The [Tuesday] Papers
"Quintonio LeGrier called 911 three times on the morning after Christmas to seek help from Chicago police shortly before he was shot and killed by an officer who responded to his father's West Side residence, according to newly released recordings by the Independent Police Review Authority," the Tribune reports.
"I need to talk to an officer," LeGrier, 19, identifying himself only as "Q," told a dispatcher. "Someone's threatening my life."
"Minutes later, LeGrier was fatally shot by Officer Robert Rialmo outside his father's residence in the 4700 block of West Erie Street after allegedly swinging a baseball bat at the officer. Bettie Jones, 55, another resident in the building, was fatally shot by the same officer in what police have called an accident."
I believe we knew about these calls, though we hadn't heard them.
"The Tribune has previously reported that a male caller who identified himself as "Q" told a dispatcher that someone in the residence was threatening his life but that the caller refused to answer questions.
"But on Monday, IPRA disclosed that the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications recently provided IPRA with two earlier calls by the younger LeGrier before the shooting."
"Officers did not respond to those earlier calls, IPRA's Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley said in a statement."
The statement did not say why officers did not respond to the earlier calls. The statement could not be reached for further comment.
In an updated version of the story, the Tribune reported this:
"Melissa Stratton, an OEMC spokeswoman, said disciplinary proceedings are underway for that 911 operator for failing to follow proper protocol. Police should have been dispatched after the caller said his life had been threatened, Stratton said.
That operator can be heard on the recording hanging up the call after LeGrier identified himself only as "Q" and declined to detail what was happening.
It's even worse than that. From the first call:
"What's the last name?" she asked.
LeGrier tried again.
LeGrier called two other times within the next few minutes. During the third call at 4:21 a.m., a different operator implored him to give her more information.
We killed him. He was asking for help his whole life. Our city simply didn't care enough to bother.
Just to be clear, the Sun-Times reports that "A caller does not have to provide his or her name when they call 911, Stratton said."
Rauner's Ruinous Rap
The only thing Rauner is right about in that statement is that there is no good excuse for major cuts to social service programs that have resulted from the budget impasse. There are a lot of bad excuses though. Some context missing from the story:
1. Rauner has not submitted a balanced budget.
That's right, folks. The governor has not submitted anything even close to a balanced budget for the General Assembly to vote on - nevermind the poison pills he has submitted asking the Democratic supermajority to de-unionize the state. Wisconsin? Indiana? Rauner's model is looking more like Mississippi.
2. There actually isn't a Democratic supermajority.
Well, technically there is. And if all 71 Democrats under Michael Madigan in the House would vote as a unanimous bloc, the Democrats could run state government because they would have enough votes to override the governor's vetos.
However, not all 71 Democrats are under Madigan's control. There are two or three stray members who could not be counted on to support a Democratic-only budget that would certainly include tax increases. So what the Democrats really have is a supermajority-ish membership in the General Assembly, which isn't enough to pass things.
3. Michael Madigan is about Michael Madigan first and foremost.
Even if the Democrats had a true supermajority, history suggests that Madigan would not pass a budget with tax increases, which everybody seemingly including the governor knows have to be passed, without at least one measly Republican so his members don't have to wear the jacket in the next election.
4. Rauner has said he would sign a bill raising taxes if the General Assembly passed such a bill after they pass his Turnaround Agenda, which includes such urgent budget matters as term limits, and amending workers' comp to make it more business-friendly and less hurt worker-friendly. Party leaders in both the House and Senate would have to agree ahead of time to strike that deal. That seems unlikely.
Consider, for example, a Democratic governor insisting that the Republican (super)majority agree to a Turnaround Agenda that required every employee in the state to belong to a union, oh and also, abortion on-demand on every block in Illinois, before agreeing to a budget that cut taxes on the rich. Though slightly exaggerated, that's basically where we're at.
(One might argue that Illinois Democrats are in the same place as congressional Rebublicans, which is an admittedly imperfect analogy, yet an instructive one.)
5. It's really Rauner who is content to cause chaos to get his way.
In fact, that's his stated strategy. He has spoken quite openly, just like our mayor, about the way crisis creates opportunity, and pain to "special interests" creates leverage. In this case, the "special interests" are the poor, the infirm, the elderly, children, veterans, and really everyone in Illinois who isn't rich enough to feel the impact of his crisis-making.
Back to the Trib:
"The governor's comments came just days after Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, the state's largest social services agency, announced it would close 30 programs and cut 750 positions because it's owed more than $6 million by the state . . .
"Meanwhile, another group announced Monday that it will no longer offer intervention services for runaways and at-risk youth in Englewood and West Englewood because of the budget impasse. Children's Home + Aid plans to shut down the programs Feb. 15, meaning as many as 70 children will be diverted from lower-cost community-based programs to the state's strained child welfare agency."
This moved me to look up the following definition:
"Negligent homicide is a much lower intent crime and is used as a charge when one person causes the death of another through criminal negligence. The charge does not involve premeditation, but focuses on what the defendant should have known and the risks associated with what he did know."
Back to the Trib:
"On Monday, Rauner returned to his argument that Democrats could raise taxes on their own to prop up the budget, but they are 'afraid to look taxpayers in the eye and demand more.'"
I'm not here to defend or apologize for Democrats, God knows, but I'm pretty sure the Democrats have done just that.
"If the majority party in the General Assembly thought that just raising taxes to fund those services, they could do it. They haven't moved a finger to go do that," Rauner said. "They are very comfortable not having a budget and letting those services go away. To me, that's an outrage."
I believe I've already handled this bit of disingenuity.
I discuss this - and more! - on this week's edition of The Beachwood Radio Hour, which seems to be one of the more popular episodes I've done. Also, the Show Notes have grown as they pertain to David Bowie and Glenn Frey. If nothing else, look at the Show Notes.
Also, I'm not sure some folks realize the show is downloadable, but it is. You can download it.
Today In Beachwood Politics
* The Statues Of Kankakee. Hometown heroes worthy of being shit on.
* How Did The Flint Water Crisis Happen? Slowly and then quickly? No, just quickly.
Related from Beachwood TV: How Al Jazeera America Reported The Flint Water Crisis - A Year Ago. See the report.
* Federal Appeals Court In Chicago Asked To Rule That Accessing Cell Phone Location Records Without A Warrant Violates the Constitution. At issue are so-called Stingrays, mobile cell-site simulators that trick your phone into connecting with them. Used by Chicago and Illinois police.
Also on today's Beachwood:
Match-Fixing Allegations Move From Tennis To Wrestling
At The Adler: Sign Up Now For Summer Science!
We can break out of these damaging, tiresome and inaccurate formulas by using digital tools to change the way articles are structured. They don't have to be "written" this way.
The Beachwood Tip Line: No khakis.
Posted on January 26, 2016
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