Eddie Johnson, commander

Chicago’s new police superintendent: Due diligence be damned

Eddie Johnson may be well qualified to be Chicago police superintendent. Then again, maybe he’s not. We don’t know. When Mayor Rahm Emanuel rammed Johnson’s appointment through the City Council Wednesday, the byword was due diligence be damned. Neither the mayor nor any alderperson bothered to inquire about alleged police brutality that occurred under Johnson when he was commander of the South Side Gresham district between 2008 and 2012.

Alvarez letter

Anatomy of an audacious Alvarez lie

I’m not sure which offends me more — a naked falsehood that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez propounded in a letter to the editor published in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune or the newspaper’s naked irresponsibility in letting her get away with it.

Can’t we be more like Iceland?

Here are some lessons we are learning the hard way:

There are too many instances of police shootings. The Washington Post has been keeping count: Almost 1,000 this year, and counting. Forty-one involved unarmed black men. Policemen too often have to make split-second decisions when they come upon situations, and determine if there are people, including themselves, at risk. Making that decision can be horrendously difficult; and a wrong decision can be lethal, either to themselves, innocent third parties, or to the suspects they encounter.

In-depth reporting in a new era

If you missed it, we recommended in #injusticereads a powerful article detailing the difficulty of rape prosecutions, centered around the wrongful conviction of a young woman who was criminally convicted based on allegations she had falsely claimed rape. The work was the product of Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller, two excellent reporters at, respectively, The Marshall Project and ProPublica. Now, a postscript: the editors of those sites explain how the project came to be, and it says a lot about the new world of journalism. In the old days, news organization were driven by competition, by being first, by getting “the scoop.” In the new days, as news organizations have shrunk their budgets and appetites for deep investigative projects, an increasing number of non-profits (including, of course, Injustice Watch) are sprouting up to fill the landscape.