Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Disarm the CPD

Fully automatic 9 mm Glock pistol, like the one used by
Dante Servin to murder Rekia Boyd.
Has anyone noticed the common thread in the Flint Farmer case and the Rekia Boyd case?

Flint Farmer was an African-American man shot and killed by Chicago police while he lay face down on the ground. Police officer Gildardo Sierra encountered Farmer at night and discharged all 16 rounds in his firearm over the course of 4 seconds, killing Farmer. Prosecutors determined that no charges should be brought against Sierra because they "did not think that they could show that the shooting was unreasonable."

The Farmer case led me to conclude that, okay, if police + guns = murder, then get rid of the guns. Or the police. Or both. (See We need to get the police off the streets of Chicago. QED.)

Now, charges have been dismissed against an off-duty police officer, Dante Servin, who shot and killed a young woman named Rekia Boyd as she sat talking with friends. It was clear to all of us that Servin was being undercharged by the State's Attorney: The facts show that Dante Servin chose to equip himself with his personal weapon - an unregistered Glock pistol ... and, after having made a call to 911 to complain about noisy people near his house, he chose to exit his house at 1 a.m. ... and he chose to confront some young people he saw near his house  ... and, after he drove his car a short distance from where he exchanged words with the young people, he chose to take out his weapon ... and he chose to fire his weapon at them.  (See Chicago Vocabulary Lesson: "Overcharging" and "Undercharging" )

What none of us expected was that the judge would use the lesser charge as an excuse to dismiss. According to press reports, Judge Porter said that "when someone intends to fire a gun, points toward his victim and shoots — much like Servin did on March 21, 2012 — that behavior is not reckless."

Isn't this just more of the same? Police + gun = killing?

There are all kinds of efforts to change the way policing is done in Chicago, and how it gets managed. These efforts mirror those being made in cities nationwide. I support those efforts, and am committed to working on them until we accomplish sweeping change.

But sweeping change will take time.

In the meantime, isn't it urgent that we disarm the CPD?


Contact one or more
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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" )

A campaign exists to bring about a democratically-elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) in Chicago. The campaign would involve the people in electing the watchers of the police, and put the ultimate control of (and responsibility for) the police in the hands of the citizens of Chicago.

(See Does a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) need to be part of a "new plan of Chicago"? )