Police Abuse

Chicago Police Superintendent: Criminally Charging Cops for Fatal Shootings is a 'Safety Hazard'

Chicago cop found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter because judge said off-duty shooting was reckless and he should've faced a murder charge.

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viewminder/flickr CC BY-NC-ND

Last week, an off-duty Chicago police officer was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter  after shooting a gun over his shoulder at a group of people while he was driving the wrong way down a one way street. The cop, Dante Servin, said he felt threatened for his life by one of the men in the group.  He ended up killing a 22-year-old woman. The judge handed the not guilty decision down from the bench, dismissing the charge because, the judge said, the prosecutor should've charged the cop with murder instead.

Now Servin, on desk duty since the incident, will be seeking his job back. And even though an internal investigation—suspended after Servin was first charged—has not concluded yet, Chicago's police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, says Servin should not have been criminally charged. Such charges, McCarthy argued, amounted to a "safety hazard". The Chicago Tribune reports:

"It provides a safety hazard," McCarthy told reporters after a promotion ceremony at Navy Pier for about 100 new detectives and several captains and commanders. "And my concern was how is this going to affect policing in general in the Chicago Police Department because every single officer who's out there now might be in a position where they hesitate, and as a result, they could lose their lives."

According to a data analysis by Peter Moskos, a former Baltimore police department who now teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY, a black man (95 percent of police shooting victims are male) is 16 times more likely to be killed by a cop than to kill a cop and a white man is 20 times more likely to be killed by a cop than to kill a cop. These numbers ought to put McCarthy's concern in perspective. Police officers aren't compelled to be police officers—it's a job that comes with pay and privileges. The people they interact with have no choice and are compelled to interact with cops, and, as taxpayers, even to pay for them.

And it's those privileges granted to police officers, through union contracts, law enforcement "bill of rights," and other local and state measures, that often prevent a problem cop from being fired absent a criminal conviction. Given the number of killings of cops compared to killings by cops, the inability to fire problem cops before they're proven beyond a doubt to have committed criminal acts appears to present more of a safety hazard—to the policed and the police—than the overcharging McCarthy (wrongly) fears exists, which would merely be a byproduct of the inability to terminate cops otherwise. Servin, remember, who a judge let off because he thought he should've been charged with murder instead, will now likely be seeking to get back on the street. He's had a city job the whole time.

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  1. Must be the GOP’s fault.

    1 Proco Joe Moreno 2010* Democratic
    2 Robert Fioretti 2007 Democratic
    3 Pat Dowell 2007 Democratic
    4 Will Burns 2011 Democratic
    5 Leslie Hairston 1999 Democratic
    6 Roderick Sawyer 2011 Democratic
    7 Natashia Holmes 2013* Democratic
    8 Michelle A. Harris 2006* Democratic
    9 Anthony Beale 1999 Democratic
    10 John Pope 1999 Democratic
    11 James Balcer 1997* Democratic
    12 George Cardenas 2003 Democratic
    13 Marty Quinn 2011 Democratic
    14 Edward M. Burke 1969 Democratic
    15 Toni Foulkes 2007 Democratic
    16 Vacant[21]
    17 Latasha Thomas 2000* Democratic
    18 Lona Lane 2006* Democratic
    19 Matthew O’Shea 2011 Democratic
    20 Willie Cochran 2007 Democratic
    21 Howard Brookins Jr. 2003 Democratic
    22 Ricardo Mu?oz 1993* Democratic
    23 Michael Zalewski 1995 Democratic
    24 Michael Chandler 2011 Democratic
    25 Daniel Solis 1996* Democratic

