In the old Soviet Union, if you disagreed with the Party, you could be sent to an insane asylum. This is the same, just using the words of 21st Century Socialists, as opposed to the 20th Century variety. John Arena, COPA, and the Defaming of Chicago Police Officers.
This is a story of a systematic effort by a one-time-Chicago Alderman, John Arena, and his attempt to subvert the first amendment rights of citizens of Chicago, and in particular 31 police officers who dared to disagree with him. “How dare you,” seems to be the catch phrase of the Left.
Arena was an alderman (what Second City Cop usually calls an Aldercreature) in the City of Chicago. A bunch of people disagreed with his plans to for developing a certain piece of property in his district. But how dare you disagree with him. How dare you.
Instead of shrugging off criticism of the plan, Arena, in the attempt to silence dissent, lashed out at his critics from his official Facebook account. In a series of grammatically illiterate posts designed to portray opinions differing from his as villainous, sinister, or heretical, Arena publicly branded his detractors racist and painted a portrait of the Jefferson Park neighborhood as a pantheon of deranged bigots.
That process went on for about 2 years until he was finally defeated in an election last year. But during that time, he also lodged a bunch of complaints against cops, who also happened to live in the area, and were also opposed to the development. That is where COPA, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, comes in.
In early December 2019, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) quietly revealed 29 of 31 Complaint Registers (CRs) Mr. Arena lodged against members of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) residing on the Northwest side of Chicago were determined to be utterly groundless.
There is more. Details of the development, details of the smear campaign, members of the Alderman’s staff building an “enemies list” based on their opposition to this development, but what really is important is the Left’s casual attempt at destroying free speech for anyone who dares to disagree with the people on the Left. And make no mistake, there are no Republican aldermen on the Chicago City Council.
Even from a distance of two years, this entire episode remains difficult to stomach. A reckless attempt to destroy the lives and careers of 31 Chicago police officers, John Arena’s throw at the dice to mute criticism of his plan to build a Progressive Xanadu in the 45th Ward was an assault on free speech. While posing as a de-facto moral censor, Arena overlooked free speech is a fundamental right secured in the American political compact known as the Constitution, free speech is an important tenet to a free and healthy society, and free speech applies to all private citizens irrespective of their career. Furthermore, while attempting to brutally suppress private citizens’ freedom of expression on social media, Mr. Arena also ignored the First Amendment guarantees freedom from governmental suppression of thought and the expression of ideas, regardless of whether the ideas in question are revered or despised. Last, Arena dismissed the fact a government agency and public official cannot and should not have the power to subordinate individual liberties to their personal sensitivities.
If you want to know what the country would look like if the socialists take over everywhere, all you need do is look at the one-party state that is the City of Chicago.
Hat tip to Second City Cop, who asks “Is There a Lawyer in the House?”
Remember, these are government employees on the public dime, compiling an “enemies list” and using another government agency (COPA) to inflict as much personal and professional damage on them as possible – real East German Stasi and USSR bullshit here in the People’s Republik of Chicago.
There ought to be thirty-one defamation lawsuits working their way through the Courts as we speak.