One part of the job for many sheriffs is evicting people from homes and apartments. Last October, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart get fed up with throwing people out of homes. Many of them, he says, were renters who didn't even know their landlords were behind on payments. So, he stopped doing evictions.
In the majority of the homes I was going into, there were always little kids around-I mean, really young kids, and we're taking them and putting them out on the street. A lot of them were seniors, and a lot of them had issues with dementia. Once again-we're taking them out to the street ... Most of these neighborhoods are not good neighborhoods. Once [their belongings are] out on the street, we leave. While they're off looking for transportation, the few things they own are being stolen.
That's a quote from a recent Newsweek interview with Dart. The rest is on their website, including accusations that he's a "vigilante."
It's a noble thing to do in this economy, and many people support his decision. Here's a question many critics are asking, though: how can a sheriff decide which laws he's going to enforce and which he won't?