    1. 26 Roberto Maldonado 2009* Democratic
      27 Walter Burnett, Jr. 1995 Democratic
      28 Jason Ervin 2011* Democratic
      29 Deborah L. Graham 2010* Democratic
      30 Ariel Reboyras 2003 Democratic
      31 Ray Suarez 1991 Democratic
      32 Scott Waguespack 2007 Democratic
      33 Deb Mell 2013* Democratic
      34 Carrie Austin 1994* Democratic
      35 Rey Col?n 2003 Democratic
      36 Nicholas Sposato 2011 Democratic
      37 Emma Mitts 2000* Democratic
      38 Timothy Cullerton 2011* Democratic
      39 Margaret Laurino 1994* Democratic
      40 Patrick J. O’Connor 1983 Democratic
      41 Mary O’Connor 2011 Democratic
      42 Brendan Reilly 2007 Democratic
      43 Michele Smith 2011 Democratic
      44 Thomas M. Tunney 2002* Democratic
      45 John Arena 2011 Democratic
      46 James Cappleman 2011 Democratic
      47 Ameya Pawar 2011 Democratic
      48 Harry Osterman 2011 Democratic
      49 Joe Moore 1991 Democratic
      50 Debra Silverstein 2011 Democratic

      1. Must be the GOP’s fault?

        No, it’s the racists in the GOP’s fault!

        1. Fuck, you got me.

          1. How did you know what Obama was going to say?!?
            http://www.breitbart.com/big-g…..mmunities/

            1. How could anyone not know what he was going to say? The solution to every problem on earth is to enact more of his agenda.

        2. That would be all of them, right?

        3. I blame it on that guy named vacant.

      2. Ho
        Lee
        Fuck

        Now, of course I know nothing about science, but is there a pattern here?

        1. The only pattern is that Republicans have annihilated the inner cities by deregulating Wall Street and sending money to the 1%.

          1. We did? Bravo, boys!

            A job well done.

            1. *high fives while sipping mint julep*

      3. Wow you are so so wrong, its obviously not the GOP’s fault

        It’s Bush’s fault

        1. And the practical solutions to the police union running the Democratic Party in Chicago?

          Gay marriage and ObamaCare.

      4. Is that city council?

        50?!!?

        1. Aldermen

          1. Are those the same ones that are “peace officers” under the law and get to concealed carry?

            1. Yes, those are the peace officers who were always allowed to carry concealed.

          2. Same thing.

            When Louisville merged with the county a few years ago, they went from 9 alderman in the city and 3 county commissioners to a metro council of 28.

            And this was supposed to save money.

            1. Lemme do the math on that

              *carries the 1, remainder, denominator*

              Yep, it checks out.

          3. All der men in Chicago, looks like.

      5. Lived in Chicago area for 20 years, so I recognized that immediately (50! aldrmen).

        Then I scanned for familiar names and sure enough.

        Cullerton, Suarez, Solis, Burke, Holmes…

        Ima guess Deb Mell is the spawn of Alderman Richard Mell, father in law of Rod Blagojevich.
        They hand these seats down like nobility.

        Sawyer, Quinn…jeez the list goes on.

    2. Must be the GOP’s fault.

      Did someone suggest that, or did you just think walls of text would be fun?

      1. Walls of text are fun.

        http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026588054

        Armed to the teeth police and armed to the teeth civilians and armed to the balls military, a
        science-denying, xenophobic, racist, extremist religion infected party, one of only two parties, a weaponized media lusting for violence, domestic and foreign….what is there not to be frightened about?

        Thank your lucky stars for President Obama for keeping a finger in the leaking dike.

        1. I’ll put the blame squarely on some Libertariaans on this

          because they are the ones using their knowledge gained to empower brutality. So, yes some Libertarians are partly to blame for this carnage, maybe it’s time for some of them to look at themselves.

          1. Yep. All those libertarians (or Libertarians) that hold positions of power, over there in Unicorn Leprechaun Land.

        2. Thank your lucky stars for President Obama for keeping a finger in the leaking dike.

          Although occasionally, he has to take it out to murder drone someone.

        3. Thank your lucky stars for President Obama for keeping a finger in the leaking dike.

          Hey, I don’t like Michelle Obama, but even I don’t call her that.

          She’s liable to rip your arms off.

        4. keeping a finger in the leaking dike.

          Phrasing!

        5. Better your eyes than mine, reading that filth.

      1. Chicago Aldermen

  2. Morality and ethics in law enforcement is a safety hazard?

    1. And you thought you had the good drugs.

      1. Jesus Christ, shit like this makes me want to believe in a Satan.

        1. Instead of one big satan, what we have is a million little Hitlers and Stalins getting elected to public office.

          1. Good Omens had it down – the best way to do evil is not with one grand evil gesture, but with a million little petty spitings, grinding people down bit by bit as they join in.

