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Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

Law Enforcement And Community Relations
What This collaborative series is a peek into the issues facing law enforcement and community relations within our urban communities.
When We will begin Part I of this collaborative series with a snapshot of the early origins of modern day policing, setting the stage for a deeper dive into the present day issues in Part II of this series.
Who This Source Card overview begins with a look at a man named Robert Peel who may not be a household name to many of us, but as it turns out, in many ways he may well be the founding father of today’s modern day police force as we know it.
Why To facilitate a collaborative process that promotes just a little more understanding from all sides on a complicated set of issues facing our country’s urban centers. And along the way, with your help and input, incorporate some of these themes and issues into our Back of the Yards comic series.

Quick Introduction

First, a Quick Introduction and Origin Story About a Guy Name Robert Peel

Robert Peel

With this Source Card collaboration, we will be covering various topics related to law enforcement & community relations, together with your input. We’ll start this ongoing collaboration with a peek at the origins of our modern police forces, eventually transitioning to some of the many challenges our police forces face today, and then focus on the impact of those challenges within our black and brown communities in particular.    

And as we cover these various topics, we will invite you to the same, either on your own or collaboratively with others.  And we hope to not only collaborate with urban youth and their academic administrators, but also other subject matters experts along the way, and perhaps no more important in that regard than those on the very front lines we speak of, our police officers.

That’s the hope anyway.  But we’ll see exactly where this collaboration goes together.  For now, we’ll simply kick things off with a peak into the origins of the modern day police force.  

And as turns out, that tale starts with some guy named Robert Peel.  Who, you ask?  Well just turn the pages below we’ll dive right into it.

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From Peel to Modern Day Realities

Ahh, our man Peel.  Just what would he be thinking if he were alive today?

 

Of course, to say a lot has changed since Robert Peel’s day would be like saying a lot has changed for us generally over the last year.  Just a bit of an understatement.

In Peel’s day, the newly formed police (nicknamed “Bobbies” in honor of our man Robert Peel) would patrol metropolitan areas carrying only wooden batons and their most common encounters would be drunkenness and street fighting, with the hope all along that their mere presence would significantly reduce such crimes.

So, for some further context, here’s a list of some innovations developed since Peel’s day:

  • The electric motor
  • Color Photography
  • The incandescent light bulb
  • The zipper (very underrated)
  • Plastic (also on a related note, and perhaps more importantly, Legos)
  • Dynamite
  • Radio
  • TV
  • The automobile
  • Airplanes
  • Helicopters
  • Rockets!

Yes, indeed, lots of innovation since Peel’s day.  Which unfortunately brings us to some of the more somber realities of today.  In parallel with this modern day innovation, crime has seemed to evolve just as rapidly. In contrast to the Bobbies of Peel’s day, police officers of today must deal with a wide array of violent crime, and this is particularly true within our urban centers.

Violence in our Cities

In the summer of 2020, total Chicago shootings that July were at a 75% increase as compared to previous July.  And as I write this blog entry, just over the last weekend alone here in Chicago, at least 49 people were shot, seven fatally.

Violence in our cities is nothing new.  And to be fair, the fact of the matter is that violent crime within the United States has actually been on a steady decline over the last 15 years.  But that shouldn’t in any way diminish the very real challenges within our urban centers today, as further evidenced by a murder rate that was up 16.1 percent in America’s 25 largest cities in 2020.

And it is this volatility that police officers walk right into the front lines every day.  As Chicago’s former superintendent David Brown put it just after a shooting of 3 Chicago officers, “when they leave home, they leave their loved ones and put their stars on and risk everything.  They risk everything protecting us all.”

And the danger our police officers face every day is just part of the story.  As we will begin to cover more as this collaboration develops, in his book To Protect and Serve, author and former police chief Norm Stamper describes an environment for police that is entrenched in pressures to produce “numbers.”

“Numbers” often in the form of revenue.  Moving violations.  Speeding.  Running a red light.  This is particularly true in cities that have stressed budgets.  As Stamper describes it, there was no “quota” system per se, but the pressures from above are nonetheless very real.

 

Systematic Pressures on All Sides

All of this exacerbated by modern day drug enforcement laws that the police are, of course, further tasked to enforce on the front lines.

