Code of Silence / by Maira Khwaja

Today The Intercept published a 20,000-word, four-part investigation titled “Code of Silence.” This consuming project has been for me an extraordinary education regarding the inner workings of the Chicago Police Department.  My principal source—Officer Shannon Spalding—has a rare ability to describe the “code of silence” not as a vague culture but as a set of institutional mechanisms central to the operation of the CPD.  We are all in her debt. For if we are to make the most of the current opening for reform, we must have a clear diagnosis of the underlying pathologies that need to be addressed.  Hence the importance of stories such as the one Shannon has enabled me to tell.


October 6, 2016