John Andrews, Adventures of a Highway Road Runner (blog), July 19, 2010
Everyone in Chicago knows it. Almost everyone in America knows it. In fact, a lot of people throughout the world know. Chicago is a city at war with itself–fast tracking to anarchy.
Leading us there have been two major root causes–public violence and public corruption. While Chicago has been under attack with its people fearful and hiding, its police department was twisted into paralysis by organizational decimation, incompetent leadership, self-serving politics and corruption.
After three dead cops in less than 60 days, the men and women of the Chicago Police Department are saying, “Enough!!!” We are sickened that our world-class police department has deteriorated into ruin in only a few short years. We are tired of a leaderless department. We are angry at an unsupportive mayor.
We must rise up together to take this city back from the thugs, gangs and rogues that infect our city. The good people of Chicago must also take a stand against the corrupt politicians and their cronies that have bled our city and police department dry.
We must not be stopped. We will not be deterred. We will not be corrupted. Our mission is clear. We must return Chicago to its peaceful, law-abiding citizens. We cannot fail!
Homicides, shootings and gang related crimes are sucking the life out of this city. Daily, people are shot and killed on our streets over conflicts with gangs and drugs. Our children are not immune from the victimization as they too are targets or suffer as collateral damage from stray gunfire.
Most horrific for Chicago is that in less than 60 days, Chicago has lost 3 of its police officers, killed by gunfire as victims of robberies. It seems no one is safe in our city anymore.
Chicago’s homicide rate this year currently stands toe-to-toe with the total number of military forces killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Thugs, gangs and renegade groups run the streets and neighborhoods, intimidating and victimizing the decent citizens of this city. They go mostly unchallenged and unchecked by a totally demoralized police force that is dangerously understaffed and still out-gunned on the streets.
The continued participation in public corruption activities appears to be much more important to Chicago’s power elite than addressing the public safety dilemmas of its citizens.
While public corruption has always been a problem in Chicago, it seems to have become more overt than ever. It is amazing how politicians and the “connected ones” can act so openly now and with such impunity.
Political Corruption within the Police Department
A recent example of alleged political corruption ties to top tier leadership in the Chicago Police Department.
While Superintendent Jody Weis recently appointed Lieutenant Anthony Carothers to Commander of the Englewood District, his appointment has been received by the rank & file with utter disdain. They and some city residents call the appointment of Carothers a true lack of ethical consideration by the Superintendent.
Interestingly, the newly appointed Commander Anthony Carothers is the brother of Isaac Carothers, the Chicago Alderman recently convicted on charges of public corruption in Federal Court. Ironically, their father, William Carothers, also served as a Chicago Alderman until his conviction on public corruption charges in 1983.
A simple Google search of Anthony Carothers revealed a Federal Court civil action judgment that was entered against him in 1985. Then a Cook County Deputy Sheriff, Anthony acted in concert with his brother Isaac, in activities of intimidation, physical violence and abuses of authority against Arthur Turner, who was campaigning against their imprisoned father’s aide for Alderman.
Clout Rules Supreme
Anthony Carothers has reportedly never been promoted by competitive examination score to the ranks of sergeant or lieutenant in the CPD. Instead, those ranks were given to him as “meritorious appointments.” Promotions, along with a career full of prestigious assignments, flowed freely while his brother Isaac served as the powerful chairman of the Chicago City Council Committee on Police and Fire.
Carothers is just one the numerous political aristocracies this city and this police department has been forced to endure. The incompetent political hacks that have been positioned to lead us have only poisoned us as a department. They are an embarrassment to be associated with the many honorable men and women of the Chicago Police Department who serve its citizens daily with dignity and distinction. His story is here only because it is the newest. There are others . . . many others.
Police Superintendent Within the Circle of Corruption?
Yet, in the first set of command staff changes at CPD after the conviction of Alderman Isaac Carothers, we see the gravy train has not stopped for his brother Anthony.
Superintendent Jody Weis promoted the convicted Alderman’s brother to Commander of the Englewood District and then publicly boasted that once again he was promoting the “brightest and best” in the Chicago Police Department?
Paralysis within the Police Department
Based on the above and other contributing factors, the rank and file of the Chicago Police Department do not have confidence in their leadership. They perceive a number of current “bosses” as incompetent, politically corrupt, or both–beginning with the mayor and police superintendent.
Fatal Flaws: Lost From the Beginning
When incoming Superintendent Jody Weis arrived on the scene in Chicago, the CPD was already suffering from very low morale, most notably from the Special Operations Section (SOS) and Abatte scandals that were highlighted repeatedly in the mass media. The hard working and honest police officers of this city were being unfairly painted with the broad brush of these two issues. With public perception of the CPD at a very low point, it made the job of serving as a Chicago police officer even harder.
Weis, a career FBI agent, never had experience as a police officer or in managing a local law enforcement agency–let alone the #2 police department in the United States. His earliest decisions and actions would mark his tenure as an unrecoverable failure.
Lost Public Confidence in Public Safety = National Guard
Citizens have seen and felt the reduced police presence in their neighborhoods, along with the resulting epidemic rises of violent crime.
Frustrated and scared, they and some Illinois lawmakers have been calling for deployment of the army national guard on the streets of Chicago to help restore order, as the public is losing confidence in the capability of the Chicago Police Department to do so.
While the mayor has so far rejected such a need, weary and understaffed police officers and supervisors, working the midnight watch in many police districts are seeing things differently.
Taking the High Road
We must remain focused on the mission and our purpose. We have taken a solumn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois. As law enforcers, we operate within the law.