Saturday, January 28, 2006

Durbin's Police State

I've never been held at gun point by a geek from the National Security Agency.

I have been held at gun point by police from Chicago, Berwyn, and Oak Park.

That was back before I looked like a geek myself and the standard practice in the near West Burbs and Galewood was to take any male teen on the streets after midnight and stretch us over the hood for a pat-down.

So I worry more about abuse from local cops then Federal cops. I tell my kid if you get pulled over, keep your hands on the steering wheel... don't move fast. Cops --with good reason-- can be jumpy and if not well trained might shoot before they think.

And then stories like this in today's Chicago Sun Times just confirm you don't want to be the wrong looking guy, in the wrong place, at the wrong time in Illinois,
Rollins, a former special education student who had no criminal record, was 17 when he was convicted.

He repeatedly told police, "I'm innocent," until they "hit him around a couple times" and he agreed to confess, Fioretti said.

At the press conference, Rollins said police used "scare tactics" and "put their hands on me" and "kept hittin' me" until "finally I asked them what happened. He [a detective] told me everything" to say in a confession, and Rollins signed a document written by an assistant state's attorney, he said.

"I was scared to death," he said. "I didn't want to go through it."
In prison, other inmates identified him as someone who'd raped an elderly woman, which led him to be treated more harshly than others, he said.

He said he'd "try to hold my dignity, my pride" during that time, though he admits to times he'd ask himself, "Did I do this?"
I heard Sen Durbin talk about Gitmo. I'd really like to hear him talk about Illinois.

There's some comfort when you're middle aged geeky looking guy like Durbin and myself. But when you're a young African-American male, you've got enough threats in your life. The Chicago Police Dept shouldn't be another one.

So Sen Durbin, please speak with some passion about real threats from the government to our liberties. We have plenty of examples in Illinois with stories you can put a name too... unlike NSA surveillance where I've yet to see who's been abused.

Cross Posted at Illinoize

1 comment:

Levois said...

An intersting take on this issue.