By on February 2, 2016

Chicago PD Ford Explorer Interceptor

Qui custodiet ipsos custodes? When it comes to police and their dashcams, the answer appears to be “nobody, due to suspicious technical problems.”

Last Friday, the Washington Post released a scathing indictment of the Chicago Police Department and its officers’ intentional sabotage of their dashcam equipment.

The same department is already under siege from all quarters. Homicides are soaring by 75 percent year-over-year in 2016, senior officials are leaving in droves, and a recent report has shown that a minor group of “untouchable” policemen is responsible for over $34M in settlements since 2009.

My personal experience as a former competitive shooter who knew plenty of police officers back in the day indicates that when cops feel they are under pressure, they either stop doing their jobs or they adopt a fortress-city mentality.

In Baltimore, the former has obviously happened; allegations that officers are “standing down” as the city experiences a post-Freddie-Gray murder spree are being thrown and denied with equal vehemence. In Chicago, by contrast, the police appear to be hunkering down and attempting to do what they feel is their core mission despite what they feel to be intrusive and Pollyanna-esque civilian oversight.

The sabotage of dashcams, in particular the sabotage of microphones and audio recording equipment connected to those dashcams, has become the norm, not the exception, in Chicago. Yet, as the Post points out, it’s not a phenomenon that’s limited to Rahm’s Murder City USA. In one particularly egregious case, a Maryland county claimed that all seven of its dashcams on scene at one incident had simultaneously malfunctioned.

Nobody but a child or an idiot could believe that police officers across the country are not sabotaging their recording equipment. It’s also plain as day that they are going to continue to get away with it. Yet even the most fervent cop-hating nutjob in America (raises hand) has to wonder just how much longer this country’s urban elite is going to demand that cops treat their suspects with the same courtesy given by Kimpton to its guests and clutch its pearls about violent crime that is rapidly returning to ’70s levels of mayhem. You can’t have both, ultra-progressive protestations to the contrary and Bill deBlasio’s mewling feel-good soporifics notwithstanding.

Eventually, someone will come up with a sealed dashcam box that streams to the cloud and immediately snitches to a higher authority when it can’t see and hear everything it needs to. In the meantime, some departments are using dashcams to “humanize” public perceptions of officers. Other departments are promoting abusive officers despite clear evidence of their violent mania. Which raises the question: Why disable the dashcam, if you won’t be punished for anything it shows?

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130 Comments on “80 Percent of Chicago PD Dashcams Suffering From ‘Accidental’ Sabotage...”


  • avatar

    “Sir…

    Have you any idea how Black you were going?”

    …HEY…aren’t you that guy on Youtube???

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    So purposeful vandalism of taxpayer property = “accidental” sabotage?

    • 0 avatar

      You mean like if someone in my area uses a high powered air rifle and a riflescope to shoot out the speed camera’s radar sensor and it’s camera optics from the back of a 2014 Jeep SRT?

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      Cops should be held personally liable for their actions – and if their equipment “malfunctions” the infraction should be automatically tossed by the court. No audio = no ticket. No video = no ticket. If a cop does something particularly nasty and is found guilty, he or she should pay – garnishment of wages, loss of home, etc. Cops hide behind their unions and their police departments – and when the department is sued it’s the tax payers that get the bill. That ain’t right and I’m mad as hell about it.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Don’t vote for the closed loop corruption that exists between the public employee unions and Democratic politicians. That’s what enables unaccountable cops.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Back in the civilized era, “cops” were mostly just deputized civilians. bring your own gun, and be held accountable like any other civilian. Just one reason that era was civilized, and the current one is not.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “Just one reason that era was civilized, and the current one is not.”

          You should type “lynching” into a search engine.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s funny you should mention LYNCHING.

            I got into an argument this morning with a typical angry Black Female who believes everything is racist and the world’s out to get Black people.

            “LYNCHING” is an extra judicial pre-slavery execution method. Not just a “racist” method of killing Blacks.

            It’s still used in many parts of the world by mobs who kill pedophiles for example.

            I’d prefer this method of execution for violent rapists and murderers than lethal injection, but the racial implications mean it will never make a come back.

            I hate arguing with biased/stupid people.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Let’s see; which one would I prefer to deal with? A couple of drunk good’ole’ boys with a rope in an era of unrestricted availability of defensive means; or a gaggle of tax funded three letter agencies with snipers, mraps and attack helicopters, in an era where such are most definitely not….

            There have always been mean people around. Concentrating the means to be mean amongst the meanest, is hardly an improvement.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I partly blame people like jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay, and Richard Donner. What was the overarching theme of all of those “buddy cop” films of the ’80s and ’90s? That it’s ok for the police to do whatever they want to so long as they catch the bad guy. They can break as many laws as they want and do as much damage and destruction as it takes. And the public has bought into that, along with the mindset that if the police even look in you’re direction, you must be guilty of something so if they shoot and kill you you must have had it coming.

  • avatar
    markf

    You break it is a felony, they break it (repeatedly) it is an “accident” Unreal….

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      In my company, if you break your laptop, you pay for repairs. Why should this be different?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yours aren’t under warranty?

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Your company doesn’t have damage insurance on laptops?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “In my company, if you break your laptop, you pay for repairs. Why should this be different?”

