I am a Chicago survivor of police torture under the disgraced former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge. From the age of 16, I found myself sitting behind the walls of a prison for decades. I served 28 years before winning my release in August 2009.
Several weeks ago I was appointed to the Chicago Police and City of Chicago Police Use of Force Task Force.. I accepted this appointment so as not to be biased or to make incorrect judgments about how the policy surrounding the use of force should be revised to ensure that citizens are protected from members of the Chicago Police Department.
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Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara seems to have problems Arewa Karen Winters being assigned to this task force, failing to acknowledge that it was Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department who appointed her and myself to oversee changes in this policy of excessive force.
Many CPD members seem to want the citizens of Chicago to believe that Arewa is a threat or will not be fair. I do not agree. We have accepted this task to finally attempt to reform the CPD in a way that protects the interests of Chicago residents and the police. The FOP should be completely independent of our review of the current policy and how it is revised.
We are afraid of the police who have shown us that many are street thugs and have the attitude of protecting dirty cops, exercising the code of silence on the integrity of justice.
Hard-working police officers will have no fear in our review and reform of the policy, because I believe they will accept the changes we make. We call on the FOP to stop its attacks on torture survivors, peaceful protesters and working citizens. Reforms are needed, and this is something that every police officer I have spoken to in the past two weeks has privately informed me. Many feel they have been wrongly labeled as street thugs for the actions of a few. Give us the opportunity to improve conditions for everyone and not just for the police.
I am not biased and will not exercise a policy change regardless of the fact that I have several family members who are members of the Chicago Police Department. An uncle, Mark Davis, served CPD for 32 years before becoming the chief of the Calumet Park Police Department. Police officers who openly engage in criminal behavior should and must be held accountable for protecting the integrity of justice, not corrupt cops who disrespect the rights of the citizens they have sworn to protest.
Mark Clements, Chicago Center for Torture Justice
Rallies take precedence
It’s pretty clear that having rallies is more important to the president than the health of his base. By the time the elections are held, there may be fewer “fans” in his base (to vote).
Lauretta Hart, West Ridge