First Amendment Investigation
On July 19, Lt. John R. Andrews made a hard decision. He'd had enough. He'd been silent long enough. After careful thought, he pressed a button on his home computer, posting online a 3,000-word critique of the Police Department with the academic-sounding title, "A City at War with Itself: Chicago -- Fast Tracking to Anarchy (Understanding the Organizational Paralysis of the CPD and the Mission to Recovery)."
He described a department "twisted into paralysis by organizational decimation, incompetent leadership, self-serving politics and corruption" singling out for particular scorn Supt. Jodi Weis' appointment last month of Anthony Carothers, brother of disgraced former Ald. Isaac Carothers, as commander of the Englewood District.
And while we question the use of Neil Steinberg as a conduit, given his anti-police credentials and personal background, he gives the Lieutenant wide latitude to make his case and quotes the head of the Lieutenants Union and others. It's framed as a First Amendment issue and we're glad to see the Lieutenant making a stand on it. He e-mailed us this weekend before the column hit the stands and we'll quote the pertinent portion of his letter in full:
- 1. I am committed 100% to the course of action that I have under taken... come hell or high water. There will be no retreat, no apologies, no retractions, no silencing and no submission. If the CPD would prefer to "kill the messenger" rather than address the problems that are undermining our effectiveness as conservators of the peace... if this is the hill that they choose to fight on... all I can say is "gun up and let's go."
I stand ready to be mocked, discredited, suspended and terminated for what I believe in my heart of hearts is the right thing to do... and will continue with my God-given abilities to work with other like-minded people to achieve the change we most desperately need. This is not about John Andrews or for John Andrews... it is about the men and women of the Chicago Police Department who bravely serve this city with honor... and ultimately the citizens of Chicago that so desperately are depending on the Chicago Police Department to help keep them safe.
We are duty-bound to both and will no longer be silenced and beaten into submission and ineffectiveness by corrupt and dishonorable people - inside or outside our organization. We have found our voice and will help others to find theirs (the 8th Habit). We will be successful in our honorable endeavors. The CPD will rise from the ruins of corrupt and incompetent leadership. We will learn from these mistakes and become the better for it. I firmly believe this... and will dedicate all of my energy with relentless fervor so that others can believe and act to make it so.
2. No matter what may become of me, although I may stand on that hill alone, I know in my heart the spirit of the honest, hard working members of the CPD... and other passionate Chicagoans... stand with me. I am both humbled and grateful for their kinds words and support. To my brothers and sisters of the CPD... Stand tall and proud as you serve this city with honor and dignity! Don't allow ANYONE to take that from you! In the moments of choice - do what is right!
We are the Chicago Police Department!
May God bless and keep safe the honorable people who serve this great organization.
Labels: department issues