NABJ, Mette, Broke Death, Faux FOIA , Double Dip of Weis

Check out the description of this event titled “Death and the Deadline: Examining the Media’s Role in Community Violence” below:  (If your on Facebook I provide a link to the event page here.)

“Chicago is fast becoming the murder capital of the nation. Children are being killed as they leave schoolyards. Young people are unintended victims as they sit in their homes watching television. Drive-by shootings are claiming innocent residents, young and old. What is going on in Chicago’s neighborhoods? Are our young people being desensitized by the violent images they see on television, in movies and in video games? Are we rearing a generation of cold-hearted killers who pull a real gun’s trigger as easily as they push video game buttons? What can we do to stop the violence? How is the non-stop crime wave affecting the regular folks who live in these communities? Join NABJ Chicago on May 19 for a soul-searching discussion on the killing fields that are Chicago’s troubled neighborhoods. Our moderator will be Dorothy Tucker, consumer reporter at CBS 2 Chicago.”

I am reassured by the calm tone involved in this event description.  Maybe my problem is that I was expecting something more rational, my bad.   I am sure that a consumer reporter will have great insights given that she is in these communities talking to the affected families on a daily basis.  What association of journalists is this for?  The Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Mike Mette

For those familiar with the Mike Mette case you can read about it here.  What is occurring now is that the Independent Police Review Authority has completed its investigation of the incident and recommended a suspension of 90 days for what the Sun Times reports as: (link to story here)

“The agency started investigating Mette when a complaint was filed the day after the Oct. 9, 2005 brawl. In November, the agency found Mette violated police rules by bringing discredit to the department; by getting drunk; by conspiring with a family member to give a false account to police; and by getting arrested and charged with assault, according to a synopsis posted Thursday on the agency’s Web site.”

Do trust the media filter?  Read the summary of the investigation by IPRA below.  You can also download a copy of the Abstracts of Sustained Case November, 2009 at the bottom of this page.

Log/C.R. No. 309019

On 09 October 2005, a complaint was registered with the Independent Police Review Authority (f/k/a The Office of Professional Standards), regarding an incident occurring outside the City of Chicago. It was alleged that an off-duty Chicago Police Department officer was intoxicated; engaged in an unjustified physical altercation with a victim; conspired with a family member to give a false account to the Responding Officers of how the victim was injured; was arrested and charged with Assault Causing Serious Injury. It was further alleged that at a subsequent date, the accused officer provided inaccurate information in his testimony to the District Court located in the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred; and was found guilty of Assault Causing Serious Injury, a Class D Felony, at the conclusion of that court’s criminal proceeding. Based on statements from the accused member and reports from the Police Department located in the jurisdiction in which the incident occurred, IPRA recommended to “SUSTAIN” the allegation that the accused officer was intoxicated. Because there was no corroborating evidence, IPRA recommended to “NOT SUSTAIN” the allegation that the accused officer engaged in an unjustified physical altercation with the victim. Based on statements and testimony by the accused member, his relative, and the Responding Officers, IPRA recommended to “SUSTAIN” the allegation that the accused officer conspired with a family member to provide a false account to the Responding Officers of how the victim was injured. Based on the arrest reports of the accused member, IPRA recommended to “SUSTAIN” the allegation that the accused officer was arrested and charged with Assault Causing Serious Injury.”

According to the Sun Times, Superintendent Weis is going to fight the suspension.  This is really nothing more than a ploy to try to get the troops on his side.  The reality is that there is plenty of evidence to support the allegations that Mette was drunk while off duty.  This alone is a violation of the rules and deserving of some form of discipline.  The problem is that Weis is backing the fringe of the rank and files that believe the rules do not apply to them, only to the citizens that are not officers.  You know who you are, the 2,900,000 of us that are not officers.  If Weis was trying to be a leader who wanted to lead by example he would come and say Mette deserves this suspension because like all officers he is going to be held to account for his actions.  Then again this is Chicago.  It didn’t take Weis that long to adjust.

No Money to Challenge Death

It is good to know that the criminal justice system in Chicago / Cook County has never really had a problem with convicting innocent people who are later sentenced to death.  Why?  Because according to WBEZ (via @AngelaTCR) the Cook County Public Defender has a whopping $150 left in the account to fund “about 120 death penalty cases pending”.   It might just be me, but that is pretty scary.  What a bizarre reality we live in here in Chicago.  Burge is finally going on trial, although not the trial he deserves, and at the same time the public defender’s office’s death penalty fund is broke!

Faux FOIA Transparency

This is the way the city acts transparent.  What a joke.  You can now see every FOIA filed, including who filed it and what they are asking for here.  Of course you cannot see the city’s response or any of the data or records that the city turned over.  In other words this is pure propaganda and nothing more.  What else to expect from such an administration.  Fox’s Dane Placko has a few words to say about it.  View it below via @progressil

Judging the Sup?

Not sure how Chicagoans are to judge the tenure of the Superintendent but here the Chicago Tribune gets an on the record admission by Weis that he wants to stay in Chicago.   Should we back another term for the former FBI agent turned Superintendent?  I mean there are plenty of reasons to argue against his second term.  The decision to arm beat officers with M4 assault rifles, just recent wide scale deployment of tasers, and his unflinching backing of Mike Metter are but a few.  With an election coming up about the same time as Weis’ contract expires you can expect the Mayor to make the politically savvy decision to keep Weis on the job.

Feel free to leave a comment below about how you feel about the possibility of extending Weis’ tenure at the CPD.

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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