviewed.

    Radley, as a civil libertarian, you would presumably understand the legal dilemna if police officers where expected to give a sworn statement at the scene. A bystander witness can’t be ordered to provide a sworn statement. They have a right to silence. But you’re suggesting a police officer should be ordered to give one by a senior officer, thus throwing out the window a right the officer is supposedly respecting and defending.

    If Chicago law is as I suspect, then police officers can probably be ordered to provide an unsworn statement by a senior officer because that doesn’t waive their right to silence. Thus the investigator can try and find out what happened by getting around a person’s right to silence.

    I would have thought this stuff was pretty obvious, but then, if people aren’t considering it, then I don’t think they’re in a good position to review how Chicago police are operating. What it means is this- compelling police to give an unsworn account of their actions give them LESS rights than anyone else, not more. If, as a private individual, you use a gun in self-defence, you have a right to silence when your actions are reviewed. In some ways a police officer doesn’t have that luxury.

  51. Wilbur is correct, it’s known as the Garrity Rule, or Garrity Warning, and it’s one of the reasons that police wait usually 24 hours before beginning questioning of an officer who was involved in an incident. During that time, the officers investigating the incident itself have to get the Administration a report letting them know if they need to question the officer from a Departmental standpoint, or from a criminal investigation standpoint. It’s amazing that a visiting Aussie could pick up on this very salient point, where many here can’t seem to connect the dots.

  52. The police are no different than other professions, trades or even the military; brothers protect brothers almost regardless of circumstances, unfortunately. It is the “them against us” aspect of the situation. I certainly do not suggest that police cover-ups do not happen, just that in their case so many times there are citizens’ accusations of brutality even when there isn’t any; the automatic response is to defend the officer. Once an individual or an organization offers support for one of “theirs”, it is extremely hard to backtrack. Not that those with integrity shouldn’t, but it is a little difficult to assume the role of a “traitor” even when right. Try thinking about how well you would survive professionally or worse in that atmosphere; just ask Frank Serpico, the former NYC officer who went against his brothers in blue.

  53. Hah.

    Welcome to Chicago!

    “If, as a private individual, you use a gun in self-defence, you have a right to silence when your actions are reviewed. In some ways a police officer doesn’t have that luxury.”

    Absolutely a police officer acting in the course of duty should have less rights than a citizen. An officer is an arm of the State, which holds a highly abusable monopoly on violence.

    They could solve this problem very easily, by putting a little tamper-proof video camera on every officer. Of course they won’t do that, but soon cameras and digital storage will be so cheap and prevalent that officers will either have to be accountable for their actions — or outlaw filming police, which many seem intent on.

  54. “It is really hard to hit someone even under the best of condition letalone under the stress of firing for you life.

    Sure, but six feet? Hell, you can reach halfway to them at that range, so the actual range is probably more like four feet.”

    Try hitting a rapidly-moving target at close range that is actively trying to avoid being shot. Not as easy as you’d think.

  55. What was missed in the article is that Chicago is one of the few places a citizen can’t own a gun.So,the police have a de facto monopoly on gun ownership in Chicago.Do you really think all the police problems would have happened if citizens were armed? This story makes the best case for getting rid of gun control.You can’t be sure in a place like Chicago that the police are going to defend you.Anyway,here’s a link on who lead the fight,in the early 1980’s,for gun control in Chicago.A high ranking “made member” of the Chicago Mob pushed it through city council.You might say Chicago’s gun ordinance is therefore a racketeering enterprise.http://nalert.blogspot.com/2006/07/was-chicagos-gun-control-ordinance.html

  56. Up here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, the police probably feel a bit more safe because an average citizen basically has to perform an unnatural act on the police chief to get a pistol permit (yes, police chiefs dictate who gets to carry).

    All this was brought home a couple months ago when an off-duty cop, drinking behind the local high school with another LEO and their girlfriends, got into a confrontation with a local 19-year old scumbag and was shot and killed. The question that not one media outlet had the temerity to ask was how can 2 cops can get shot at, one gets it in the 10 ring, and neither one could hit the kid!

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