June 22, 2021 00:17

Glimmer of Intelligence

From Groot, believe it or not. Anyone here ever worked the lockup?

  • Backers of a proposed ordinance that would guarantee arrested people prompt access to an attorney say a counterproposal from Mayor Lori Lightfoot could undermine the effort.

    Sponsored by Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th), the proposal would require Chicago police to allow detained people to use a phone within one hour of their arrest to contact family and an attorney.

    The ordinance is backed by the Cook County Public Defender’s Office; legal groups, including the National Lawyers Guild; civil rights advocates like First Defense Legal Aid; and more than 200,000 other individuals and organizations that signed an open letter asking for Lightfoot’s support.

The dozens of times we helped out in the lockup, there hasn’t been a single instance of anyone being denied a phone call, usually within forty-five minutes of arrest, depending on the speed of the officer typing the arrest report. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Someone actually got Groot to listen to reality.

Guess who the politicians are trotting out for this?

  • Hairston invoked the example of former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge, whose notorious crew of officers tortured hundreds of Black men into giving false confessions between the ’70s and ’90s. Many of those confessions were later overturned.

Eeeeek! Jon Burge! By the way, many more of those confessions stood up to multiple reviews and recantations were proven to be manufactured. Burge was suspended in 1991 – twenty-nine years ago, and fired in 1993. There pretty much isn’t an officer or detective around that even crossed paths with Burge any more, let alone worked for him – under one hundred for sure.

This is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist in any meaningful numbers.


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