With high turnout and low morale, rank-and-file Chicago Police officers decided Wednesday to change union presidents heading into contentious contract negotiations, reports the city’s Sun-Times. With 9,811 votes cast, Police Officer Kevin Graham captured 56.2 percent of the vote to incumbent Dean Angelo’s 43.8 percent. The two men faced off in a runoff because none of the six candidates in the first-round race received a majority of the votes cast. Turnout was heavy, which usually signals discontent and spells trouble for the incumbent.
In a Facebook post, Graham called the results a message “loud and clear” from a demoralized rank and file. He said, “We look forward to immediately preparing for the upcoming contract negotiations, fighting the anti-police movement in the city and obtaining fair due process and discipline for our members.” Incumbent Angelo acknowledged that officers are “very, very, very frustrated on this job. Morale is at the lowest I’ve ever seen. . . . You have a no-one-has-your-back mentality in our ranks more prevalent now than ever before. Media and politicians have demonized this job over the last couple of years.”