President Graham Statement On Father Pfleger March
While closing off a major expressway to get out a political message is dramatic, it does not solve the problem of violent crime in Chicago.
I believe Father Pfleger could have done more good by holding a mass for the police, the media, and the victims of crime. That would have been dramatic and had a positive effect while still following the law.
It is obvious what the undercurrent was in this march: It is an election year for both governor and mayor. These races are heating up. We believe it is time that the politicians in the city, county, and state wake up and start supporting the police. We didn’t hear a word from Father Pfleger when a police officer was spit on at a rally in which the police were obeying the law. Police officers only want a contract and to be treated fairly. But suddenly it’s “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” from politicians and Father Pfleger, who want to be re-elected or admired.
It also bothers me that COPA has to open up old cases because they can’t find very many new policemen to investigate. That’s because we’re doing our job and doing it properly. But COPA wants to open all cases to see if they can find any minor inconsistencies to harass hard-working police officers—those are the real sins in the city. Any solutions to the violence in the city needs to include the members of the FOP, who put their lives on the line EVERY DAY AND NIGHT.
It would also be nice if the media would give a fair account to the police in situations of controversy or sensationalist stories. The men and women of the FOP want to protect the citizens of the City of Chicago, but we need support from both politicians and people who already oversee the police department. In the media, how many people know the names of the police officers who ran into Lake Michigan, risking their own lives to try to save two drowning children?
Ending violence in Chicago takes place through a collaborative effort. Father Pfleger and his supporters need to support the men and women on the street every day, and politics needs to take a backseat even in an election year.
To all our Catholic members and to our supporters, I would encourage you on your checks to your local parish in the archdiocese to write in the memo section “support police.” That way the cardinal knows just how many members are coming to church who support the police.