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Posted on: November 14, 2017

Channel 2 News Broadcast on Monday Night, November 13 (10pm)

Brad Edwards Reports:  Is White Suburb A Traffic Trap For Minorities?

I will start by saying that my letter, presented to Brad Edwards (Investigative Reporter for Channel 2 News). . .attached at the end of this commentary. . .answers Edwards’ question in a resounding answer of “no”.  

The facts can be ascertained from statistical information that was presented on the local news broadcast itself.   My letter to him represents the facts, as well as the Village of Evergreen Park’s commitment to a safe community for all to enjoy and thrive in.

Why are our traffic stops (designed to reduce accidents, criminal activity and produce safe streets for everyone) so controversial?   The high number of stops are the apparent reason given by Channel 2 News.  We as an agency adhere to the law.    This Police Department has operated within the guidelines of those numbers provided to us through studies at Northwestern University in the past (and present) that outline the acceptable percentages of stops for minorities within this community.

So what would be the reasons?  There were many aspects of this investigation that were not revealed.

Statistics given to Channel 2, at their request, clearly showed revenue not to be the reason.   Racial profiling was also shown by the five years of statistical information (which we diligently report to the State of Illinois) was not the reason.

This was verified by the statement given by the representative from Northwestern University on the subject of the interview by Brad Edwards himself.

Let’s start from the beginning of this newscast that reports the regular evening news:

It begins with “BREAKING NEWS!”

“Deadly Uptown Shooting”   Bullet casings on the street, barrage of gunfire, one person is dead!   An interview with a motorist in the city.  He states, “it’s a Citywide Epidemic”.

A Channel 2 reporter says it is the second deadly shooting in two weeks, and possibly related to a shooting in Starbucks on November 2 that killed a twelve year old boy!  Reporter comments that the motive could be over unclaimed drug territory.

Then:
“DEVELOPING STORY!”

Man with a stolen car flees police traffic stop from 31st and Michigan and is arrested after slamming into a Police SUV.

Then:
“DEVELOPING TONIGHT”

The latest in a rash of auto theft and carjackings;  they are reporting on this growing crime spree!   In just two days, twelve armed robberies and carjackings have been reported across three districts;  Three men in surgical masks, in one instance, even shoots at a victim.  Two of them occurred in Cicero, Illinois. . .four armed robberies and attempted carjackings.   The story was dramatized by a woman, interviewed, who had this happen to her twice in the city.   The reporter then went on to say that the police issued an alert on the carjackings and armed robberies.

The newcast then focuses on the Evergreen Park traffic stops!

It is very apparent what the media focus is not telling us;  but here is what you also need to know to complete this reporter-initiated investigation.

Unlike a news reporter, my job is not to sell stories.   It is to provide safety in a professional and unbiased manner.  I am accountable to this Village, its elected officials and the public in general. . .as well as to the Criminal Justice System.

Unfortunately, we are all subject to “quick to judge” reporting by some members of the news media.  Sometimes, incomplete and biased manipulation of the facts occur.  And what is not presented or reported are any suggestions or follow-ups on what solutions are available to assist our communities and citizens to give them relief from the headlines and stories of BREAKING NEWS and DEVELOPING STORIES.

This type of reporting only continues in an attempt to demonize those that are sworn to uphold the law and protect our citizens with all of those legal means available to us without any hesitation or biased approach to our mission.

That’s why all of our Officers in Evergreen Park wear body cameras and operated recording devices in all of our marked squads;  to be honest and transparent in this approach.

We welcome all people into this community without prejudice or biased traffic stops with the sole purpose to uphold the law to protect everyone.

We don’t wish to make the news, and we certainly don’t desire to see headlines of innocent victims’ suffering from Criminal Acts without maintaining a great will and effort to reduce or avoid these extremely violent crimes that are initiated by violent criminals!

The Public will be the judge of these methods, not a reporter or news agency!

Michael D. Saunders
Chief of Police


Letter To CBS Chicago 2 News

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