Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Hey Look - Charges

  • Seeking the first official discipline in the 22 months since a Chicago police officer shot Laquan McDonald 16 times on video, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Tuesday moved to fire four patrol officers and a sergeant he accused of lying about the shooting.

    Though the October 2014 shooting led to aftershocks that have shaken the Police Department from top to bottom, the city's first move for formal discipline focuses largely on street officers.
Nice to see the procedure has finally caught up with the findings.

Yes, that was sarcasm.


003 Questions

A few readers have mentioned suspicious discrepancies in the Rhymefest story:
  • An unexplained 2 hour gap in time of occurrence to time of reporting;
  • How he managed to keep his watch and cell phone;
  • Why not call 911 from the scene?
  • A book bag he suddenly remembered missing a day later;
  • Passing two other police stations after being held up in 002;
  • The video beginning with no explanation at a time that conveniently paints the police in a bad light;
  • An unconfirmed report that Rhymefest cut in front of three other people already waiting for reports;
  • If his statements after the fact are to be believed about not wishing to prosecute, why bother involving the police at all? It was just $3 since he didn't remember the book bag at first.
What popped to the front of our mind was, "How convenient he had a new tune ready to go in just a few hours after having a less-than-pleasant experience with the CPD." Curious timing to say the least.

To be clear, this doesn't excuse the behavior experienced at the desk. That falls on the Desk personnel, DSS and Watch Lieutenant. There's a disciplinary process in place - use it, and not Rahm's posturing.

But without a full accounting of the entire event, and not just what Rhymefest, the media, the cheating lieutenants, and the frightened exempts want everyone to concentrate on, questions about the incident will continue.


Hey Look - Suspensions

This came out earlier this month and slipped through the cracks:
  • Fourteen Chicago Police officers have been cited for failure to record audio and video or for misuse of equipment since the first of the year.

    Internal Affairs records, released to NBC5 through a public records request, detail the allegations which call for penalties ranging from reprimands and suspensions.

    [...] In addition, from January until the end of June, five officers have received one-day suspensions, while seven officers have been reprimanded.
The first two officers mentioned got 15 days each and are named in the original report, but the FOP has said all the suspensions are being looked at.

Who's the "Top" Officer?

Trump has talked to the greatest minds on this Department. And he knows how to solve crime:
  • The Chicago Police Department denied Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's claim this week that he met with a "top" Chicago officer and argued the city's violence would not be solved with "tough police tactics."

    "We've discredited this claim months ago," CPD spokesperson Frank Giancamilli said Tuesday in a statement. "No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign."

    Trump said in an interview Monday that he believed Chicago's violence could be stopped using "tough police tactics," telling Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that he met a "top" Chicago officer who reportedly said he could "stop much of this horror show that’s going on" within a single week.

    Trump added that he knows officers in Chicago who would put an end to violent crime "if they were given the authority to do it," a claim that Giancamilli refuted.
So Trump was here one day for a rally that got cancelled. Who could he have met with - out-of-sight of Rahm's handlers of course - to come up with this bold statement?

Well, the rally was on the Near West Side. And who was the "top" person in charge of the disastrous security that resulted in many dozens of attendees being assaulted, battered, and suffering numerous property losses and damages. The Department is putting a lot of effort into discrediting Trump's statement, no doubt at the behest of Rahm, who can't have his police supervisors actually having opinions or meetings with Republican candidates.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Who's Running the Show?

Wasn't Rahm just bragging the other day about how it was Special Ed's show? That he'd support any decision Special Ed made regarding the coppers stripped over the McDonald shooting?

It's a good thing Rahm is letting Special Ed make the BIG decisions, because it sure looks like Rahm is making the little ones for Special Ed:
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the officer who handled hip-hop star Che "Rhymefest" Smith's robbery report over the weekend will face discipline.

    "There will be disciplinary action taken," Emanuel said Monday. "This is an example not just for the officer but for everybody. He is coming in to report robbery, being held up, and you can’t respond that way."
So it seems Rahm is running the day-to-day stuff while Special Ed just deals with the bigger issues - like how people of the "community" feel they can better relate to officers of the same race....ummmmmmm....oops.

