Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Rahm Emanuel isn’t helping Chicago

Chicago is burning. Some days it’s a slow burn, and on others, a wildfire. There’s no single individual who can fix the problem, yet there is one individual who is making everything worse: Rahm Emanuel, who is politicking and running the system until his final term is up all the while Chicago falls further and further into crime and villainy.
Earlier this month, Donald Trump asked that “stop and frisk” procedures be reinstated in Chicago. Mayor Emanuel, in an article published by the Chicago Tribune, blatantly refused to abide by Trump’s suggestions stating “[T]he failed policies [Trump’s] talking about have no place for a city that’s working together with communities, about how to build not only trust, but a collaborative and cooperative relationship.”
Emanuel’s city, after the practice ended in 2015, had the worst year of violence in over 20 years, maxing out at 760 deaths. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) worked with the city to have officers fill out a more detailed stop-procedure form for each time they performed a “stop and frisk” action. Comparing the first 9 months of 2017 and as well as the first 9 of 2018, there was a 19 percent decrease in the death toll. However, correlation does not imply causation.
Emanuel’s leadership over this city in the last 7 years has seen much turmoil scattered with some victory. The city is still one of the leaders in crime, particularly homicides.
Emanuel decided not to run for reelection in 2019 in an announcement last month. His approval rating plummeted after the death of Laquan McDonald and after he fired Garry McCarthy, former Chicago Police Chief. McCarthy is now running in the mayoral election in 2019 because he believed that Emanuel was not doing his job appropriately.
The ACLU and Black Lives Matter organizations in Chicago have begun to ask for more oversight and power over the police in an attempt to place checks the city’s protectors.
My point for all of this is we cannot let the possibility of offending citizens get in the way of protecting the rest of the city’s inhabitants. While I believe there is an amount of police officers who are in fact unfairly targeting the minorities of the city, I also fully believe that the vast majority of the city’s officers are doing their jobs despite the vitriol and politics happening around them.
Emanuel blatantly telling Trump he would not heed suggestions to “stop and frisk” sounds more like an attempt at politicking and less an attempt to advocate for his city. With the current climate of police violence, I understand the fear of letting police officers exercise more freedom to stop citizens at random, yet the effect of applying politics to the police is dangerous.
However, as dangerous as it is to apply politics to policing, giving the ACLU more power over the city in legislation and threatened lawsuits is even more so. The ACLU has supported anti-police sentiments before and often protects those who threaten the police. The police ought to be trusted; there are far more quality police than not.
Emmanuel could be valid in rejecting Trump’s call for “stop and frisk.” His reasoning, however, leads me to believe that he focuses more on how the police look and less on what the police do and have accomplished. Running a city in this manner is dangerous. As his responsibility for Chicago comes to a close, safety may be jeopardized in the long term.

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Rahm Emanuel isn’t helping Chicago