Friday, January 13, 2017

Times change; not always for better

Friday is the day that Justice Department officials are supposed to issue a report detailing its investigations of constitutional violations within the Chicago Police Department, yet there are those people who are looking to one week ahead when it comes to changes in police policy.
Feds to offer suggestions for improved police relations

Federal officials have been doing their own review of the condition that some say result in our city’s police officers being overly aggressive in performing their duties, particularly with regard to those individuals of African-American persuasions.

NEWS REPORTS INDICATE there will likely be an “agreement in principle” that suggests things that can be done to alleviate public tensions toward police and improve relations overall.

But it is telling that this report is coming out the same week that Jeff Sessions, the senator from Alabama with a record of unenlightened racial attitudes, is in line to become the new Attorney General.

For Sessions, during confirmation hearings held this week in Washington, D.C., let it be known that he thinks law enforcement agencies are hemmed in too strictly. They’re not allowed to do their jobs!

To prove his point, he cited our very own Chicago. “Morale has been affected, and it has affected the crime rates … in Chicago,” he said, referring in part to the fact that the homicide tally for the Second City shot up significantly during 2016.

THIS ATTITUDE IS not surprising. Or at least it shouldn’t be, to those who are paying attention.
Will police listen to proposed change?

It has always been clear that the problem with police relations with the public, particularly with regards to black people, is that we don’t agree on what the problem is.

There also are those who are more than content with the idea of a police department that cracks down on certain individuals whom they want to believe are an inherent criminal element.

All this really means is this split is now reflected in our government entities. If anything, the Justice Department report that will be released is similar to the just over $1 billion federal grant that recently got approved for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Will a new chief executive alter perceptions?

IT WAS A last-ditch effort to provide something for Chicago before the goon squads of President-elect Donald J. Trump get to remove the “-elect” from that title and take over.

Pass something that could impose some form of restrictions – at least for the time being. Because police officials already are saying they think it wrong for Justice to try to do anything because of the change in presidential administrations taking effect just one week later.

Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo told the Chicago Sun-Times he expects that future federal officials will dump anything that gets imposed on the rush this week.

“One administration is moving out. Another administration is moving in,” he said. “They have two different views on policing in urban America.

“TO JUMP TO any sort of an agreement or mandate at this early stage before anyone has eyes on it isn’t what we’d expect from this city or department,” said Angelo.
Will he be erased from our memory?

As if this is yet another issue where Trump and his gang will go out of their way to erase any semblance that Barack Obama and his presidential policies ever existed. Ignoring the majority that new view Obama favorably, combined with the 46 percent who actually voted for Trump -- because we all know that only the people in that latter group matter.

It may turn out that the Affordable Care Act, which Republican partisans began the process of trying to repeal just this week, will merely be the first of many changes motivated by the concept that if Obama favored something, it must be bad!

Which, to me, sounds almost like a Soviet-style rewriting of history. Perhaps that’s why Trump is so comfortable with Russian premier Vladimir Putin and their successors.


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