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The [Friday] Papers

"In an unprecedented move, city attorneys on Friday offered to admit to a federal jury that a code of silence exists in the Chicago Police Department if it meant Mayor Rahm Emanuel would not have to testify about it at the upcoming trial involving two whistleblower cops," the Tribune reports.

Because presumably only bad things can happen when you get Rahm Emanuel under oath - and before a jury. City attorneys would admit to being the real killers O.J. Simpson has been looking for if it meant they could keep Rahm off the stand.

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I originally was going to use Jimmy Hoffa in that line but I wondered if younger readers would know who Hoffa was.

I also considered using the Zodiac Killer in that line, but we already know who that really is. Plus, that's a really stale meme. As is Hoffa. And O.J.

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"But U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rebuffed the idea, saying he was standing by his ruling earlier this week that Emanuel must take the witness stand to answer questions about the code of silence."

Hooboy!

"Feinerman said that even though he was 'reluctant' to take up the mayor's valuable time and cause a media circus by having him testify, he believed Emanuel could offer 'much more texture' to the existence of the code of silence if he testified about it rather than have the city's lawyers offer a written stipulation."

I'm not sure if "texture" is the word we're looking for here, but ok.

"Feinerman said he agreed with attorneys for the whistleblower cops that the mayor's testimony 'would provide further evidence of an unwritten policy and practice.' Emanuel could 'speak to the pervasiveness of the problem,' the judge said."

Disagree. I don't think Rahm knows jack squat about the inner workings of the police department, and when he "admitted" there was a code of silence, he was talking out of his ass and only acknowledging what everyone already knows. It's like "admitting" the city council is a rubber stamp.

I'd rather see accidental police chief Eddie "One-Time Exception" Johnson on the stand denying he'd ever seen anything bad in his 27 years on the force, much less a code of silence, if only to put the embarrassment of his existence into higher relief. Better, let's get the formerly heroic and now disgraced Garry McCarthy up there to tell all now that he's finally been fully and bitterly inculcated into the Rahm Emanuel Experience, a new Navy Pier attraction in which an animatronic short guy with nine-and-a-half fingers yells at you for a minute and 30 seconds while you hold your tongue and smile, lest you be pitched into the lake and barred from ever returning to the city.

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"The trial, set to begin May 30, involves a civil rights lawsuit brought by Chicago police Officers Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria over allegations they were blackballed by the department for cooperating with the FBI in an investigation into a corrupt tactical team led by Sgt. Ronald Watts."

See, cooperating in an investigation into wrongdoing in the department makes you a snitch, as opposed to cooperating with an investigation by the department into people living in your neighborhood. That makes you a good citizen.

"The trial will center on whether the department has a de facto policy that uses the code of silence to allow bad officers to act with impunity. During his December speech to the City Council, Emanuel condemned 'the tendency to ignore, deny or in some cases cover up the bad actions of a colleague or colleagues.'"

Like Rahm's aides do for their boss.

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"Civil rights lawyer Flint Taylor has spent decades trying to prove the code of silence exists in numerous lawsuits against the CPD, over denials from high-ranking cops and city officials," the Sun-Times reports.

"Even though the city's attempt to make a formal admission the code exists wasn't accepted by the judge, Emanuel's public statements will remain a 'major weapon' for lawsuits against the city, said Taylor, who predicted Spalding and Echeverria are about to get a very generous settlement offer.

"'I know I had Mayor Daley on the verge of having to testify or give depositions two or three times, and then we'd get a settlement offer we couldn't turn down,' Taylor said Friday, referring to lawsuits he filed against the city when Richard M. Daley was in office. 'I'm sure they really don't want Rahm to hit the stand.'"

I'm sure those settlements were good for Taylor and his clients, but they certainly weren't good for us citizens, who deserved to hear Daley testify under oath about such things as, oh, what he knew about Jon Burge when he was the Cook County State's Attorney, even if all he said was that he didn't remember, which is probably what he would have said. A skilled lawyer could have evinced something useful out of such an episode.

"Outside the courtroom Friday, [plantiffs' lawyer Jeffrey Lynn] Taren declined to talk about how much his clients were seeking or what numbers had been suggested in settlement talks to date. Asked about the prospect of putting Emanuel on the stand, Taren smiled.

"'We're looking forward to it,' he said."

So are we. And we will be for a long, long time.

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Posted on May 20, 2016


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