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The [Friday] Papers

"To be clear, Illinois is in dire condition," Rauner said. "Our financial condition is far worse than has ever been discussed publicly before."


Me, Nov. 17:

"Let me read between the lines and make a prediction: Rauner and his people will 'get a better understanding' of where the state's finances are, all right, and announce that the situation is far more dire than he, the master of private-equity due diligence, realized during the campaign, when the budget was top secret and unavailable to anyone except those with special Google clearance."


I said it before then, too, on one of my podcasts, but I can't remember which one.

Probably this one.


The problem is that the media let him get away with serial bullshit during the campaign, and it's not gonna stop now; it's only gonna get worse.


P.S.: It's still okay to ask Rauner about clouting his daughter into Payton high school; he doesn't get to just shake the Etch-a-Sketch and make the unanswered questions disappear. Unless you let him.

Policing The Police
"Public officials around the country are grappling with how to handle police officers accused of using deadly force without justification," Chip Mitchell reports for WBEZ.

In New York City, the focus is an officer's chokehold that killed a 43-year-old man in July. In Cleveland, the spotlight is on a cop who fatally shot a 12-year-old last month. In Ferguson, Missouri, tempers are still hot about the August shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old.

Then there's Chicago. Since 2007, according to city records, police gunfire has killed at least 116 people and injured another 258. The city's Independent Police Review Authority, the agency in charge of investigating those shootings, has not found a single one to be unjustified.

Well, maybe our cops are just that good! Chicago, yeah!

Now a WBEZ investigation raises questions about just how independent the agency is. City records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that IPRA's management now includes six former cops - officials who have spent most of their career in sworn law enforcement. Those include the agency's top three leaders.

"Complaints may be seen not through the eyes of the citizen but through the eyes of a police officer," said Paula Tillman, a former IPRA investigative supervisor who was a Chicago cop herself in the 1970s and 1980s. "The investigations can be engineered so that they have a tilt toward law enforcement and not what the citizen is trying to say."

Tillman, who left IPRA in 2012, said she noticed a tilt in some of those shooting probes.


Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who tapped [33-year law enforcement veteran Scott] Ando to head IPRA last year, did not answer WBEZ when we asked whether the agency's management shift conflicted with its oversight mission. He referred our questions to IPRA, whose spokesman sent a statement praising the agency's "balanced workforce" and listing recent community outreach efforts, including a new brochure and the creation of a satellite office and an advisory board.

A new brochure? Is it Chokeholds for Dummies? Or maybe A Step-By-Step Guide To Justifying Every Shot Cops Fire.


"One recent IPRA investigation led to Cook County felony charges against a police district commander, Glenn Evans, for allegedly inserting the barrel of his handgun down a 22-year-old's throat last year while pressing a Taser to his crotch and threatening to kill him - a case revealed by WBEZ. (Ando in April recommended that Supt. Garry McCarthy strip Evans of police powers. But McCarthy, backed by Emanuel, did not remove Evans from the command post until the charges were brought more than four months later.)"

Emphasis mine to show that when the "I" in IPRA isn't standing for incompetent, it's standing for impotent.

(Well, it's not really incompetence because they're very competent at doing what they were designed to do. But it was a nice line.)


"Samuel Walker, a University of Nebraska at Omaha criminologist, says it is common for the independence of police-oversight agencies to erode. He said police unions sometimes convince politicians to curb an agency's powers. Or, as in Chicago, the mayor allows former cops to take the lead.

"They make the argument that somebody with a law-enforcement background is going to better understand policing and be able to do a better job of assessing complaints," Walker said.

But he thinks this argument only goes so far. "Public perception of independence is critically important in terms of the credibility of the agency," Walker said. "As you staff it with people with law-enforcement backgrounds, you're going to create distrust."

That distrust, Walker said, means police brutality may go unreported and unpunished.

Or reported and still unpunished.


"Experts say a paucity of sustained excessive-force complaints is not unusual for a police-oversight agency, even in a big city. But it was not supposed to be that way in Chicago.

"One misconduct [incident] is one too many and I think people want openness - transparency from the police department," Mayor Richard M. Daley said in 2007 when he announced the formation of IPRA in response to a series of scandals, most memorably a video recording that showed a beefy off-duty cop named Anthony Abbate beating up a petite bartender who had refused to serve him.

Previously, police-brutality complaints against Chicago cops were handled by the Office of Professional Standards, a unit of the police department itself.

Daley moved the agency under his direct supervision and gave it subpoena power. He also kept civilians in charge of IPRA to counter what he called "the perception" that investigations into alleged police misconduct were tainted by cops.

Seven years later, that perception still dogs the agency.

Maybe that's because IPRA is delivering the same results as the body it replaced negating the reason for IPRA's existence.

See: Analysis of IPRA's first four years of operations uncovers that their rate of sustaining citizen complaints against CPD officers is identical to its predecessor.

And then there's the feckless Chicago Police Board.

So to answer WBEZ's question: Who polices the police? Nobody.


See also:
* Police Officer Demonstrates The Proper Technique For Subduing A Grand Jury.

* Survival Strategies For Purchasing A Soft Drink.

#WhitePrivilege, #AliveWhileBlack.

* Richard Pryor Knew All About Police Brutality.

* Louis CK: I Enjoy Being White.

* Fatal Police Encounters In New York City.

* What A Cleveland News Outlet Should Learn From Its Flawed Tamir Rice Coverage.

* George Carlin On American Bullshit.


The Beachwood Radio Network
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour is in production!

ETA: Friday afternoon.

* The Beachwood Radio Hour is in pre-production!

ETA: Saturday evening.


Jay Cutler For MVP?
This was a real, live discussion.


Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men
Kings of the hill.

Big Changes In Obamacare's Fine Print
Prepare to pay more.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: St. Vincent, Speak Out, Robert Delong, Future Islands, and Lisa Loeb.


Friends In Low Places
Rosemont Just Passed A Law To Keep Garth Brooks' Incentives A Secret.

In response to a Tribune Freedom of Information Act request.


A sampling.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Wood privilege.


Posted on December 5, 2014

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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