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The [Tuesday] Papers

"A group of black aldermen on Monday called for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, saying the city's top cop hasn't done enough to deal with crime in their wards or bring more diversity to the upper ranks of the department," the Tribune reports.

"A City Hall news conference included most of the 18 members of the City Council Black Caucus, including some aldermen who have been staunch supporters of Emanuel's agenda. Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, chairman of the caucus, said the group decided after years of frustration to push for McCarthy's ouster on the day before he and Police Department brass are scheduled to come to the council for their annual budget hearing.

"As aldermen of these communities, we are on the front lines of the work to keep our streets safe and secure. We have been troubled by the superintendent's lack of responsiveness to our concerns and requests as we face this crisis," Sawyer said. "In addition, we have been deeply concerned about the superintendent's failure to place African-Americans in a position of leadership throughout the department, as well as the reduction in new African-American police recruits despite our repeated efforts and inquiries."

Okay, not to invalidate (yet) the call from the Black Caucus, but isn't this sort of an annual occurrence? To the Beachcave!

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I guess I'm wrong. I could've sworn black aldermen had issued this call a few times before, but not according to the Tribune and Sun-Times archives.

Why am I misremembering this? People?

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What I was going to write, in part, was that if the Black Caucus, which rarely gets together for anything, really wants to make this happen, it has to do more than grandstand. For one thing, we just had an election in which this was an issue!

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Back to the Tribune:

"The call for McCarthy's dismissal comes weeks before aldermen will be asked to vote for an Emanuel budget that includes a massive property tax increase and new monthly garbage collection fee. But the council members denied they were trying to soften the political blow from that vote by going after the police superintendent who has borne much of the criticism for stubbornly high violent crime in their wards."

Did someone make that accusation - or is that just the Tribune's suspicion?

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"The Black Caucus held its news conference the same day the department's highest-ranking African-American, Alfonza Wysinger, 53, announced his retirement after nearly 30 years of service. McCarthy named Chief of Detectives John Escalante, who is Hispanic, to succeed Wysinger as first deputy police superintendent."

On Wysinger at this time last year:

"Chicago's First Deputy Police Supt. Al Wysinger is in line for a $9,408-a-year pay raise - to $197,724 - thanks to an 11th-hour amendment slipped into Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget in response to questions from aldermen.

"Earlier this month, Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus, put Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on the hot seat.

"Brookins demanded to know why the mayor's 2015 budget called for McCarthy's trusted chief of crime control strategy Robert Tracy to be paid $194,256 a year while Wysinger, the police department's No. 2 man, was in line for an annual salary of $188,316."

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Back to the Tribune:

"We said, 'Let's give him a chance,'" said Austin, who made reference to a recent Chicago Tribune editorial that called on aldermen to take more responsibility for the violence in their wards.

Here's that gruesome editorial that the paper doesn't link to; I'll deal with its misguided, patronizing, racist content another day.

Back to Austin:

"My concern is, my constituents get sick and tired of hearing about statistics and no action."

Okay, look: I'm no fan of Garry McCarthy. But aldermen tired of hearing about statistics are tired of hearing the truth; they'd rather pander to constituents ginned up by crime reporting malpractice by outlets including the Tribune. That doesn't mean violence in Chicago - and everywhere else in and by America - doesn't continue to be heartbreaking; it means we can't craft sensible public policy solutions unless we understand the nature of the problem. (Putting more cops on the streets isn't likely one of those solutions.)

As far as "no action," we've had a whirlwind of action; each week seems to bring a new crime-fighting plan. There is no lack of action.

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"Rules Committee Chair Ald. Michelle Harris, 8th, said she had not spoken to the mayor about her desire to see McCarthy replaced, but she said new leadership is needed.

"It's about our communities. We all love our communities. We live there," she said. "We're doing everything possible, given the resources we have in our communities, to make them a better place to live. So what we're saying now is, maybe a new leader will give us some of the things that we may need out in our communities."

Like jobs? Neighborhood schools? The end of TIFs looting communities? Sorry, that's not the police chief's department. Or, as discussed on this edition of The Beachwood Radio Hour, stop blaming McCarthy for Rahm's policies.

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I'm reminded of Crain's calling for McCarthy's ouster back in June; I prefer the thinking of this response by my friend Tracy Siska of the Chicago Justice Project, which begins this way:

"The calls to relieve Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy of his duties, including from Crain's editorial board, are right on time. His tactics haven't been the miracle cure for the city's violence we all desperately wished them to be. So our response is to fire the superintendent so we can live in denial for another four years about the possible impact any policing tactics will have on Chicago's endemic problems with violence.

"We are stuck in a cycle in which we love the new superintendent until we realize that his new idea is not really new, nor effective, at stemming the social ills that cause the violence in Chicago. It is not surprising, because the idea is designed only to lower violence numbers just enough that everyone is happy with the results.

"I am far from a McCarthy supporter. I do think we need to replace him. But my assessment is based on real-world expectations. I understand that the real impact of policing tactics on the violence in Chicago is small. Chicago's police are an important part of the solution, but our continued practice of throwing all of our eggs in that basket always will end in failure."

