Filth, Scum, Uninsured Animals | Letters | Chicago Reader

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Filth, Scum, Uninsured Animals


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To the editors:

Jack Clark obviously went to great pains to make his story a fair one ["Who Killed Jay Brunkella?" February 26]. It's too bad Andrea Grannum and Margaret Smith, the dissenting jurors who would have us believe that they also desperately wanted to be fair, didn't walk a mile in Jay Brunkella's moccasins with the police (as they did for Allison Jenkins). So let me take you down that trail.

The legal system stinks, but not, as Cynthia Jenkins deludes herself and misleads others, because "the police have all the rights and you have none." The cops are merely hamstrung by the legal system, and the bad guys know it. Some examples:

Two officers see a man on a bicycle shoot a pedestrian. The man jumps off his bike and flees on foot, pursued by the cops. He shoots at them 'til his gun jams: they return fire but do not hit him. When they tackle him, he is still trying to cock the gun and pull the trigger: instead of shooting him, one cop stands on the hand with the gun. Later, at court, the prosecuting attorney will ask the officer prior to trial--what's this about you violating the guy's civil rights, brutalizing him? Huh? What about the victim, who can't have any more rights since he's dead?

There are traffic court judges who dismiss tickets, hazardous moving violations included, so fast the clerks can scarce keep up, and judges who let convicted felons charged with new felonies out on individual-recognizance bonds. There are assistant state's attorneys who won't approve felony charges for robbery (when the offender has his hand in his pocket--convincing the victim a gun's there) because "there's not enough force."

An officer who can sense offenders are "dirty" (carrying contraband, wanted on warrants, just committed a crime, etc) and makes an arrest that confirms that sense, is told in court that if s/he is unable to articulate how s/he knew, the case will be dismissed. Too bad no one asks lovers to gauge the extent of their feelings, nor are those who mourn ordered to describe the depths of their despair.

Those the police encounter know they have a right to be read their Miranda warnings. They know they have a right not to be harassed by police or others. But just query: Do they know they also have responsibilities, as citizens, to society? The response: a blank stare.

The police are dealing with scum one would unduly dignify to call "animals." These are creatures who beat their wives because "she earned it." They hide dope in their socks, fake beer cans, the baby's diaper. They kill each other over who gets the last pork chop, or what TV program to watch. They tell the cops on New Year's Eve "this is a free night to shoot our guns." They have no respect for the elderly or the law, no insurance, no sense of their own or another's mortality, and too often no conscience.

Maybe for the good of past and potential victims, the police should have more leeway.

Some kids are definitely being raised wrong, but for the most part it's not by parents of future cops!

M. Wiesinger


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