The treatment by the Chicago Police Department of the city’s majority black population is often tarred with accusations of racism. Earlier this month, a white officer stopped James Meeks, a prominent south side minister and politician, and his entourage after an apparent infraction by the driver. According to Meeks and company, at a traffic stop the officer verbally (and perhaps racially) abused him, releasing a torrent of profanity when Meeks (and perhaps others) stepped out of the car.
While the matter is under investigation, this much is clear: Both Meeks and the officer made mistakes. First, when a member of Chicago’s finest stops your car, stay there, and get used to saying “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir.” There’s no good reason to get out of the car, unless asked to. Officers, many of whom have been shot at during “routine” traffic stops, are understandably jumpy in such situations.
Second, using profanity against a citizen is wrong. Not only does it show that you have lost control of a situation, it also could very well escalate tensions, turning a minor incident into an unnecessary confrontation. The CPD needs to have a zero tolerance policy on boorish bahavior by its officers. Period.