Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Police shooting people

There have been 7 people shot by police in the last two weeks in the city of Chicago. 4 of them fatal. A group of Chicago ministers is looking for answers.

Those numbers are quite high by any standard. We should be concerned.

Honestly, I can see both sides of this. Police work is tough. Especially tough in Chicago. The news media is having a field day this year reporting on the shootings in Chicago. And they only report a small number of the actual shootings. So the police know that the guns are out there and they people aren't afraid to use them.

On the other hand, I have to wonder if all of the 21 incidents of people shot by police officers this year in Chicago were justifiable. Are the police a bit trigger happy because of their perceptions of the community? I know that my experiences with the Chicago Police Department have been for the most part less than pleasant if not in some cases down right wrong. And I am a white law abiding citizen who is generally reserved and respectful.

Sometimes, I feel like Bill Cosby and wonder "what were they doing with the gun in their hand anyway when they were shot". Sometimes, I feel like Rev. Marshall Hatch of Chicago who says in the tribune article "We were asked to have patience, and really, we want to communicate that patience has run out in the community,".

What are your feelings about the number of police shooting people?

18 comments:

Christopher B. Brooks said...

I am from the hood, so my perception of Police is not always the best. That being said, they have one of the hardest jobs ever - especially in urban Centers where guns and drugs are on almost every block.

I wish there could be an internal division of the Police that would have "double-agents." These folks could have credibility, influence, and power in both the civilian world and in the secret society of the F.O.P.

But that is a tall order.

KG said...

There does need to be a way to build a relationship and trust between law enforcement and the community.

KG said...

I just watched the evening news and there was another police shooting in Chicago tonight resulting in the suspect being killed.
Hard to believe that it could happen so many times in a two week period.

Anonymous said...

urban Centers where guns and drugs are on almost every block.

Hard to believe that it could happen so many times in a two week period.

Two portions of two different comments?

Hard to believe?
First comment: Not urban area, its the hood and these shootings are in the depth of the hood where gangs, drugs and anyone else who may be hanging out from police for, oh lets say as a few examples, out standing warrants, prior felons, etc., happen to tuck and hide their bodes
away in.

Hate to burst your bubbles, shootings are not taken lightly. That being said. Police are not going to allow a gun to be pointed at them. You do and its a sure fire way to take a quick dirt nap.
There is a drug turf war goin on and in Chicago the mouthy whiney
5th floor city hall clouted Reverends can take a flying leap. The only people in Chg who buy the Rev's mouths are the same ones involved either in raising gangbangers, turning a blind eye to their 09-17 yr old kids running the streets at all hours or who have passed the gang creed nonsense down thru four easy generations of lay up on hood welfare entitlements. Dont work, sling dope all day, dont pay taxes and still think they own the city blocks. Maybe you would like livin this way but there are people in these gang invested areas that do work, dont sling dope, know where their kids are and cant open their mouths and walk through the community or even go to school safely due to the ignorant gang bangin goofs. Their also not the ones hollerin with the Rev's. Its always the same hot spots over and over. The noise is from people who feel ill will towards police in general and cant accept the error's of their ways when caught even with something as simple as a ticket has been issued. Thought so.

KG said...

Anon,
I appreciate your opinion, but I wonder if it is a bit ill informed. You have successfully called the personal integrity of each Pastor who protests these actions into question. You have stated that all those who protest don't work or raise their children. You have assumed that all gang bangers are ignorant and have other choices. And you have assumed that the police never make a mistake.

Since you have not identified yourself, I would ask a few questions to better dialogue.

Do you live in the "hood"? If not, then you are making assumptions based on what the media has told you.

Do you know any of the "Reverands" in the article personally? If not, then you again are making assumptions based on the media.

I guess, I don't want to respond to much your comments without having an understanding of your context. Obviously, who you are and where you come from plays a lot into your strong opinions.

I appreciate the dialogue, although I would prefer a different tone.

Aaron said...

Way to go KG! Nice reply for Anon character. I will be waiting for Anon to respond to those fair questions.

Anyway...
I like Chris, grew up in the hood and have to say that my views of the police have always been tainted. They seemed more like a burden then protectors. I have been apart of way to many "shake downs" to think that their intentions are always the best.

I am starting to appreciate them more though. Working with the police department here in Richmond to organize neighborhood watch and crime prevention committee's has been really a positive thing. Great folks on the force.

But at the end of the day 7 folks in two weeks is crazy (actually 8 right KG?). To think that there aren't any "cowboys" on the police force is just naieve. Police discrimination/brutality has been a problem for quite some time. It definitely hasn't gone away!

Appreciate you KG!

KG said...

Aaron,
I am quite the opposite. I grew up trusting the police and assuming that they did the right things. Since living in Chicago, I have had many negative interactions with the police. I have also had some positive.
Police work is a hard job. So I can be gracious. But they still must be held accountable.
The "cowboys" are out there. I just think that 8 people shot by police in two weeks should tell us something is wrong. It may just be a reminder of how bad things have gotten that the police need to justifiably use force that often. It may mean they are getting a bit trigger happy. I think that we need to be concerned enough to notice that this is a big deal.

Glad you are in the dialogue. Peace.

Sarah said...

Hey, so I grew up Irish in Chicago with most of the male members of my family involved in some sort of police/fireman job. I trusted police and thought people scared of them were crazy.

Then I grew up and saw the reality of power that corrupts. Power is so tempting and dangerous. I saw myself being questioned abruptly and in an angry manner when I was in neighborhoods where being white was a cause for question. I was confused.

I had several instances where I called the police from these areas in emergency situations and then waited...and waited...and waited..and waited.
It made no sense.

My faith in the police force has been tainted. Not only by my personal experiences but also by the Extreme corruption of Chicago police.

The shootings by everyone in Chicago are just out of hand this year.

Sarah said...

anon,

what is the "depth of the hood"
where do I find that?

jesse curtis said...

Hey Kevin, I know nothing about this firsthand so this is basically a comment from ignorance. But anyway, it seems to me that there's a lack of mutual trust and respect. And the thing is, as citizens, how can we not wonder when we all know of past shootings that have been shown to be trigger happy or downright criminal. Sarah raised an excellent point about the ability of power to corrupt. Ultimately, I think one of the biggest issues is the nagging question of whether the police department is going to "police" itself as it should.

KG said...

Sarah,
I would agree, the shootings by everyone in Chicago are out of hand.

The crazy thing is that it really isn't any more than years past. The statistics show that we are at about the same point in police shootings, CPS students shot, etc.
The media is just focusing more attention on it so it seems like way more. I am glad that the media is making a big deal of it though. The problem is of epidemic proportions and needs to be seen as such.

KG said...

It appears that anon is a "drive by" commenter. Shooting off his verbal assault and moving on.

I am thankful for all of you who choose to dialogue on issues here and on other blogs. It is a blessing to me.

Steve said...

Anon did bring up some good points, though.

Nonetheless, I grew up in Chicago and like Chris and others have had a mixed bag experience with the poilce. When I was in high school, the CPD was known as "Chicago's biggest street gang". Now that's a little harsh to say the least, but it came from somewhere!

As a 42 year old dad living in the hood, I have come to appreciate the police more, so I do feel there is a tension that requires understanding on both sides. Imagine a job where you face a real possibility of losing your life as a part of your normal work experience.

I will say this, some of the reason cops have to fear is due to the atmosphere they have helped create as well. Animosity has been cultivated over years.

Still, Jesus pointed out that those who live by the sword will die by it, and that one reaps what one sows. I'm with anon on that one.

KG said...

The anon commenters points do have some validity, but are obviously overstated for emphasis. Not much room for dialogue.
I am most disappointed with his forthright judgement of the pastors. He slandered them without evidence or justification. I take this quite personally as a pastor and as someone who has met all of the pastors in the article. I really do get into loose tongued slander of those who are serving God and His church.

Sarah said...

I do not think Anon had several good points. I am surprised that would be said.

What anon did was spew evidence of ignorance, structual and individual racism, and just nonsense in a cowardly way.
It was easy enough to ignore as a "drive by" comment, but to have people validate his viewpoints makes me want to lay it out on the line.

Nobody was confused about what neighborhoods these shootings are happening in. ANd everyone realizes, or should realize that there are people working and trying to make a better life.
And how stereotypical is that view that 4 generations of drug/ gang families, not working, lazy blah blah blah.

That one says IGNORANT all over it.
The part about the reverends and cop haters? What?

I am pretty disappointed to see those ideologies supported in any way on this blog by the people that visit it regularly.

Steve said...

Sarah, the only point I was validating was anon's inference that people who live a violent life reap what they sow.

Since that's a biblical concept, I'm not sure why you're disappointed by that...

I got the impression (could be wrong) that anon actually lives in the hood and is sick of the madness. Just an impression, though.

This perhaps touches on some of the painful tensions in personal responsibility for one's actions vs. the victimization one has experienced that may have contributed to those actions. That's a big conversation, but one that needs to be had.

Sarah said...

I did not get the impression that the commenter was from urban area of Chicago.
At all.

Especially when they claimed that only offenders and "people hiding from police" live in the neighborhoods where these shootings are taking place.

Or that the people supporting these Reverends loudly fighting for justice and gun control are the same people rearing gangbangers?

I did not see experience and weariness in their voice. I saw ignorance and a lack of knowledge.

Also, its not the bible quote I disagree, or am shocked by but perhaps the tone the anonymous commenter chose to deliver it in?

Its more than just what you say, its how you say it; loving or spiteful.

Steve said...

I agree with you on the tone. Not helpful at all.