Rahm Emanuel

On his way out of office, Rahm Emanuel is hobbling Chicago cops wth consent decree he previously fought

By Thomas Lifson

Having presided over Chicago’s descent into rampant crime, “wilding” attacks by “urban youths” in the city’s prime shopping districts,  and a murder rate that shocks Baghdadis,  Rahm Emanuel pulled the rip cord on his mayoralty and announced he would not run for a third term. As Rick Moran wrote:

In the end, Emanuel’s tattered reputation would have suffered even more in a third term.  The “police reforms” are likely to lead to more crime and more violence.  There is a pension crisis with city employee unions that is likely to get worse.  Taxes will have to be raised.  Who can blame Emanuel for declining to serve under these circumstances?

The ugly truth is that doing something to make Chicago solvent, safe, and a sane place to do business would require taking on the vested interested that dominate the Democratic Party. Public employee unions, the racial grievance industry, and the rent seekers all would lose under real reform.

So, what does Rahm do to salvage his reputation after two terms as mayor of a city rightfully scared about becoming the new Detroit? If real reform is out of the question for a lame duck, then one way to look good is to have things really start spiraling downward after he leaves office. Call me cynical (as if one could be too cynical about Rahm Emanuel), but this suggests support for the “make voters regard my administration as the good old days” strategy. Bill Ruthhart of the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago police officers would be required to document every instance in which they point a gun at someone under an agreement reached Wednesday between Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, two sources familiar with the deal confirmed.

The new requirement, which will be agreed upon formally in a federal court hearing Thursday morning, marks a win for Madigan who had pushed for the new level of documentation as part of her ongoing negotiations with Emanuel on a federal consent decree that will govern sweeping reforms to the Chicago Police Department in the coming years.

Prior to deciding to leave office, Rahm had fought Madigan, an ambitious pol whose father has been the most powerful figure in the state legislature for many years:

For more than a month, however, the mayor and attorney general had been at odds over whether Chicago police officers should have to document every instance in which they point a gun at someone. Madigan called the requirement essential to ensuring that officers properly use the threat of a gun, given the department’s history of excessive force and misconduct. Emanuel portrayed the documentation as superfluous, while Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said it could make officers hesitant to draw their weapons in dangerous situations.

After weeks of talks, both sides told U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. last week that they planned to litigate the matter in court.

But on Wednesday — the day after Emanuel announced he would not seek a third term — the mayor’s team agreed to the provision, according to sources who were not authorized to discuss the agreement publicly.

Superintendent Johnson is exactly right. Cops hate paperwork, and are likely to avoid situations in which they might have to unholster a weapon. That means even less “active policing” and even more failures to intervene to stop crimes. The blog Second City Cop comments:

Make no mistake, Rahm is going to fold on a lot more points before this “consent” decree takes effect. He has nothing to gain by siding with a Department that disliked him pretty much from day one and grew to hate him the more we got to know him. (snip)

…the only thing this agreement does is keep åmore cops and their supervisors off the street for extended periods of time, during which patrol officers aren’t visible, streets are undermanned, backup isn’t available and supervision non-existent.

You know how to avoid useless paperwork? Slow roll, make a lot of noise arriving, cut a report, advise warrants, leave.

What could go wrong?

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