Two Don’ts

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.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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