On Sunday, 60 Minutes made some outlandish, and illogical accusations against the Chicago Police Department, when they blamed the police officers themselves for the drastic increase in the city's murder rate.
On Sunday evening the CBS investigative journalism show "60 Minutes" aired a segment titled "Crisis In Chicago." The segment focused on the drastic increase in Chicago's murder rate in the year 2016. The introduction to the segment described Chicago as being a city that more closely resembles a "war zone" as opposed to one of America's great cities. It's widely reported that Chicago had 762 murders, and 1,400 people shot during the year 2016. 60 Minutes described the Chicago Police Department as being an "agency on its heels."
The segment was hosted by CBS Correspondent Bill Whitaker who wasted no time pinpointing what he described as being an "alarming cause" for the drastic uptick in murders on the streets of Chicago. Whitaker passionately (some might say ignorantly) placed the full blame at the feet of the courageous men and women who proudly wear the badge and patrol this described "war zone," that is Chicago.
Bill Whitaker revealed some statistics that were obtained from inside the Chicago Police Department. The data reveals an annual comparison of 2016 and 2015 pertaining to the police activity levels. It also showed that in August 2015 police officers stopped and questioned 49,257 people as a result of pro-active policing measures. A year later that number decreased to 8,859, which is about an 80% decline in people stopped and questioned. The data used by Whitaker can be found in the full transcript provided by CBS 60 Minutes.
Bill Whitaker then interviewed former Chicago police officer, Hero Brian Warner, who was shot in 2011 ending his career as a police officer. While interviewing Warner, Whitaker attempted to sensationalize his "alarming cause" for the drastic decrease in police activity by describing Chicago Police officers as if they were skirting their duty to the public, and betraying their sworn oath to protect and serve their communities. With angst on his face, Bill Whitaker quipped scripted phrases commonly used by Black Lives Matter antagonists, like "it's their job" and "they signed on to do that," referring to the officers proactively policing the dangerous "war zone" of Chicago.
Brian Warner shut that assumption down abruptly when he replied to Whitaker's question about the officer's not being as proactive. Warner said, "No. They’re not. And how could you ask them to be? And why would you expect them to be?"
Brian Warner is exactly correct! While Whitaker went to great lengths to belittle the men and women of the Chicago Police Department, what he failed to do was adequately conceal the huge factors (or restrictions) that were implemented by the Chicago Police Department as a result of efforts by the ACLU, and organizations like Black Lives Matter. These organizations attempt to stifle any proactive policing efforts by bending the ears of city officials using the threat of peaceful protests that usually end with plumes of smoke hovering over the city's skyline.
The ACLU pushed for new policies within the Chicago Police Department, and one such policy that was enacted during 2015-2016 range requires an officer to complete a two page written report for every person they stop and question. Whitaker attempted to play this down by saying, "It doesn’t seem that filling out a two page report is that onerous." Whitaker quickly dropped that argument when the former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy described how that "two page report," in broad scale, affects the overall level of police left on the streets. He described that two-page report as taking an officer off the streets for close to an hour, and that's per-person-stopped-and-questioned. For example, if an officer were to stop eight people, they would have to complete 16 pages of reports before the end of their shift. That's in addition to all of their crime reports from calls for service.
Step 1: Restrict officers' ability to conduct proactive law enforcement.
Step 2: Watch crime increase.
Step 3: Blame the officers for not being proactive.
All that aside for a minute, let's discuss the fact that 60 Minutes, in the introduction of this segment, acknowledged that "gangs, guns and drugs" have caused chaos in Chicago, for years. Shouldn't they also mention that Chicago is one of the most gun restrictive cities in America? But these laws mean nothing to criminals who have no regard for a law, and a court system which refuses to remove these gun-toting criminals from society. 60 Minutes quickly shifted the focus away from the violent, gun-toting, drug abusing criminals, and never revisited them during the rest of the segment. Instead they placed Law Enforcement squarely in the cross hairs as the sole, and root-cause for the murder rate spike in Chicago.
Any logical person, that is truly searching for the root-cause for the murder increase, would not ever come to the same conclusion as Whitaker unless there was some underlying feelings of hatred for the brave Heroes of the Chicago Police Department.
Whitaker then interviewed the current Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, and continued with his barrage of attacks on Chicago police officers. Superintendent Eddie Johnson, when confronted with Bill Whitaker's data figures, may have voiced the police quote-of-the-year when he calmly, yet poignantly, replied,
"What we can’t measure is the crime that we stop."
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stoically stood by the men and women of the Chicago Police Department and today we recognize, and applaud him, as well as all of the brave heroes working for CPD. Superintendent Johnson did what so many other police leaders, and politicians find to be so difficult, and that's to support the police officers' efforts to deter crime.
Sorry Whitaker, You can't reasonably attack the police for stopping people, and then blame them for not making enough stops. Perhaps this segment should have focused on what's preventing police officers from effectively doing their jobs, rather than attacking the officers who are doing the best that they can.
What do you think about 60 Minutes show, and the disgraceful attempts by CBS Correspondent Bill Whitaker to besmirch the thin blue line? Let us know in a comments below, or on our Facebook page.
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