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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week
Good morning,
Recent body-cam videos showing police shooting and killing Black and Brown people are prompting Americans to tell themselves — once again —this is not who we are.
Those words are a lie. And branding the offending cops as mere “bad apples” is becoming a tired excuse. American policing needs a sea-change of great magnitude, the Editorial Board writes. But we as a society have to make it happen: we can no longer leave it to police to do it themselves.
Here in Chicago, communities are bracing for the Adam Toledo video to be released. Columnist Mary Mitchell writes that while police body-cams can be a win for transparency, allowing the public to view videos of deadly police encounters, they have a down side. After today, for days, weeks, months and years thereafter, the Toledo family will be forced to relive the worst day of their lives.
In Letters to the Editor, a Chicago teacher wrote to us after one of his most engaged students missed school for an entire week. He later found out the child and his family had been evicted from their home. Jackson Potter tells us why half of Cook County renters paying more than 30% of their income for housing is a travesty.
— Ismael Pérez, editorial board member

Protests, such as this one on April 12 in Portland, Oregon, have been held across the country since the police shooting death of Daunte Wright. | Getty Images
Protests, such as this one on April 12 in Portland, Oregon, have been held across the country since the police shooting death of Daunte Wright. | Getty Images
As a society, we watch the horrific video of that police officer killing Daunte Wright, an unarmed Black man, during a traffic stop in suburban Minnesota and tell ourselves — once again —this is not who we are.
But those words are a lie. This is exactly who we are, and it is what this country has allowed law enforcement to become, as evidenced by the endless, stomach-turning routine of police harassing, wounding or killing unarmed Black and Brown people.
If we’re going to halt this cycle of violence at the hands of the state — and not just give lip service to the idea — we must finally face the fact that the police are a reflection of this society. They are not some separate reality. They are America.
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board is the opinion voice of the hardest-working newspaper in America. It is headed by editorial page editor Tom McNamee and includes Thomas FrisbieLorraine ForteLee BeyIsmael Pérez and Mary Mitchell as members.
What others have to say
Mary Mitchell on the Adam Toledo police body-cam video:
How Adam’s case is handled will give the public some insight into how police reform is actually working and answer the questions that activists are asking:
Is the Chicago Police Department more transparent? Are police officers following the training? Is there more that could have been done to disarm a 13-year-old with a gun?
More editorials we published this week
How to help poorer countries kick COVID-19 vaccination efforts into high gear
Time for a fresh look at plans to sell the Thompson Center
All aboard: More Amtrak trains would be terrific for Chicago and the entire Midwest
In your words
“If we are to house the 20,000 homeless students in Chicago who are over 80% from African American families, prevent the imminent eviction avalanche and bring back thousands of families languishing on CHA waiting lists, we will need all the tools in our arsenal, not the least of which is providing rent relief to overburdened families.”
— Jackson Potter, teacher at Back of The Yards College Preparatory High School
Every day we publish submissions from Chicago Sun-Times readers weighing in on issues facing the city and its residents. Send letters to or reply to this email to share your perspective.
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Chicago Sun-Times Opinion This Week

A weekly overview of opinions, analysis and commentary on issues affecting Chicago, Illinois and our nation by outside contributors, Sun-Times readers and the CST Editorial Board.

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