After more than a year watching the rising police state take over our little town as well as the rest of the nation, we have one small victory. Kroeker, the man who allowed officers to rampage through this city, is finally gone. Yes, we can celebrate for a moment. But let us not be deluded into thinking this is enough.
First, consider why he is gone. Why, after all this time? He awarded medals to the officers who murdered Jose Mejia Poot, and he was not asked to resign. (Well, not by Vera, anyway.) Unarmed people were beaten and tortured on his watch. People died in custody under mysterious circumstances. Babies were pepper sprayed by his minions. And still he was not asked to resign. Why now? Rumor has it he was asked to go because he finally bowed to pressure to discipline (though not much) Scott McCollister. Mr. McCollister brutally murdered an unarmed woman in cold blood, then lied through his teeth about it in the most transparent and ridiculous web of lies. Mr. McCollister deserved, if anyone does, prison for his crimes. But instead, he got a few months suspension. As a result, an angry police union rumbled about a no confidence vote. Not because the punishment was too light, but because there was any punishment at all. Is it possible Kroeker really got away with police beatings, murders, insensitivity and strongarm tactics, but he could not get away with disciplining an officer who went too far?
Whatever the reason, he is indeed gone at last. But McCollister remains, if only marginally. Marty Rowley and his trusty red cannister of substitute penis remains. Mark Kruger and Joe Hanousek are still there. (Mr. Hanousek deserves special recognition here. After being scolded by a ten year old for pepper spraying Miranda May last March, big Joe told the child, within my hearing, "You better shut your mouth." Way to go, Joe.) Officer Lee, Rosie's trusty bulldog when Rowley isn't around, is still here. Vera Katz -- who sold off her soul and her city to the PBA and supported Kroeker through it all -- is still here. More importantly, the system that makes it possible for officers to use tanks, armored assault vehicles, guns, sticks, chemical weapons and all manner of violence against the people of this city, it's all still here.
So celebrate, but then get back to work.