…Chicago’s New Police Superintendent
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
It’s official Chicago, Eddie Johnson has been sworn in as Chicago’s latest Police Superintendent. But before the ink dries on his contract, let’s first take a look at a few headlines to see what just really happened.
As reported by the Tribune on April 12, 2016: “Aldermen give interim top cop Eddie Johnson an easy time of it”.
As reported by the Sun-Times on April 13, 2016: Eddie Johnson gets the permanent job he didn’t apply for.”
As reported by the Associated Press: “Aldermen suspended rules on the selection process implemented in 1960 so Johnson could be hired to succeed Garry McCarthy.”
Despite Mayor Emanuel’s decision to sidestep the vetting process by the Chicago Police Board and install an insider which the public knows very little about, appears to be counter productive to his previous pledges of transparency, accountability and building trust within the community.
Within hours of Eddie Johnson being sworn in, the Police Accountability Task Force (PATF) held a press conference releasing the findings of their month’s long investigation into the patterns and practices of the Chicago Police Department, IPRA and the perceived “culture” that operates freely throughout the ranks.
The 190-page report is scathing, according to some, and lays out a long list of reforms which Johnson will not only have to face and accept, but also try to convince the Black community in particular winning back its trust and confidence. Already people are reeling at the perceived arrogance of Mayor Emanuel and his seemingly endless obsession to have his way despite what Black and Brown people may desire.
Community activist Douglass Bevels says “Almost more amazing than the disrespect that Emanuel is showing the citizens of Chicago, … is the aldermen who are cosigning this charade.” The people have no true leadership.”
The recommendations that Johnson will be expected to preside over fall under three critical areas: the need for community empowerment, lack of accountability, and other systemic problems. “The only thing that you can expect to change in Chicago is the weather,” says Cheryl Colbert. “Everything else remains the same.”
The Chicago Defender is working on a developing story regarding the report that will be published within the coming days.