Wednesday, August 24, 2016

An Approved Sun Times Letter Writer Is Way Off Base on Police Officers

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)OPINION (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Wednesday letters: Cops not alone in contending with danger

In an editorial last week, you asked what other job, other than police officer, requires people to “take such a risk.” Residents of black, brown, poor or mixed-income communities with high crime rates take those risks every day — in every aspect of our lives. We risk our lives stepping out our front doors, watching TV in our front rooms while listening to shots fired outside, riding public transportation to and from work, and, worst of all, being stopped and harassed or assaulted by those charged to “serve and protect.”

I have been robbed on the L on the way home from work, mugged returning to my office from lunch and assaulted by a drunken security guard at a music festival. I have been a passenger when my partner was stopped for “driving while black.” On numerous occasions, persons who thought my small stature made me an easy target tried to intimidate or maul me on the street or on the CTA. How many police officers have experienced as many dangerous situations as I have? I am not armed, nor do I wear a bullet-proof vest or carry a badge of authority. Nevertheless, I have been able to intervene when I have seen wrongdoing.

Police officers need to quit whining and focus on being part of the solution, not part of the problem. The press needs to stop calling police heroic for doing the jobs they are paid to do. If all police are heroes, so is everybody — residents, teachers, mail carriers, etc. — who live or work in high-crime areas.

Muriel B#$%^, Hyde Park (emphases my own)

Sorry for your troubles Muriel, it is a jungle out there.  Even more of a jungle.  

You and I have first world problems; cops attempt to keep Chicago from sliding into Third World status - NPR loves The Third World, emerging nations, developing countries and diverse cultures, but it really hates American culture.  I expect you just might be a huge fan of public radio, television and the Progressive weltanschauung it promotes, when not talking pledge drive.

Life in Chicago can be combative.  The only people who answer calls to danger are cops and firemen; newsmen hear about the calls; activists get a heads up from the editors, or social media.

Only cops and fire fighters show up to stop brawls, thefts, murders, harassments, sexual predators and public nuisances. You and I and other witnesses stand on the wrong side of the yellow tape.  We can have our thoughts and opinions so long as they are somewhat fair.

I believe you are out of line.  No biggie.  You have a great deal of company from our President, to Mary Schmich to Ja'mal Green.

Read, however, the recent account of a midnight shift reporter and his three years in the jungle hell of Chicago's Thug Comfort Zone. 

Peter Nickeas has written an account worthy of John Steinbeck and Richard Tregaskis's World War II correspondence.

The first scene I went to on my next shift was the shooting of the man police suspected of the previous night’s crime. He’d been shot on the West Side and was in critical condition. Police said he’d been set up by his getaway driver.
I barely had time to process any of that. The following night, multiple witnesses started calling in gunfire from a single neighborhood, many giving descriptions of the shooters. I was just a mile away. As I got closer, driving slow along a stretch of 47th Street where giant trees loomed overhead, creating the effect of a tunnel, I cracked my window, listening. There were no cops in sight. From about a block away, I saw a handful of guys standing in the street, one of them shooting. I saw the muzzle flash, could smell the smoke, saw it hanging over 47th Street in the cool blue of early morning. Everything slowed down at that moment. Each shot echoed and reverberated. It was as if I could feel the sound moving toward me.
I pulled over and watched the guys jump into two cars and start speeding in my direction. They flew past, toward the Dan Ryan Expressway. Two SUVs followed. I could hear the engine of the first one thrumming as it sped through a red light at the intersection where I was parked. The trailing SUV swerved around a van coming out of the old stockyards and careened through the intersection. I watched the SUVs in my rearview mirror, and just as I was thinking, Please don’t crash, they did. One into the back of the other.
Two guys jumped out of one of the SUVs and fled south. The other SUV kept flying toward the Dan Ryan. Feeling exposed, I pulled into a tiny parking lot just off the intersection and turned my lights off. A car circled the block twice. The third time, the driver slowed down, leaned forward to make eye contact with me, yelled something I couldn’t understand, and drove off. I waited a few seconds and, sensing a safe moment to get a little farther from the scene, started to pull away just as a police Tahoe approached. One of the officers got out, shouldered an AR-15, and made a wide circle around the passenger side of the smoldering SUV while his partner walked up to the driver’s side, right hand on her gun. I thought there was a chance that they would find a victim or a shooter inside, but the SUV was empty.
I got out to talk with the officers. They said the crashed vehicle was registered to someone who lived nearby. It was a “rammer,” bought by gangbangers for a few hundred dollars so they could wreck it chasing other guys around the neighborhood. In the end, no one had been shot. Just a bit of chaos, barely a city news footnote.
When it was all over, I was shaking a little, but I felt good. I hadn’t freaked out. I’d kept my head clear and my eyes open.
I had my eyes open on more than a few occasions, myself.  What is true in those occasions is merely a very small part of what I experienced, like Peter Niceas, in medias res.

Classical tragedy always begins in medias res.  The audience has some of the truth 'revealed' or has its collective eyes opened by the drama unfolding on the stage.

Life is prosaic.  It is not neat and tidy, like the poetry of a Sophocles, or Shakespeare and no where near as tight and complete as the agreed upon narrative played out in the media and by the grandstanding investors of social engineering.

There is no right side of history. That phrase was first used by Rabbi Henry Pereira Mendes in his 1903 book Old Eygpt.   The right/wrong side of history is only determined well after the impact of events can be determined.

Cops are heroes.  A scant few of them are not.  The efforts of heroes to stop the madness of urban thug-ery remains smeared by poetic rhetoric emanating from academic/lawyers and politicians with the goal of ending all local law enforcement and instituting a National police force.  God help us.

If you are supporting that, just say so.  Do not diminish the truth of what police officers experience.

The Sun Times has taken the side against the police, but not a right or wrong side of history.

No comments: