Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Do the Right Thing

If you have a Department e-mail account, you probably got a copy of the most recent Pax 501. In it the Superintendent says:
  • We as police officers often speak of courage. It takes courage to do the job we do, never knowing what we will face with each assignment. It takes courage to run after an armed offender, to go down the darkened hallway to answer the call for service, or to respond to the calls for help. Chicago Police Officers display this courage every day in remarkable ways that often go unreported.
  • However, it also takes courage to do the right thing. It takes courage to enforce the law equally and impartially. It takes courage to remain professional under trying circumstances. It takes courage to avoid being swayed by the corrupt practices of a few bad officers. It takes courage to stand for ethical behavior.
What this tells us is that it's about to get a lot worse before it gets better.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The worst part is, nobody cares."


Whatever "they" say, I'll be stopping by the Courage node (whatever a node is) in the Police Memorial Park which I hear will be funded by a group honoring Mike Ceriale. (No kids, so they're doing stuff like this.)

Remember Mike? He died in the line of duty on August 21, 1998. God Bless Mike and his family. Don't usually quote Roeper, but he did Mike and other POs proud in his column. Who'd thought he'd have the balls to go to the "hood?

And for some goofs wondering about the Cabrini shooting? The more things change, the more they stay the same. Too bad the knucklehead who shot Ceriale wasn't carrying a tricked out BB gun.
Cop's life was wasted in an urban wasteland
Richard Roeper
24 August 1998
Chicago Sun-Times

The worst part is, nobody cares.

Nobody cares if a bunch of losers and thugs and lost souls infest the Robert Taylor Homes with drugs and guns. Gang-banging and crack-dealing in the projects? Tell us about something that will hold our interest.

When you're speeding south on the Dan Ryan, Comiskey Park looking like a giant candy dish on the right and then the Taylor Homes sprawled out to your left, you don't think, "Gee, I hope there aren't any big drug deals going down today." If you give it any thought at all, you're glad they're finally tearing down the nightmare complex.

But do you actually care if they're still buying and selling rock cocaine and other drugs in mass quantities at Robert Taylor? Not for a moment.

Of course, you don't have that dismissive luxury if you're a young cop and your assignment takes you to the Taylor Homes.

A young cop like Michael Ceriale.

I didn't know Ceriale and I wouldn't dare insult those who loved him by pretending I feel 1 percent of the pain they're experiencing, but when I heard the news of his death Friday night, it saddened me - and it ticked me off.

This guy was 26 years old. A handsome kid who looked like an extra on "NYPD Blue." A former football player at Gordon Tech, a Golden Gloves boxer. Bartended at Marge's Pub on North Sedgwick before he enrolled in the police academy. Unmarried, no kids, the great bulk of his life ahead of him. Lived with his ma and his grandma in Wicker Park, played b-ball and softball with his buddies, hung out at places like the Time-Out bar on North Rockwell. Classic Chicago stuff.

Just 18 months into his police career, Ceriale was on undercover duty in the first hours of Aug. 15. According to police, at about 3:30 a.m., Ceriale and his partner where hiding near some bushes on Root Street, staking out an alleged drug deal at a high-rise notorious for narcotics trafficking, when four lookouts reportedly spotted the officers and ran inside to alert their partners.

"I think they made us," Ceriale told his partner.

Someone came out with a .357 magnum and fired two shots. A bullet struck Ceriale in the lower abdomen, just below his bulletproof vest.

Ceriale hung on for a week, through five operations. Mayor Daley, Cardinal Francis George, aldermen and top cops all sent wishes of support and prayers for his recovery. Hundreds of police officers queued up to donate blood.

Friday night, hundreds of friends and relatives and fellow cops convened outside Cook County Hospital for a candlelight vigil. Shortly after 8 p.m., Ceriale's father delivered the news of his son's death.

A few minutes after that, Police Supt. Terry Hillard issued a bulletin over police radios:

"It is with a saddened heart that I must inform you that Officer Michael A. Ceriale has lost his fight for life. . .I would like to thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers and blood donations on Michael's behalf."

Police have made six arrests in connection with the shooting and are seeking a seventh suspect. The alleged gunman is a 16-year-old punk who is being held at Cook County's juvenile detention center.

At the time of the shooting, this model citizen was on probation after a 1997 conviction for unlawful use of a weapon. He has two other cases pending: one for possession of a stolen car, one for possession of drugs.

On Aug. 13, two days before the shooting, the suspect was in front of a Juvenile Court judge after yet another run-in with the cops. But the judge released him. Hey, everybody deserves a fourth chance.

