Why Shaved Mattered
This post is going to be extremely long and detailed at points. It is also going to be vague where necessary or where we choose to be so - our blog, our prerogative. We are trusting the reader to be able to discern which is which. We will mention certain things because it is essential to the narrative and certain things will be left unsaid. The unsaid things will be deleted from the comment section if they are brought up - again, our blog, our prerogative.
We are going to do this without directly linking to the article in question as it is near slanderous in its nature and as yellow a piece of "journalism" as we have seen in many years. We assume the reader is competent enough to find the article using a simple Google search, but we'll quote enough of it for you to get the gist. We encourage readers not to dignify the article with any search hits, but we can't stop you.
On with the show:
Recently, a blog linked here, partially inspired by this blog (by the author's admission on numerous occasions) and frequented by many readers here and elsewhere, suddenly went off the air and the archives were removed from circulation. The stated reason was that the Better Government Association paid a visit to a blog advertiser and confronted them about the content of the blog. The citizen contacted the blog owner and the owner chose to remove the blog from the public forum rather than associate his sponsors with negative publicity. The BGA described the confrontation as thus:
- A racially charged blog that reportedly has wide readership among Chicago police officers ceased operations this week less than an hour after the Better Government Association visited a detective to ask whether he was the anonymous operator of the web site.
A supposed government watchdog group investigating private citizens and what they do in their spare time? And why would this concern the BGA?
- The detective – [...], who is on disability leave for an injury – denied running the controversial blog...
The most recent headline involves an officer going on safari and being able to fire a rifle. The reports slyly allude to his inability to fire a handgun as required by the Department, but as any idiot knows, firing a pistol and firing a long gun are completely different actions. In fact, wasn't it Anna Davlantes who did a special report a few years ago where she attempted to hit a balloon with a handgun, failing time and again, and then nailed the balloon on her first try with a rifle? Cops don't regularly use a rifle and being able to fire your primary weapon is a necessary part of the job. The media didn't explain that, emphasizing instead the disabled officer's attempts to lead a somewhat normal life.
NOTE FOR PINHEADS READING: We are not making a judgement on the officer. We don't know him nor have any reason to support/reject his claims. If the city has an inkling of fraudulent use of the Medical Roll, by all means investigate it. If fraud is found, prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, imprison and seek restitution. Every honest cop and citizen expects no less. The trouble begins when the political system of Chicago (the Machine) accepts and condones fraud from top-to-bottom (merit promotions, connected contracting, political companies padding, etc.), then you run into problems, but that's a post for another day.
Back to the BGA article:
- The BGA decided to look into the blog’s operations because it appeared to be run by one or more Chicago cops...
We didn't know that the BGA had taken over investigations of Department members from the Internal Affairs Division and the Independent Police Review Authority. If this is indeed the case, then Rahm and McJersey could save a lot of money by disbanding IPRA and reassigning IAD Police Agents to districts driving beat cars in order to further "lower" crime numbers. If the BGA hasn't actually taken over, then this is one of the most egregious violations of Department protocols that we have seen in our collective 100+ years of service, the other being Barb West's illegal First Amendment investigation into the SCC blog involving covert surveillance on a Department member and a complete lack of required notifications in place per the Consent Decree from years past (yes Barb, we still have copies, and if IAD hasn't violated their own regulations along with numerous state and federal laws, they have discoverable copies, too - sleep well treacherous one).
In any event, the BGA investigation led them indirectly to a blog advertiser, who was then confronted without any evidence and questioned as to his association to the blog. It escalated to his actually being accused of running the blog. The advertiser denied being the blogger and refused to speak further as he was under no obligation to answer their questions. This begs the question that if they knew or suspected the individual was the blogger and they also knew that the individual was duty-disabled, how could any of this be "on the clock"?
One answer is, "It isn't." Another answer is, "This is bullshit." And in fact, it is. The majority of the article is a justification of why they went after the blog, rather than a listing of suspected infractions, which in itself would reveal that the BGA is doing what IAD and IPRA are forbidden from doing, namely conducting another illegal First Amendment investigation into the off-duty actions by a member of the Department.
ANOTHER NOTE FOR PINHEADS AND ASSHATS: We aren't now, nor have we ever, nor do we intend to defend the content of the blog in question. Quite frankly, some of it disgusted us to no end - quite a few things do. Our general rule of thumb was that if grandma was offended by it, then it didn't make our comment section. Grandma has since passed on, but we are still accused of all sorts of nonsense by tiny brains who don't have the ability to read or write a complete sentence, let alone follow a logical argument. Try hard to follow this - someone, probably Rahm, in collusion with the Department, abetted by the media, is using the BGA as a proxy to stifle a controversial blog. Period.