        Your workplace equipment won’t presumably record you macing women in the face without sufficient cause, physically abusing other civilians (punching civilian in the head & face repeatedly while holding them down) for trivial reasons (and not self’defense), nor shooting motorists in the back for running away (because they have a warrant for child support issues or traffic tickets) and then planting a start or other “officer issues weapon” next to their body in what’s known as a “drop” (some bad apple officers carry “special” non-department firearms & such with them for such purposes, especially for shaking down drug dealers for their stash of illicit profits).

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Great points, DW,
          I just wanted to introduce the idea that the cop who damages his equipment be forced to pay for its repair as a condition of continued employment.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I agree. I might feel different if the camera was mounted on the push bar or the back seat side of the “silent partner” but it’s a frickin dashcam.

            Dash!!!!

            What is causing the damage? Cases of doughnuts on the dash or coffee spills?

            Not bloody likely.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    With any luck, next year the adults will be back in charge and we can stop this foolishness.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar

      Let’s say a Republican is elected president in November. How will that change the way the big cities that are run? They’ll still be dominated by Democratic special interests like public employee unions.

      I’d like to believe that the city of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy changed things but it was clear from how the municipally owned Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection had to be protected from the city’s creditors (i.e. their public employee unions) in that bankruptcy just whose interests were most important.

      Likewise, the Flint water crisis can ultimately be traced back to the city’s outstanding pension obligations.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Ronnie,
        He isn’t thinking about unions, local elections or city financing. He just wanted an opportunity to call an African-American man: “boy”.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Likewise, the Flint water crisis can ultimately be traced back to the city’s outstanding pension obligations.”

        This would be a nice investigative piece.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Ronnie, if the implementation of Michigan’s “emergency manager” system proves anything, it’s that the much-vaunted power of unions — public or private — has eroded massively.

        This system, once implemented by a Republican governor and legislature, was voted out afterward by popular demand in a nearly unprecedented statewide referendum, then reinstated anyway in a naked power grab. Subsequent uses of the new law have seen Republican-appointed emergency managers, completely unaccountable to the elected local governments they’ve usurped, repeatedly seize public assets in sweetheart deals that turned them over to private owners. And it’s worth noting that virtually all the communities that have received this kind of “help” are not only poor, but have elected Democratic local governments that the managers displaced.

        If anything, the fierce fight between the Detroit schools’ emergency manager and that city’s teachers’ union shows the anti-union direction of the Michigan state administration and the system that poisoned the children of Flint. Both cases even featured the same emergency manager, Darnell Earley.

        The Flint water crisis was not caused by local residents, organizations or unions, but by the coup that displaced them. Yes, the city was poor. But only a system designed with systematic disregard for the public welfare would knowingly poison the entire population and mentally cripple children irreversibly for life. There is no way a criminal act this brazen can be hung on the people who, one feels, previously impoverished the area enough to make this kind of rank inhumanity “necessary.”

        As a Chicago area lifer, I can verify that the Chicago police mess is every bit as bad as reported. While the Fraternal Order of Police is undoubtedly a big part of the problem, the core of the corruption goes all the way to the top, and Rahm Emanual is not a stereotypical “machine” mayor in the legendary Chicago tradition of union bosses and ward heelers — he’s financed by much the same complex of corporate billionaires as Republican union-busting Gov. Bruce Rauner. In fact, they’re so akin that they’ve not only done business deals together, but they’ve actually shared family vacations, although they’re spatting now.

        Although I happen to be a nonunion white collar, I’m leery of the campaign of bile being directed generally at public employee unions nationwide. Several years ago, influential Republican Rep. Jim DeMint forthrightly and explicitly stated the Republican Party had a game plan to make America a one-party state by cutting off the rival party’s sources of campaign funding, principally unions (Right to Work — see VW/Tennessee) and trial lawyers (tort “reform”). The campaign to exterminate unions in private industry has been so successful that public-sector unions are now the main remaining target.

        This is why poison-pill legislation was passed during the W administration, and unbeknownst to most Americans is still in effect today, obligating the Postal Service to set aside enough money right now to pay its entire pension obligation for the next 75 years in advance. Its motivation is clearly to bankrupt the Postal Service and break the back of its unions, whose 500,000 members now make it the #1 union employer remaining in the nation. It’s also one of the several reasons why corporate campaign donors are so enthusiastic about “charter schools” that take tax money but replace accountability with private for-profit ownership, and significantly, have non-union teachers with no clear quality standards.

        One of these charter school advocates is one Rahm Emanuel — further proof that Chicago’s problems aren’t basically because of union control over the city government.

        Don’t be too quick to buy the line that’s being sold to us. Empowerment of workers is not the cause of all our problems.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          You do know that Democratic Governors have used the Michigan EM law about as often as Republican governors, right? DPS has had an Emergency Manager since 2009. The original EM was appointed by Jennifer Granholm.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            Yes, bball, but it was significantly expanded under PA-4 passed in 2011, and it was this more objectionable version that was specifically tossed by public referendum and then re-passed less than a week afterward.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m no fan of the EM law. Especially since the citizens of Michigan shot down a very similar bill. However, even without the expanded law, Detroit, Flint, and Pontiac would have still ended up under state control. The public unions did alright in bankruptcy. It could have been way worse for them.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I completely agree with you on the Postal Service and was aware of the “poison pill” they were forced to swallow but…

          “It’s also one of the several reasons why corporate campaign donors are so enthusiastic about “charter schools” that take tax money but replace accountability with private for-profit ownership, and significantly, have non-union teachers with no clear quality standards.”

