It's Not Political, It's Just Life

Political discourse without the spin.

Superintendent Leroy Martin, RIP: Harold’s Man

Leroy Martin Running for Sheriff-1988

Leroy Martin Running for Cook County Sheriff – 1988. Photographer Unknown.

On Saturday, August 31st, the city lost one of its former ‘top cops’ at age 84 – Superintendent LeRoy Martin. He was nominated to that high honor by Mayor Harold Washington following much media speculation, and in the community. When he selected Leroy Martin, Mayor Washington made a statement that there was nothing wrong with nominating two Black men in a row for this important position. After all, what had we suffered through for so many previous years? Martin succeeded Fred Rice, another pillar of the Black community. Regardless of what you did or didn’t like about Supt. Martin and his way of doing things, [and this is from a Chicagoan who’s not necessarily a big fan of police, having been at the wrong end of a laughing policeman’s 12-gauge when I was 16], he had the CHUTZPAH to say that Jon Burge needed to be investigated, all the way back in the 80s. His action led to the indictment so many years later. I remember he also tried to get Daley to testify but ran into a brick wall, as Rahm is now if he’s even tried to do so. These are just observations. The bottom line is, I am praying for Superintendent Martin’s family, though it’s been one month after their loss. Mr. Martin was the ‘dark horse,’ as he said to Harold when being nominated, that rode us into the next phase of making policeman pay for what they’ve done over the years to innocent citizens. God rest his soul.

Police Supt. LeRoy Martin testifies before the Chicago City Council on police brutality in 1989. | Sun-Times file photo

Police Supt. LeRoy Martin testifies before the Chicago City Council on police brutality in 1989. | Sun-Times file photo



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