Chicago Police officers protest at City Hall

Chicago PD showed unity in marching on city hall. It is great to see officers united and standing together. This seems to be a rare occurence as many officers are afraid to stand up for their rights–my experience at Northlake PD is a prime example.

April 2, 2009

The International Olympic Committee might not get the message, but Mayor Daley surely will. His ears must be burning.

Chanting “Daley sucks,” thousands of Chicago Police officers marched around City Hall and rallied at the Daley Center Plaza Thursday to protest their two-year wait for a new contract and Daley’s decision to dismiss the union’s no-confidence vote in Police Supt. Jody Weis.

Turnout was so heavy the 90-minute march around City Hall had to be cut short because protesters five- and six-deep could no longer move forward.

The rank and file are furious about the mayor’s decision to withdraw his offer of a 16.1 percent pay raise over five years amid declining city revenue.

“The FOP has been at the table with the city for almost two years, and they choose now to pull the economic package off? Maybe it’s true that you just can’t fix stupid,” Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue told the rally.

Donahue said a turnout he pegged at 3,600 “represents the level of frustration. … Disgruntled first responders are speaking, and hopefully the mayor realizes the drastic mistake he made in pulling the financial package off the table.”

Daley wasn’t the only target. Protesters also carried signs that read “Pay the Real Police-Not Weis,” and, “No Contract, No Peace, No Justice with Weis.’’

Wood District Patrol Officer David Disanti cited the case of Officer William Cozzi, who was captured on a hospital surveillance camera beating a man handcuffed and shackled to a wheelchair.

After the Chicago Sun-Times posted the video, Weis called Cozzi’s action “deplorable” and vowed to “review the facts” before taking further action.

He wound up contacting federal authorities who obtained a civil rights indictment against Cozzi on the day before Cozzi was supposed to return to duty.

“He was already punished. He did his punishment. He admitted he was wrong. And then [Weis] reopened the case right as he was supposed to come back to work.”

Weis, at an unrelated news conference, said later Thursday that the officers’ demonstrating their First Amendment rights is “what’s great about living in America.”

And while he said doesn’t play a major role in contract negotiations that have upset officers, he did take responsibility for not getting information out about positive changes in the department—from new vehicles and computers to training.

“A lot of people have worked very hard to make some changes,’’ he said. “But we have not done a good enough job of getting those changes out. That just tells me I have to work harder.”

Weis also addressed, head-on, an issue that has dominated the conversation around his administration — the morale of officers.

Noting that he came in as a reformer, Weis said he believes change has been hard on some officers. But he does not believe morale is low. And if it were—and if he was responsible for it—he’d resign, he said.

“No one would have to ask me to leave,’’ Weis said. “I would leave on my own.’’

Thursday’s protest was timed to embarrass Daley at the worst possible moment.

It coincides with the arrival of International Olympic Committee members conducting their final site visit to Chicago.

But Donahue said the union’s goal is not to turn Daley’s Olympic dream into a nightmare.

“Our message is not to the Olympic Committee. If it can be worked out where the Olympics is going to enhance the financial position of the city, we’re all for it. We want jobs for our brothers and sisters,” Donahue said.

“We’re here to get the message across to the mayor that police officers are frustrated with the lack of a contract. They’re also very frustrated about the fact that the economics package was pulled off the table. We need a base to negotiate from, and they pulled the base off the table.”

Ald. Tom Allen (38th), whose Northwest Side ward is home to scores of police officers, arrived at City Hall during the demonstration.

“I’m not saying the mayor has been unfair to them. But they need more than lip service,” Allen said. “The message is bargain fairly with them and don’t criticize them.”
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The views expressed in these blog posts are those of the author and not of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Report item as: (required) X Obscenity/vulgarity Hate speech Personal attack Advertising/Spam Copyright/Plagiarism Other Comment: (optional)
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carla m wrote:
hatelib really hates everyone.
4/3/2009 12:01 PM CDT on
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salmineo wrote:
Sorry, I forgot ignorant.
4/3/2009 10:14 AM CDT on
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blue&white wrote:
Hatelibs- Normally I agree with what you write on here, but I think that was a little out of line. Most CPD support military 100% and do not show such hate towards them. I was not military, but have respect for those that served our country and do agree that they should be taken care of for that sacrafice if needed. Thank you for your service.
4/3/2009 10:14 AM CDT on
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salmineo wrote:
You are a perfect example of a chickensh*t scumbag.
4/3/2009 10:08 AM CDT on
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undacuvabrutha wrote:

All you had to say was “thank you”..for your freedom of speech and your right to be as passionate as you like and voice your opinion, even though I do not agree with you. You’re welcome, by the way…don’t mention it. =)

“Freedom is the sure possession of those who choose to defend it.”

TSgt T, United States Air Force

..from Chicago, too.
4/3/2009 9:06 AM CDT on
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laidoff worker wrote:
4/3/2009 7:25 AM CDT on
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chicago cop wrote:
A BIG Thank-You and much heartfelt appreciation to all the fellow union members, concerned citizens, family members, officers and supporters who came to the aid of the men and women of the Chicago Police Department today at City Hall.

On behalf of my fellow brother and sister officers, we salute all of you and Thank each and every one of you from the bottoms of our hearts!

God Bless You All!
4/3/2009 1:57 AM CDT on
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hatelibs wrote:
Cipros… who are you kidding??? A soldier doesnt whine about how dangerous their job is? How many f’ing local soldiers funerals do I ha
ve to see on the news? how many times does tammy duckworth have to cry about “veterans rights” before my ears stop bleeding? How many waste of taxpayers dollars have to be spent on GI bills, Illinois vets education, and VA homes before we stand up to this? This is a free mans army! Not a single person was drafted… to use Daleys arguement, YOU KNEW THE RISKS GOING IN, IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, QUIT! You can and could have quit at any time! You knew the risks going in… why should my tax dollars be spent on buying you a new f’ing wheel chair instead of funding my childs education? My freedom was not in jeopardy because of Sadaam Hussein… You are a vet… good for you! You have been paid for your service, now go away! Stop harping on the REAL heroes of our community! No one forced you or anyone else into the military! Every one knows the military is a staging point for junkies, gang bangers, court appointed a holes, and losers who cannot make it in main stream society! You act like the police are the ones bleeding society, when in fact, (and yes, Ill say it) vets like you are the biggest part of the problem! Buy your own d a m n wheel chair! Plenty of disabled people have jobs… go get one! Ex military are FAR more scandalous than any cop I know… drunk, high and stupid is no way to go through life, spread the word to your junky vets! How many more times do I have to hear about the homeless vet population? Why are you clowns so unable to be contributing members of society? Because losers go in, losers come out! I never see a bumb wearing a CPD cap p i s s i n g himself begging for change! You “vets” are always looking for sympathy! As if I should empty my wallet to your vet bumbs because you are wearing a USS Vincennes hat, or some army fatigues! Get a life, loser… and make sure you take your meds and check in with the shrink over at Hines… thanks for losing ANOTHER war!!!
4/3/2009 12:23 AM CDT on
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grandmother of 5 wrote:
cdm wrote:
They don’t consider their tax-free side income a raise?

What are you talking about? Tax Free? Cops pay their taxes on all income, do your research before you shoot off your mouth.
4/2/2009 11:06 PM CDT on
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aj2 wrote:
The best turnout I’ve ever seen. Was a great time. To see us come together like this was amazing. I think the organizers were surprised at the turnout. To take 45 minutes to get around the block showed how many of us there were. Unity.
4/2/2009 10:59 PM CDT on
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