Chicago Police Department Issues New ‘Deadly Force’ Policy Allowing Cops to Shoot at Fleeing Vehicles

Posted: 29 July 2009 by Little Alex in National News, Political Science
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Chicago Police Department (C.P.D.) Superintendent Jody Weis issued a new “deadly force” policy allowing cops to arbitrarily shoot drivers and passengers in vehicles to go into effect after this weekend.

“Effective next Monday, police officers will be able to fire their guns under circumstances where they previously could not,” Mike Krauser reports.

“Now officers will be able to fire upon the driver or passenger in a vehicle if that person is a forcible fleeing felon, someone who has committed a very serious offense resulting in bodily harm or has threatened to commit great bodily harm,” C.P.D. spokesperson Roderick Drew told Mr. Krauser. “It gives department members the option of taking off a dangerous member, someone who has either created or committed a serious offense or could commit a serious offense if he or she is allowed to flee the scene.” (emphasis mine)

Mr. Drew said that whether or not someone “could commit a serious offense” is “up to the discretion” of the C.P.D. “member”. Michael Sneed reports, “Critics claim the new policy is ‘ridiculous’ and the liability to the City of Chicago could be astronomical.”

Who would drive away from ‘C.P.D. members’? Let’s not beat around the bush here. Ethnic minorities — and there are plenty in Chicago — are (in general) absolutely terrified of ‘C.P.D. members’. An immigrant without “proper papers” might drive away. Someone simply uninsured might drive away. An ex-con with two strikes “illegally” talking on his cell phone while driving might drive away. This paragraph could go on forever.

As for the “discretion of the member”, a ‘C.P.D. member’ shocked Lillian Fletcher — an 82-year-old, 5″1′ grandmother — with his Taser, sending 50,000 volts at her in 2007. Less than a year ago, a man fled from a ‘CPD member’ and was killed when the ‘member’ tased him. The man was being apprehended for drinking from an open bottle.

But, the C.P.D. conducts thorough internal investigations for these ‘isolated incidents’, right?

University of Chicago law professor Craig B. Futterman and the Invisible Institute conducted a study on the 10,149 complaints against the C.P.D. filed between 2002 and 2004 — 40% more than the national average — for “actions including excessive force, illegal search and arrests, racial abuse and sexual abuse”. The study found that 0.5% of excessive force complaints were “sustained” by the department, “compared to the 2002 national average of 8%,” the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University reported. “That means C.P.D. complaints are 94% less likely to be followed through than those against other police departments.”

According to the study, between May 2001 and May 2006:

  • 662 officers each racked up more than 10 complaints of police abuse
  • 3,113 officers received four to 10 complaints
  • some officers compiled more than 50 complaints
  • 75% of “repeaters have never faced disciplinary action

The study charges the C.P.D. with allowing its ‘members’ — with the new privilege to shoot more people under the protection of The Blue Wall — that have “criminal tendencies to operate with impunity”.

“The way in which C.P.D. investigates police abuse is a joke,” Prof. Futterman told Medill Reports.

The Chicago Working Class Thug Squad’s message is clear: submit or die, ‘all your liberty are belong to us’ because we wear matching blue costumes. This is PSYOPS on steroids — literally.

In light of the highly publicized liberty rape of Prof. Henry Louis Gates, civil liberties attorney Harvey Silvergate asked, in an amazing piece at Forbes (h/t: Anthony Gregory), “Why do we as a society so often ignore traditional notions of First Amendment freedom to speak one’s own notion of truth to power when one party to the confrontation is wearing a uniform, a badge and a gun?”

Answer: the gun.

“The First Amendment freedom to speak one’s own notion of truth to power” is the freedom [sic] to call for ‘government’ to constantly justify its uses and abuses of non-self-justifying authority. But, all ‘government’ is, is a bunch of people with guns. It really is that simple. The ‘government’ isn’t your friend, your servant, your defender, your provider; it’s a looting and killing gang of immoral, illegitimate primates with guns.

“There are only two means by which men can deal with one another: guns or logic. Force or persuasion,” Ayn Rand famously said, over and over again. “Those who know that they cannot win by means of logic, have always resorted to guns.”

UPDATE:

The Chicago City Council has not cleared this policy, but the only issue among the powers that be seem to be financial — weighing the costs of police misconduct v. the ‘pros’ pushed by the C.P.D. The C.P.D. superintendent making such an announcement with the department spokesperson performing such a local PR blitz seems to have nullified the moral issue.

“There’s rarely a Finance [Committee] meeting that goes by without a settlement of a police case due to excessive force, wrongful imprisonment, false arrest,”Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) said. “There’s a plethora of these cases out there,”

The Chicago Police Office of News Affairs “stressed the review process” of this policy is “ongoing”. The Tribune Company — via WGN and the Chicago Tribune — report the C.P.D. is backtracking — “considering” the policy change and Mr. Weis is ‘reviewing’ the policy.

Comments
  1. […] Chicago Police Department Issues New ‘Deadly Force’ Policy Allowing Cops to Shoot at Fleeing Veh… […]

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