Two-thirds of Chicago cops called themselves racists

“Chicago cops had been angry for years. In 1960, after a corruption scandal, they had inherited a new police superintendent, Orlando W. Wilson, who was a college professor, one of the founders of the academic discipline of criminal justice. They saw him as an ivory-tower puritan, obsessed with showing arrests for the kind of ‘victimless’ crimes – drinking, whoring, gambling – by which cops from time immemorial had padded their weekly pay envelopes by looking the other way. [..] They hated him for his policy of replacing retiring white commanders with Negroes (40 percent of new sergeants were black his first year); in one survey, two-thirds of Chicago cops called themselves racists. These cops hated him most especially for holding them back from busting ‘civil rights’ troublemakers. During the riots in 1966, ten thousand officers working twelve-hour patrols felt as if they were hardly allowed to arrest anyone. Sixty-four quit that June alone, thirty-seven before they were eligible for pensions.

Wilson quit in 1967. His successor continued his policies. One of his first acts had been to shut down a Ku Klux Klan cell operating within the force, with its own arsenal of firearms and hand grenades.”

– Rick Perlstein, Nixonland

“The pundits said [Robert] Kennedy was a uniter. The facts showed he was a divider. But to an Establishment hungry beyond measure for signs of consensus, the myth answered a psychic need. Moderates can be seized by ideological fever dreams as much as extremists; it has always been thus.”

– Rick Perlstein, Nixonland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s