Tuesday, August 5, 2014

CHICAGO: Home of the Original "Air Jaime" Athletic Shoe

It's the picture of the sneakers that I can't get out of my mind.

On Wednesday, August 20, attorneys for Jaime Hauad will argue for the vacating of the conviction he received after being subjected to torture in police custody. As reported in the June 25 Chicago Sun-Times, "Hauad said police during an interrogation cut off the fronts of his gym shoes with a paper cutter and threatened to cut off his toes next if he didn’t confess. Police photos show Hauad’s gym shoes at first were in normal condition but later had their toe sections severed, just as Hauad said. Hauad also said he was slapped and beaten while in custody." (Emphasis added - read the Sun-Times article, and the long background story about the same case in the Chicago Tribune.)

Paper cutter?

Threaten to cut off his toes?

What kind of city are we living in?

Oh - and did I mention that Jaime's case is part of a much larger issue? Namely - the 100+ cases of Burge-era torture, and the obligation of the government to investigate and reach just resolutions of all the cases -- those involving Burge and his cronies, and those involving other Chicago Police Department officers. 

It's stories like Hauad's -- and that of Tyrone Hood, profiled in this week's New Yorker -- as well as those of many others, that have led me to conclude that a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) needs to be part of a "new plan of Chicago."

Getting to the end of this

Chicago is a city that wants desperately for the world to think well of it.  But it doesn't want to do the difficult work of cleaning house.

We've got all the sports teams, the gleaming buildings . . . even (thanks to the climate crisis?) decent weather. But somehow everyone "out there" still knows what the score is . . .

Mike Royko famously quipped that the motto of the City of Chicago is, officially, "Urbs in Horto" -- "City in a Garden" . . . but it ought to be "Where's mine?"

The update on Royko's observation? We wish Chicago's image in the world was "Air Jordan" . . . but it's still "Air Jaime."

What are you prepared to do to take on injustice perpetrated daily by CPD?


Related posts

In the city where I live, "normal" or "right" or "acceptable" has been given a brutal construction by the power structure:

Police encounter black man on street
Police shoot black man
Black man dies
(Business as usual in Chicago.)

 (See We need to get the police off the streets of Chicago. QED.)

The State's Attorney for the Chicago area finally got around to bringing a charge against a police officer who shot and killed a citizen. Why, I wondered, didn't Anita Alvarez charge him with murder?

Then I remembered my Chicago vocabulary lesson.

(See Chicago Vocabulary Lesson: "Overcharging" and "Undercharging" )

The Chicago Tribune editorial page today featured the words of Cook County Circuit Judge Catherine Haberkorn in a case of police lying on the witness stand: "Obviously, this is very outrageous conduct. All officers lied on the stand today. ... Many, many, many, many times they all lied."

(See CHICAGO COPS: "Many, many, many, many times" they lied )