I am a college sophomore home for the summer. My dad is a Chicago cop. On Saturday, after he worked the front lines of protests, I asked him what happened. For 18 years he shielded us, his children, from the truth. But exhausted, he told me he was spit on too many times to count, had a bottle thrown at him and had a bag of urine thrown at him. He explained they were instructed not to arrest anyone.
Can you imagine if he spit or threw a bottle at one of the protesters? Though we focus on the infrequent and regrettable cases of police overreach, we never show or discuss the tremendous restraint that the police show each day. The media never show or share this side of the story.
My dad used to tell us he became a cop to prevent crime to keep us all safer. He believed it, and so did I. But as we now mock, ridicule and neuter our police, I no longer believe it, and though he wouldn’t tell me, I don’t think he does either.
Jennifer McIntosh, Portage Park
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This is how we get riots
We brought this on ourselves.
We made excuses when police officers used deadly, disproportionate force against black citizens, and when other officers lied to cover up their abuse.
We created a climate of fear in which vigilantes could harass and even kill black people going about their daily business because they thought that they looked suspicious, maybe, sort of.
We shrugged our shoulders when our president praised racists as “very fine people” and stirred the flames of racial resentment.
What did we expect would happen?
Do you want riots? Because this is how we get riots.
Benjamin Recchie, Near West Side
Cops handled it well
Saturday night’s protests and riots In downtown Chicago reminded us again that we have not progressed racially in this country. Even given all the pending issues of police brutality, the Chicago police on Saturday behaved well. They handled the crowds with honor and grace. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Supt. David Brown are doing a good job of keeping our city under control.
When I think of how Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1968 ordered the police to “shoot to kill” arsonists, I shudder.
Let’s hope the riots are over, let’s pray the COVID is passing, let’s hope for truth and justice for all.
Felicia Carparelli, the Loop
Trump’s ignorant utterings
In his typical off-the-cuff style, speaking of the rioting in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump urged calm by using the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
That phrase dates back to the civil rights era, when it possibly was uttered by segregationist Eugene “Bull” Connor, public safety commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama, who directed the use of police dogs and fire hoses against black demonstrators. It definitely was used in 1967 by the police chief of Miami, Walter Headley, and intensified race riots.
Trump later backpedaled, saying he only meant that when rioting starts, innocent people get shot and that he did not know the origin of the phrase.
It is a basic rule of oratory that if you do not know who said something or the context in which it was said, you do not use the quote. In other words: If you don’t know what you are talking about, shut up.
Dan McGuire, Bensenville