Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rahm's takeaways from Ferguson

"The Chicago Police Department stops a shocking number of innocent people," said Harvey Grossman, the ACLU's legal director. "And just like New York, we see that African Americans are singled out for these searches." -- Chicago had higher stop-and-frisk rate than NYC
What did Mayor Rahm Emanuel learn from the events in Ferguson, Missouri. This is from the Justice Dept. report on its investigation of the Ferguson Police Dept.:
FPD Engages in a Pattern of Unconstitutional Stops and Arrests in Violation of the Fourth Amendment (P. 16)
Rahm's takeaway: Stop-and-frisk of young African-Americans is great but Ferguson is small-time compared to us. In fact, New York is small-time compared to Chicago. We're number one!

According to the Sun-Times:
More than 250,000 times last summer, Chicago cops stopped people for questioning without making an arrest — a practice that disproportionately targeted blacks, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.
It would be wrong to simply blame this practice on individual cops. Rather ACLU officials believe officers are under pressure from supervisors to make stops and show they’re “generating activity.”  In other words, stop-and-frisk is policy coming down the line directly from Rahm and his hand-picked Supt. Garry McCarthy. 

Then there's this:

The Justice Dept. report found discriminatory use of tickets and municipal fines inflicted not with the primary goal of administering justice or protecting the rights of the accused, but of maximizing revenue. (P. 42)
 Most strikingly, the court issues municipal arrest warrants not on the basis of publicsafety needs, but rather as a routine response to missed court appearances and required fine payments. In 2013 alone, the court issued over 9,000 warrants on cases stemming in large part from minor violations such as parking infractions, traffic tickets, or housing code violations. 
Rahm's takeaway: Here, just think red-light cameras and speed cameras. Or how about ticketing for minor possession or use of marijuana. It adds up to hidden, regressive taxation without raising property taxes.

John Oliver has the best take on this:

Post Mortem: Ferguson cops busted a guy for "Making a False Declaration", for initially providing the short form of his first name, “Mike” instead of “Michael” (P. 3).

Don't even think about it, Rahm. 

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