Judges don’t hold Chicago police accountable
Fortunately for Chicago Police Officer Melvina Bogard, a Cook County judge was so intent on finding an excuse to justify dismissing charges against her that he totally overlooked what really transpired during a 2020 arrest at a CTA Red Line station.
I’ve heard of the term “friend of the court.” But I have never heard of the phrase “friend of the cops,” yet virtually every judge in Cook County apparently holds that position.
Last week, Cook County Judge Joseph Claps cleared a Chicago police officer of felony charges for shooting an unarmed man during an arrest at a CTA Red Line station.
Officer Melvina Bogard shot Ariel Roman in his chest and buttocks when she and her partner tried to take Roman into custody after he was seen moving between cars. I can’t imagine the lengths the officers would have gone to if he had really done something wrong.
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Fortunately for Bogard, the judge was so intent on finding an excuse to justify dismissing aggravated battery and official misconduct charges against her that he totally overlooked what had really transpired.
Roman had “zero credibility” on the stand, Claps said.
Of course, the officers charged “opted to stand trial before a judge, rather than a jury.” It makes sense since it is judges, not juries, who are “friend of the cops.”
Lee Knohl, Evanston
Perfect time to ban assault weapons
Pleas from victims’ families, doctors who treat gunshot wounds, gun control advocates and many others typically get amplified after a mass shooting. Many are calling upon President Joe Biden to issue an executive order to ban assault weapons. My first thought was that such an order would be blatantly unconstitutional. But would it?
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or ATF, a law enforcement agency within the Justice Department, has the authority to regulate the sale and possession of weapons. Nothing in recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerns automatic weapons, only handguns. That department could change its rules and ban such weapons.
There could be another approach. The 1994 automatic weapons ban was set to be renegotiated in 2004. It never was. It just expired quietly with no debate in Congress. They could have that debate now. The ban could still be in effect while the debate took place. In the meantime, lives could be saved.
Jan Goldberg, Riverside