MEDIASTRAIGHTalk-December 2015 Edition

December 6, 2015

IT’S SIMPLY BLACK AND WHITE AND CYNICAL— The Laquan McDonald execution and the furor it has finally raised is the latest chapter in the immense failure of City Hall and Cook County Democratic pols to demonstrate commitment rather than conversation. You know most of this brutal story already. October, 2014 cops corner a black man near 41st and Pulaski. He’s carrying a small knife. and was seen slashing tires. Only one of the cops thinks his life is in danger and pumps 16 9mm bullets into the man. Video dash cams record it all. For some reason the audio on the cams doesn’t work. Police officers then ‘inspect’ the Burger King surveillance camera tape and 86 minutes is suddenly missing. The execution then goes to the Cook County States Attorney for possible charges. Remember we’re talking about October, 2014 and a Chicago mayoral election is just around the corner. And then the city pays the family of the victim $5 million without a lawsuit or a whimper from the city council. And then the mayor gets reelected by beating back the limited efforts of a pol named Chuy and disappointed voters because the Cook County Board President (popular then) decided not to run. And RIGHT NOW you ask yourself these questions—What did they know and when did they know it? As the murders and shootings increase on the south and west sides, the mayor and his aldermanic lackeys (with a few exceptions) turn to the police chief for ‘answers’. He gets none except for silly statistics that few give any credence. The chief? Why he was the mayor’s first choice to change the culture of the Chicago Police Department. Puh-leez. Insiders and outsiders (after Orlando Wilson) who became Top Cops had little or no clout to do that. They just kept the chair warm for the next superintendent. The police officers? Mostly good men and women doing a very tough job in a city geographically and culturally divided into fewer neighborhoods that work and most that don’t. Today, the mayor fired the top cop and appointed a task force to review cop culture and make recommendations. A quick aside—many years ago I covered politics at City Hall and the Legislature in Springfield. A seasoned pol who helped me understand the system told me “Kid, when you got problems, appoint a blue-ribbon committee or task force—BIG names—make a lot of noise—tell them to report back with changes.” Then my friend smiled and added, “thank them for their hard work and shelve it.” Does the Chicago PD need a fumigating? You tell me when its own database says cops were disciplined in 3% of 56,000 misconduct complaints over a 12-year period! In this pathetic Chicago political and murderous drama, what did Emanuel know and when did he know it? What did Alvarez know and when did she know it? What did Preckwinckle know and when did she know it? Former Supt. McCarthy was and is irrelevant in this discussion. He followed orders and sounded like a fool at the end of his tour. The problem was and is a cynical political system that has always taken advantage of a citizenry that’s been most happy with garbage collection and snow plowing. Change has to start at the top—not the bottom. To quote Emanuel–”the shooting of LaQuan McDonald requires more than just talk.” Will you take the OVER or UNDER that Chicago has the political ‘stones’ to solve a morality play where perception and reality are melded together. I’m betting on the UNDER.

From all of us at The Dave Baum Media Training and Presentation Skills Group,we wish you a Happy Chanukah, a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. We hope 2016 brings you truth in communications and standing applause for your presentations.

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