Sorry ain’t enough.

The morning in Chicago started with Mayor Rahm speaking before the City Council saying how sorry he was.

And the aldermen saying how sorry they were.

Everybody is sorry. So sorry.

Not former police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who now blames Rahm. He said today that he went to Rahm a year ago wanting to clean up the CPD and Rahm’s attorney blocked it.

It’s a falling out among thieves.

Put ’em all in separate rooms and see who rolls on the other one first.

I watch cop dramas on TV. I know how this works.

I got on the bus to go to the noon-time walk-out calling for resignations.

I don’t even care who resigns. They all should resign.

When I got to City Hall, there was Trib columnist John Kass interviewing the next State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.15.53 PM

Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

I said hi to Kim. Kass and I exchanged a few political  observations and prognostications.

Then I headed to the corner of Daley Plaza where the crowd was forming.

Nobody I saw was ready to accept the apologies of the Mayor, State’s Attorney Alvarez or members of the City Council. They all agreed with the 51% of the voters in Chicago who want Rahm to resign. Those who Sun-Times columnist Fran Spielman calls the “left-wing fringe.”

There were a lot of cops at the rally.


Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

This was a very young crowd.

And the young folks were in the lead.

I ran into my old friend, National Lawyers Guild attorney Jim Fennerty.


Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

Jim (right) with one of the young activists who are making sure this thing has legs.

As Jim and I were talking we ran into 16-year old activist Lamon Reccord. Then the crowd started to take over Dearborn, marching north.

Suddenly I see Lamon running across the street and leaping over a crowd-control barrier.


Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

That is Lamon Reccord in the red sneakers.

“Grab him. Grab that guy,” I heard a cop yell. But nobody in our crowd was grabbing anybody.

Lamon had apparently bumped shoulders with a cop and they used that as an excuse to try and arrest him. Lamon took off with about 30 police chasing him. They eventually grabbed him. Hundreds of people now surrounded them and demanded that they let Lamon go.


Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

National Lawyers Guild attorney Jim Fennerty, who had been standing next to me,  disappeared. It turns out he was in the paddy police wagon negotiating Lamon’s release. With several hundred of us surrounding the paddy police wagon and with Jim’s skilled negotiating ability, Lemon was soon back out on the street. The next thing I see is a phalanx of police surrounding Lamon, escorting him to the front of the march.

Now the crowd turned south on Clark Street, with Lamon Reccord in the lead. The crowd sat down – all several hundred of us – in the middle of the intersection of Clark and Washington.


Photo credit: Fred Klonsky

The protest then headed down Clark Street to the entrance of I-290. Then back up Michigan.

I’m telling you that these young people are giving this issue legs. All the apologies in the world aren’t going to make this go away.

I, on the other hand, don’t have the legs I once did.

I headed for the bus home.

I think the kids are still marching.


19 thoughts on “Sorry ain’t enough.

  1. As long as the protests are peaceful I’m all for them. But something deep inside tells me that before this is over there will be violence, burning, vandalism and looting. I question the timing of the protests as the youths in attendance should be in school. There’s ample time after the bell rings to protest peacefully. I’m also wondering what’s inside all those backpacks the youths are wearing. I’d be willing to go out on a limb and guess they don’t contain school books.

    1. Actually, you don’t know a thing. What ever is deep inside you is a problem only you can solve. It’s not on us. I wasn’t wearing a backpack and I don’t go to school.

      1. I said the backpacks the youths were wearing. Im really not too concerned about a senior citizen protesting and the potential for violence. I would hope that a person with your maturity wouldn’t be carrying a backpack with riot supplies. Time will tell Fred, and hopefully there won’t be any burning and looting. I truly hope that your statement is true that I don’t know a thing. But that remains to be seen ……

    2. So let me see if I have this right. We have a police officer who shot a man 16 times, all of which appear unnecessary. We have an “investigation” that took 400 days. We have a video tape that was essentially hidden until a judge ordered it be released. All this hide and seek game took place during the mayoral campaign and the worst part is that none or this is in the least bit shocking about Chicago politics or the Chicago police department.

      But what are you focused on?? What is your big concern in all of this?? Backpacks!! Oh my god what is in them??!? Please!!

      1. “What is your concern in all of this?” That’s a curious question, Anonymous. Isn’t an execution-style police shooting “a concern” of yours? This shooting was clearly a gross injustice which affects every member of our society. The level of gun violence in general is an atrocity but from “trained” police officers…? Could you ever imagine yourself or possibly a member of your family as victims of police violence? It’s not inconceivable no matter how privileged or law-abiding you consider yourself.

