December 5, 2007
Letters to The Editor
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
The Chicago Tribune is biased against the Chicago Police Department. Its goal is, and always has been, to portray police officers in the worst possible way to its readership. In order to poison the minds of its readers, the Tribune needs a bridge to the public. This is where Steve Mills, house reporter to the People’s Law Office and the Loevys, comes into play.
When reading Mill’s articles, one must realize that the story is being told by a person who is clearly biased against the Chicago Police Department. Reputable news outlets rely on unbiased reporting. The Tribune does not subscribe to that philosophy. Mills is an out-and-out “police hater.” At a national conference in New Orleans, Steve Mills was quoted as saying the following about Chicago Police Officers:
“It’s very clear. It’s us against them.”
“I mean why not make it (the relationship with police) an all out war…It’s our job to go after them.”
When Mills writes a story, he misleads his readers by providing a slanted account of the details. He admitted to as much when he said, “So, well, we can’t be as systematic as we’d like sometimes, if you can’t get enough—as long as you, you know, you stay focused like a laser on what you’re really trying to prove, you can go far enough and get enough into the paper to make the points.”
Make the points? What about reporting the entire story rather than bits and pieces which support your conclusion? The readers have no choice but to think poorly of police officers after reading his misleading stories. But then again, that is exactly what Mills and the Tribune want.
Mills talks about the tragic situation when a paraplegic was shot by police officers. After reading his story, a reader has no other choice but to conclude that the officers acted inappropriately. That is because Mills followed the Tribune script perfectly: “Present only the facts which hurt the police.” What Mills failed to write, by design no doubt, was that the paraplegic was fleeing the police in a stolen car moments prior to the shooting. He did not mention that the offender was driving the wrong way down streets during his flight. He also failed to mention that the offender threw a second gun out of his car during the chase. He claims that a gun was planted on the offender. So the first gun was his, but the second one had to be planted?
Moreover, it is undisputed that the offender’s family was outside when the shooting took place. It was a warm summer evening, with people all over the place. Surely someone must have seen the police plant this gun? Not one of those persons ever alleged that the police planted the gun on the offender. It was not until years later that someone concocted this story. Mills also failed to mention that the police explained that the offender pointed his gun at the officer who was standing outside his window when he was then shot by a police officer from the rear of the vehicle. Mills contends that since there were bullet wounds to the back of the offender’s hands, it is obvious that the offender had his hands “raised in surrender.” Mills neglected to mention that it was at least equally plausible that the wounds to the back of the offender’s hand came as the result of his pointing his gun at the officer. But then again, why should Mills or the Tribune let facts get in the way of a good story.
His series, which will continue all week, will likely contain more fabrications, selective testimony and out-and-out lies. This disservice to the members of the Chicago Police Department and every citizen of this City will have lasting effects. When credibility is given to one man who builds bridges between fact and fiction, and misleads the public, the credibility of all members of the media is questioned, just as is the credibility of all police officers.
Mark P. Donahue
Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge
(I'm sure FOP does not mind that I reproduced their letter to the editor. )
A couple of weeks ago I posted my disgust with the Sun-Times and vowed to never purchase that rag again. Add the Tribune to that list