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The [Thursday] Papers

So let me see if I have this straight:

The CTU is mad because the school board that voted Wednesday against removing cops from schools is unelected. But the vote leaves in place the option for Local School Councils, which are elected, to remove cops from schools. So in the end, it's up to the electeds. Isn't that what the CTU wants?

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The CTU presumes, for some reason, that elected officials would have voted to remove cops from schools. Now we shall see!

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Let me try this in another configuration: The CTU is against leaving the decision up to an unelected board or elected school councils. They're trying to find the sweet spot!

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"Chicago's school board voted Wednesday not to remove cops from schools, a decision we find regrettable," the Sun-Times says in an editorial that basically echoes my position.

We'll stand by the evidence, some of which we offered in an editorial a couple of weeks ago, that the presence of police officers does not make schools safer, just a little more like the anteroom to prison.

The normal ways in which kids misbehave too often become criminalized when the school cop, rather than a counselor or social worker, is called in. Arrests, handcuffs, fingerprinting, criminal records and higher dropout rates follow.

But here's an additional point we'd like to make today, having sat through three hours of debate by the school board. We take our position - that cops have no place in the daily life of schools - with a good dose of humility, respecting the arguments on the other side.

I haven't made my way through the research on the matter, but I understand it's pretty unequivocal in finding that placing cops in schools is counterproductive, to say the least. But I also have to respect the parents, teachers and, yes, even students who welcome officers in their buildings - especially people like school board member Dwayne Truss, a longtime West Side activist and former Raise Your Hand board member who lives in Austin:

So I, too, oppose cops in schools - with a large dose of humility. I also oppose the CTU's disingenuous ways, no humility needed.

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False Conviction
"A Coal Valley man's 2008 murder conviction was vacated Tuesday, thanks in part to the work of the Illinois Innocence Project," the Springfield State Journal-Register reports.

"Newly discovered evidence showed that Nathaniel Onsrud was not responsible for the death of his four-month-old son. Onsrud was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections Tuesday."

Whenever I see this stories, I always try to imagine what it's like being these people - the unworldly frustration and inner turmoil at being falsely convicted of murder. Your one life taken away from you. And in this case, accompanied by a dead child. What torture.

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"Onsrud is the 15th Innocence Project client to be released or exonerated. The project, founded in 2001, is housed at the University of Illinois Springfield."

You have to wonder how many people spend their life in prison wrongly convicted. And sure, we hear about a handful of reversals in murder cases, but what about those wrongly convicted of all manner of other, lesser crimes? How sturdy, really, is our criminal justice system?

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How does such a thing happen?

"Exculpatory documents were not disclosed to defense counsel."

Whoever is responsible for that should now occupy Onsrud's former cell.

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"Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora A. Villarreal also announced her office will be auditing all cases handled by Margaret A. Osborn, the former assistant state's attorney who obtained Onsrud's guilty plea," the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports.

Michael D. Oppenheimer, of Erickson & Oppenheimer Ltd., who represents Onsrud along with the Illinois Innocence Project, said police coerced Onsrud into confessing, and he later pleaded guilty to murder at the advice of his defense attorney.

He tried to withdraw his guilty plea, but now-retired judge Charles H. Stengel denied his motions. Onsrud, now 33, has maintained his innocence for the past 13 years while serving his 60-year prison sentence.

Oppenheimer said the prosecutors withheld at least 1,200 pages of documents from Onsrud's defense attorney.

Onsrud's defense attorney was not told that the Cook County Medical Examiner's initial autopsy, which was done at the request of the Rock Island County coroner, ruled the infant's death as an accident, but the report was changed to indicate homicide, Oppenheimer said.

Stengel retired in 2013.

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McCOVID-19
"A judge on Wednesday ordered several Chicago McDonald's restaurants to adopt new safety measures for social distancing, training and masks, granting a partial win to workers who sued the fast food giant for allegedly failing to adequately protect them from COVID-19," the Tribune reports.

"In issuing the preliminary injunction, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Eve Reilly said the restaurants were not enforcing their mask policies or training employees about social distancing in a way that is consistent with Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker's order, creating a public nuisance."

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Bluff Snuff
"Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara on Wednesday called Mayor Lori Lightfoot's bluff - saying if she's serious about making disciplinary changes to the police contract, she'll eliminate the requirement that Chicago Police officers live in the city and give them the right to strike," Fran Spielman writes with no apparent interference from her Sun-Times editors.

How in the world does suggesting such a ridiculous bargain constitute calling the mayor's bluff?

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"One proposed disciplinary change would allow anonymous complaints - without a sworn affidavit.

"If they want to get rid of the [sworn] affidavit, then take the residency requirement out of the frickin' contract and also take the no-strike clause out of our contract and then, let's see how serious you really are. Give us the same ability that teachers have and give us the ability to live outside the city and then we'll entertain the conversation about getting rid of the affidavit," Catanzara told the Sun-Times.

"They're full of it . . . You keep talking about the affidavit. That's a gigantic ask for us. You're gonna be willing to give up residency and the no-strike clause? I guarantee they're gonna say 'no.' But, it's equal to me. It's what we want you to give up in exchange for what you're asking us to give up. They're not gonna do it any more than we are."

Emphasis mine because it shows that, far from calling a bluff, in which one party makes an offer that tests the sincerity of the other party in its very doableness, Catanzara admits what he is proposing is dead-on-arrival - even acknowledging that he himself would not agree to the deal!

But that's Fran. Tomorrow she'll check in with Ray Lopez again.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Dave's French Foreign Legion Tour Of Chicagoland
"A realm just as real as Oz," the brilliant David Rutter writes.

"I have lived in six of those suburbs (in nine different residences), always intending to be permanently situated, except for those three months under court order."

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America's Exceptionalism
Let us count the ways.

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Dear Media: Stop With The Racist Mascots And Team Names Already
"The continued portrayal of racialized mascots in news media directly violates fundamental tenets of professional journalism."

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ChicagoReddit

So angry and frustrated with so many people suddenly not wearing masks on public transportation jn Chi. Got off a bus today and switched el cars because so people decided to just not wear masks in a huge city all of a sudden. from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Tamburitza Music: The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago

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BeachBook

Devin Nunes Can't Sue Twitter Over Statements By Fake Cow, Judge Rules.

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Alsip Line: Alsip it good.



Permalink

Posted on June 25, 2020


MUSIC - School Of Rock Realizes How White It Is.
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POLITICS - Social Media Platforms Remove War Crimes Evidence.
SPORTS - 100 Choices Better Than La Russa.

BOOKS - Maps For Migrants And Ghosts.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Doing Philosophy At UIC.


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