From gang activity to civil rights violations to illegal drug dealing, 300 Chicago police officers have been convicted of crimes since 1960 - and a third of those convictions happened since the year 2000.
Researchers from the University of Illinois-Chicago on Thursday released the report entitled “Crime, Corruption and Cover-ups in the Chicago Police Department,” which details police corruption and offers remedies.
Vice in the police department dates back to prohibition and the early days of the mob, which was linked to Chicago machine politics. The report says in later decades, street gangs cut deals with dirty cops. And as the War on Drugs escalated, so did corruption.
“The question on everyone’s mind is why is the gang problem so serious in Chicago. And the gang problem has always been serious in Chicago, in part, because the problem of police corruption has always been so serious,” said John Hagedorn, a criminal justice professor who helped write the report.
The report says the CPD “has at the very least a culture that tolerates police misconduct and corruption.” It says a “blue code of silence” and the failure of state’s attorneys to prosecute wrongdoers contributes a climate of tolerance.
The European Commission proposed a ban on imports of fish from Sri Lanka for not tackling illegal fishing properly and lifted a ban on fish imports from Belize following the reform of its vessel inspection practices.
Teachout gives us a long and savory chapter on the legal history of lobbying. Once upon a time, lobbying was regarded as obviously perfidious; in California it was a felony; and contracts to lobby were regarded as reprehensible by the Supreme Court. Here is a justice of that body in the year 1854, delivering the court’s decision in a case concerning lobbyists and lobbying contracts:
“The use of such means and such agents will have the effect to subject the state governments to the combined capital of wealthy corporations, and produce universal corruption, commencing with the representative and ending with the elector. Speculators in legislation, public and private, a compact corps of venal solicitors, vending their secret influences, will infest the capital of the Union and of every state, till corruption shall become the normal condition of the body politic, and it will be said of us as of Rome — omne Romae venale.”
Well, folks, it happened all right, just as predicted. State governments subject to wealthy corporations? Check. Speculators in legislation, infesting the capital? They call it K Street. And that fancy Latin remark about Rome? They do say that of us today. Just turn on your TV sometime and let the cynicism flow.
And all of it has happened, Teachout admonishes, because the founders’ understanding of corruption has been methodically taken apart by a Supreme Court that cynically pretends to worship the founders’ every word. “We could lose our democracy in the process,” Teachout warns, a bit of hyperbole that maybe it’s time to start taking seriously.
"It is my Friday lay day blog – a recent institution designed to give me more time for other things. This week, an Australian author, Richard Flanagan, won the 2014 Man Booker literary award for the best book of the year. It was the first year the prize has been extended to all English language literature published in Britain. That is, it included American writers this time. Previously it was confined to that curiosity collection of nations called the Commonwealth, a residual from the British colonial days plus the Republic of Ireland. The book recounts his father’s experiences on the Burma railway during World War 2. The author has caused a stir back here after he told the press after receiving the award that he was, in fact, “ashamed to be Australian” because of the Australian government’s approach to climate change policy and coal. Our Prime Minister has said recently that “coal is good for humanity” and his Government has scrapped taxes on mining and carbon emissions, as a sop to its rich benefactors in those sectors."
The presence of other guys is the only thing preventing followers from intimidating me on the street; not some profound respect for my right to not be intimidated on the street. Otherwise, it doesn't bother followers at all that they make women so un...
"Democracy is evaporating. In our globalized world, new forms of colonization are emerging, and popular control over decisions that affect people's freedom and well-being is becoming increasingly weaker. This can and must be stopped."
Based on recently released Census Bureau data, women made up almost half of the workforce last year. Yet, even working full-time and year-round, they were paid only 79 cents for every dollar men made. The wage gap varies considerably between states. ...
The Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders was in the city of Richmond, California on Thursday and said local elections in the city have become prime examples of how U.S. politics, at all levels, have become corrupted by the unlimited amount of money wealthy corporations and individuals can spend on campaigns.