Thursday, December 06, 2007


December 5, 2007

Chicago Tribune
Letters to The Editor
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Dear Editor:

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


Anonymous said...

Miss. Mitchell, I am a Chicago Police Officer, and the following is not meant to be offensive to you, but since you are a journalist I feel part of your job is constructive criticism. I am white and have been undercover for the last 12 years, working in ALL areas of the City. I have worked in diverse areas, and other areas that weren't so diverse, for example the Austin neighborhood. I have arrested or investigated people from 10 years old to 80 years old, EVERY ethnicity, not one in particular. I have led my District and Area in arrests, for numerous years, however I have also led in complaints against me, and have had a few law suits. I have NEVER planted drugs on someone, taken money, or beat someone. I always figured if I couldn't t catch them playing the game, there would be another time, and usually there was. I have spent the last few years working the West side where as you know 90% percent of the citizens are African American. That means that your Victim, Offender, Witnesses(when they want to cooperate),Callers, everyone you deal with is African American. Drug dealers don't like their drug business interfered with, they don t like their cars taken, their money inventoried, their family arrested, and they don t like going to jail. A LOT of the Police officers on the West Side are WHITE. You make arrests, you re going to get complaints. You make A LOT of arrests, you re going to get A LOT of complaints. You inventory $2000.00 from a drug dealer, the complaint will say they had $4000.00 on them. WE got a complaint from the Hispanic community that there were 5 bars selling a lot of Cocaine out of them. WE set up an operation, we arrest about 50 people, recover a bunch of money and drugs. The female bartender who is working and selling drugs at 3 of the bars is arrested 3 times for Delivery of a Controlled Substance. She files a federal lawsuit against EVERYONE involved for Civil Rights violations saying that we targeted her because she is Hispanic. Obviously the lawsuit got tossed out of court, but now thats on your record, for good. Luckily the heads of the hispanic community were involved and came to our defense, if not, someone like you would've wrote an article about the law suit without having ALL the facts circumstances which you do more than not. I have been involved with a dozen of these incidents involving all ethnicities. ALL these complaints are on my record now, and as I stated before because it NEEDS to be reiterated, I have NEVER planted drugs on someone, taken money, or beat someone. I have also never targeted someone because of their ethnicity. You go where the investigation takes you. If the community is complaining about drug dealing on the West side, unfortunately the dealer most likely will be African American. Do we take care of the drug problem for the community, or do we try to find some African American officers from somewhere else in the City to work it, because then it will be ok.???? I have become friends with numerous community leaders in the City, from ALL ethnic backgounds. If there is a problem, they know they can call, and if I can t help them, I ll give it to someone that can. And in return, when I have recieved numerous bogus complaints agasinst me, THEY ALL came to my defense. if I didn t have them on my side I probably would ve been suspended or had my name in your colum a long time ago.
I am in NO WAY sticking up for these idiots that are corrupt, and not playing by the rules, they are NOT the Police and I could care less about them, because they make the rest of us look bad. I don t want to work with these FOOLS, I LOVE being the Police. Helping people, and putting REAL bad guys in Jail., no matter what their ethnicity is.

HOWEVER, you sometimes right articles recklessly, and get the Community in an uproar WITHOUT knowing ALL the facts, and that adds to the problem, NOT the solution, unless that is your motive the entire time, not to help certain communities. YOUR comments about the new TOP COP are off a little. I don't know him, and my comments aren t necessarily about him. From my understanding he is in charge of the Philadelphia FBI Division. YOU keep talking about the crime and Murder rate over there. The FBI has NOTHING to do with MURDERS or VIOLENT CRIMES, NOTHING, unless asked by the local agency for assistance as in the examples of the Lisa Sebic or Stacey Peterson case. The POLICE department is responsible for CRIME, not the FBI. I have worked on the FBI Task force here in Chicago and have numerous friends in the FBI here. There Violent Crimes Squad DOES NOT work MURDERS or PREVENTIVE VIOLENT CRIMES. They work Bank robberies, Fugitive Apprehension, and ASSIST the local Agencies with Violent crimes. The Police Chief in Philly is AFRICAN AMERICAN, the NEW Police Cheif is African American (Ramsey, who is a good guy). I'm not saying its the fault of any police chief, change is good when the norm isn t working, whatever the problem. But if you re going to make statements, you should make ACCURATE statements, or you are no better than these corrupt people out here, tell the whole story, not just the part that FITS what you want people to know. I have been on numerous scenes with the media, and they RARELY get it right. Who do they run too after ANY situation, the grieving family, or the gang bangers on the corner.

