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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/3/15

Cover-up of a Police Murder Requires Resignation of Chicago Mayor Emanuel

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Payouts for police misconduct have real-time consequences for cash-strapped Chicago. In 2012 Mayor Emanuel cited lack of funds as the justification for his closure of six mental health clinics in low-income areas. In 2013 Emanuel cited lack of funds as justification for his closure of 54 public schools in low-income areas. The closures of those clinics and schools have had adverse impacts on the communities where they were located. Some in Chicago track increases in crime to the closures of the mental health clinics.

The very Mayor Emanuel who cuts services for the neediest citizens of his city is the same mayor who presides over the payments of multi-million-dollar settlements in police misconduct cases where the offending police get to keep their jobs. Officer Van Dyke, who is now facing murder charges for killing McDonald, has had over a dozen brutality complaints lodged against him, including one that led to a $350,000 payout to a victim as well as the latest $5-million payout to McDonald's family.

The cost of payouts in police misconduct cases does not include the tens of millions of dollars Chicago has paid to private law firms to fight those police abuse cases ($63-million from 2002-2012 according to news reports). And that payout figure does not include the continued salaries of the police officers cited in lawsuits for brutality who are still kept on the CPD payroll and who will still receive pensions when they leave the job.

The Chicago police killing of Laquan McDonald again dramatizes the duplicity and complicity surrounding unjustified police brutality and killings that extend from patrol officers to the highest reaches of government.

Chicago has an epidemic of civilians murdering each other and a low rate of police solving those murders. Now ousted Chicago top cop McCarthy once declared that the biggest reason for why so few of Chicago's murders are solved is the "no-snitch" code of silence among residents in too many communities.

Top cops like McCarthy rarely if ever address the 'Code of Silence' operative in police forces across America. That ubiquitous police "no snitch" code is on display in the McDonald shooting case. Over six officers at the scene of McDonald's shooting followed the police Code of Silence when they filed reports falsely stating that McDonald had lunged at Van Dyke, thus certifying McDonald's wrongful death as justified. Chicago police personnel who participated in covering up McDonald's wrongful death followed the same police "omert" code too when they reportedly chased eye-witnesses from the scene after the shooting, instead of taking down their names as potential witnesses, as they should have done, and as they would have done had the shooter not been a fellow cop.

Those officers that filed false reports supporting Van Dyke's killing violated Illinois law on accomplice liability. According to that law, knowingly assisting or helping someone commit a crime --- before, during or after the crime --- is an offense punishable with imprisonment. Of course, someone has to bring a prosecution for that to happen.

But Chicago's top prosecutor Alvarez has yet to arrest any of those law-breaking law enforcers who aided and abetted Van Dyke's [alleged] crime. This inaction by Alvarez evidences duplicity and a double standard of justice: one standard for errant cops another standard for errant civilians. Also Alvarez has not charged police personnel that tampered with crime scene evidence.

Chicago is definitely in need of "regime change," beginning with the removal of Mayor Emanuel and prosecutor Alvarez.

It is pathetic that the same politicians, presidential candidates, pundits and preachers who so loudly and easily demand "regime change" in places like Syria or Libya or Iraq remain silent on crimes against humanity in Chicago.

Source URL: http://m.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2929

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Linn Washington is a co-founder of This Can't Be Happening.net. Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and problems in the news media. He teaches multi-media urban journalism at Temple (more...)
 

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