All of which tends to put our officers in the position where they must “produce” in order to comply with their job requirements, but in so doing, often an adversarial relationship is collectively formed within the very same communities they are assigned to patrol and protect.

 

In his book Justice Without Trial, Law Enforcement in Democratic Society (1967, latest edition 2015), sociologist Jerome Skolnick maintains that any job description that calls upon a person to exercise decision-making authority in the face of physical danger may simply be asking too much of the practitioner.

Combine that danger with the systematic pressures police officers feel from above and from within, it would seem to be a wholly undeniable understatement to say that the job of a police officer is a profoundly difficult one.

But as we will try to further explore as this collaboration develops, the same systematic pressures that our police officers feel from above and within, as they also put their lives on the line daily, may also be contributing to the widely disproportionately negative impacts within our black and brown communities that exist today, which are equally undeniable.

And from there, we will pick up this Source Card collaboration to learn more about this pressures and related issues together with you starting with the “Let’s Collaborate” section below, with the hope that we will be able to incorporate what we learn over time into the Back of the Yards comic.

Let’ s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Character
Cards

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

QR Code for Character Card #1 – Andre Davis
Summary Traits
Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype
The Hero
Motto
“To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background
Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Character
Cards

Who is…
Russell Patterson?

Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson

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Summary Traits
Russell is a very shy and creative young man. He is a grade or two younger than the rest of our young principal characters.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Russell Patterson has an extremely vivid imagination and a very active dream life. He just may be the most talented and creative student at New City High, but he lacks confidence so he too often daydreams as a means of escape.
Archetype
The Dreamer
Motto
“It is okay to live a life that others don't understand”
Collaboration Background
Russell’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Character
Cards

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

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Summary Traits
Draymond Carter is Russell Paterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values
Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype
The Sidekick
Motto
“You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background
Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!

QR Code for Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
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Character
Cards

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

QR Code for Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda
Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Character
Cards

Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker

QR Code for Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker
Summary Traits
Tamia is a young African American high school youth who learns more about herself as she experiences the pain of betrayal and lost love.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Tamia is extremely bright, curious, introspective and creative. She is an artist at heart, with empathy that forms connections with others in ways that she even doesn’t fully understand yet…
Archetype
The Creator
Motto
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Collaboration Background
Tamia’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Action
Cards

And Action!
Create an Illustration!

Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!

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Collaboration Summary
With this collaboration series, we will work with aspiring illustrators that may be interested in developing new illustrations that could ultimately be incorporated into our Back of the Yards comic series!
Collaboration Background
When we began this project, it was based on a simple premise that all of us have the ability to be creative. However, we also recognize that this creativity can come in many different forms and with that, some of you may actually be talented illustrators. So it is that with this Action Card collaboration series, we will present you with opportunities to submit your illustrations by providing you with possible comic scenes, newly developed characters and/or other comic settings to choose from, all updated regularly!
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
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Source
Cards

Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

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What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
When
These 12 character archetypes can be used by participating youth for their own independent collaborations, just as they have been used by others throughout the course of time, from the ancient Greek plays to modern day Star Wars trilogies.
Who
These character archetypes are important to understand because unlike character stereotypes, which are superficial generic generalizations, archetypes are said to have been deduced through the development of storytelling over tens of thousands of years, indicating repeating patterns of individual and group experience.
Why
Character Archetypes can help one gain a better understanding and development of literary characters and stories for not only our Made Collaborative comic publications, but also independent collaborations of any participating youth and others.
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Character
Cards

Who is…
Peaches?

Character Card #6 – Peaches

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Summary Traits
For now, known only by his nickname, “Peaches,” he is one of the neighborhood’s “Elders” who observe and comment upon the activities of the younger folks. Peaches backstory is rich, deep and yet-to-be revealed!
Core Personality Traits & Values
Peaches is the dignified moral compass the Elders. Even though he is very much a realist, Peaches tends to see the best in people and he encourages them toward a righteous path.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Though our destiny is now our own, our search for that destiny has only just begun.”
Collaboration Background
Peaches was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Source
Cards

Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!

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What
With this Source Card #1 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood - the Back of the Yards!
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
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Submit Your Artwork

Collaborate with professional artists by contributing some artwork of your own! Some special pieces may be selected to appear in the Back of the Yards comic book.

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