evans mccarthy
Glenn Evans (left) was the “go to” police commander for Garry McCarthy (right)… until yesterday.

Chicago has been known for corruption for longer than it has been known for Middle Eastern levels of violence. Perhaps that is the reason it has taken almost 21 months for a CPD commander who allegedly stuck the barrel of his gun in the mouth of a suspect to finally face charges.

Chicago police commander frequently praised by Supt. Garry McCarthy for his no-nonsense approach to fighting crime in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods was charged Wednesday with placing the barrel of his gun into a suspect’s mouth.

Cmdr. Glenn Evans, who headed the West Side’s Harrison patrol district until he was relieved of his police powers, faces one count of aggravated battery and one count of official misconduct, according to Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

As recently as Monday, McCarthy offered a vigorous defense of Evans, whose case represents a new scandal for a department with a long history of abuse allegations. But after the charges were announced, the superintendent released a statement:

“The alleged actions, if true, are unacceptable to the both the residents we serve and to the men and women of this department. As soon as we were made aware of the charges Commander Evans was relieved of his police powers, pending the outcome of this matter. Like any private citizen, the commander is innocent until proven guilty and we need to allow this case to proceed like any other. We will cooperate fully with prosecutors.”

Evans is scheduled to appear in Bond Court on Thursday. He could not be reached for comment.

The allegations, first reported by WBEZ radio, stem from an arrest Evans and at least two of his officers made on Jan. 30, 2013 while on patrol in the Park Manor neighborhood. At the time, Evans was the commander of the South Side’s Grand Crossing patrol district.

The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers are good, if not great people. They have chosen a life of public service, and desire nothing more than to shelter and protect the good citizens of their communities. They do this by deterring and investigating crimes, so that those who do bad things can be captured, tried in a court of law, and dealt with by the judicial system.

Unfortunately, a very small percentage of officers are criminals themselves, and they hide behind their badges and their relationships with other officers, who—being human—are reluctant to want see evil in one of their own. Soon, the problem spreads like a cancer. Bad officers stopped being forced out of the profession. Good officers leave corrupted agencies, turn a blind eye to their peers, or become part of the sickness themselves.

The only cure for such institutionalized corruption is the sort of chemotherapy that comes from rooting out the corruption, starting with the senior leadership of a corrupt department, ripping out every single compromised officer ruthlessly. Then, and only then, can the corruption be stopped.

It should not have taken almost 21 months for Chicago Police Cmdr. Glenn Evans to be relieved of his command and charged; that should have been nearly immediate. That Evans wasn’t charged for more than 1 1/2 years strongly suggests endemic corruption in the CPD.

Police agencies rot from the head. Supt. Garry McCarthy—a bitter foe of the Second Amendment rights of his citizens—has been ruthlessly political, incompetent, and combative during his tenure as head of the Chicago Police Department, and isn’t respected by the officers who serve under him.

Commander Glenn Evans is finally facing accountability for his actions.

When will McCarthy face his?