The Night Chicago Died – Part 2

(Part 1 is here.)

A Chicago Boyz reader writes:

In addition to their own command structure and internal affairs division, there are now several additional entities that review officer involved incidents. These entities are staffed almost exclusively by people with no law enforcement experience or understanding of law enforcement. These include the Chicago Office of Police Accountability (COPA), and the recently constituted Civilian Oversight Panel. In addition to having no training in investigation, police procedure, and the use of force, these groups are largely composed of people with a strong anti-police bias. There is no due process, and there is not even the pretense of “balance” in their deliberations. From the comfort of their armchairs, these Monday morning quarterbacks sit in judgement of the actions of sworn officers who are compelled by circumstances to make life-or-death decisions under incredible pressure and often in a matter of seconds. Since it is functionally impossible to comply with all applicable policy and adhere to all applicable procedure in the real world, they have a near 100% success rate in finding fault with what is otherwise reasonable and appropriate law enforcement activity. The most charitable interpretation is that it is bizarre theater intended to allow the City to reap the benefits of policing at the cost of the unjust destruction of the lives of a steady stream of police officers. The least charitable is that it is intended to destroy the CPD. Ironically, the lesson of the Laquan McDonald and Anjanette Young cases is that the CPD brass and the City’s mayor will head off the referral of any really inflammatory cases if they can.

Chicago Police are no longer allowed to pursue offenders in their patrol cars or on foot. There is a very strict no-pursuit policy in place. That is correct: if you attempt to flee arrest, the CPD will not chase you. Pursuit in any context now requires the approval of a supervisor, which, realistically, cannot be obtained in a timeframe that matters.

Chicago’s criminal elements have learned this, and have built it into their modus operandi. If you are wondering why so many people are shot by assailants in cars, you now have the answer: in Chicago, they can drive away without risk of apprehension. For rank-and-file officers, to pursue is to risk everything for nothing.

Meanwhile, the rank and file of the CPD have come to understand that their every action is subject to review under a microscope by multiple entities, that their livelihood, their career, their pension, and their freedom are on the line every time that they act to enforce the law. The recent Toledo case is an excellent example. The officer’s body-camera footage was edited and broadcast in slow motion by television news in a manner intended to make the officer’s actions appear criminal. Anyone who bought the media coverage will be astonished and upset that the officer’s actions have been deemed completely justified. The quest to prosecute police misconduct to the fullest extent has brought about a situation where charges based on overwhelming evidence are dropped against a suspect, and brought against the officer on the basis of the flimsiest of evidence.

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The Night Chicago Died

(Part 2 is here.)

A Chicago Boyz reader writes:

Recently, two CPD uniformed officers were shot in the head during a traffic stop.

How did this happen? What happened? The detailed answers to these questions will be unfolded as the post-shooting investigation discovers the facts and assembles them into a narrative that “explains” what happened. As is so often the case, the analysis will focus on the actions of the officers, their failures to act as policy or training requires, and their poor performance even when they were acting as they were supposed to. All such analyses are riddled with hindsight bias, and invariably neglect the forces that now shape the interactions of the CPD with the public. You might ask: “What are you talking about?”

Several years ago, the City of Chicago signed a consent decree with the (Obama) Justice Department. The decree required that an officer formulate articulable suspicion prior to initiating any contact with a member of the public. As part of the decree, officers were and are required to fill out a detailed form every time they initiate such an interaction. Failure to fill out the form completely or accurately carries a risk of sanction. Net effect? Contact with the public went down by 80-90%, as did arrests. It turns out that seasoned police officers can talk people into disclosing a lot of information about criminal activity just by talking to them. A conversation that began with a hunch and without articulable suspicion often ended with probable cause for arrest.

No matter, the drop in arrests has become less important. Why?

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The impending collapse of police departments.

The “Defund the Police” movements in “blue” cities are on the verge of success. Not necessarily in actually defunding or dismantling police forces but in convincing the police officers that their function is obsolete. Evidence #1 is this column by “Jack Dunphy,” a former LAPD officer who now works in a different city.

A vehicle that nearly hit an LAPD cruiser close to the intersection of Lankershim and Burbank Boulevards led police in a pursuit and eventually a standoff at a Valley Village used car dealership.

The suspect pulled into Boktor Motors, located on the corner of Riverside Drive and Colfax Avenue, where he exited his vehicle, threw a traffic cone at officers. He then took off shirt and began doing pushups, before getting up and fidgeting with one of the cars on the lot.

Eventually, the man disappeared into the back of the car dealership. After a time, police left without the suspect.

LAPD told CBSLA that they determined there was no threat to the public and decided to clear the scene without the suspect in custody.

Why would they leave without arresting the offender?

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Over – Under

The descent into senility on the part of the so-called President Joe Biden seems to be accelerating, or so I presume from frequent scans of that news media which has not gone completely bonkers. Honestly, about the only regular mainstream establishment news outlet I check frequently is the British Daily Mail – in spite of all it’s many sins, including apparently allowing semi-literate teenage interns to write the headlines and photo captions, an unseemly devotion to the regular goings on of flashy semi-celebs like the Kardashians and Megan “Royal-Wrecker” Markle, and having the execrable Piers Morgan on staff – they do cover US-based political stories without any particular fear or favor. In other words,

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Pwosesis Ayiti A

No reward for resistance; no assistance, no applause.

— Neil Peart, “Lock and Key

 

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.

— Paul of Tarsus, Epistle to the Romans

La merde a frappé le ventilateur; my earlier post became abruptly more topical on Wednesday the 7th, when we woke to the news of the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. This follow-up will consider the implications of developments since late June and will specifically respond to commenters on Dilèm Aksyon Kolektif nan Matisan. Most of the structure of this post will follow the Deming process-workbench model, because history is, to a great extent, a series of contingent events, and because I am a giant process nerd.

Follow along, kids, as I summon the shade of W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) to analyze the biggest mess I’ve ever been in!

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