          This wouldn’t happen if the product produced by teacher’s unions hadn’t been in decline for forty years or longer. I’m sympathetic to a point having come from a family of teachers, but too often they become overpaid babysitters as their career goes on. I’m for radical change myself, break up teachers unions and school districts and its million dollar high schools as clearly the current model isn’t working. Most children aren’t worth education spending in any event if you examine some of the mean of standardized testing. The problem is you then have an excess of adolescents with no career paths, the only difference is now they have a ten plus year treadmill of high school and college to run on until they are adults and finally realize they have a limited future whereas in my “plan” they’d enter a workforce short on jobs as it is.

          I wish I had the answer, maybe the best course of action is to simply involve arbitration. All of those pensions cannot be paid given the economics of reality but at the same time they cannot be given nothing. I saw the other day Puerto Rico wants to offer .54 cents on the dollar for some of the bonds it owes. The same will occur with bloated public pensions, that is unless the whole house of cards in DC comes down first.

          • 0 avatar
            Mercury Mark 75

            28 Cars,

            As a suburban Chicago teacher I am only tangentially involved in what is happening in the city, but according to a report from the Sun Times (local paper) charter schools are doing worse than their public counterpart.

            http://chicago.suntimes.com/uncategorized/7/71/205098/cps-outpaces-charter-schools-in-improvements-especially-in-reading

            Personally, I think charter schools are a sham. It takes effort on the parents behalf to get a student into a charter school. By default charter schools are selecting for students with engaged parents that value education. Additionally, students can be kicked out of a charter school and sent back to the public school.

            http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2015/02/13/17908/policy-kicking-out-students-with-low-grades-comes/

            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-02-26/news/ct-chicago-schools-discipline-met-20140226_1_charter-schools-andrew-broy-district-run-schools

            If you can select your students and then kick out the ones that don’t fit in, you should be doing much better. However, is that the type of school system that we as a nation want?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the links, I always value when people can being insight to any conversation.

            I can’t speak for what’s happening in Chicago but in my view, society as a whole is in the process of devolution. If we had a real economy and there were available jobs, I would suggest to simply push out the majority of students into the workforce at say age 16 as further education spending would not benefit them or society at large. But those jobs don’t exist and the education system is too rigid to simply change overnight, thus the system continues.

            In responding to your points I’m not terribly familial with charter schools but perusing the first link:

            “Though neighborhood schools scored just a hair higher than charters in 2014 scores — landing in the 49th percentile nationally for reading and math compared with the 48th for charters — Chicago Public Schools’ open-enrollment schools made much better progress than charters in reading over 2013”

            “CPS schools, on average, scored better than 75 percent of all schools nationwide in reading growth.”

            “In math, the growth gap was much smaller, as neighborhood schools squeaked past charter schools — in the 54.9th percentile versus the 49.5th percentile, according to the analysis”

            Cool, but I’m not sure if “reading growth” is the same metric as “reading” but nonetheless math was up 5 points too. Kudos.

            “He said CPS had “a very strong commitment and professional development effort” in reading at district-managed schools. “It’s been less so in math.””

            “Joplin’s scores bore that out: The school, in Chicago’s Gresham community, is in the 62nd percentile for reading growth, but only the 9th for math.

            Math scores “grew but they didn’t grow enough,” Mason said.”

            This is odd, as the mean math score was actually pretty good but yet math isn’t going so well?

            “Math teachers did not get as much professional development as my reading teachers,” she said of her school. “In reading, we really pushed heavily and had all the supports there and it worked.””

            Math teachers didn’t get professional development? Why? Shouldn’t all teachers get the same training?

            “Andrew Broy, who heads the Illinois Network of Charter Schools, cautioned that a few of the publicly funded but privately run charters he considers high-performing were not included in the results.”

            Wait so some of the charter schools weren’t included in the final analysis? Why?

            Pretty much makes the results invalid in my view.

            The second link is interesting because it discusses the attempted dismissal of students from California charter schools if a GPA drops below a 2.0. However later it is shown state law prohibits such action. The best quote I can source is this:

            “”We believe personal character, hard work, and perseverance are essential to success. A student performing at a 1.3 GPA may have difficulty competing in any job market, let alone public safety,” she wrote.”

            I’m inclined to agree. Now I sympathize with whomever the teachers are in this case because clearly these students either have no parental support system or truly lack the cognitive skills to handle public high school in California (in which I refuse to believe is difficult to at least maintain a 2.0GPA). This is where the societal problem kicks in. So say you cast off 3% of the class for failing to meet such a standard and it were legal. They become latchkey kids and join the underclass. In small enough numbers they are tolerated and forgotten, but what happens when larger numbers can’t cope with a basic standard? The standards come down of course and it becomes more proof society is in fact devolving.

            Such students kept in a system until they are 18 at state expense until considered legal adults to be released on society end up becoming an expensive exercise in futility. While we don’t have figures I would hope these type of students make up only a small percentage (say 5%) of 2010 or so educational standards, but again when/if these numbers grow the overall state issued standard will have to come down to compensate – or otherwise admit students are rapidly failing the standard.

            The real problem isn’t the charter schools and their owners, vs the public schools and their owners, its the entire system needs to be rethought given the realities of the 21st Century.

          • 0 avatar
            Mercury Mark 75

            I agree with you in most regards. What you mention is the tragedy that most schools around the country have eliminated their practical arts (wood shop, autos,etc.) programs because they do not lead to higher test scores and/or are to expensive.

            The fallacy that every student can and should go to college is extremely detrimental to a whole swath of people. People in the trades are always in demand and can make a very comfortable living. It is common for the electricians, plumbers, etc. by me to make $100,000 or more each year.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree eliminating shop was almost a crime, but I was not aware it was tied to grades and not simply budgetary reasons or from lack of interest. Those students better served by trades either become victims of the higher education cartel or working for China Mart save the few who pursue apprenticeships on their own.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            Mercury…we would never expect teacher union member to ever speak well of charter schools.
            Ya, we know the line by now…it’s ALL about the children.
            We get it.
            But thanks for your post….
            And thanks for bringing yet another NON CAR topic into a dreadful non car feature.
            Now we get to talk about the insane teachers union power as well as the insane Chicago democratic one party power failure.
            Between all this Flint and Chicago police crap and now teacher union bull, wonder is this site will ever be the TTAC of old.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “Empowerment of workers is not the cause of all our problems.”

          But empowerment of “labor organizers” are.

          Just like the problems in communist countries, are not due to the people, but rather “The People.” Ditto in America, come to think of it.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, you know, Ronnie, maybe the city was foolish for being overly generous with pensions, but bending over public employees who EARNED those pensions doesn’t strike me as being terribly moral.

        And maybe Flint’s water crisis can be “traced back” to pension issues, but if we’re going to trace all the indirect causes of the city’s failure, the one that makes the most sense is the utter failure of General Motors to stay competitive, which happened over a space of several decades.

        If GM’s presence in Flint was roughly the same as it was before the 1980’s, then making the city pensions work wouldn’t be much of an issue. Same would have been true of Detroit, on a larger scale. It becomes an issue when the city shrinks by about 50%, though…and you can place the lion’s share of that blame directly on GM.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          They have no choice but to bend those people over. I think it’s bull$hit, but where are they going to get that money? 40% of Flint’s budget goes to benefits and pensions. This is the problem with pensions; if you have less people paying into pensions than people receiving benefits, and you made bad investments with the pension money (Detroit), you are [email protected]

          Flint has around 600 city employees and 1900 retirees. It is not sustainable. You can’t cut enough services to pay for the retirees.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          They didn’t earn those pensions. They bought their contracts from Democratic politicians who promised to fund them with taxpayers’ money. If you still haven’t figured that out, put a gun to your colon and blow your brains out.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            CJ, a generation of government workers nationwide diligently did their jobs for a lifetime, many of them — contrary to what’s reported on Murdoch News — accepting lower-than-market wages in exchange for the promise of lifetime security in their old age. Now that rug is being yanked out from under them, in many cases simply because your favorite politicians have taken bribes from bankers who want their hands on that pension money. If you still haven’t figured that out, put your gun where your head is and give yourself a colonic.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            That lie has run its course. Look at household incomes for government employees compared to those of the people who have to pay for them. The jig is up.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            CJ,
            It’s easy to call everything you disagree with a lie. But if you want to convince others, bring evidence. You say that household incomes for gov’t employees are higher, so show us!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Their benefits are being yanked out from under them because the whole pension system was based on flawed principles. I don’t think it’s right, but investment bankers aren’t the only part of that problem.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            In 2012, which was a better year for the taxpayers and a worse year for government employees than 2015, the average government salary was $51,340 per year while each of the 106.6 million people who had to pay for them made an average of $43,989. That’s 17% more in salary in ‘exchange’ for cradle to grave benefits, guaranteed pensions, early retirements(many of my peers are retired after 20 years in government jobs), and a level of job security that no private citizen has known in our lifetimes. They get this compensation even though government run is synonymous with inept and corrupt. If you accept the status quo, you’re either on the take or a hand puppet.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          If they EARNED their pensions, they should have put them in a safe bank. Perhaps in Switzerland.

          In reality, what they EARNED, was a bag of cheap to make promises from well known, predictable, liers. If they want to convert those into something more useful, go hit up the guys who made the promises. Take their homes, their kidneys, sell their wives and children into prostitution, whatever.

          But coming after kids who who have no relation whatsoever to their so called EARNED promises, and often weren’t even born when those were made, is pretty darned disingenuous and sleazy, any way you look at it.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Pensions don’t make water toxic. Blaming pensions for the state’s bungling is a nonsensical effort by the right-wingers to avoid responsibility for their handiwork.

          When conservatives talk about “accountability,” what they mean is that they aren’t accountable for anything. It’s always someone else who is to blame.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            If ensuring clean water costs money, and all available money goes to paying pensions, what do you think happen to water?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The only two presidential candidates that I’ve seen take a hard stance against government surveillance and data collection are Cruz and Sanders. (Paul as well, but he isn’t too viable anymore).

      And, even if one of them is elected I doubt any big change will occur at the local level.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Annnnnd, posted to the wrong thread. Take the rest of the day off, ajla.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          “CJ,It’s easy to call everything you disagree with a lie. But if you want to convince others, bring evidence. You say that household incomes for gov’t employees are higher, so show us!”

          He cannot do that because he’s flat out lying as usual .

          This is the sort of bullshit that makes life miserable for true Conservatives .

          -Nate

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Jack,
    I’d be careful about repeating claims about “violent crime that is rapidly returning to ’70s levels of mayhem.” The statistics show that violent crime is currently about half what it was at its peak in the early 90’s. There are a few cities that have shown an uptick recently, but this isn’t evidence of a doubling nationally, by any means. It’s mostly just lies that racists throw out to suggest that holding cops to the standard of treating everyone fairly isn’t reasonable.

    • 0 avatar

      “mostly just lies that racists throw out”

      You mean like the racism card that you just casually tossed?

      While in general human life today is far more peaceful and less violent than it’s ever been in history and that’s the way the trendline is going, or at least that’s what Steven Pinker says, there’s no question that in the 1960s and 1970s there was a significant increase of crime in the U.S. In part, concerns over “law and order” helped elect Richard Nixon twice.

      Do Baltimore and Chicago represent a swing of the pendulum? I think it has more to do with those on the left exploiting identity politics than with a change in a general trend, but the deaths of young black men in our cities at the hands of other young black men is a great tragedy and societal ill even if it doesn’t seem to get the media attention that the far less common cases of cops killing unarmed blacks get.

      In general I think cops being jerks is much more of a problem than cops being racists. Most big city police departments have large numbers of blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, and in some case they make up a majority of the police forces. I’m friends with and do work for a number of motorcycle and car clubs in Detroit that have mostly black members. A lot of sportbikes are involved so they end up having a fair amount of interaction with police. They tell me that the black cops are worse than the white cops because they know they won’t be accused of racism if they tune up someone who is black.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Once again, Ronnie,
        I’d like to thank you for the excellent writing you provide whenever you cover something you actually know about, which is cars.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        “mostly just lies that racists throw out”

        “You mean like the racism card that you just casually tossed?”

        Come on, Ronnie, you can do better than that.

        Here is a truth straight from Avenue Q:

        Everyone is a racist. Everyone. What matters is whether or not one allows those tendencies to overcome fundamental decency in any given situation. One doesn’t have like any given ethnic/racial/religious group of people to treat people fairly.

        The difference is that the jerks, as you called them, are less likely to contain their racism.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Oh, totally Bravo!

          The problem of course is that racism, being hard-coded to our endocrine system, is so damn much fun! Until you end up living among and getting to know its victims.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @bunkie – actually no but with an explanation. We are hard-wired genetically to be suspicious and distrustful of anyone not in our tribe or clan. That was a successful survival mechanism that was passed on.

          Being genetically suspicious of “strangers” is much different than being a RACIST.

          Racist – “having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.”

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        People can be racist against folks of their own race.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          sportyaccordy – “People can be racist against folks of their own race.”

          That is true, the Middle Eastern populace for the most part is Caucasian. The Comb over in Chief and a fair number of US Caucasians think them as “inferior”.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            are you kidding?

            will you ever get over your self hatred and guilt complex?

            this pseudo psychology crap from all you posters has got to stop.
            you’re killing me! why not just take to the streets and start whipping yourselves with reeds???

            reviewers here prove once and for all a small amount of knowledge can kill.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        I once heard a police chief explain that most violent crime is committed by males aged 16-35. Over 35, they tend to settle down.

        The baby boom came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, which coincided with the increase in crime you refer to. Since 1980, the aging of the baby boom has meant that this segment of the population got smaller. And crime rates fell as it did so.

        I don’t pretend to be an expert in criminal justice or law enforcement, but it certainly seems logical.

        I also don’t believe in the ability of the criminal justice system to dramatically affect crime rates. Certainly, the vast program of mandatory sentencing and throwing more and more people into jail hasn’t worked at all, if we compare US crime rates to those in other developed countries.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          ect, everything you report aligns perfectly with the facts as I have heard them. Clearly you have no place in this thread. ;.)

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            OMG, you’re right! Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

            Sorry, my deepest apologies for trying to inject a bit of logic into this thread….

            :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Chicago and Baltimore are heading right back to their worst-ever levels per capita.

      Washington D.C. is on the way as well.

      In the town where I live, there hasn’t been a bonafide violent crime in maybe 30 years. We must all be racists.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        As I wrote, Jack,
        There are a few cities that have shown a recent uptick in violent crime.

        But we are nowhere near a doubling in violent crime nationally. No one is labeling you a racist.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Jack,
          I am trying to find recent data on violent crime in the cities you mention on the internet, and its a struggle. Here is what I found for Chicago, on the Chicago PD website:
          2014 violent crime is down 13% from 2013, down 26% from 2 years prior and down 33% from 3 years prior.

          So, way down, although 2015 results aren’t shown.

          In Baltimore, I am seeing a slight uptick in the last few years, but nothing like two decades ago.

          I don’t know what sources you are using to claim that Baltimore and Chicago are on their way to their worst ever levels per capita. But you are typically well informed and well researched, so I’m happy to give you the benefit of the doubt.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Maybe violent crime doesn’t count if it is caused by law enforcement?

            Might as well throw another long on the fire!

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        Everybody responds to incentives. Urban cesspools like Chicago, DC, and Baltimore are, at the best of times, under control. That “control” means keeping to an acceptable level of violence that is largely confined to certain neighborhoods and bad guy on bad guy violence. Two dudes with criminal records who off each other in a neighborhood that’s been a dump for thirty years? That’s just the ‘hood, yo.

        I believe Chicago’s murder clearance rate (which means only that someone was charged with the crime) hovers around 30% right now, an increase after Chicago PD added 100 more investigators just to deal with homicides. That means 7 out of 10 dead bodies do not result in even criminal charges being filed on the person who did the killing.

        And that likely was not his first violent crime.

        And it’s almost certain it won’t be his last, either.

        If one believes that little tidbit of criminal justice trivia has no tangible impact on violent crime rates…well…whatever helps you sleep at night. But know this: If that’s how easy it is to get away with murder, do not expect that any other category of crime fares any better.

        The crime problem in cities is getting more attention now because the crime is spilling out of the acceptable neighborhoods and isn’t staying to acceptable levels of mayhem. DC in particular is seeing the “good” neighborhoods being hit by robbers and violent criminals…because the police are seen as weak.

        Some of the things necessary to keep the large surplus of violent criminals in check (if anyone doubts that there is a large surplus of violent criminals breathing free air, I refer you again to Chicago, Baltimore, Memphis, New York, DC, Nashville, Richmond) are not very sanitary or pleasant to think about. A lot of sophisticated urbanites care more about how their coffee is made than how their safety is assured.

        No good police officer wants to be the next Darren Wilson. No bad police officer cares about anything more than their own skin. No bad guy on the street cares about anything other than maybe not getting shot in the face.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          “Everybody responds to incentives”

          “The crime problem in cities is getting more attention now because the crime is spilling out of the acceptable neighborhoods and isn’t staying to acceptable levels of mayhem. DC in particular is seeing the “good” neighborhoods being hit by robbers and violent criminals…because the police are seen as weak.”

          The incentives being responded to, are at least as likely to be the ever widening chasm in material belongings between the ‘hood’ and ‘nicer neighborhoods’, as it is the perception that the police is weak. The police, anno now, is pretty much a military force. Gestapo +- a little bit, depending on where you live. But eventually, the poor getting poorer, means there literally is no wealth to steal nor rob in poor neighborhoods. While across the street, the average skank carries a handbag sellable on Ebay for somewhere in the vicinity of a couple of houses in the Hood.’ Or, 400 to 500 in Detroit.

          Latin America experienced the same thing some decades ago. You can make 40 annual hood rat salaries, by kidnapping a spoiled brat kid. Who may well make it as easy on you as coming to your neighborhood to stock up for the weekend’s rave……

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Jack, your story is about “violent crime that is rapidly returning to ’70s levels of mayhem.”

        Unfortunately, the impression the reader gets is that this is a nationwide phenomenon. I’m sure that wasn’t your actual point. For the sake of accuracy, I think you should correct that.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    More proof that Cops Lie.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Allowing the police to become militarized in this country has been a mistake of epic proportions. They seem to think that they are at war with the rest of us. This is just one more consequence of Bush jrs unneeded invasion of Iraq. Police depts everywhere now have tank like vehicles and assorted other military gear that was given to them as military surplus after the wars wound down. It is sickening to think about.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Agree, TOTitan. Not sure why suburbs need armored personnel carriers. Every problem looks like a nail when you have a 15,000 pound hammer sitting in the municipal garage.

      • 0 avatar
        carrya1911

        Everybody gripes about APCs until there’s one pulling up to evacuate them from the location of a terrorist attack or active shooter. Then the idea of a mobile, largely bullet-proof box to transport largely-not-bullet-proof human beings makes sense.

        Many an armed standoff was resolved without anyone being shot because the police had mobile cover they could depend on instead of a typical police cruiser/interceptor that doesn’t offer any real protection. It’s much easier to wait a dude out when the rounds he fires at you harmlessly hit steel armor instead of punching through a CVPI and hitting flesh.

        Police have been using armored vehicles since armored vehicles were a thing. It didn’t start with Bush.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          “Everybody gripes about APCs until there’s one pulling up to evacuate them from the location of a terrorist attack or active shooter.”

          carrya1911, you make it sound like Americans are subjected to a “terrorist attack” as often as we try to hail a cab in a rainstorm. Fact: More Americans are killed annually by lightning than by terrorist attacks. As for “active shooters,” much as I’m aware this has become a national horror, I think the fact that American stands alone among all First World nations in having this problem suggests that weapon system escalation may not be the answer.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Anyone with a gun pointed in your general direction is a terrorist in my book. Your very own personal terrorist(s). Been there.

          • 0 avatar
            carrya1911

            You nicely skipped over my comment about how many armed standoffs are resolved without bloodshed because the bad guy’s bullets bounce off an APC instead of tearing through flesh.

            But that’s about par for the course in comments around here.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            There were something like 274 mass shootings (4 or more victims) in the USA last year and IIRC only one was Muslim Radicalization. Since 9/11 there have been more “terrorist” like deaths caused by the extreme fringe right in the USA than there have been by Jihad/Middle East “terrorists”.

            The psychosocial factors that attract disenfranchised youth/young men to Daesh or Al Qaida also apply equally to Inner City Gangs or any criminal organization.

        • 0 avatar
          TOTitan

          carrya1911 I cant recall any events where the police have used a APC as you describe. Typically the APC’s are full of cops in full military gear who dont stay in it very long before they get out and surround or storm the shooter.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Carrya1911,
          I think people would respond to your comments more if you backed them up with some data showing the number of citizen lives saved by having “bad guy” bullets bounced off of APCs.

          Otherwise, we may have to file your comments with those of the gun nuts who claim that carrying weapons reduces crime, when the reality has been proven otherwise time and again.

  • avatar
    redapple

    7 Cop cars on scene and none of the cameras were working.
    Huh. That’s weird. And the Chicago citizens accept this.

    Rotten crap town. Sky high taxes.
    Yeah- they got some cool stuff – almost all (98%) located between the Drake Hotel and the Field Museum. All this encircled by 30 miles of impenetrable traffic and crap.

    Stay away.
    I ve been there 50 times. Dont have any need to ever go again. NEVER.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      The citizens of Chicago do not accept this by any stretch. And neither does interim Police Supt. John Escalante who’s already been handing out suspensions and reprimands to supervisors and officers for not ensuring the equipment is functioning properly before going out on patrol.

