LETTERS: Bad things happen when cops put up ‘wall of silence’

SHARE LETTERS: Bad things happen when cops put up ‘wall of silence’
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Chicago Police Sgt. Donald Markham and Officer Dina Markham. | Facebook

The Dina and Donald Markham death case, two Chicago cops who died under violent and mysterious circumstances, is the current high-profile case yet to be solved, mishandled at every step by the Chicago Police Department, leaving multiple questions unanswered (“Nine questions about the mysterious deaths of two cops” — Nov. 13).

The public sees this only when blatant irregularities make them newsworthy, e.g., the David Koschman case, the Jon Burge cases, and the Laquan McDonald case, to name a few. All involved “the blue wall of silence,” where cops clam up, and conspire to protect one another. How many such cases remain hidden?

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What is it about our police department that these transgressions occur without consequence until the press exposes them? It seems a conspiracy among City Hall, which gives the police department its marching orders; ineffective or hamstrung civilian oversight bodies; and the Fraternal Order of Police to ignore, obfuscate and willfully forget they happened, hoping the public won’t notice.

“Good” cops who might speak out are silenced by peer pressure, abetted by seeing wrongdoing cops go unpunished. The system does not protect them if they do break ranks and tell. Hence, cop-civilian trust and cooperation suffer. This abnormal reality is Chicago’s normal, until made right. Crusaders and outside pressure welcome, including federal court oversight.

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

‘Those seeking freedom belong here’

The vulgarity of those in power today demean a nation whose future was once brighter, fed and cared for. Not perfect, yet trying to reach everyone — yes, those without privilege, unfashionable and working hourly to feed families and friends alike at times. In the hovel of immigration, a nation was built. A statue stands to welcome them. Others have to circumvent a wall to reach such an exalted place. At night the stars carried them. Fleeing poverty is no sin.

Working hard was their only option. Politicians, their salvation. The children of immigrants themselves, often they understood the challenges. Some fell through the cracks, others excelled. Once enjoined with America, they flourished, their children flourished, a nation benefited. We were all immigrants in a way once. To belittle and attack such human beings by building false walls and depriving hope from our legacy results in the present conditions we have. A splintered nation. One on the ropes of life, battling to survive and not get pushed out — while others mock their resiliency, they collude with foreign adversaries to maintain a false status quo. Those in the trenches of life know heroism for their children and themselves.

We built a nation on such aspirations, not offshore. Here in the United States, Emma Goldman’s promise rings true. Whether by sea or land, those seeking freedom belong here. We don’t recite “God Bless America” in song for one group of Americans; we recite it for all. Look at our accomplishments with such a plan. It works.

Vincent Kamin, Streeterville


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