The Chicago Police Department’s new Gang Data Base is bullshit. The criteria for a gang member being placed on this list are ridiculous and downright nuts.
Officers will need at least two criteria of a possible six different criteria in order to place a gang member into the gang data base:
- A video tape of a gang member admitting to being a member of a street gang.
- A self-admitted confession of a gang member stated in front of witnesses that he is a member of a Chicago street gang.
- A gang tattoo and further evidence of gang membership.
- Being caught using gang signs along with other criteria.
- Flying gang colors or wearing gang affiliated clothing along with other criteria.
Any two of the above six will do the trick. Now let’s look at the details of each one of these asinine possibilities.
What street cop who works the streets of our high crime areas is going to take a suspected gang member into the district? He would then need to set up a video question and answer session with him in order to satisfy the first requirement of gang affiliation.
What supervisor is going to authorize his officers to spend a significant portion of their shift in the station while criminals run free-rein on the streets?
What gang member is going to freely agree to go into the station to give a self-condemning statement on video?
A gang member has to be pretty friggin’ stupid to admit to being a in a gang. Once added, it will be his word against the officer’s and the ACLU about whether or not he really owned-up to being a gang member. Other police-hating groups will sue and win big dollar amounts from the officer and the city.
What cop is willing to put his future in jeopardy for simply adding a name to some bullshit list?
Since the disbanding of the city’s gang intelligence unit, what police officer is going to jeopardize his job, his house, and his future by adding some dirtbag’s name to a gang list? The average street cop does not have the expertise to discern a gang tattoo from some tattoo that is perfectly legit. An error on the cop’s part would bring lawsuits which would be indefensible.
Use of gang signs:
Everybody is flashing gang signs. Young children ages 6 and 7 are throwing up gang signs. Again, who is the expert in gang signs? Does an officer allow himself to be subpoenaed to federal court challenging his expertise on gang signs?
Wearing gang colors or emblems:
Once again, where and who are the experts in gang dress and colors? How many checks will be written by the city – or worse, the cop, after some court declares that the asshole’s civil rights have been violated?
It sounds as though the powers-that-be deliberately made this gang affiliation database as difficult as possible in order to avoid gang members from actually being entered into this crazy system.
The implementation of a new data base has far too much input from the social criminal justice activists and not enough empirical knowledge from the specialists in the Chicago Police department.
Although well-meaning, this gang data base is a failure from birth.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Any street cop who allows himself to be trapped into submitting a name using a faulty criterion is a police officer who has little respect for his future.
Any sergeant who pushes this new gang data base should be assigned to washing patrol cars in the sally port.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
Larry enjoys hearing from his readers – EMAIL
View Larry Casey’s website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com/ and review his book by the same name. It makes a great inexpensive gift.
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