      Yes there is an issue with officers intentionally defeating the equipment (by destruction or by hiding the microphones), and there’s also an issue with the equipment itself—the contract with Coban expired in 2012 who ensured the equipment worked properly. There’s hundreds of calls on a daily basis from officers about malfunctioning equipment—which wasn’t addressed in this article.

      And as far as visiting the city “50 times”—congrats you VISITED and your comment clearly shows you have no idea about the other neighborhoods in the city other than the tourist area downtown.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      redapple, as sc5door says below, Chicagoans do not accept this. They were defrauded during the last mayoral election when Mayor Rahm Emanuel concealed the dashcam footage of the murder throughout the campaign, then engineered a $5 million settlement paid the day after the mayoral primary — before the family even had a chance to sue — on the condition that the video stay buried. Only a court order caused it to become public.

      Now that it has gone public, a survey released in just the past week shows massive revulsion here toward the mayor and his handling of this crime. His approval rating is subterranean, and public demonstrations against him occur almost daily.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I once was tailgated severely in Chicago…in a cemetery. That pretty much sums it up!

      Not to be negative, but this was always my issue with Chicago – growing up in St. Louis, you’re pretty much bred to hate anything Chicago, but it goes a bit beyond that. All the stuff downtown is very, very nice, but the traffic is awful, prices are very high, and the weather sucks a great deal of the time. It’s all the things that are bad about New York, but you put up with them in New York because…you’re in New York. It’s harder to put up with in what amounts to Indianapolis Writ Large.

      OK, I’ll stop ranting right after I say…CUBS SUCK!!!!

      (couldn’t resist)

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Freed, even as a fan of Chicago, I gotta say that rant was pretty good.

        Ever seen Jon Stewart’s rant against Chicago style pizza? I suspect you’d enjoy it.

        Speaking of Chicago vs. New York, though: I’ve heard the urban legend that executive recruiters from New York say the second toughest job they get is to persuade a New Yorker to relocate to Chicago. The toughest: getting them to move back to New York. The distances and the prices are high but they’re more tolerable than New York’s, there are alleys so the streets aren’t lined weekly with garbage, and strangers on the street are simply nicer — must be that Midwestern thing New Yorkers condescendingly scorn as the “flyover country”/”Heartland” attitude.

        • 0 avatar
          Monte.K

          I don’t know about the the “nice” thing about the strangers on the streets in Chicago. Having been there many many times, the people are no where near as nice as the rest of the Midwest. Lots of attitudes and pure meanness and that’s over a lot of the city! Although not as mean as people claim New Yorker’s to be, they are not far off as many of them have that same mentality as NY’ers of no one is going to get over on me etc etc. Now you want real Midwest nice go to Des Moines, IA or Springfield, IL!

  • avatar
    Ion

    I don’t give deblasio any credit for lowering crime. The Nypd is just not filing police reports to fabricate low crime statistics.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    i appreciate how hard the job is and in this day and age people are looking for any reason to cry foul at cops.

    but this is a voluntary job so if you don’t like it go get another fucking job.

    otherwise, play by the damn rules you are expected to follow.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Chicago cops and dashcams, their overlords in the Mayor’s office…their antics don’t surprise anyone who was required to read Mike Royko’s book, “Boss.” Not only was it required reading in my high school, it was also required reading in my college “intro to municipal government” political science class. It’s same shenanigans, different day. The names change from Richard to Rahm. The antics remain the same. Now Chicago is running out of other people’s money.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Rod, I read that book many years ago. It was a great book, as was the even more detailed Clout by Len O’Connor.

      However, a lot has changed in Chicago politics since then. It’s still just as corrupt, but it’s structurally different now. You no longer have the power structure that the senior Daley, Richard J. Daley, patented: public and construction jobs financing unions and providing an army of ward heelers who gave mandatory contributions and getting out the vote door-to-door. Today, elections take place along a model that more resembles the transformation in national politics.

      The last mayoral election here was decided by corporate donors and TV money, and Rahm Emanuel — a major player in the NAFTA-passing Clinton administration, and a man who has publicly ridiculed “professional liberals” while a Democratic White House aide under Obama — is no great friend of unions or workers. In fact, union busters were among his biggest contributors, and he’s repaid their investments with anti-union moves such as the closure of 52 public schools with unionized teachers in favor of for-profit private ones that take tax money.

      The antics are just as awful as before. But the structure has changed.

  • avatar
    raph

    Well certainly not surprised. Chicago setthe gold standard for shady police departments.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Hopefully they’ll figure out the tamper proof camera and actually buy the damn things , every body will do better then .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    skloon

    Can’t they just enclose the cameras in some sort of tamper proof housing

  • avatar
    redapple

    Dear SC5door

    And as far as visiting the city “50 times”—congrats you VISITED and your comment clearly shows you have no idea about the other neighborhoods in the city other than the tourist area downtown.”

    Yep. I m an a – hole. Know nothing. But last time I was in Chicago I did go to the Lagunitas Brewery. When I was leaving I asked a staffer ‘how can I get a cab?’ He said, ‘oh man, you re screwed. Cabs dont come out here. Real bad Neighborhood’ Thank goodness my brother had UBER on his phone.

    Signed
    Dumbo nobody

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Isn’t Lagunitas just a few blocks walk from the Pink Line train? It is in an industrial area, so I don’t know what you expected. Every big city has it’s less than desirable areas.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        The guy visits the birthplace of Lagunitas IPA and has nothing nice to say? Ingrate!

