Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jody Weiss - Learn from CPD Chief Francis O'Neill ( 1848-1936)

Click my post title for the MSNBC Bonfire of the Vanities celebration of Phil Rogers over his slanted report on The Judge Gettleman/G. Flint Taylor Law School Smack-down of Police Superintendent Jody Weiss.

Jody Weiss made a tepid attempt to 'do the right thing' for Police Officers but backed down.

There is a wonderful new book Chief O'Neill's Sketchy Recollections of an Eventful Life in Chicago, Edited by Ellen Skerrett and Mary Lesch. Chief O'Neill saved lives in the Iroquois Theatre Fire, Protected strikers in the Railway Strike, The 1904 Stockyard Strike, the great municipal and Teamster Strikes of 1905. fought with Progressive phonies and loudmouths like Emma Goldman, who was involved in the assassination of McKinley, and Dr. Cornelia DeBey 'a Mannish woman who was most aggressive,' Vice Lords Hinkey Dink Kenna, and Corporate monsters like Meat Packing Companies, and the thousands of vicious criminals. Chief O'Neill even had a cockroach lawyer like G. Flint Taylor - One Brode Bradford Davis, who tried to make some dough off of the police.

Chief O'Neill warned all persons who decide to be Chicago's Top-Cop.

Every head of the police in a large city, whether know as general superintendent, chief, or commissioner, is certain to encounter difficulties. The general public wants the law enforced. The leaders of the powers that be expect concessions and special favors. Between the two influences he is liable to get forced out before the term of his office expires.

On difficulties not already mentioned, I had more than my share, all of them based on the desire of certain elements to force my resignation. As soon as Mayor Harrison had left the city on his midsummer vacation in 1901, investigators were set to work to dig up something to my discredit in past years. It was surmised that in the mayor's absence discipline would be relaxed and that I might incautiously become involved in questionable associations. As nothing came of this move, a scheme was evolved to indict me on the charge of attempting to violate the civil service law; in back of this scheme was the political leader most interested in my disgrace. It was rehearsed for one week in the home of a police lieutenant, When the time was ripe, the witness was seized on a [subpoena] duces tecum and hurried to the office of the state's attorney, where he lost his nerve, forgot his lines and blurted out the truth. Notwithstanding this, he was taken before a grand jury, where he denied knowing anything to my detriment. It appears that the lieutenant had been promised a captaincy in any police district of his selection if he succeeded in smirching me. Instead, he lost his job and his pension.

The publisher of an evening paper, now dead, had been subsidized to harass me daily, but it did not work, the final effort was to "frame" me. It was very alluring bait indeed if I would only bite, but as I could not be induced to visit 'the spot.' I escaped all conspiracies unscathed and continued as head of the Chicago Police Department until it suited me to retire from service.

Chief O'Neill knew the Progressive phonies, the corrupt politicians, the dangerous anarchists, the vicious strike breakers, the callous capitalists, and sneaks in his ranks. Most importantly O'Neill knew the respect he had earned as a 'flat-foot' who took a burglars bullet, who backed his men when a radical tossed a bomb that killed eleven at Hay Market Square, who treated strikers as dignified working men, and never trusted the Press.

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