One of the “joys” of turning 60 is the imminent prospect of staring your own mortality squarely in the eye. In that very vein, that plan to live forever notwithstanding, my wife and I just had our will done.
You’d think it would have been a somewhat sobering experience, but it turned out to be a rather fascinating proposition right down to bequeathing my vast superhero statue collection to one of my favorite Facebook friends.
There was an element of humor to it, too! When it came time to discuss what medical interventions might be applied to keep us alive, without hesitation, I declared, “Pull the plug,” and I made it clear that should be the case even in the case of mental incapacitation.
I have to say I was a little dismayed by how quickly my wife agreed to that course of action, but all things considered, can you really blame her?
Before y’all get too excited, that end-of-life determination must be made by my wife and a medical professional – not my “adoring throng.” So, any reader petition drive in that regard would be patently pointless. The plan continues to be to stick around and torture you for as long as I possibly can.
Put more simply, I have absolutely no interest in lingering in a persistent vegetative state because some things truly are worse than death. And one of those things would most certainly be walking in Elgin Police Lieutenant Chris Jensen’s current shoes.
I understand that, because justice is blind, she tends to bump into a lot of things in her quest for the truth, but Lt. Jensen has been on administrative since Decynthia Clements was shot and killed at that fateful I-90 traffic stop on March 12, 2018.
That adds up to 16 months, 2 days, and 9.5 hours, which is far too long to leave someone twisting in the wind. That’s especially true when you consider both the Illinois State Police and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office cleared Jensen of any possible criminal charges back in early March.
Sure, the private consultant’s investigation found that Jensen violated some minor department protocol, but those “offenses,” even if combined, don’t nearly amount to a case for termination. All we’re talking about is a letter of reprimand or a brief suspension.
So, what the bleep is the City of Elgin waiting for, a sign from God? Sorry! But that kinda thing only happens in Blues Brothers movies. Reinstate Lt Jensen NOW! Three separate independent and unbiased agencies ruled the shooting was justified and that’s the only thing that really matters.
But at this bleepin’ drawn out point, it appears as if Elgin is trying to stave off the inevitable by dragging their feet. C’mon! You know it’s gonna hurt when you finally yank that sticky bandage off, so just do it quickly and get it over with.
Then the City seems bent on placating the vocal minority who’d place Jensen’s head on the end of a pike regardless of any investigatory findings. But that kind of appeasement is beyond futile. The mob won’t settle for anything less than blood and nothing’s going to change that.
Those folks refuse to believe the City Council and Mayor lack the power to fire Jensen. They refuse to believe the three agencies that cleared him. And they refuse to believe that, if fired, especially in light of Councilmen Tish Powell’s and Cory Dixon’s determined decision to ignore good legal advice and open their mouths at every turn, Jensen will win a hefty settlement AND get his job back.
Remember what happened when Elgin fired officer Jason Lentz for unforgivably racist social media posts? He’s back on the job, isn’t he? And the longer this “investigation” drags on, the worse the rabble’s reaction will be at the inevitable reinstatement result.
The late 49’ers coach Bill Walsh’s described a fascinating team dynamic in his book on leadership, ‘The Score Takes Care of Itself,’ and it applies to any group effort. He said that, on a reasonably functioning football team, 80 percent of players love the coach and 20 percent don’t regardless of external influences like wins and losses.
Walsh said the problem was, if the 20 percent were allowed to peddle their poison unchecked, it would start to infect the 80 percent, and the team would rapidly descend into dysfunction. The solution was to silence or rotate those disgruntled folks off the team.
Similarly, because Elgin is either incapable of or simply refuses to frame the message correctly, the anti-Jensen minority – and it is a minority – is gaining momentum. Not only is there now an Elgin billboard calling for Jensen’s head, but a community activist group submitted a 1,600-signature petition demanding he be fired.
Those signers may amount to a mere 1.4 percent of all Elgin residents, but it’s another sign that the “infection” is growing and Elgin is losing the messaging battle. That, of course, begs the question, where are Mayor David Kaptain and Communications Manager Molly Center?
Kaptain can be a formidable communicator when he chooses to apply that skill, while Center is the least effective municipal communications manager I’ve ever met. There’s never been a better time for the Mayor to step in, and if Center can’t frame a reasonable message when it’s beyond critical to do so, perhaps she’s better suited to another gig.
Now the City is talking about a discussion of the consultant’s finding before Jensen’s disposition is determined, which is only going to allow the wound to further fester. As our Italian friends would likely interject, “basta!”
Elgin! With the handwriting clearly on the wall, reinstate Lt. Jensen NOW and let’s bring this sad chapter in Elgin’s long history to a reasonable conclusion. If disciplinary measures are required as result of the procedural lapses, then do it. But don’t waste any more of our or Jensen’s time on meaningless discussions that won’t change anyone’s mind.
There’s nothing worse than a slow death by 1,000 cuts, so stop the bleeding.