*** WARNING*** Long post. We're going to take the Sun Times to the woodshed.
No wonder the dead-tree media is dying. Get a load of this "editorial reply
" to yesterday's whinny screed by J-Fled. Try not to vomit:
It is easily the most dangerous and frustrating job in Chicago. The hours you work are miserable. The respect you deserve is not always forthcoming.
Your pay could be better. And God help you if you should have a bad day, lose your cool and get a little too rough. People who have no idea what you go through and put up with every day will be the first to call for your head.
It is the most dangerous and frustrating job in Chicago -- cop.
So far so good. Now it heads downhill:
But here is the other side of the coin: If you can't handle the pressure, you shouldn't be a cop. If you torture suspects in a police station basement, you shouldn't be a cop. If you beat up a woman bartender, you shouldn't be a cop. If you pummel a man handcuffed in a wheelchair, you shouldn't be a cop.
Because all you do is sow distrust in Chicago's neighborhoods for all police officers, the vast majority of whom would never in their wildest dreams beat up a woman bartender or slug a man handcuffed in a wheelchair. What you're doing is hurting your fellow officers, sullying the reputation of an entire department.
Um, none of those people are cops anymore. Each of those cases cited went through the process and were summarily adjudicated. Maybe not in the rapid-fire manner so often preferred by media types, but the wheels of justice ground slowly to an outcome, none of which made all parties happy, but the cases ended.
- It was with that in mind that Mayor Daley hired Police Supt. Jody Weis three years ago to clean up the department's image.
Oh, so now J-Fled was hired for an "image" problem? That's the first we've ever heard about that. Nice to see the Sun Times is moving the goalposts again for Shortshanks to protect his legacy of hiring this ass.
- It was an image that sorely needed restoration. Chicago was going through a mini-spree of police brutality cases. The much-maligned Office of Professional Standards was seen as turning a blind eye to rogue cops. Seven members of the elite police Special Operations Section were charged with a litany of crimes, including a conspiracy to kill a fellow cop. And it seemed like everyone in the nation had watched the video of off-duty officer Anthony Abbate attacking bartender Karolina Obrycka.
"Mini-spree?" What? When? Who? Can someone cite these cases? SOS? Seven cops in a unit of 350? On a force of 10,000? And can anyone tell us what's going on with that "conspiracy" case? You have to love how the Sun Times cites an allegation that's about to be dropped shortly as entrapment to bolster their editorial. And the reason "everyone in the nation watched the video" is because every media outlet played it over and over and over. Honest to god, we'd see ABC News running a story about Chicago cops rescuing a dog on the lake ice, and the next shot would be, "You may remember the Chicago Police Department is under a cloud after a drunk asshole beat a bartender." It was a running joke at that point.
But three years later, all is not well inside the Chicago Police Department. Weis, in a long letter that appeared in Monday's Sun-Times, criticized the police union for trying to continue "business as usual." And an anti-Weis march by potentially thousands of rank-and-file officers is scheduled for Wednesday outside police headquarters.
Weis, a career FBI agent and the first outsider in nearly 50 years to serve as Chicago Police superintendent, clearly has made mistakes. Promptly replacing 21 of 25 district commanders left many officers on the street wondering if the top brass understood the challenges they face. His decision to wear a uniform even though he never was a street cop offended those who were. And merit promotions for two officers who worked as drivers for Weis angered cops who work the streets who had been passed over.
No one wanted business as usual. J-Fled refused to work with the union. He instituted changes in direct violation of signed contractual agreements and then had to backpedal constantly. His missteps were numerous and the advice he received was from people who had never operated under a contract in their careers, i.e., clout babies. The immediate replacement and shuffling of district commanders, along with the other brass, was a power move by Daley to break up the old guard. J-Fled had ZERO knowledge of the CPD, yet he's making 30 and 40 moves of exempt personnel based on what exactly? Oh yeah, phone calls. And when he wouldn't return Daley's phone calls, Shortshanks replaced J-Fled's Chief of Staff with well-known political insider Michael Masters Masters Masters, who's primary duty was to pick up the phone and tell Jody it was the mayor on the line and he better get his ass over to answer it.
