Chicago - Jun. 12, 2019
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Bullies In Blue Must Be Fired

As disturbing as the video of two Chicago police officers shoving and dragging a 16-year-old girl down a flight of stairs at Marshall High School on Jan. 29 - stepping on her chest, zapping her with a Taser and then lying about it - is that the officers are still allowed to carry guns and badges, two months after the brutal encounter.

The officers said the slightly built student, Dnigma Howard, started the "physical altercation" after being told to leave the school, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, which recently obtained the video. Yet the video shows the teenager attempting to walk away when one of the officers grabbed her and pulled and pushed her down the stairs.

It is painful to watch.

After viewing the video, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office dropped the bogus charges against the girl - two felony counts of aggravated battery.

That was the right thing to do, absolutely.

The officers should be charged with assaulting Dnigma and immediately suspended, their guns, badges and police powers taken away. The video saved the teenager from the jaws of the criminal justice system, a broken system that devours the hopes, dreams and bodies of so many young people of color.

The video will be overwhelming evidence in her family's now-filed federal lawsuit against the officers, the police department and the City of Chicago. It is past time the city rid itself of bullies in blue. In 2018, Chicago spent more than $113 million on police misconduct lawsuits.

Before the video came out, the Fraternal Order of Police, criticized the state's attorney's office for dropping the charges against the battered teenager. Where's the FOP now?

It took 400 days, a mayoral election cycle and a court order, for the video of the 2014 police murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald to be released. Because of it, for the first time in 50 years, a Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, was convicted of an on-duty killing of a civilian.

On Friday, the Police Board heard closing arguments in a hearing to determine if four police officers should be fired for making false statements to protect Van Dyke.

These officers must go, and the two officers who beat up a 16-year-old girl and then lied about it should follow them out the door.

Just watch the video.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on April 16, 2019


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