Black Chicago Cops Protest City’s Racially Offensive Brochure

Jack Bedrosian

On Monday night, reports the Chicago Sun-Times, four African-American veteran Chicago Police Officers could be seen standing outside a City Council meeting in silent protest. The officers objected to a racially offensive presentation given at a session of the North Chicago Citizen Police Academy the week before. What was supposed to be merely an informational brochure about trial procedures contained images of Dave Chapelle's Tyrone Biggums character--a homeless drug addict with crack powder on his lips-- as well as a black prisoner surrounded by four white prison guards, and what has been described as a "bug-eyed" mug shot of another African-American man.The pamphlet also included photos of various pop culture personalities such as Lindsay Lohan, Judge Judy, Barney Fife and Casey Anthony, in what many see as an ill-conceived attempt at humor.Police Chief James Jackson has said the slide show was put together by a black officer—a disputed fact that many in the force and surrounding community see as inflammatory and irrelevant.Ralph Peterson, a relative of Darrin Hanna—a black man who was beaten to death by North Chicago police in 2011—said, “[Jackson] threw the black officers under the bus. He shamed them and angered them all at the same time … Instead of giving the white officer some sensitivity training and removing him off the police academy, he chose to blame it on the black police officer. That is the level of mentality we are dealing with."

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