How many anomalies show up before we realize they aren’t anomalies? Consider: “Man Says Chicago Cops Framed Him for Murder.”
“CHICAGO (CN) – A man spent 3 years in jail awaiting trial for a murder he didn’t commit, and Chicago cops offered witnesses money to falsely identify him as the killer, the man claims in court. Anthony Kuri sued Chicago, six police detectives and three police officers, in Federal Court. Kuri ‘spent more than three years in the Cook County Jail for a murder he did not commit, a crime that another man has since confessed to having committed,’ he says in the complaint. In the early morning on July 24, 2009, ‘a male Hispanic rode up on a bicycle and fired 5-6 shots at a minivan double-parked in the street’ in the 4600 block of North Central Avenue in Chicago.”
The rest of the article tells a tale of lies, police bribes, witness tampering, and years in a maximum security jail. Back in 2009, the only mainstream news story I could find, merely reported Kuri’s arrest as a matter of fact that was beyond dispute. If the real killer hadn’t confessed, the police might have completed their frame on Kuri and the media would have had no interest in questioning it.
Is this merely some local story?
Consider the kind of FBI reports we get about “thwarted” terrorist attacks. Typically, the FBI finds some person of marginal standing and marginal intelligence, probes him for some vague impossible fantasy, and then recruits him under false pretenses for some equally impossible terrorist attack. Then they give him a fake explosive, arrest him for trying to detonate it, and then claim they have protected Americans from some real threat.
I guess, since the FBI does actually get people to willingly go along with these terror plots, they aren’t as bad as the Chicago police in this case simply framing a person who had nothing to do with the murder. But it does show a similar inability to do real law enforcement work and a willingness to substitute imaginary constructions for such work.
Since these stories are not rare, maybe it is time to ask ourselves why we need law enforcement organizations in the first place. In the popular imagination, police at the local, state, or federal level are supposed to be dedicated to the “science” of forensic evidence or else devoted to a self-discipline of strict deduction that finds the truth and filters out prejudice and premature conclusions. CSI and other “cop shows” make us sit in awe at how rigorous and careful the investigators are as they collect evidence.
But in reality we find people who, when bringing a panel of photographs of suspects to a possible witness, point out the one they think if guilty and ask the witness to confirm their suspicion.
“On August 2, 2009 defendants showed Russell a photo spread that included plaintiff, and told Russell that they ‘knew’ that plaintiff was involved in the shooting. Defendants further explained to Russell that if he picked plaintiff from the photo spread as having been riding on the back of the shooter’s bike at the time of the shooting, Russell would be able to help his friend Fernandez because the defendants could give Fernandez money for being the victim of a crime. In this way, the defendants improperly secured that Russell would pick out plaintiff from the photo spread, which he did.”
Law enforcement is less and less about investigating a crime to find the guilty and clear the innocent. Instead it is merely a means of social control that picks people to punish to make the rest of us feel like someone is “doing something” about crime.