CHICAGO — Chicago police officers are "under attack" and doing the bare minimum to avoid accusations of wrongdoing, former top cop Garry McCarthy and a former Chicago officer said on "60 Minutes" this weekend.
The nationally broadcast CBS news program did a segment called, "Crisis In Chicago," spending three days here and witnessing how murder has become a "normal" part of everyday life. They also point out how investigative stops in the city are down more than 80 percent despite a massive spike in shootings and murders.
Former Chicago Police Officer Brian Warner, shot while on duty in 2011, now runs a support group for officers dealing with trauma related to the job. He told "60 Minutes" morale in the department is the lowest it's ever been.
"You have a 911 call, you go to your 911 call," Warner said. "But ... aggressive patrol when you’re out looking for people breaking the law. That’s not happening as much as it was."
Warner said you could not expect officers to be proactive when they're under such public scrutiny, but maintained they were doing the basics of their job.
"It’s my job to go to work and listen to your 911 calls and respond," he said. "That’s the basic ability of my job. So if you want me to do the basics that’s what I am doing now."
McCarthy, who has openly blamed politics for the low morale and high crime in Chicago, called department productivity "horrific," and said the ACLU Effect is partially to blame. Following a 2015 agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union, police making investigative stops must fill out two-page report rather than an index-card-sized checklist.
"It could take you up to 45 minutes," McCarthy said, adding that time would be better spent "doing more proactive things to prevent crime."
Worst of all, McCarthy said, is the "state of lawlessness" that happens when officers are afraid to do their jobs. "60 Minutes" pointed to the vicious beating of Officer Veronica Murillo by a man on PCP. Murillo did not pull her weapon because she feared becoming the next viral video, police said.
"The noncompliance of the law is becoming legitimized," McCarthy said. "And the police are on their heels. They’re on their heels for a number of reasons."
McCarthy also acknowledged that he was likely Mayor Rahm Emanuel's "scapegoat" following the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video. McCarthy said he saw the video the day after Laquan was killed, and that it was City Hall's decision to keep it quiet until a court order forced them to release it. Still, he was fired.
He also said the protests and decisions made by City Hall following the video's release contributed to the bloody 2016 that followed.
"Officers are under attack," he said. "That’s how they feel, right. That’s how they feel in this environment, and they’re not going to put themselves and their families in jeopardy."