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Friday, December 8

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Chicago Wed Jul 29 2009

Police Want Expansion of Deadly Force Powers

What's worse than a fat cop that beats up women in a bar on the Northwest Side and gets away scot-free? Not a lot, to be sure. But this may come close: Chicago cops legally being allowed to shoot at drivers in vehicles that they believe to have carried out felonious actions.

As the article states, cops were formerly only able to shoot at a moving vehicle if it were coming towards the officer or an innocent bystander. Now, they would be able to put a few slugs through your car (and, by proxy, you) for such crimes as: murder, rape, assault & battery, grand theft, arson, illegal drug usage or sales, burglary and robbery. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not sure I want Chicago cops turning any more incidents deadlier or more violent than usual. Just because someone was smoking dope and broke into a garage doesn't mean that a cop should be able to end their life (if for no other reason than to imagine someone getting shot while carrying a Huffy out of some poor guy's garage - what a way to go).

However, this provision may be tempered or snuffed out all together by a Supreme Court precedent - Tennessee v. Garner. Garner states that "deadly force...may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others".

Surely, our officers put their lives on the line every day. But granting the use of deadly force should only be reserved for circumstances where all other avenues are unavailable or have been exhausted. Maybe this will finally be the push that Chicago needs to finally install an independent civilian review board.

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Dennis Fritz / July 31, 2009 2:18 PM

Allowing police to shoot at moving cars is a bad idea on so many levels. First of all, wouldn't that increase the chances of civilians being hit by stray bullets? Might they not inadvertently injure or kill an innocent passanger in the car? Hopefully, this policy change will not be premitted.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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