THERE LIKELY WILL always be nitwits out there who think they can shout down the existence of anything that isn’t exactly like themselves.
But this incident, which the woman used a video camera to capture for all of us to see, sticks out in my mind because of the presence in the background of that officer with the Cook County Forest Preserve District police.
He’s the guy in uniform (and body armor, in case a gun-wielding nutcase hiding out in the woods tries to attack him) who can be seen watching the incident and doing nothing about it.
Not even after the woman, who actually obtained the proper permit to use the picnic area at the Caldwell Woods forest preserve, pointed out to him that the drunken jerk was trying to harass her. Personally, I always thought more highly of the Forest Preserve cops (I have an uncle who is a retired officer) than that!
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I SUPPOSE SOME people will say this is evidence of how times have changed for the better. Because there probably would have been a time when the police officer would have seen the incident, heard the woman complain, and would have chosen to arrest HER on the grounds that she was offending the sensibilities of the man and had the nerve to claim offense for herself.
For what it’s worth, more Forest Preserve District police officers arrived at the scene later, and the man with the boorish behavior ultimately got arrested. He now has charges of assault and disorderly conduct pending against him – charges for which he likely will get hit with some sort of fine.
But it means that the split of our society seems to also exist within our law enforcement – and we have to hope that if confronted by such an incident, the cop who winds up coming to our “aid” is one with a proper sensibility.
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And not somebody who thinks he exists to protect the rights of the troublemakers.
WHICH IS WHY I’m pleased to learn that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle herself has taken in interest in the on-the-job behavior of the law enforcement types on the county payroll.
Although I also don’t doubt that the officer in question (who submitted his resignation Wednesday before police disciplinary hearings could be held) probably thinks he’s being harassed and that if we had REAL government officials in charge, they’d be backing him up!
There may even be people out there in total agreement with that train of thought. Wondering why our society has gone so loony as to be backing this woman with her Puerto Rico-motif t-shirt. Even though I suspect many of those are also the types who think there’s some legitimacy to that “heritage” argument people make when defending Confederate battle flag wearers.
Personally, I’d say her “heritage” is a part of the United States (Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth) while the other pays tribute to a movement to split away from this nation’s ideals.
I AM INCLINED to think that focusing too much attention on this loud-mouthed guy misses the point. I’m not inclined to get worked up like Congressional candidate Jesus Garcia, currently a Cook County Board member, who says he wants the charges against him upgraded to include a “hate” crime.
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Or Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, who has been vocal in his disgust that someone would face harassment because of her ethnic origins.
The guy is a nitwit who probably has read too many Donald Trump-written Twitter tweets and ultimately will have to live with his contemptable self. Punishment enough. But that officer. He, and other officers like him, are the ones we’re going to have to rely on for protection.
Not all cops are alike – there are those who do act nobly with the best intentions of protecting society. We just have to hope they’re the ones who respond when called to our incidents; which amounts to a real crapshoot along the lines of a Las Vegas slot machine.