Understanding Changes in Corruption In The Chicago Police Department
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Police corruption plagues many cities across the United States. Numerous acts of egregious conduct by police officers are strong proof of the ongoing problem that many local and state law enforcement agencies face every day. Although this study explores police corruption in Chicago during the past several decades, this phenomenon is certainly not a new issue, and Chicago is one piece in a complicated puzzle. In Chicago, police corruption has long been intertwined with everyday life mainly because the city’s political machine supported it. This study explores the ways in which the pattern of police corruption changed in Chicago from the first Daley machine to the second, and the political and social conditions that contributed to those changes. This study demonstrates that a change in police corruption did take place, and offers an explanation for that change. This research utilized two sources of data and uses a mixed-method approach. The study establishes through quantitative content analysis of news reports and expert interviews that the top-down, mob-dominated police corruption that characterized the first Daley machine, changed to bottom-up, gang-and-drug related police corruption during the machine of the second Mayor Daley. In the top-down model, corrupt contacts were maintained at high levels between ranking police officers and mafia leaders. In the bottom-up corruption model that persists today, the links are between officers on the street and local area drug gang leaders. The study finds that the hypothesized change cannot be explained by a single factor, but is due to a host of unique social, economic and political conditions that began to appear in Chicago before the death of the first Mayor Daley and intensified in the intervening 14-year period before his son took office. Primarily, “white flight” from the city to the suburbs, the collapse of Chicago’s industrial economy and resulting lack of opportunity for African-American residents of the city, and the rise of drug distribution gangs who filled the void fundamentally changed the nature of police corruption to the bottom-up model. Placing police corruption in the context of these elements of Chicago’s history as this study does, enables a better understanding the highly multidimensional nature of this phenomenon and its connection to the Chicago political machine.
Patterns of police corruption
Police and Mob
Police and Gang
Date available in INDIGO2016-10-19T14:56:31Z
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