Monday Letters: Rewrite union contract to oust rogue cops

SHARE Monday Letters: Rewrite union contract to oust rogue cops

In reaction to constituent pressure, the City Council’s black caucus has sought Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s head on a plate as the fall guy for all the gang-on-gang shootings in the black communities. That lame effort to save face crumbled under its own weight.

The McDonald dash-cam video release now prompts aldermen Roderick Sawyer and Howard Brookins to bemoan the 400-day delay by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to prosecute the cop who shot him, and the possibility of street unrest in response to the video. Yet they were complicit in approving the $5 million pre-emptive settlement with the McDonald family back on April 13, when no lawsuit had been filed or threatened. If they are supposedly disturbed by the prosecution timeline today, why didn’t they hold a press conference seven months ago when asked to approve the payout, and question the entire case back then?

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It’s hard to know who is most guilty of political hypocrisy in this foul case, the mayor’s office, the attorney general’s office, or the Chicago aldermen, starting with Brookins and Sawyer. McCarthy serves with the mayor’s approval, so the superintendent does not make a logical scapegoat, although his timing in firing cop Dante Servin now — months after backing him despite his having irresponsibly shot into a crowd killing an innocent woman — does raise eyebrows.

Better they should all form a united front in rewriting the police contract that seems to pre-empt the prosecution of cops gone wrong. Chicago’s civil society is at stake. Rogue police actions undermine the entire city.

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

Unexplained silence

According to the Sun-Times/USA Today, Sen. Ted Cruz is rising in the Republican polls. This can’t be the same Ted Cruz who was born in Canada and held dual citizenship in both Canada and the USA for most of his life. If it were, wouldn’t The Donald, followed by the Tea Party and the religious right, be calling for his birth certificate?

If it is that Canadian-born Ted Cruz, why are these people silent on his foreign birth? After all, these are the same people who led the charge that President Barack Obama was foreign-born even though his birth certificate came from Hawaii.

Bob Barth, Edgewater

Mayoral disgrace

Neil Steinberg nailed it perfectly with his analysis of the press conference surrounding the murder of Laquan McDonald. This mayor cares only about how he is impacted when police misconduct surfaces. Steinberg is also correct in his listing of the examples of  Mayor Emanuel failures on multiple levels. The mayor is a disgrace to this city and has made Chicago a sad punch line to the nation.

Edward Juillard, Morgan Park

Take the train

Like many Chicagoans, we were not surprised by the news that a portion of the Kennedy Expy. is now ranked as the nation’s  No. 1 traffic bottleneck, with portions of the Edens and Dan Ryan expressways also making the top 50 list of worst-congested highways. Not surprised, but curious, since five of Metra’s 11 lines correlate directly with these gridlocked routes.

We, at Metra, are admittedly “train people” who often wonder why so many people spend so much wasted time and fuel crawling downtown in traffic when — in our view — the train provides a much faster, safer and more convenient alternative.

So, we are writing to remind your readers: those who travel the Edens and Kennedy Expressways can access the trains on the Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Milwaukee District North lines to and from downtown Chicago. Those who travel on the Dan Ryan Expressway can access the Metra Electric and Rock Island District lines. One-way fares start at $3.25 and increase depending upon where you board, and discounted passes are also available for the weekend, 10-ride and monthly tickets. All of our fares are less than what it costs for fuel, insurance and downtown parking. Our trains arrive at and depart from Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, La Salle Street Station or Millennium Station, all of which are conveniently located in the heart of downtown Chicago.

We understand that many Chicagoans love their cars and may be intimidated by commuter rail service or not understand how to access it. At Metra, our goal moving forward is to engage as many new customers as we can and get people who may have never been on the train before to give it a try. There are alternatives to the misery of sitting in traffic for hours each day. Try Metra. We are committed to making riding our trains as easy and convenient as possible, and once you try it – you might like it. To find a schedule that works for you, please visit

Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno,

Metra Board Chair Martin J. Oberman

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