Monday, March 28, 2016

I’ll pick my own black man to be police superintendent; thank you very much

This weekend was the quintessential Rahm Emanuel at work; as the mayor let it be known who his preference was to be the new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department while also making it clear he’s not about to give in to pressure from ANYBODY interested in influencing his pick.

JOHNSON: The new superintendent. Maybe
For the record (or at least according to various news reports starting with the Chicago Sun-Times that began cropping up Saturday night and into Sunday morning), Emanuel wants to pick Eddie Johnson, a veteran Chicago cop who currently serves as chief of patrol for the department.

WHAT MAKES THIS pick intriguing is that Johnson is NOT one of the three people proposed by the Police Board for Emanuel’s consideration.

Heck, technically he didn’t even apply for the job earlier this year when then-Superintendent Garry McCarthy got canned to appease those people who wanted someone to lose their job because of the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald by a police officer.

But Johnson is an African-American man with experience within the department, and it was reported that Emanuel thinks he can help calm the mood of Chicago – some of which would love it if Rahm himself were the one in danger of losing his job.

Which, technically, is what the black caucus within the City Council has said it wanted in terms of a new police chief. To the point where last week, black aldermen demanded the right to interview superintendent candidates themselves before the mayor took any action.

THEN, THEY EXPECTED Emanuel to go along with their recommendation, whom the full council would then get to advise and consent on. There also was the fact that the black aldermen had also made it clear already who they wanted to get the job – deputy superintendent Eugene Williams. Forget about those two out-of-town clowns under consideration!

ALEXANDER: Should have kept quiet!
That is the real reason for Emanuel’s actions this weekend. There was no way he was going to let a batch of bush league aldermen order him around. Not on a police superintendent pick, or anything else, for that matter.

What’s the point of being the “Boss!” if you have to take orders?

By doing things this way, the black aldermen get nothing. But Emanuel will have picked someone who is black and experienced in the ways of Chicago – which technically is what they wanted in a new superintendent.

IF THEY DECIDE to gang up and vote against Johnson’s eventual confirmation, guaranteed that the mayor will be the one accusing them of playing politics with the process.

EMANUEL: In the end, it's all about him
Technically, this pick complicates things because the rules say Emanuel is supposed to make his appointment from amongst the three people recommended by the Police Board.

The scenario that could happen, according to news reports, is that Johnson gets the nomination on an interim basis, the mayor rejects all three official candidates and the Police Board comes up with new candidates.

And if the Police Board knows what’s good for it, one of their new candidates had better include Johnson so his appointment can be made permanent.

OR AT LEAST as permanent as any political appointment ever is!

One other interesting angle to this process – Emanuel originally favored Cedric Alexander, a high-ranking law enforcement official in suburban Atlanta, to get the superintendent’s post (WMAQ-TV reported the mayor actually offered him the job). But it seems Rahm became very offended when Alexander told people back home he was likely to be offered the job; which hadn’t yet been offered.

Meaning Emanuel could yet change his mind again and Johnson could find himself out-of-a job before he ever got in.

This could turn into an ugly process – perhaps uglier than the partisan bickering taking place over the Supreme Court vacancy. Chicago political infighting truly has the ability to make the activity in Washington, D.C., look like a batch of sissies at work.


No comments: