And this time, that Wednesday evening Elgin City Council throng spilled well out into the hallway perhaps marking the largest congregation to which that governing body has ever played host.
Of course, the catalyst for that kind of capacity crowd was yet another effort on the part of a small but vociferous Elgin group intent on seeing Elgin Police Lieutenant Chris Jensen twist in the wind just a little bit more.
I can’t imagine I have to remind anyone that Jensen is currently on administrative leave while Kim Foxx and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office continue their review of the March 2018 I-90 shoulder shooting death of DeCynthia Clements.
Ironically, the folks who claim Jensen violated Clements’ civil rights and due process want to “redress” the situation by depriving Jensen of his. It’s a fascinating flight of hypocritical fancy. Regardless of the massive lawsuit that would inevitably ensue, they want Jensen fired now because it would make them feel better.
Isn’t that exactly what we’ve become? A bunch of third-grade whiners who fervently believe that government’s sole purpose is to cater to our every whim and temper tantrum? The fact that the same pastors keep showing up to regularly rend their garments and prove just how unchristian they really are truly frosts my flakes, too.
I guess anyone can claim they’re a “clergyman” these days and any minister who prefaces their name with the term “Trueprophet” clearly is not. But I digress!
This time, the anti-Jensen rabble turned out in uniform consisting of t-shirts emblazoned with the officer’s stylized name surrounded by a circle and slash. C’mon! Couldn’t they be a little more creative? How about a depiction of Jensen with a noose squarely around his neck hanging from the top of the Tower Building?
That’s what y’all really want, right?
When Elgin police union attorney, Tim O’Neil told the council they shouldn’t be issuing public proclamations about Jensen until the remaining investigations were complete. He added that they should avoid “a premature, hasty decision by some government officials who represent the city to judge and condemn Chris Jensen’s distinguished career based on their opinion and conjecture based on a small snippet of video.”
Of course, Councilman Corey Dixon, who never misses an opportunity to resort to pandering, responded, “I’m here to serve my community and I don’t care about your politics.” Councilman! That ain’t politics, it’s actually sage legal advice. And if by “serve my community” you mean:
- Grandstanding at every possible turn
- Unnecessarily stoking racial tensions
- Setting your city up for a massive lawsuit
- Pandering exclusively to Elgin’s 9 percent black community
- And looking well past the council for your next political gig
Then we agree!
The only solace is Dixon is well on his way to becoming a one-term councilman.
But on a night when hypocrisy was in full bloom, councilwoman Tish Powell remained the reigning queen of the blatant double standard. When she was publicly confronted with her attempt to bring the NAACP and Cities United in to make matters much worse, she said the NAACP contacted her and Cities United helps communities deal with police-involved shootings.
“My role as an elected official does not mean blind allegiance,” Powell said, “It means critical accountability.”
First, Powell hasn’t had a critical thought in her entire political career. And second, shouldn’t that “accountability” come with the advice and consent of the entire city council and not just one member unilaterally attempting to capitalize on a truly sad situation?
Ms. Powell! If you want to freelance like that, perhaps the city council isn’t for you. Might I suggest a community activist role instead.
A number of sources also told me that Powell, Dixon and disgraced former U-46 school member and general race baiter, Traci Ellis, also reached out to the Reverend Jesse Jackson in the hope he’d enter the fray.
That always makes things better, right?
But thankfully, when they considered the evidence, the series of events leading up to Clements’ death, and her troubled history, neither Jackson nor the other groups will touch it with a ten-foot pole.
As a pleasant aside, for the first time since the anti-Jensen folks started showing up, Councilman Terry Gavin didn’t mix it up with them. Perhaps he’s finally given up drinking before city council meetings. Hope doth spring eternal!
But then a funny thing happened on the way to that Wednesday night forum. Dressed in t-shirts of their own, the number of Jensen supporters easily equaled those of his detractors. That included a slew of EPD officers who simply sat there silently.
Tiring of that lynch mob’s bombast, for the first time, citizens spoke out on behalf of Lt. Jensen and due process. So, not only are Powell’s, Dixon’s and Ellis’s massive effort to turn Elgin into another Ferguson, Missouri failing, but they’re finally backfiring.
So, I want to, once again, compliment my beloved Elginians not only for their capacity to see though this smoke screen, but for having the courage to speak out against it.
Might I also remind you that Councilman Powell is up for reelection on April 2nd. That’s when you can let her know exactly what you think of her self-aggrandizing antics.