Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicago's Finest Cost the City $500,000

Council settles Chicago police suit involving autistic boy for $525,000 - Chicago Tribune

I actually remember this case, both because I posted about it, and because it is near and dear to me for personal reasons. It is the story of a kid with autism, beaten by Chicago Cops because he "wouldn't make eye contact" (people with full autism rarely make eye contact) and he was "acting strange."

In short, he was standing on the sidewalk, in front of his family's restaurant, taking a break from helping out and watching pigeons. For that he was questioned, and when he didn't react "normally" he was chased and clubbed in the head. Let's say that again. He was doing nothing. He was harming no one. He may have seemed 'suspicious' to anyone who never heard of autism. But is it really true that Chicago is so safe, that the cops have so much time on their hands that anyone standing on the sidewalk becomes the top priority? I mean, it couldn't be that the cops in Chicago go out of their way to hassle kids/people for no good reason, just because they think they can.

The ironic thing was that this incident happened during "Autism Awareness Month" and the very week that Chicago PD was patting themselves on the back for a new program aimed at helping cops deal with people with mental disabilities.

In a rare act of action, the independent review committee found the officers were acting badly. Not that they aren't still on the job. But they have that check mark in the personnel jackets. Such a fitting punishment for sending an innocent to the hospital for 8 staples in his head.
Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, chairman of the Finance Committee and a former cop, suggested Tuesday that such behavior will have no place in the city come May, when the city hosts the back-to-back NATO andG-8 summits.

“There may be 10,000 protesters here,” Burke said. “Just imagine the potential for actions against the city and the possible financial burden that the taxpayers are going to have to confront.”
Just imagine.

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