The "business as usual" was all from the fifth floor of Headquarters, not the union. The superintendent's driver making "merit" sergeant was just the icing on the cake. Cline did it. Hilliard did it. J-Fled was signaling loud and clear that nothing had changed.
Most controversial was Weis' decision early in his tenure to call in federal authorities to probe the case of Officer William Cozzi, who had been caught on video beating a man shackled to a wheelchair. Cozzi already had been suspended for two years without pay.
Looking at that incident now, it's a legitimate question whether Weis reacted too quickly, coming down too hard on a veteran officer with an otherwise commendable record who already had been punished. And without a doubt Weis had a political tin ear for department politics, clearly never anticipating how deeply unpopular -- even loathed -- that one decision would make him among the rank and file.
Word is that Daley himself, after hearing about J-Fled's recommending the Cozzi case to Fitzgerald, asked aloud, "What the hell did he do that for?" J-Fled is backtracking this so severly he's leaving skidmarks on the pavement and in his shorts. We recall very clearly, though we can't currently locate the article, that J-Fled called this the "worst case of police brutality" he had ever seen in his career. As anyone with half a brain can attest, J-Fled must not get out much.
- But a thoughtful, respectful discussion of Weis' failings was never ventured. Rather, Weis has been subjected to the cheap-shot warfare of 24-hour anonymous bloggers.
Respect is a two way street. J-Fled held five town hall meetings and then never again. His Deputy Superintendent Bartender Bea took down names and had at least one officer dumped from his assignment after the first meeting - that kind of chilled the subsequent meetings. He visited maybe ten roll calls that we ever heard about. Pointing out bad decisions and poor moves isn't "cheap-shot warfare." That's legitimate criticism of a bad leader. J-Fled's whining about "it's everyone elses fault" speaks to a poor leader with no ability toward introspection - witness the Morale Survey that STILL hasn't seen the light of day. Ask the Lieutenant who got dumped from her spot after insisting the results should be released about that one.
And even if you add up all the hours blogged from here, Shaved and Crimefile, it doesn't add up to 24 hours a day. We do find it interesting that the Sun Times editorial was published without a name attached to it though - anonymously you might say.
Ummm, yeah. Because everyone we run into is oh, so terrified of Jon Burge. You can't find 1 person in 10 who even knows or cares about Burge. You people are morons.
Now that Mayor Daley is not running for re-election, it seems unlikely Weis will remain when his contract is up early next year. The next superintendent needs to stand up for officers when they're in a pinch, but must like Weis have zero tolerance for cops who cross the line.
God help him (or her) if he runs into the same ugly buzz saw that's taking Weis down.
Thank god he's gone shortly. He's been a disaster. And the reason superintendents haven't stood up for cops in a pinch is directly traceable to Shortshanks. You think Phil Cline went hat-in-hand to Meeks because Meeks was racially profiled? Meeks was wrong, but Daley needed Meeks' votes, so Phil was sent south to embrace a race baiter. It's about votes for The Machine.
And it's funny how J-Fled's tolerance seems to be endless when it's politically connected gold stars with their assorted body parts in the wringer. Ernie, Tony, Ruth, Bea, Penny, Frank, Mike, the list is extensive.
The buzz saw taking J-Fled down is of his own making. A litany of bad decisions; a complete inability to self-evaluate and adapt to the situation; the arrogance typical of an FBI product too wrapped up in his own importance; a history of attacking the messenger (FBI whistleblower Wright; Lt. Andrews); and of course, running from the sound of gunfire.
It sure seems that the Sun Times is fully on board with the "re-hab J-Fled's image" as much as they were with the "destroy the CPD" kick they were before. Who are they taking their marching orders from?
Labels: media, scc responds