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The Myth of “Meaningful Oversight”

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Earlier this week Chicago Police Department officers beat the president of the Chicago Police Board during a protest in Hyde Park. The board president declared himself to not be mad about it:

Officers’ use of force to disperse the protest could have been justified at points, Foreman said.

Foreman said he was not angry with Chicago police.

“What would that accomplish?” Foreman asked. “It would not get us anywhere.”

Foreman said he would use his experience — which he called “traumatic” — to improve his work on the Police Board.

“I have a better idea of how to improve all of this,” Foreman said.

Hours before he said he was struck by at least one officer, Foreman joined Lightfoot and Brown at a news conference Sunday morning where he grew emotional and praised the “professionalism” of officers the previous night.

“Being the president of the police board, the buck stops with me when it comes to police accountability, and I take that very seriously,” Foreman said.

Foreman said he understood the frustration of the community, but also said he would not have been as restrained as he saw officers being when confronted by protesters.

This is, of course, absolutely pathetic. But it also demonstrates the degree to which “oversight” as an important “reform” is just laughably meaningless. City police beat the person who lead’s the city’s police accountability unit, and that person turns around and not only praises the cops for supposed restraint suggests that were he in their position, he’d have gone further.

More generally, the liberal proposals that people are throwing out there for police reform are, in a word, bullshit.

If you’re not calling for defunding police forces, and redistributing toward social goods the hundreds of billions of dollars they suck from public coffers every year, you’re basically dabbing with a wet paper towel at the corner of a house fully aflame.

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