From the Courtroom

Illinois Chicago Det 6

Originally uploaded by officergleason.

Let me preface this by saying I have nothing against Chicago’s Finest.  I have worked with them on occasion, and when I’ve called them, they’ve always been helpful.

However, when I look at a kid whose has broken the law, I try and see how to help that kid change.  From my experience, the police see just another kid who should be locked up.  Given our adversarial system, we need both attitudes.

I think it goes to far when the police question a judge’s ability to be fair when dealing with kids.

I was sitting in my favorite Judge’s court room, behind two detectives.  They were discussing how *every* kid in the court needed to be locked up.  Then I heard one of them–and I swear this cop looked like Michael Chiklis— “How can this guy be fair?  He’s Black.”

At this point, I paid more attention.

These two officers went on and on about the families, specifically how they were scum.  They complained when any kid received Home Confinement/Electronic Monitoring instead of Detention.  They laughed when the judge tried to talk directly to the kid.  Michael Chiklis went on to say, “One day, i’d like to see justice served in this court room.”

This is a judge that used to be a State’s Attorney.  This is a Judge that does everything he can to ensure that everyone–State, client and Probation–gets a chance to say something in court.  He has sent kids to DoC and he has done everything he can do to make sure that kids get every opportunity afforded to them by law.

I fully recognize the need to vent; I recognize that some people have WIDELY different views of how the juvenile justice system needs to work.  But for a person to ask if a judge can be fair because of the color of his skin is not excusable.  To mock every family that walks in to the court room, to giggle and laugh like 5th graders in the back of a class room shows a lack of professionalism that affects how the police are viewed in the community.

It is one thing to be adversarial.  It is another to question the integrity of a judge because he is Black.

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4 Comments so far

  1. nikkos (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

    I assume the judge didn’t hear that comment?

  2. Marty (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

    Nope. They were way in the back, and the Judge focused more on the kids he was supposed to serve than the kids in the back row.

  3. nikkos (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    The “kids in the back row” being the CPD detectives? And people wonder why people of color hate and fear the police. If a detective would say suchu a thing about a JUDGE, one can only imagine his attitudes toward the typical black male Chicagoan.

  4. Marty (unregistered) on February 23rd, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

    Yeah, the CPD Detectives. Since the proceedings of the Juvenile Court are confidential, only people who are “a party to the proceedings” are allowed in the court.

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