Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Appeals Court rejects Burge’s claim people lied about his lies about torture

It would have been a real sick April Fool’s joke if the Court of Appeals based in Chicago had actually granted the appeal filed by one-time police Commander Jon Burge.

Burge, of course, is the one-time head of the police at the Pullman Area police headquarters whose detectives engaged in behavior that most of us think of as torture.

HECK, THE REASON that Far South Side-based headquarters is now called the Calumet Area is because Burge’s behavior left such a nasty taint on the “Pullman” label.

Not that Burge was ever prosecuted for such behavior. What ultimately got him under the attention of the U.S. attorney’s office for prosecution was the fact that he repeatedly denied that his officers did anything wrong, which constituted perjury when he said it in opposition to lawsuits that were filed against the city.

It is because of that perjury conviction that Burge now lives at a federal correctional center in North Carolina – from which he is scheduled to be released Feb. 14, 2015.

That will be a miserable Valentine’s Day for the people who have to live with the memory of what Burge’s officers did in their attempts to preserve law and order within Chicago.

MAYBE THAT’S WHAT old-man Richard J. Daley was talking about when he had his slip of the tongue and said the police were here to “preserve disorder.”

Of course, I’m all for the rights of the inmates to be preserved. It is what makes our justice system superior to those of many others (Amanda Knox having to fear Italy is ridiculous) in the world.

Burge disgust was not limited
Even in cases such as Burge. So I have no problem with the idea that he appealed his conviction. I’m just glad to see that there wasn’t somebody on the Seventh Circuit that is based in Chicago and oversees appeals filed in the Midwestern U.S. who actually took it seriously.

Because Burge’s appeal basically says that the people who are accusing him of wrongdoing are lying. As though the word of a police officer should always be taken above others.

THE PROBLEM WITH that line of logic is why the Burge case is so offensive to begin with. It attempts to use the badge as a shield to cover one’s inappropriate behavior – when in reality we ought to be expecting our law enforcement-types to conduct themselves at a higher level than we do other individuals in our society!

His appeal literally argues that since his testimony in those lawsuits did not prevent a judge from ruling in their favor, it means that he didn’t affect the outcome of any case.

As though he thinks he is above prosecution.

It is embarrassing to think that we have people like this thinking of themselves as legitimate sources of law and order. It is the reason that we have people who just don’t trust the police, and are skeptical to cooperate.

WHICH IS WHY it would have been a sick joke if the appeals court had actually ruled in Burge’s behavior in an opinion that was released on Monday. It was reassuring to see that the appellate panel that ruled in Burge’s case was unanimously opposed.

Now I know there are certain types of people who are prepared to disagree with me. They’re the ones who proclaim themselves to be all about “law and order” and “respect” in our society who say that these officers are merely doing what is necessary to deal with criminals.

They’re the ones who saw the high total of slayings in Chicago earlier this year who probably want to say that justifies some brutal behavior against defendants.

Sorry, but I just don’t buy it – particularly since the places on this planet that do permit such behavior legally are usually ones we wouldn’t want to live in.

BESIDES, IT JUST isn’t necessary. Take the high level of attacks that occurred this weekend in the downtown area. Police were able to respond to many of them almost immediately, with nearly 30 arrests made.

It would be a shame if the Police Department behaving professionally had been overshadowed by a Burge-related reminder of when it conducted itself badly.


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