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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The two Chicago cops

Cops are in the doghouse at the moment, and this recently released Polaroid photo from 1999 which The NY Post ran an article about yesterday will probably not help matters:

These two cowboys from the Chicago PD posing with their "trophy," a young black man who's playing along with the staged photograph, symbolize everything that the cop-haters hate.

The comical expression on the young black guy's face makes it apparent that there was no serious abuse going on. Still, it was two white guys humiliating a black guy, not exactly the PR that police departments need at the moment.

The cop holding the antlers, Jerome Finnigan, has an enthusiastic, aggressive cast to his face; he looks like the kind of guy who likes to get in your face.

The one on the right, Timothy McDermott, looks awkward and uncomfortable.

McDermott was fired when this picture came to light last year. He apologized, said he was young and trying to fit in with the department. He said Finnigan had called him over to pose in the picture with him, and he had done as asked, then gone back to his work.

It turns out that Finnigan was sentenced to 12 years in prison for having "masterminded" a crew of cops who staged home invasions and robberies and the like. It doesn't take a genius to break into a house or pull off a robbery, so "mastermind" in this case means simply that he was the ringleader, who cajoled and prodded and bullied the other cops until they bent to his will and went along with him.

Anybody who makes a practice of committing home invasions is a likely sociopath; a cop who does so is almost certainly so. And the kind of cop who manipulates other cops into joining him is undoubtedly a sociopath.

Anyway, this photo will only add more fuel to the fire. Although, if the recent pattern holds, this incident will quickly fade away.

Strangely, police officers who have behaved defensibly in difficult conditions have been the biggest focus of public ire, whereas the genuinely bad ones get almost no publicity.

The Cambridge cop who arrested Harvard Professor Gates received a lot of publicity, culminating in that pathetic "beer summit."

Wannabe cop George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin after Martin attacked him, to great public dismay. (I was in favor of acquittal in that case, though Zimmerman's track record since makes one wonder.)

Darren Wilson did everything by the book -- and in fact showed great restraint at first, but his shooting of Michael Brown caused widespread rioting.

On the other hand, the South Carolina cop who shot the black man in the back and then lied about it almost immediately fell off the radar.

It may be that the controversial incidents caused the most unrest because it looked, to some, as if the police officers might escape justice. But those also happen to be the cases where they were generally justified in their actions. The South Carolina cop, who would have made a far better poster boy for police misbehavior, went straight to jail.

These two Chicago cops, unfortunately, now have an actual poster. How much play that gets has yet to be determined.


Remnant said...

Do you read Dennis Mangan's blogs? He has a post up on psychopaths; nothing you don't already know but I'll direct you to it in any case. I think he may be referring more to sociopaths.

John Craig said...

Remnant --
No, I hadn't read Dennis Mangan's blog, though I had heard of him, but did, just now. He exudes intelligence, is fun to read. Does he have multiple blogs?

Is that rogue health blog also his?? I just read that article, it's good. And it's right, avoiding sociopaths IS important for your health. I'd never heard that bit about how predators spot vulnerability from someone's gait. Hmm, I'll have to start wearing running shoes more and leather shoes less.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he has multiple blogs. His "political" blog (it's more than politics) is He doesn't update that much anymore as his interests have shifted to health and fitness. And yes, Rougue Health and Fitness is written by him as well. It used to be called "Mangan's Breviary" but he has upgraded it to sound and look less stogey and more macho. Excellent site.

John Craig said...

Remnant (?) --
Wow, he was ambitious. It occurred to me to separate my blogs into one about sociopathy, one about race, etc, but I was too lazy. Plus, all these topics sort of overlap.

I'll try to pay more attention to Mangan in the future. I've heard his name mentioned often enough.

Remnant said...

Yes, that was me.

Anonymous said...

I like your blog just as it is, having posts on different topics.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
Thank you very much.

europeasant said...

Talk about strange cop stories. The case of Steven Manning

"Although authorities declined to confirm that the body found in the trunk was that of Boris Manning, 72, father of former Chicago police officer Steven Manning, Vernon Hills police said they were investigating the possibility.

Steven Manning, 35, of 2606 W. Rice St., is awaiting trial in Cook County Criminal Court in connection with a case allegedly involving a burglary ring that employed police officers.

Steven Manning is on probation as a result of his 1983 conviction on theft charges in an auto insurance fraud scheme involving luxury cars. Manning resigned from the police department after his conviction in that scheme."

He now goes by his new name Steven Mandell — who formerly Steven Manning.

Read more:

you can Google these names and find the most bizarre news. Even in school he was one of those bullying in your face type of people.

John Craig said...

Europeasant --
Just read both articles. Yeah, Manning/Mandell is a classic sociopath, evil to the core. Now that i think of it, Drew Peterson, who was convicted of killing one wife and suspected in the death of another, was also an Illinois police officer.

The vast majority of cops I've met have been good guys but I've always said that a certain type of sociopath is attract to police work, and as a result, I'm guessing that most police departments have a higher percentage of sociopaths -- on the order of maybe 8%, which is just a rough guess -- than the population at large. A certain type of sociopath just sees a badge as a license to commit mayhem legally. Finnigan, Manning, and Peterson were all examples of that.

Mark Caplan said...

Regarding the 1999 photograph, the statute of limitations for rape in most states typically runs about 6 years. However, like premeditated murder, there appears to be no statute of limitations for politically incorrect horsing around.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Ha, good point. But it does seem, at least in the three days since the photo came out, that there hasn't been any serious blowback because of it.

Anonymous said...

I think of sociopaths as mini-tornadoes. They cannot stay out of trouble for long. I read a little bit about Steven Manning. These are the people who have seared consciences. Living, breathing headaches.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
That's the perfect metaphor for them: they're forces of nature, causing destruction wherever they go, and they feel about as bad about it as the tornadoes themselves do.

Anonymous said...

Your reply was perfect, describing sociopaths to a tee.