What was in that video? Apparently there was a murder around Avers and Ferdinand. The two men who had been killed were still in their car when the police used a repo-truck to tow it away. The family members were justly upset as they watched the scene.
Comments like, “This is bogus!” and “This is BS!” flowed through the air. I felt the anger and frustration of the people who saw the disrespect displayed toward their deceased family members. But as the huge crowd grew, I wondered how many of them who were expressing their anger that day went out and voted during the municipal elections held on Feb. 24 or the special municipal runoff election that was held on April 7?
Chicago implemented a redrawn ward map, which went into effect for the 2015 election. The 37th Ward boundaries have now changed. On the east side, it begins around Hamlin and Lake. It goes north on Hamlin to Ferdinand and then west to Avers. Our politicians made Avers the dividing line between the 37th and 27th wards. So the blocks on Avers going north from Ferdinand until it reaches just north of Division are discombobulated as one side of the street is represented by one alderman while the other is represented by a different one.
Trust me — the way the map was devised was not accidental. It is designed to maintain disunity as those struggling blocks have to deal with two aldermen to address their basic needs and problems. I took a look at the vote count for alderman that came out of that area. For the 37th Ward, it is the 13th Precinct. The vote count for the area from Lake Street to just north of Division and Avers west to Pulaski was 188. The 27th Ward is the 15th precinct. Alderman Walter Burnett didn’t need a special election to retain his seat. He won during the February election with a whopping 135 people coming out to cast their vote.
I know there are folks who will shake their heads and dismiss the notion that their voting or not voting makes a difference. Many voted for President Obama and have yet to see any significant changes in their personal lives. But as I stated at the beginning of this column, all politics is local and it begins with the person those people allowed to become alderman along with who became mayor.
Those living around Avers and Ferdinand who didn’t give a damn back in February and April are now seeing the price they have to pay. The police know who they can mess with and who they can’t. They look and see people who are not participating in the processes and they treat them with contempt and disregard.
There is no way that two dead cops would have been left in a squad car, so why should two dead civilians be left in their car and towed away like they were trash? Television shows like CSI and Dexter have made people acutely aware as to how a crime scene should be investigated and the dismissive tactics Chicago police showed should not be tolerated.
Yes the people could march on the police stations and demand better from the commander of that district. But even more, they should be calling on both aldermen Burnett and Mitts, demanding that the public servants whose salaries they pay (both police and aldermen) should show more respect toward them.
Both Mitts and Burnett have an upcoming election and we, as voters, can make them kowtow to us immediately.