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Chicago Looks to Minnesota, Awaits Another Police Shooting Video and Holds Its Breath

John Kass, Tribune Content Agency on

Chicago holds its breath, awaiting release of a police video showing 13-year-old Adam Toledo, reportedly with a gun, shot dead by a cop.

The city by the lake hasn’t recovered from the waves of looting and other violence that grew out of last year’s George Floyd protests. Just look at all the vacant storefronts on North Michigan Avenue, the “Magnificent Mile.” And now Chicago looks north to a trembling Minneapolis, a city on edge with the murder trial of Floyd’s alleged killer, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a white man. Floyd was Black.

Just a short drive from Minneapolis, in Brooklyn Center, there is chaos in the town government amid street violence in the aftermath of another police shooting that claimed the life of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man who appears to resist arrest during a traffic stop and ends up being shot by a white police officer.

Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, criticized for not doing enough to stop Minneapolis from burning in the Floyd riots, has taken a stronger public stance, calling up ample National Guard support.

“Minnesota is a place where we know that you can create space for grievances to be aired and First Amendment rights to be expressed,” Walz said this week. But “those that wish to do harm or destruction to property, or to put people at risk, it will not be tolerated.”

I didn’t hear Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot or Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker say anything sounding remotely like that.

 

Yet beyond the political posturing and the constant threat of street violence, what do Americans see?

All of us see the unspeakable horror of two human beings, two Black men, killed by law enforcement officers. Their deaths cry out for justice. What happened to Floyd and Wright at the hands of police is beyond tragic and should never have happened.

But politics is downstream of culture.

And now, in the interests of justice, perhaps in the interests of payback for racism of the past, we’re on the verge of abandoning something vitally important that protects every one of us: due process.

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