Chicago - Oct. 26, 2020
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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Civil rights advocates and some criminologists are panning a Chicago plan to arrest teenagers on 'drug corners' this week to keep them from inflaming the city's traditional July 4 gun-violence surge," WBEZ reports.

First, the civil rights advocates and some criminologists are right.

Second, I'm glad WBEZ specified who is panning the plan instead of just using the catch-all "critics," which tends to, in my mind, diminish those voices and make them subservient to "officials."

But on with the story.

"Police Superintendent David Brown, announcing the plan during a Monday news conference, said teens are often paid to carry guns at drug-retail locations because they can face lighter penalties and said they are getting out of jail too quickly after their arrest."

I'm under 18, I won't be doing any ti-yee-ime.

"Brown said he is asking Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and Chief Judge Timothy Evans to make sure these teens remain in jail over the holiday weekend."

I understand the impulse, and rounding up the usual suspects before holiday weekends isn't new. It may even help. It also is likely unconstitutional.

"Our endgame is arrests for the precursors to violence," Brown said. "Every day we're going to be clearing drug corners to protect these young people from the violence. But when we clear the corner, we're pleading with the court systems: Keep them in jail through the weekend."

That makes me quite uncomfortable. Isn't Brown asking the courts to deviate from standard practice?

"Civil rights advocates said Brown's plan amounts to punishing pre-trial defendants who are supposed to be presumed innocent."

And:

"Foxx's office, asked whether it will heed Brown and ask judges to order 'drug corner' teens to be held through the weekend, e-mailed a statement that says Illinois law does not allow prosecutors to make such a request."

Maybe they do things different in Dallas, but even a new police chief should have been advised as such.

Plus:

Karen Sheley, an attorney with the ACLU of Illinois, said Brown's plan resembles the summer holiday approaches of past superintendents: "We have heard this all before - that young men should be in jail for their own safety."

Where is the innovation? Where are the new ideas? Isn't there another way to keep folks occupied instead of throwing them in jail?

"This is a terrible idea in the best of times," Sheley said, referring to COVID-19's spread in Cook County Jail this spring. "In the midst of a pandemic, it could be a death sentence for these young men or members of their family on release."

Oh yeah, the pandemic. Maybe Phase 4 allows for more people to get infected in our jails and prisons.

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And where is the mayor in all this?

"Mayor Lori Lightfoot at a Monday news conference said she communicates with Brown on a daily basis. But her office did not immediately respond whether she backs Brown's plan to sweep up teens from drug corners before the weekend."

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"Police Superintendent David Brown apparently doesn't like it when people suggest that he hasn't been in Chicago long enough to grasp the violence that has plagued our city for decades," Dahleen Glanton writes for the Tribune.

"I keep hearing . . . 'you are new here,'" he said at a news conference Monday where he revealed his plan to curb shootings during the typically deadly Fourth of July weekend. "I will never accept . . . this level of violence, never."

We hear you, Superintendent Brown.

That's exactly how many Chicagoans feel every time he holds a news conference and tells us what we already know. The last thing we need is a police superintendent who acts as though people don't understand the violence they live with day in and day out.

As I basically said on this podcast, Brown is still hayseed enough to say look who's in the big town.

(Don't blame me, I voted Cato!)

Glanton:

"There is no doubt that Brown, who has been on the job a little over two months, has good intentions. It is questionable, though, whether he has any fresh ideas."

Hey, I just said that!

"So far, we haven't heard anything new. Week after week, Brown has taken to the podium following a weekend of unbridled violence and regurgitated the same tired lines Chicago police superintendents have been feeding us for years."

Yup. And next week, he and the mayor will tell us how the violence we'll have just seen is "unacceptable."

We need bigger ideas, y'all.

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Go read the rest of Glanton. She pretty much nails it.

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Meanwhile . . .

"As the number of murders in Chicago soared in June, there was a huge slowdown of police activity that the police union blames on rock-bottom morale among cops and distrust of Mayor Lori Lightfoot," the Sun-Times reports.

Given what's going on in the country right now, I don't doubt that police morale could be at "rock-bottom." On the other hand, if I had time this morning I would do an archival dig for "low police morale" and document how we've heard about it every year for decades. Assignment Desk, activate!

Besides that, the villain here is police union president John Catanzara, who remains suspended from duty (again), and is hardly a credible source.

"I'm not telling them not to do police work," Catanzara said of his members. "But I hope they just slow down and decide 'Is this necessary?' before they do it."

Read one way, that's something we've begged for for years. Read the way Catanzara means it, though, is an admission of advising dereliction of duty.

It's also not clear at all that there's been an intentional slow down of police work, as the article does consider, given that the coronavirus lockdown has put fewer people on the street, in bars and businesses, and so on.

But the Sun-Times is quite happy to amplify Catanzara's voice because he'll say outrageous things and criticize the mayor, and that means conflict and quotes and bingo! Another lazy day at work for the self-proclaimed hardest-working newspaper in America.

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See also the item Brown Blunder. From corridors to corners!

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Forces Taxpayers To Pay For Religious Schooling 😠
'This Court has been opening a hole up in Thomas Jefferson's Wall of Separation between church and state. Now they've built a two-lane highway through that hole, inviting churches to raid the public treasury and drive gleefully away with taxpayer money."

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The Legacy Of Racism For Children
"Now more than ever is the time to learn from social science as we change the legal system to be equitable for all."

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This Summer's Soundtrack Started In Chicago
"A strain of hip-hop that started in Chicago was tweaked by bedroom producers in Britain before taking over Brooklyn. Now it's the soundtrack to a summer of unrest."

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The Weird Backstory To M*A*S*H's Theme Song
In remembrance of composer Johnny Mandel.

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The Chagall Windows
One of the Art Institute's most beloved treasures.

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ChicagoReddit

Tell me again why it's against the law to buy alcohol after 9pm, but I'm free to go to a bar and buy it? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass - Gateway Classic Cars #1762 Chicago

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

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The Beachwood Fripp Line: Fripp it good.



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Posted on July 1, 2020


MUSIC - Fender Breaks Record.
TV - Let The Children Starve.
POLITICS - COVID Workplace Bullshit.
SPORTS - Sox Season In Verse.

BOOKS - A Lab Of Her Own.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Polyak Promoted.


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