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Siska lays out a strong case against McCarthy. Let me put a few more logs on the fire: The continued and blatant misrepresentations (lies) about the impact of mandatory minimum sentencing; his bullshit spying regime; his position that Dante Servin, who was released from manslaughter charges only because a judge thought he should've been charged with murder instead, should never have been charged in the first place; disappearing thousands of Chicagoans; and, now, his promotion to chief of detectives of "a veteran cop under investigation for his role in creating a fictitious witness statement that helped prevent former Mayor Richard M. Daley's nephew from being charged with killing David Koschman."

JFC.

What's next, bringing Jon Burge back to run Homan Square?

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Will Burns, everybody.

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By the way, did you know that Richard M. Daley considered McCarthy for police chief back in 2003?

"Mayor Daley said Tuesday he will not be bullied into accepting the names of African-American candidates for police superintendent suggested by the Rev. Jesse Jackson," the Sun-Times reported at the time.

"If I start going around [the legally mandated process, there'll be big editorials, 'Why does Mayor Daley select his best friend as superintendent?'" the mayor told reporters.

Asked whether he was disappointed the list of three finalists did not include an African American, Daley said, "You want names of people. But if you start dictating, then you'll have editorials: 'Mayor Daley's a power boss' . . . You would love that editorial: 'Daley interferes with the Police Board. He's in there knocking heads.' Come on. We're not gonna fall for that."

Of course, when Daley hired Jody Weis in 2008, he did just that - ignored the police board and conducted his own, personal "search."

Anyway, here's the rest:

Last week, the surprise withdrawal of a black deputy superintendent set the stage for a political firestorm.

The Daley-appointed Police Board chose two whites and one Hispanic as finalists for the $159,288-a-year superintendent's job vacated by Terry Hillard.

Garry F. McCarthy, 44, the New York Police Department's operations chief, will vie against Acting Supt. Phil Cline, 53, and Winnetka's 56-year-old police chief Joseph DeLopez.

Jackson wants the mayor to reject the Police Board's finalists in favor of a "broader pool" of candidates suggested by a commission Jackson is setting up.

But Daley said he's not about to wait for more names.

"Where were they two months ago? This is a process. If you want to start changing the process now because you don't like the outcome, then that's very unfair," the mayor said.

The mayor said he's confident that process was "open and honest." It's not the Police Board's fault that Deputy Supt. John Richardson withdrew his name at the last minute. Richardson had been a lock to make the final three, according to Police Board President Demetrius Carney.

"You cannot ask somebody not to [withdraw] who doesn't want to be on the list. He has personal reasons," the mayor said.

Jackson said he originally blamed the Police Board for not having a black and a woman in the mix, but after speaking to several board members, he now feels Richardson torpedoed the process by dropping out the day before the final three candidates were picked.

"As we have begun to talk to board members they took into account the same thing we were concerned about," he said. "If he [Richardson] were going to retire, he should never have entered, or earlier on, withdraw. Surely the mayor must know the flawed process created a flawed pool . . . I still think the mayor must broaden the pool to include an African American and a woman."

If Daley is determined to ignore his recommendations, Jackson acknowledged there is little he can do to block the appointment of Chicago's next superintendent.

"We do not have the capacity to stop him from using his power, but we have the moral obligation to continue to raise our concern for justice, fairness and inclusion.

"Blacks are disproportionate in the number of people profiled, arrested, jailed and issued traffic tickets. Yet we're on the other extreme in positions of authority in the Police Department. My appeal to the mayor is to work on correcting those imbalances in the Police and Fire Department."

Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) has worked closely with the mayor in recent years, but that didn't stop her from joining the call for Daley to scrap the three names. She was incredulous that a New York police official made the finals.

"New York has the highest rate of police brutality of any place in the country. It was in New York that they sodomized a black man with a broomstick," Tillman said.

Earlier this week, the mayor's chief liaison to the black community joined the chorus of criticism against the Police Board. Charles Bowen accused the nine-member board, whose president is black, of putting the mayor in a politically untenable position.

On Tuesday, the mayor respectfully disagreed with Bowen.

Daley said he chose Hillard not because he was black but because he was capable of serving all of Chicago and building "coalitions" with everyone. The next superintendent must do the same, no matter what color he is, Daley said.

Never before - at least not in recent memory - has a Chicago mayor rejected the three finalists and ordered the Police Board to start over. But Daley refused to rule out such an unlikely scenario.

Asked whether one of the top three would be the next superintendent, Daley said, "I can't tell you. I'm going to first interview them . . . I can accept or reject."

Daley chose Cline that go around.

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If Joe Maddon Were Mayor . . .
Another Beachwood Thought Experiment.

Obama's Shitty BP Settlement
Deepwater Horizon deal a tax windfall.

Fire Prevention Do's & Don'ts
FEMA says: Be ready to act immediately!

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Rat pack.



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Posted on October 6, 2015


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