Jan 18, 2016
In the midst of one police scandal after another, Mayor Rahm Emanuel insists that the problem is a few bad apples, and not his policies, not the system he runs for the capitalist class. Chicago Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton said: “To say this is a practice, a systemic abuse or part of a cover-up, there’s just no evidence of that.”
But in fact there is a lot of evidence of a systematic policy of murder, abuse, and cover-ups – a policy that goes right to the top.
In early January, a judge called out the city’s lawyer for covering up the police murder of Darius Pinex, killed in 2011. This lawyer hid a crucial recording and lied in court when Pinex’s family sued.
The city also buried the killing of Esau Castellanos. The police officers who killed Castellanos in 2013 lied that he had shot at them. One of them even pretended to have been shot in the head! After these lies were exposed, the police department referred the case to the Independent Police Review Authority and the FBI – who have been “investigating” for two years.
Rahm Emanuel’s top aides, and almost certainly Emanuel himself, also knew the details of the police murder of Laquan McDonald months earlier than the mayor claimed – and their reaction was to cover up the story and hide the video for thirteen months.
Emanuel and his lawyers also tried to cover up the police killing of Cedrick Chatman by stonewalling the release of a video showing his murder for more than two years.
They also hide and cover up more routine brutality. A judge just reprimanded the city’s law department for lying and hiding records in an illegal search lawsuit.
And how many more cases like these are there – still being covered up?
What is all this but a systematic policy of covering up brutality and murder by the Chicago Police Department?
Confronted by bad publicity as these cases finally came to light, Emanuel hired a lawyer supposedly to investigate the law department and how it handles cases of police misconduct. But – surprise! – that lawyer just happens to be one of Emanuel’s biggest campaign donors! Hardly an independent investigator.
The evidence is clear: there is a systematic policy to set the police against the poor population of Chicago, and to cover up the brutality and killing that this policy entails. It’s not just a few rotten apples. It’s a whole rotten system. It impacts black working class Chicago more harshly than the rest of the city’s people. But every working class person can be a target.