The infamous “Chicago-Way”


“Is the ‘Chicago Way’ a kill-and-cover-up culture?” by Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune. Published on November 27, 2015.

I have noticed a distinct characteristic about Page’s posts in that he likes to begin his posts with a thought on a particular issue. Yes, this may sound vague, but his introductory comments are a primary device used for Page’s cumulative writing style. As you should know, a cumulative fashion can exclusively be used for sentences, but also, paragraphs. In addition to the anecdote, Page describes the cover-ups of the Laquan McDonald shooting, in which seventeen-year-old McDonald was shot 16 times, as the “bad-apple” of Chicago. It is indeed a bad one; it has taken longer than a year for law-enforcement to publicly release the footage of the shooting.

By the sixth paragraph, I am on the edge of my seat on this issue, but Page continues to feed me gradually with evidence. He does this by asking rhetorical questions that grab the reader’s attention, infused with a dash of logos, whose purpose is to contradict Anita Alvarez’s claim that “the time was needed to conduct proper investigations.” The evidence Page uses to back this claim is the fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose by Chicago law enforcement officer Ray Tensing; Dubose was pulled over by Tensing. A video captured by the police vehicle contradicted Tensing’s claim that he was “dragged by Dubose’s vehicle.” After this, Tensing was thrown in jail for a murder charge.

“The video, which contradicted Tensing’s account of being dragged by DuBose’s vehicle, was released, and Tensing was charged with murder and fired from the department in less than two weeks.”

Finally, another event that Page includes supporting his central claim (police cover-up) is the mentioning of an incident at a Burger King restaurant close to the crime scene. Moments after the shooting of McDonald, a few police officers visited the fast-food restaurant to view the security footage of the incident. However, fast-forward one day later, the manager discovers something unsettling; part of the footage was missing. These pieces of evidence, presented in a cumulative fashion, convince the reader that “something rotten” is taking place internally within the law enforcement of Chicago.



2 thoughts on “The infamous “Chicago-Way”

  1. Harrison,

    It seems as though our pundits have similar writing techniques. I have noticed Frank Bruni often starts off with an introductory thought as well, adding several rhetorical questions throughout his writing. Not only are these questions rhetorically effective, but they also guide the reader through the author’s thought-process. Great post!



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