Doing the right thing: Sheriff reverses his stance on tenant evictions in Chicago


Last week I reported that the Cook County Sheriff's Office had announced they would no longer enforce evictions of renters living in foreclosed rental properties. I chastised them for literally taking the law into their own hands and picking and choosing which laws to enforce - - which is not the job of law enforcement.

There were plenty of people who felt differently, and I don't disagree that vacant apartments aren't an ideal situation. It's also unfortunate when innocent tenants end up paying the price for the behavior of the owners of the property. Yet, my position on this issue was that it's not right for law enforcement to be selective when enforcing laws. Sure, there's always some level of judgment a police officer must exercise, and there are times when they choose to not arrest someone or not write a ticket when the law would allow them to.

This situation was different, however, in that the Sheriff was making a public statement that a particular law would not be enforced. That's not how we do things in the United States. If you don't like a law, work to get it changed. There are lots of laws that I think are stupid and wrong, but I don't just arbitrarily decide to violate them. I follow them because they're laws. And in some situations, maybe I'll become active in trying to get the laws changed.