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An off-duty cop got a light bond in deadly DUI. It’s time to stop putting cops above the law

Police are paid by the taxpayers to protect the public and uphold the law.

Exterior of Tony’s Philly Steak in Gresham after crash by off-duty Chicago police officer.
A car driven by an off-duty police officer crashed into this Gresham restaurant early on Sunday, June 9, 2019, killing one woman and injuring another.
Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

The off-duty Chicago police officer who was arrested for DUI after he crashed into a fast food restaurant and killed someone — a young parent, as I understand — only had to pay $4,000 — 10% of a $40,000 bond — to get out of Cook County Jail.

Jason Van Dyke got only 6 years and 9 months for shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him.

If an average person in Chicago, or ‘Crook County,’ were arrested for allegedly committing the same crimes, he or she could expect to be denied bond. Upon conviction, a hefty sentence would likely be the final result.

These examples show how Chicago police officers are “getting away with murder.” Police are paid by the taxpayers to protect the public and uphold the law. They should not be placed above the law.

There is something tragically wrong with our criminal justice system when police officers essentially get away with causing great bodily injury, or death, to innocent individuals. It’s an example of how Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham probably thinks the rank-and-file men and women of “law enforcement” should be treated.

Mike Slachetka, Uptown

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Obama Center’s false promises

It is hard to understand the position that the Obama Presidential Center will bring economic development to the South Side. Looking at comparable organizations, the Center will most probably have 75 full time and 75 part-time jobs, at a hefty cost to the Chicago taxpayer.

The Obamas have proven that their allegiance is to their buddies in New York, Washington and Hollywood, not to Chicago. The high-paying jobs will go to those same people. The median paying jobs will go to the daughters, sons, cousins, nieces, nephews and neighbors of the well-connected. The lower-paying jobs (in the gift shop, cafeteria, janitorial services and maintenance) will be for ordinary Chicagoans.

As far as community development: For those who can’t afford the prices at the gift shop and cafeteria, there will be three food trucks and two gift/souvenir kiosks. I hardly call that community development.

Neil Spun, Edgewater

Missing the point on parking tickets

Regarding your recent editorial on Chicago parking enforcement, you are missing the larger point: That many people don’t respect the parking laws, regardless of demographics. Those who can’t afford the consequences of their own disregard of parking laws shouldn’t be driving. Citizens of any background are always responsible for their choice of violating any law. If people chose to respect the law, they wouldn’t be subjected to the conditions described in your editorial.

Richard Lewis, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Valid voice on parks

Mary Mitchell is the one out of her lane in her June 13 column “Protect Our Parks out of its lane in fighting Obama Center.” Groups like Protect Our Parks exist to represent all of Chicago, and their voice is just as valid as any other in the debate over how we use our cherished green space.

Chuck Mackie, Lincoln Square