The federal Department of Justice’s final report of its “Investigation of the Chicago Police Department” was released on Friday and, as expected, it sounded very similar to the one it completed on the Baltimore Police Department. That investigation led to a consent decree approved by Baltimore’s City Council on Thursday. There’s no reason to doubt the same outcome in Chicago.
From the Chicago report:
This investigation was initiated as Chicago grappled with the aftermath of the release of a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald….
The aftermath included protests….
We … found that CPD officers engage in a pattern of using force, including deadly force, that is unreasonable….
CPD has not provided [its] officers with adequate guidance to understand how and when they may use force, or how to safely and effectively control the resolve encounters to reduce the need to use force….
CPD … engages in a pattern or practice of force in violation of the Constitution….
The pattern of unlawful force we found resulted from a collection of poor police practices.
And so forth. It’s all of a pattern. As in Baltimore, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will sign an “agreement in principle” (AIP) that will start the process of creating the chains of federal government de facto control — a consent decree, to be overseen by an “independent monitor”: a federal judge.
That process, which will involve the city of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), and the federal Department of Justice, will take months to hammer out. But in its final form, it is likely to run many hundreds of pages (Baltimore’s consent decree, just assented to by its City Council on Thursday, is 227 pages long) and create the federal rules, regulations, guidelines, and mandates that will regulate the minutest behaviors of every member of the force, from street cops to top officials. It will be a “control” document, with federal sanctions threatened if it isn’t followed. It will be sold to the unsuspecting public as necessary, as the CPD has been corrupt for so long and efforts to rein it in in the past have been so far unsuccessful, that federal intervention is required.
The Chicago Tribune admitted that when all is said and done, “The release of the Chicago report continues a process that is expected to play out much like a similar probe of Baltimore police that was launched in 2015 after the highly publicized death of Freddie Gray.”
In the present case the “incident” that provoked that “process” was the shooting death of black Laquan McDonald by white CPD officer Jason Van Dyke in October of 2014.
Predictably, next came two weeks of riots, with protesters disrupting traffic during the Christmas shopping season. The Baltimore riots lasted two weeks before the National Guard was called in to quell them; the Chicago protests lasted for months.
Following those protests, the DOJ inserted itself into the matter, opening its “investigation” — the results of which were released on Friday.
The pattern is clear, and has been working. First is the “incident,” followed by protests and riots. Then come demands for an investigation, which concludes that there is sufficient corruption present in the local police department to warrant a federal investigation. The next step is inevitably a federally-enforced “consent decree.” The pressure from below (the protesters, usually on the payroll of Black Lives Matter), is followed by pressure from above (the mayor and the city council, either reluctantly or strongly agreeing to the investigation and ultimately giving assent to the consent decree.
For all intents and purposes, once the decree is in place, the local police department becomes an arm of the federal Justice Department.
As reported in The New American on Thursday, the pattern is historical: Jan Kozak explained the strategy in his 1999 book And Not a Shot is Fired, showing how the people of Czechoslovakia were manipulated into voting themselves into slavery by the same “pressure from below, pressure from above” strategy.
Since 1997, the Justice Department has opened 69 formal investigations into local police departments charged with corruption, resulting in 40 consent decrees. Chicago, the second largest city in the country with more than 12,000 officers, is merely the latest plum plucked off the tree by this tactic.
An Ivy League graduate and former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.