Friday, December 21, 2007
Jean Dixon Wannabes -- This is for You
by Sara Paretsky
Calling all Jean Dixon wannabes. Forecast the future. Tell us, what lies ahead for Chicago under new Police Superintendent (designate) Jody Weis? When he was Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia FBI, he indicted an electrical contractor for allegedly pilfering $869,000 from union funds, he broke up the pizza terrorist ring, and he was able to restore the original manuscript of Pearl Buck's The Good Earth to the Buck family trust after it had been stolen by Buck's former secretary. Obviously, the mayor had access to way more information than I do on how Weis handled these tricky operations.
The CPD is going through one of its sine-curve peaks of bad deeds and bad vibes. The Burge torture cases leave a lingering cloud over the force. Six members of the elite Special Operations Section are under investigation, for "issues" including planning the murder of an SOS officer who was cooperating with an investigation into the unite. The video-taping of officers assaulting women in bars has also caused some eyebrows to be raised, at least after people stopped their endless prurient viewing of the tapes on YouTube. Steve Mills recently wrote in the Tribune about the number of times Chicago Police shoot suspects in the back--hundreds--and the times they're investigated or reprimanded--close to zero.
Jody Weis helped fire Chicago FBI agent Robert Wright for publicly criticizing the FBI's anti-terrorist acts. Does this mean he'll stifle dissent here in Chicago? Or does it simply mean he'll run an orderly ship? Will he help the African-American community combat decades of harassment and false arrest? Will he be able to bring officers like Burge to justice?
Look into your crystal balls, you seekers of truth, justice, or prurient excitement. How will Chicago fare under the Mayor's handpicked choice?