This is no longer the society we know… so now we must ask ourselves. Is it worth it?
The call of shots fired and men down at the Chicago Red Line was broadcast over the district zone as well as to all citywide units. The first car on the scene shouted ‘bona fide’ into the radio and requested ambulances for two gunshot victims. Witnesses were quickly rounded up and a description of two offenders was broadcast over the police radio. Supervisors were requested as well as the crime lab. One victim was shot numerous times and looked unlikely to survive.
Fast forward: beat cars searched the area armed with an excellent description of the shooters provided by witnesses and security video. Within minutes, two subjects were taken into custody and positively identified as those individuals who were captured on video at the location of the shooting. One was observed on video as firing a gun that wounded the two victims – one very seriously.
The shooter turned out to be a juvenile, just 14-years-old. He was interviewed, interrogated, and charged with the double shooting. After the initial hearing in front of a juvenile court judge, the boy was freed without any form of supervision. No bond was required, nor any form of tracking… not even an ankle monitor. This young man was charged with being delinquent because of two counts of attempted murder.
From a legal standpoint, police officers in Illinois have guidelines to follow when investigating criminal activities. When charging arrestees with felony complaints, they need to present the individual being charged to a magistrate in a timely fashion. This judge stated that the boy was held in police custody excessively long, more than the 24-hour period that was mandated by law. That still does not explain the extremely leniency while handling this individual. If he was an adult, he would have been charged with two counts of attempted murder and probably held without bond.
My question is, is it worth it?
You put yourself, your partner, and everyone else on the street in danger by responding at a high rate of speed. Once on the scene, there’s a high probability of being shot or shooting someone; maybe even by a bystander. Not to mention the countless diseases that you could contract or bring home to your family.
Is it worth it anymore?
Society is topsy-turvy. What was good is now bad and what was unspeakable is now the new norm. Philadelphia wants to decriminalize drugs. Illinois wants 16-year old children to vote but raise the purchase age to buy cigarettes to 21. What the hell is going on?
I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t think it’s worth it anymore. My office wall is decorated with plaques and accolades from thirty plus years on the Chicago Police Department. Between my father, my grandfather and myself, we have over one hundred years of police experience in the Casey family. When my two sons were accepted into the Chicago Police Academy to continue Casey legacy, they both refused the offer. This was both the best and the sorriest day of my life.
I just don’t think it’s worth it anymore.
To all my brothers and sisters in blue, lock and load and protect each other. And as always, stay safe.
View Larry Casey’s website at www.StoriesofaChicagoPoliceOfficer.com and review his book by the same name.