Thursday, August 18, 2005

Heavy Manners

Here's a tidbit about New Orleans, where we spent a large part of our honeymoon. It's from an article re: N.O.'s rising murder rate...

"Researchers last year conducted an experiment in which police fired 700 blank rounds in a neighborhood in a single afternoon. No one called to report the shots."

I feel bad for the people who live in that neighborhood _ not only for the level of crime they endure, but for the fact they're subjected to these kind of obnoxious police experiments. They are a captive, beaten audience.

The CPD used to do its police roll calls in my old Humboldt Park neighborhood. They'd all blow down Campbell with their sirens blazing, get out at the corner of Potomac and assemble for a brief show of dominance for the local thugs. I don't know if this ever worked, but it made me feel like I lived in a police state.

Chicago has been creative in its manufacture of sophisticated band-aids for deep urban wounds: police saturation patrols and camera boxes, military academies and r.o.t.c. But like shooting rounds and rounds of blanks off in a bad neighborhood, these do nothing but remind many in our city that they've sunk to a new level of hopelessness.

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