Here's where they run into some very chilling and disturbing areas. The BGA article reads as follows (we are repeating a portion of the previous paragraph):
- The BGA decided to look into the blog’s operations because it appeared to be run by one or more Chicago cops and, until Wednesday, reportedly had a large following on the force. Among other things, the BGA wanted to see whether the blog was updated by officers on the clock, and whether hate-related speech was permitted within the police department, which has a long history of racial strife within its ranks and between white officers and minority members of the public.
That's a fairly broad brush to be painting with: "...long history of racial strife..." Again, a post for another day.
But note that the first reason they give for investigating the blog is that it is "...run by one or more Chicago cops..." That's a hell of a statement to be making in public. Imagine if you will an investigation of anything because it was run by "black people," or "Jews," or "gays," or "Occupy protestors." Oh wait, that last one happens all the time and police departments across the country are attacked by the left wing as "oppressive" and "jack-booted" and accused of all manner of suppressing speech. But if a cop runs a blog, well, fuck him, he just isn't a citizen anymore.
You think that's an extreme statement? Look what the Chicago Police Department spokesperson said in this very same article:
- Asked about the blog, which is often harshly critical of police and city leaders, department spokeswoman Melissa Stratton emailed the following statement: "The Chicago Police Department holds its members to the highest standards, whether they’re on or off duty. Any social media communications that disparage an individual or group based on race, religion, sexual orientation or anything else are reprehensible and against the policies of the Department."
Why ask the Department about a blog? Maybe because they are behind the effort to shut it down? The Department has declared via this airhead that your off-duty behavior is fully regulated by the Department. You cannot have an opinion that doesn't follow an arbitrary set of beliefs set by your political masters. You are an automaton without thought. You are not covered by the First Amendment of the United States of America. Are they fucking nuts? We welcome this debate. How are we expected to serve the people who live under the Constitution when we aren't permitted the same privileges and protections? Next thing you know, we'll be counted as 3/5ths of a citizen.
As the Rules were explained to us by people who actually know, you are held to the highest standards when you are representing yourself as a Chicago Police Officer. Your off-duty hours are yours to do with as you please (or at least they are supposed to be). But the Department has been using this hammer for years with the "bringing disrepute" charge upon the the politically unconnected. Ask around and see what we mean.
The article then delves into the realm of the ridiculous:
Patricia Hill, executive director of the African American Police League, said she has visited the [...] site a couple of times and has been pilloried there for her advocacy on behalf of black cops and the African-American community.
"I would say this: they’re equal opportunity bigots, because they don’t like anybody," said Hill, a former Chicago cop. "Closed minded and narrow minded, I call them cowards."
The last few paragraphs are more of the BGA justifying their being used as a stalking horse for the Rahm administration:
The BGA’s interest in the blog was amplified by [the advertiser's] disability status. The Chicago Sun-Times recently printed a series on Chicago police and firefighters on disability, noting the system is badly monitored and rife with potential abuse, with taxpayers subsidizing the tab, totaling $18 million a year for the police department alone. The city inspector general and the U.S. attorney’s office have launched investigations into the city’s "duty disability" program.
Again, the BGA has its interest piqued by a "disability status." What that has to do with an officer's off-duty actions is beyond our comprehension. If you are disabled, you end up with free time between rehab and therapy sessions. How you fill that time ought to be entirely up to you.
In conclusion, if you don't like it, don't read it. Every television set in the world comes with an on/off switch. Every computer has the same thing. No visits mean obscurity and a slow death in all forms of media - television, radio, internet, blogging, etc. We wouldn't be doing this if no one read it.
FINAL NOTE TO TINY BRAINS: If you are going to make censorship and First Amendment arguments, make sure you know what you are talking about. We've been perfectly straightforward for years that we are a blog, not a government, and as such we regulate what we allow here. No one is stopping you from starting your own blog, just don't expect to use ours for what we deem as bullshit.
Also note that we left out any names associated with the blog in question as we fully expect and encourage the detective to look into legal action against the BGA. The burden of proof is on the BGA to justify their actions and accusations, not upon the detective to prove a negative. Someone has opened a proverbial can of worms.
Labels: scc responds