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          That new brewery basically gave them 5 times the production of the original brewery. Only good things should be said about it. I have been on a Ballast Point kick recently, but I do like Lagunitas.

          (Lagunitas is building another brewery in California that will give them a 1.9 million barrel capacity.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Logged in just to declare my affinity for Lagunitas, Ballast Point, Great Lakes, Founders, North Country, Church Brew Works, Atwater, Dogfish Head, Sam Adams, and Sierra Nevada to some extent.

            You all need a beer, except for any recovering alcoholics, you people need a coffee.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Big fan of Lagunitas. I stop by the Petaluma brewery on occasion, but had no idea they had one in Chicago too. Checked out the website and it turns out some of their core is from Chicago.

      This is why I still read the comments; you never know what kind of trivia you can stumble upon in any story. Thanks!

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Also, Homan Square wasn’t a CPD black site for interrogations, it’s a dashcam repair facility.

  • avatar
    carrya1911

    Couple of things:

    1. Dashcam systems are often incompetently installed and poorly maintained. If you are a major retailer fighting a million dollars a year in shrink in a single store odds are your camera systems are carefully maintained and you have personnel dedicated to reviewing the footage from those cameras to catch shoplifters.

    Without a proactive regimen of maintenance and testing, the fact that the cameras aren’t working doesn’t get discovered until you actually need the footage and there’s none to get. Police investigating crimes often run into this phenomenon too…dude robs a Burger King, police go to look at the footage and everybody finds out at the same time that the camera system is not working properly and hadn’t been for a while. Or it was an IP based camera system and none of the cameras could communicate to the DVR because somebody changed an IP address, etc.

    These maintenance issues become even worse when there are lots of camera systems to maintain and check. It can certainly be done, but doing so requires commitment of resources…and government organizations are always a fierce bloody competition over internal resources.

    2. The Chicago PD is one of the most poorly led police organizations in the United States. It may well be the heavyweight champion of incompetence, corruption, and bullshit politics. If you have ever watched “The Wire” it’s critical to understand that a lot of the utter nonsense you see in that TV show, especially as it relates to politics within the organization, is based on reality. Sometimes reality is even stranger than the fiction.

    I know of situations where supervisors with a grudge against a particular officer combed through dash cam footage of an officer’s entire shift just to find something they could write them up for. So the incentive to deliberately disable the dash cameras could be as much internal (protection from politics within the department) as external. (Prying eyes of the public)

    3. Just about everything in Chicago’s government is dirty by design. Oaths are lovely but do not by themselves reverse the inevitable human response to perverse incentive. The answer is leadership and accountability…but when the rot is set in as deep as it is in Chicago, who can fix it? (In a movie, this is where the Bat Signal would appear in the sky…but this ain’t no movie and Batman ain’t coming)

    It’s going to require a mass public uprising. Not burning shit in the streets, but showing up in the voting booths to throw a bunch of bastards out and replace them with people who aren’t bastards but managed to run for public office anyway. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    4. Those who think that the state should have a total monopoly on the use of force should look really hard at this.

    5. Policing is always going to have moments where things happen on the margins. Occasions where a situation is ambiguous and will come down to a judgment call made by somebody facing life-or-death circumstances that are beyond the average person’s experience. There’s a certain benefit of the doubt that the public in general is willing to give to the police in those moments provided they believe the police are acting honorably.

    The kind of bastards who ruin all of that don’t care. And won’t care. And departments more obsessed over demographics than hiring people with the judgment necessary to do the job the right way will find themselves perpetually short of the public’s good will. But the bastards who ruin it all don’t care. And won’t care.

    Whether it’s the Chicago PD or the VA, the scum seems to have no trouble floating to the top and making life comfortable for themselves at everyone else’s expense.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Nicely written. And thought out.

      The problem I have is…
      1) This is a poor TTC piece. Nothing to do about the world of cars…other than the word dash.
      2)You comment about force being in the hands of government powers is wonderful. This is exactly why gun control is an insane concept. Only those lulled into false senses of security, numbed by the luxury of fat cat American life in protected middle class communities think life and governments are warm, fuzzy and comfortable companions.
      3) One party governments have always resulting in these Chicago and other big city nightmares.

      TTAC…please stop with the Flint water and Chicago politic click bait features designed only to improve the ad income. This only brings out the hatred and allows us to exhibit our idiot side.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    They should buy a bunch of the same kind of camcorder Aron Ralston used when he was stuck in that slot canyon for 127 hours. Now THOSE are bulletproof!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Let’s be nice, y’all.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    When our local city police began using cams, both dash and body, I questioned a local member of the force for an opinion. He stated that the department went the cheap route and bought cams that simply were not durable enough for police work, lacking robustness and battery life to be of much use. Could that be the problem in Chicago? Do not know but this behavior is typical of purchasing agents in most government offices.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I am shocked. Who the hell are those 20 percent that didn’t break the cameras? How do they function in Chicago?

  • avatar
    don1967

    Is it really so surprising, after all the kangaroo-court video clips uploaded to Youtube, that some cops might go to extreme lengths to avoid being captured on film as they perform a job which requires them to use physical force and make quick life-or-death decisions?

    Not endorsing sabotage of taxpayer-funded equipment, nor am I defending bad cops who seek to cover up their actions. Just sayin’ that there are many good cops with a legitimate reason to fear the camera, and this needs to be addressed if we expect them to do their jobs.

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