Eureka! We’ve rediscovered the formula for corruption! Take a large amount of poverty, mix in a generous dose of sex clubs, sprinkle liberally with drugs and gyrate vigorously to yield corrupt cops and residents who are cynics at best and crime statistics at worst.
On Wednesday St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly effectively disbanded the Brooklyn Police Department. Technically, he refused to take any cases from the village because the officers’ credibility is shot and any cases would be tossed with a little effort from even a rookie defense attorney. Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers are taking over village patrols.
Kelly wrote this to Brooklyn’s mayor: “There is no Illinois law which provides any authority at the state or local level to intervene when a police department has gone from dysfunctional to non-functional. ... The Brooklyn Police Department does not meet even the minimal standards of credibility and reliability for prosecution.”
The litany of the department’s ills was disturbing but not shocking. We already knew an officer took an assault rifle from the evidence “vault” and posed with it for the department’s photo calendar. We also knew there was an officer facing charges that he steered towing business to his uncle’s company as part of the scheme to get enough in fines out of sex club patrons to make the police department’s payroll — their take on a “sin tax.”
But Kelly revealed that the evidence vault was essentially wide open, broken, with the key available to anyone. And everyone treated it like a treasure chest of guns and drugs and cash.
Then there were cops — in uniform — getting drunk at the sex clubs, getting drunk with children, zipping through the village in their cruisers to chase down folks and lying on police reports.
It’s especially sad that such a historic community, founded by former slaves, should be burdened with this caustic vat of woe. We hope this intervention cleanses, but we also know the feds and others previously took out the slop and it oozed back in.
Brooklyn and the other towns that fit its profile will continue to suffer until someone uproots the poverty and reliance on sex club dollars that keep them shackled.
We already have a metropolitan policing commission set up. Maybe it is time to merge police departments and have one force with the jurisdiction and ethical oversight to protect residents — without the need to extort anyone to make payroll.