On Saturday afternoon, I spent a little time near Root and Federal, on the street nobody cares about, the street where Officer Michael Ceriale was gunned down a week earlier.

Adorable little kids were running around a vacant lot. A group of men sat in the shade of a clump of trees, drinking from cans of Miller Genuine Draft.

A message is written on a stone mural: "Give a Helping Hand to Our Community." Next to it is a another mural, with one-word messages such as "Love," "Special," "Fun," "Original," "Son," "Daughter." Sad words of hope flattened by the overwhelming blight.

It's a place where you see a lot of people in the middle of wasted lives. A place where a cop's good life was stolen for no damn reason.

8/23/2006 01:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are sending a message. If you think you areslick and can game the system, you are wrong. All of the scams have been tried before, years ago. Those of us who have been around awhile have heard them all. They are telling you that you will get caught and you will pay the ultimate price.

If what "they", who ever "they" are, saying about SOS or OCD is true, than these guys deserve what they got. This ain't the good old days, when everyone, including the bosses, winked, nodded, and looked the other way.

Times changed a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago. Get with it.

8/23/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the last part is aimed directly at SOS and others in Homan Sq.

8/23/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ain't the good old days, when everyone, including the bosses, winked, nodded, and looked the other way.

Times changed a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng time ago. Get with it.

8/23/2006 06:52:49 AM

Actually, that is the big reason that this SOS stuff is going on right now: the bosses ARE still winking and nodding and looking the other way.

8/23/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the top echelon remains as corrupted by political interference as ever. When City Hall speaks, they jump regardless of right or wrong. Since this remains a rudderless, leaderless organization, change must originate in the ranks and filter to the top. Do it by the rules. Hold their feet to the fire. Make them fearful to conduct business as usual. There is no such thing as a rat in the war between us. Don’t sell out for a short term gain. Make the clout heavy traitors worry every time they cheat. Remember, we got ‘em out numbered.

8/23/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I for one have never forgotten Officer Michael Ceriale. It has been 8 years now and he is missed terribly.

Here is a nice tribute to his memory.

8/23/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless Our Fallen Brothers in Blue. May they be in our memories and in our prayers.

8/23/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We who have heard the rumors for YEARS coming out of SOS want to know how NONE of the SUPERVISORS or BOSSES did not !!These guys may have been criminally wrong (as rumored), but what about the bosses surrounding them ? Why did it take so long to house arrest these guys and why did an outside agency have to get involved? Makes you wonder.....hhhhmmmmmm.

8/23/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all things being relative what is the greater crime here ? s.o.s. clipping drug dealers fot their loot or 35th st. constantly promoting and trotting out these bosses at inflated salaries, with take home vehicles and shortened work days etc, etc etc including pussy for most. how many of these people truly deserve the spot they occupy? not many but they do serve the purpose of fulfilling this pyschotic need for "diversity" or whatever agenda is currently being championed. just go back even ten years and look at all the atrocities have been shoved down our throat with the label "best and the brightest."

8/23/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone catch the latest Ethics Video and presentation at roll call today? Apparently video services and 35th street have been working on it quite a while, but it is interesting timing to rush it into release this week. That combined with the Pax 501 letter from Uncle Phil sure has many of us wondering how many indictments / firings, etc. will be coming down soon. Between SOS, OCD, and rumors that there is more to come in 007 and other districts, it looks like the Dept. is headed for another round of black eyes and scandal....

8/23/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

018 Dist had guest speakers at roll call this week....a woman on days reportedly called the roll call "baby killers". A pastor from Cabrini spoke (down) to the third watch...he is livid that one of his flock was questioned the night of the recent police shooting, and that the police on the scene did not recognize him as a community leader. His feathers were ruffled that someone on-scene allegedly used foul language. He made a point several times that he knows the phone # to the Supt. by heart. He repeated it several times for effect. Talk about a morale booster! Sickening, especially considering that many po's in the room were at the scene of the JUSTIFIED shoot.... Thanks, 35th street!

8/24/2006 02:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you incensed by my comments concerning Lt B posted under the SOS Saga story, I apologize. The wagons were "circled" around Lt JB and it is right that they were. To my knowledge Lt JB is that rare CPD animal known as a prince. My negative comments were actually directed at Lt. FB who retired within the past year and not not Lt. JB who is currently on active service.

8/24/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"He made a point several times that he knows the phone # to the Supt. by heart. He repeated it several times for effect."

Did you call the number and see if it was the Superintendent's? You should have and then told him what was going on.

8/24/2006 04:02:00 PM  

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