        A family friend, a former department secretary in one of our district schools, a fireman’s widow, lost her son in a suspicious, late evening police shooting at a suburban parking lot of an apartment complex not that many years ago. Several police officers suspected drug possession and it came to a verbal confrontation that led to the shooting by one of the officers. The officer claimed “self-defense” though the victim had no weapon. The only witnesses were two other officers. The deck was stacked.

        My wife and I attended the wake for her son, a young man in his upper twenties. It was excruciatingly difficult to see his mother and siblings under such sad circumstances. They were utterly devastated.

        He was white and without a police record. I had never attended a wake for a victim of gun violence and a strange feeling of vulnerability came over me that no one, regardless of race, was safe, even from trained police officers who took an oath “to serve and to protect.” My confidence and respect in the police took a real beating. This feeling has been reinforced numerous times, particularly in the last several years. With the volume of police shootings plus other deadly incidents so disproportionately involving black men, the only conclusion is racism. Regardless of who the victim is, such terrible events affect the entire society and should be the utmost “concern” of us all.

        P.S. My regards to the people who took the time and effort to protest. Rahm’s emotional mea culpa and the “buck stops here” in the City Council chamber was nothing but self-serving. His arrogance finally caught up with him. I take no pity on this little man and wish him only sleepless nights regardless of whether or not he remains in office. One thing’s for sure, his effectiveness for the remainder of his term has been severely damaged. Resignation would be fitting and proper. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

      2. Karl – there are two commenters posting as “Anonymous”. The Anonymous you are responding to is responding to – and calling out – the first Anonymous for making the issue about backpacks rather than police violence and city cover-ups. S/he agrees with you.

    3. By the way, as for peaceful protests, you are clearly not “all for them”. Today’s protest were completely peaceful and yet your post demonstrates that they clearly bugged the shit out of you.

  2. Fred, the people of Chicago elected and supported this….keep electing the same and you will get the same!!!!
    Water and sewer…4 people from the mayors office on your Union board????
    Don’t you see a problem here…

  3. Fred, thanks for getting out there and reporting on the protests; obviously this is a perspective the TV newspeople don’t cover. Your legs may be “old” , but your observation skills are still strong.

  4. Rahm needs to go. The tactic of holding the Laquan video from the press and the general public was enough for him to steal the vote from Chuy Garcia.

  5. Can we find another term for the police vans, other than “paddy-wagons”? Talk about racism. And long-term, never ending racism.
    And what was the point of the protestors charging through Macy’s? I preferred Field’s, but I don’t see how Macy’s caused these issues.

    1. Thanks for the reminder of the racist history of the term “paddy wagon.” You will not find it used here in the future.

  6. Thank you Fred and all that were at the protests. The whole world is watching a city standing up for their rights in peace. The media, is licking their chops, but those people understand out there, to get people to side with us we need to show them it can be done with honor and respect. The last two administrations have trampled every right of ours, now enough is enough. The Feds must get off their ass’s and as soon as possible come to the aid of a City in pain. Theres much much dirt out there. The problem with your so called slow motion to build a case doesnt cut it this time unless a federal judge orders decrees that His Lordship DIShonor, needs permission from a Federal oversight before he makes any moves on anything. When and if this starts to quiet down some by DIShonor dishing out million and millions he will only harm the rest of the city. And he doesnt care. DIShonors TEARS OF BULLSHIT dont believe for one minute, just Like his Mr Rogers sweater act on the tv ad. IT WAS ALL BULLSHIT……..RESIGN, THEN DO TIME! We must keep up the pressure all the way to the White House…Write, Call, E Mail, Pass gas even, but pester everyone. We owe these kids out there a future!

  7. If you saw rahm on Chicago Tonight (Dec. 8), you would be amazed at how guilty he seemed. He could not have talked faster, spewing out bullet point after bullet point. (Yeah, bullet point. You know…) Paris is getting better with interviews and kept pushing back. Forget the scripted, fake emotions of the council speech. Watch rahm on WTTW. His demeanor will tell you the truth.

  8. Dear Fred,
    Thank you for your wonderful reporting! As a former CPS teacher, who was laid off this fall, I am disgusted by what Rahm has done to our schools and city.
    His arrogance and bullying have made this city worse. He has been out to bury the working class people of Chicago since he came into office. Mayor 1% is only looking out for himself and his millionaire buddies.
    There are too many kids like Laquan McDonald who are victims of cuts and other BS policies that our school system allows. Just think of how many kids, like Laquan,
    could have been serviced with that 20 million dollar no-bid contract?
    Somehow the news media has forgotten that Barbara Byrd Bennett is on Rahm also.
    Maybe the mayor should practice what he preaches… he is a “distraction” and should resign!

  9. Rahm has many enemies.

    National media is after him including the some progressive libs almost daily. .

    He has admitted to to 14 month cover up and paying $5 million hush money to a ward of state.

    Sorry is not near enough.

    Resign for good of all.

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