There are A LOT of GOOD Police officers out there, but unfortuanately when some thing happens negative, WE all get lumped together, especially from people like you that does NOT have ALL the facts. You in such a rush to get the story out there, you miss A LOT.

I try to help ALL the communities, and I tell the truth in my job, you should try doing the same.

Anonymous said...

Excellent letter Mark. I doubt that the Trib will have the stones to print it there, but at least others may pick it up.

Anonymous said...

Too little, too late.

Anonymous said...

To the First poster:

Please tell me you really sent that to her. It was fabulous.

Well done.


Anonymous said...

Some excellent points are made in the letter but I wouldn't necessarily paint the newspaper with a broad brush as being anti-police. After all, if it wasn't for John Kass, the Mike Mette travesty would not have been so well noticed.

Anonymous said...

Great long letter. Well said. She probably knows everything you said and probably agrees with most of it, however, that does not sell newspapers. Being controversial does.

She's just pandering to the unwashed masses.

Anonymous said...

Yea Mark, great attack on an enemy
w/o the possibility of any any damage to you.
Now, try asking some real questions. U can start w/the pensions. The 1st question u can ask is how come this mayor has sold off 2 billion dollars of city assests but not funded the under-funded Police(and fire) pensions.
U should have a press conference like San Francisco's union boss did after the their city's press was bad-mouthing a Copper who was KIA. And then u can lay the pension thing onto them so they can challenge ritchie on why were so underfunded. Marky, are u afraid of the MOB? If u are,at least tell the rank/file your scared........

Anonymous said...

Can we please use spell check and then have someone proofread our letters before we send them to the press?

Don't give them ammo!

Anonymous said...

Nice letter to editor Mr. F.O.P. President, but I didn't see you informing the membership about this:

Coinciding with the Cities huge payout is the F.O.P. Huge payout to their female pregnant lawyer they fired instead of granting paternity leave to. According to a board member at the meeting The F.O.P. instead of going to trial has agreed to a settlement.
In excess of $500,000.00 USC will be paid to the ex F.O.P. lawyer out of Police Union Members Dues(That is OUR $ officers). The F.O.P. is NOT insured for such bad management choices as fireing a female pregnant lawyer requesting maternity leave even though she volunteered to work in the office 1 day a wk and work from home by phone and computer. She only asked for the same benefit that is granted to all represented F.O.P. Sworn Union employees. The initial settlement agreement was $12,000.00 USC and She would have been gone, but OUR F.O.P. decided "NO, were goin to court, were gonna win". You tell me officers does this sound like a prudent financial decision? Was it brought to the membership? Is anyone going to tell us about it!!!
Officers make your own decisions on the matter, it is all public record. I find it inexcusable as a dues paying member of F.O.P. to have to endure this type of fiscal mismanagement of our UNION DUES!
$150 K for FOP lawyer fees!
$100 K for the Plaintiffs lawyer fees!
$300 K payoff to the plaintiff!
All from FOP DUES!!!
Hey Mark and FOP how many other pending lawsuits are currently ongoing against the FOP??
What are they costing us?
Are they in the best interest of the MEMBERSHIP??? Or, just your administration???

Please keep in mind that this is an open blog
that can and is read by people other than Chicago Police Officers.