While I do subscribe, wholeheartedly, to the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” I still have some thoughts about the shooting of the teen in Chicago over a year ago. Certainly the police (and the Mayor’s Office) had the video almost immediately. Yes, it looks very, very bad, since the kid is in the middle of the street, quite a distance from any human being. And unless he’s expert at knife throwing (an unlikely probability), he’s no immediate threat to anyone (despite obviously posing a potential lethal threat to anyone he might later get close to). The officer that shot him was only out of his vehicle for six seconds before pumping 16 rounds through the kid’s body (amazingly good shooting, actually), and had only been on scene for 30 seconds. Not good!
So – why did it take over a year to charge Officer Van Dyke, and only days longer to finally release the video?
I suspect politics, pure and simple. If they’d come to what appears to be reasonable probable cause and charged Van Dyke 12 months ago, and released the video as soon as legally appropriate, they MIGHT have held off all but the most blatant of protesters intent on disruption regardless of excuse. But no – this is Rahm “never let a crisis go to waste” Emanual. He didn’t want to hurt his re-election chances (very much in doubt at the time), and by holding on to it this long, he almost ENSURED a more potent backlash from the black community. Who would NOT be outraged at more than a year to come to some kind of charging determination, then followed by the release of a clearly provocative video that had been kept under wraps for over a year?
Great job, Mr. Mayor! Your buddy Barack gave you some good time in the big leagues, then sent you back to further destroy Chicago, having gained some great experience (and tutoring). Don’t focus on the massive murder rate of blacks by blacks – create another crisis to re-focus on what may well be one very bad cop. Had they done that a year ago, they (Chicago “leader”ship) could have been looked at with respect by many in the black community, by taking control of a situation, coming to a reasonable conclusion, holding what appeared to be a guilty party responsible, being totally transparent with the public, etc., etc. No, it would not have satisfied everyone – there are those (like the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons) that subscribe to the Emanual doctrine as well, who would have pounced on it anyway. But a much larger percentage might have actually (even if grudgingly) appreciated Chicago’s openness and transparency, and allowed the system to work its way through the crisis.
But no – Mayor Emanual (and the Feds who normally LOVE to come swooping in on these kinds of cases) kept quiet for a YEAR. And they’re surprised that “Miracle Mile” black Friday shopping was disrupted?!? Hey – it got the focus off the insolvency of the City, the pitiful murder rate in Chicago, and the complete failure of the Emanual administration, as well as all those that preceded him.
Nice going, Rahm…. And they even put a cherry on that topping by charging Officer Van Dyke with 1st degree murder. That will be difficult to prove when he wasn’t even on scene more than ½ minute, and pumped all 16 rounds into the kid (including his back, and after he was already on the ground) only six seconds out of his vehicle. He didn’t have TIME to premeditate it to a degree a jury is likely to buy into. So then Rahm gets yet another crisis to milk when the jury does NOT go with the 1st degree murder charge. Presumably they’ll at least have a lesser-degree charge awaiting him that would bring more than a year or two in jail – but then, this is Chicago, and any crisis is better than no crisis at all.