What Chicago, and the world, could really use is RoboCops.
You heard me.
RoboCops — like in those old, at the time futuristic movies.
Police officers have enough to do tracking down shooters after the fact. We need a police presence on the scene before the shooting starts.
Besides, police officers who each day witness the chaos in our neighborhoods have got to be reaching a breaking point.
What else would explain why police officers are still being accused of brutalizing suspects?
After all, there have been enough prosecutions of police brutality in recent years to send a message that such behavior no longer can be tolerated.
Yet some police officers are stuck in their ways.
For instance, two Chicago cops were charged this past week with beating a 17-year-old they said crashed into their unmarked squad car on the South Side and pointed a gun at them during a chase.
And a Chicago police lieutenant was charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct, accused of shoving a flashlight between the buttocks of a clothed, 17-year-old carjacking suspect.
Meanwhile, Chicago Police Department brass put a white officer on desk duty after he was caught on video grabbing a Black woman who was walking her dog near North Avenue Beach when the park was closed.
Things like like this used to end up getting settled with lawsuits. But these officers are charged with crimes and could go to prison.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending police misconduct.
Brutal police officers need to be weeded out, or we’ll never see the reform that’s desperately needed to rebuild trust between cops and Chicago’s Black and Brown communities.
But maybe we’re expecting too much from cops.
If I ran into a 15-, 16- or 17-year-old carjacker, I’d want to give them a kick in the butt.
These aren’t teenagers getting into some harmless mischief. These are armed youth on the path to serious prison time.
The crimes that juveniles in Chicago are being arrested for are appalling. Recent arrests include a 17-year-old charged with first-degree murder, accused of being involved in the fatal shooting Aug. 19 of 23-year-old Keiwaun Crayton on a CTA Red Line L train on the South Side.
Other recent arrests involving teens in Chicago include that of a 16-year-old charged with vehicular hijacking, aggravated firearm and kidnapping and the arrests of a group of teens between 14 and 17 years old who are accused of attempted robbery in the 100 block of East Pearson Street near the Magnificent Mile.
Meanwhile, shootings continue across the city.
A 4-year-old girl was struck and wounded by a stray bullet Wednesday in Englewood while combing her doll’s hair on a front stoop. And three people were shot in West Garfield Park.
Unfortunately, the police have their hands full tracking down dumb criminals who are oblivious to surveillance cameras.
It’s amazing that detectives can make arrests in many of these street crimes.
Yet they managed to arrest a man in a matter of days for the beat-down last weekend in the 400 block or North State Street in River North of two white men caught up in a crowd of Black revelers.
Brandon Jefferson, 33, was charged with robbery, aggravated battery and being in possession of a stolen vehicle.
Law enforcement experts predict that police departments will put greater reliance on technology in the future.
Social media, body cameras, facial recognition, predictive policing or proactive policing and GPS applications used to locate suspects are among the strategies that already have been embraced.
And robots equipped with sensors are being used in some dangerous situations.
Still, RoboCops aren’t actually in our policing future.
But what a wonderful world that would be.