            Came home, kicked the dog, dog bit the cat, the cat pounces on the mouse, and, finally, the mouse bites you on the behind.

            1. I-94 / I-55 / I-57 / I-294 forms an odegra.

  3. “And my concern was how is this going to affect policing in general in the Chicago Police Department because every single officer who’s out there now might be in a position where they hesitate, and as a result, they could lose their lives.”

    Chicago PD handbook: When in doubt, shoot it out. Better to shoot first and take a paid vacation later.

    1. I wonder if the guns laws and self defense laws in Chicago afford a non-cop the same deference. Just kidding. I don’t wonder.

    2. What part of *off-duty* doesn’t the superintendent understHAHAHAHAAA!! Couldn’t quite get it out!

    3. as a result, they could lose their lives

      As for the other guy’s life.. hey, fuck that guy.

      1. Or, in the case of the innocent bystander that a stray round fired over the shoulder kills …
        hey, she’s a civilian, f*** that b*tch.

        1. FROM HIS CAR

  4. “…because every single officer who’s out there now might be in a position where they hesitate, and as a result, they could lose their lives.”

    That’s about as blatant an admission of “police lives matter more than pleb lives” as we’re likely to get.

    1. Yes. I thought police were supposed to risk their lives to protect others. Not shoot anyone who might be threat.

      1. I thought police were supposed to risk their lives to protect others. Not shoot anyone who might be threat

        Have you been out of the country for the last 20 years or so?

  5. Damn, y’all. Do some proofreading.

    He ended up killing a 22-year-old women.

    Chicago’s police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, says Servin should not have been criminally charges.

  6. Can any of our military types attest to what would happen to a soldier who fired over his shoulder at a group of civilians, without provocation, and such shooting resulted in the death of a bystander?

    Seems to me that soldier wouldn’t be put on desk duty and then reinstated.

    1. I’ve stood watch with an *unloaded* weapon because it was considered better that something bad happen to us in the delay between loading and firing than if we were to mistakenly injure someone.

      1. I guarded an ammo dump in Saudi Arabia without a round of ammo on my body. If something bad happened, I would have had to pry open a box marked “5.56”.

    2. I would guess something between a manslaughter and murder conviction in the ensuing Court Martial – with at least a decade in Federal Prison.

      If / when released you would have a Felony conviction and Bad Conduct Discharge on your record.

  7. You want to know what’s a real safety hazard? The cops.

  8. I am tired of jagoffs like McCarthy talking about the risk of hesitation to officers without addressing the risks posed to the general public by rash action on the part of officers.

  9. McCarthy has a really dumpable face.

    1. But that toothy grin just screams to be kicked out of alignment.

  10. . . . officer who’s out there now might be in a position where they hesitate, and as a result, they could lose their lives.

    Yeah. We know. This isn’t an ‘unforseen consequence’ of a policy, its a deliberate choice. Just as we still require you to get a warrant, have PC, etc even though you could ‘catch more bad guys’ without those restrictions. That’s simply the conditions we expect the police to work under. Not even the military gets free reign to avoid losing their lives – risk of collateral damage has to be weighed against any tactical gain when planning an operation. This is because we need to weigh these things vs the public good to find the path the the greatest overall public good.

    Don’t like that – find another job.

  11. OT: this guy’s Grindr handle. Look at it . LOOK AT THIS GUY’S HANDLE!!

    1. I don’t want to look at a man’s handle, Kristen.

    2. That is classic. We’ve been looking for the elusive Top Man, now we’ve found him.

    3. State Rep. Randy Boehning, a North Dakota lawmaker who voted against bills protecting gay people from discrimination, was caught exchanging photos of his junk to another man on Grindr

      This guy is a State Rep, you silly plebes. Laws are for us peasants, not our elected betters. Duh!

      1. Being bisexual means you must be anti-free association?

    4. “How can you discriminate against the person you’re trying to pick up?” Smith said in a recent interview.

      Boehning has confirmed he is “Top Man!” and that he is bisexual.

      See, he’s not discriminating against the person he’s trying to pick up – all the anti-gay stuff is just and extension of his power-play roleplaying.

    5. I’m not looking at a dude’s handle. Isn’t that how this guy got in trouble?

      1. Well, more like he got in trouble trying to get a dude to look at *his* handle.

    6. “Boehning sent Smith sexually suggestive messages and, in the early morning hours of March 12, an unsolicited photo of his penis, ”

      Are dick pics ever solicited?

        1. Is that a solicitation?

    7. “the 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted.” Bone-ing can’t even get overused expressions right. Or maybe because Obesity?!

  12. Well, we’ve clearly seen that *not* charging cops who shoot criminally is a safety hazard…

  13. There is a fundamental problem with policing in this country, and it is mainly driven by police unions.

    That is the idea that police officers should protect their own lives, and the lives of other officers, even at the cost of risking killing innocent people. The idea that the first priority is to minimize the risks that police officers face, rather than to minimize the risks that innocent people face.

    Police officers exist because we, society, pay them to protect us and our rights. We do not pay them to protect their own lives by risking ours. We do not pay them to shoot the innocent because it might be dangerous to make an arrest. We pay them to apprehend potentially dangerous people without killing them, because it’s their job to take risks to protect the innocent, including possibly innocent suspects.

    That means that police officers MUST sometimes put their lives as risk rather than put a suspect’s at risk. They cannot treat any threat to themselves disproportionately to the threat they pose to others. They have to minimize the total threat environment, including the threat they create to others, including criminal suspects, not just the threats that others people pose to them.

    By focusing exclusively on the threats to officers lives, the police have created a more dangerous environment for all sorts of people, and not just the guilty. And that is not what we have police for.

    1. A lot of the blame falls on the media and politicians. Here’s the typical scenario:

      Cops kill white guy. Media ignores.

      Cops kill black guy. Media reports on story and makes it all about race. Politicians vow to do something. That something is always about raising taxes and spending more. Blame is deflected from police, they are not held accountable and the cycle repeats.

      1. Right. Yes, racism does color police reactions to suspects. But if the police had an underlying philosophy of putting the lives of others first, instead of reacting to protect themselves first, everyone would suffer less.

        In fact, because most crime is in black neighborhoods in the first place, the improvement would disproportionately impact blacks. You might still see a racial disparity, but in terms of percentages and numbers, the biggest reduction in police shootings would be of fewer blacks getting shot by cops. And that’s without doing anything to address racism at all, all you have to do is change the rules of engagement.

        But of course, the problem here is that the police unions are going to fight that because police unions exist to protect the interests of the police not the public. Again, their interests are at odd’s with societies interest. That’s not why we have cops. The unions only care about police getting paid and not getting killed. They don’t care if the police are shooting innocent people.

        1. Correction, I shouldn’t say “most” crime. I mean crime happens disproportionately in black communities. So the impact of police rules of engagement is highest there, and thus any change would have the greatest impact there.

  14. my concern was how is this going to affect policing in general in the Chicago Police Department

    We wouldn’t want to do anything to sully the exemplary record of the Chicago PD.

  15. …every single officer who’s out there now might be in a position where they hesitate…

    And God knows the last thing I’d want is police hesitating before shooting over their shoulder while driving the wrong way down a one-way street.

  16. “It provides a safety hazard,” McCarthy told reporters after a promotion ceremony at Navy Pier for about 100 new detectives and several captains and commanders. “And my concern was how is this going to affect policing in general in the Chicago Police Department because every single officer who’s out there now might be in a position where they hesitate, and as a result, they could lose their lives.”

    Leadership that makes a statement like that is the real safety hazard.

  17. Hey ! I just realized who that guy looks like.

    Don Fanucci, amirite ?

  18. every single officer who’s out there now might be in a position where they hesitate, and as a result

    Feature. Not bug.

    1. ^This, a thousand times this ^

  19. Hizzoner is trying to avoid being backed into a corner on this one:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..story.html

    Gotta give the Trib credit for at least posing the question. It’s not a stretch to remember the days when McCarthy’s statement would just be blindly accepted as fact.

  20. it was a good shoot, you ignorant bigorati just can’t stand it that an officer cares more about going home to their wife and kids then some punk. hth

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