Well. in defense of 003, we're sure that they have an extensively experienced upper tier of supervisors who will promptly crack down on the unprofessional behavior. Let's just look at the personnel roster....

Yup, we see the #1 scorer on the most recent lieutenant exam - a perfect 100% (allegedly) - is assigned to 003. And golly, the #3 scoring lieutenant also works there. Along with the three-time "merit" promoted commander, they should have the whole situation well in hand....if Rahm says so....and tells Special Ed....who makes all the decisions with Rahm's unwavering support, of course.

Anyone want to make any guesses on the next decision Rahm leaves all to Special Ed?


COPA! Copacabana

  • The new agency charged with investigating police wrongdoing will be called the Civilian Office on Police Accountability, aldermen were told Monday as they haggled with the mayor’s office over final language.

    Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), leader of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, said he was generally pleased with the draft ordinance he was shown Monday. But there are several points of contention.

    COPA, the new agency that will take the place of the soon-to-be-abolished Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), will not have the authority to hire its own independent counsel, Waguespack said.

    Nor would the new agency have a guaranteed percentage of the city budget to prevent the new COPA chief from going hat-in-hand to the mayor and City Council for additional resources, Waguespack said.

    The new inspector general in charge of public safety would be chosen by Inspector General Joe Ferguson after a process that includes a nationwide search, the alderman said.
With all these direct connections to City Hall, what could possibly go wrong? Oh, and they're also empowered to investigate Taser usage, so we've got that going for us, too.

If anyone thinks that this isn't set up to (A) fire coppers and (B) fire coppers, we've got some beachfront land to sell you in Death Valley.


Anyone See an Issue Here?

  • With hope of restoring trust in city government that erodes with “every bribe that’s taken, every kickback that is tendered,” a federal judge sentenced an ex-City Hall insider to 10 years in prison Monday for rigging Chicago’s red-light camera program.
  • A federal judge on Tuesday upheld Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence on corruption counts, setting aside pleas for leniency by the former Illinois governor’s wife and daughters during his resentencing.
That was for essentially soliciting a bribe - no money ever changed hands. In the first story, the guy was actually dealing in large amounts of cash.

Then you have this:
  • Darwin Sorrells, of the 7500 block of South Wentworth Avenue, served three years in state prison for 2013 convictions of receiving, possessing or selling a stolen vehicle and for unlawful use or possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He was paroled in early February.

    He was convicted in 2011 of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to five years on that charge. He also has felony convictions from 2007 for aggravated battery in a public place and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.
That's what....five felonies since 2007? Violent felonies, four of them with illegally obtained weapons used on human beings. And he's currently up for murder with his brother - another felon.

While a briber gets 10 years and Blago rots for 14 years.

Might all the current outrage be better pointed another direction?


Violent Month You Say?

  • Tavon [Tanner] was among more than 400 people shot in Chicago this month. There have been at least 78 homicides, marking August as the most violent month in the city in almost 20 years, according to data provided by the Chicago Police Department. And there are two more days to go.

    The city hasn't seen a deadlier month since October of 1997, when there were 79 homicides. For the whole year, the count was 761, according to department numbers.
Only 78? has the total at 85, and we don't even know if they've counted the 6 arson-related deaths that can only be called "homicides" no matter what the Medical Examiner, Chief of Detectives and CompStat call them. Probably another set of "death investigations" which are approaching 40 this year - another bit of "smoke" in a smoke-and-mirror world.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Safety Warning

Just when you thought it couldn't get much lower, Kansas City shows us a new basement:
  • Kansas City Police Officers had just shot an armed suspect on Sunday morning when a crowd began to gather around them. Gunshots started getting fired at the officers, who were forced to take cover with the man that the officers had just shot.

    The incident happened early Sunday morning in a parking lot at 72nd Street and Wabash Avenue. Officers were on patrol when they heard gunshots and observed a large crowd in the parking lot. Officers approached and confronted a man who was armed with a handgun. There aren’t many details about the confrontation, but one of the police officers shot the suspect.

    The police officers were administering first aid to the suspect when they got surrounded by the large crowd. One of the men approached the officers aggressively and refused to back up, interrupting officers who were trying to provide first aid. The man was tased as he was coming at officers, and then taken into custody.

    Numerous shots then started to get fired at officers, forcing them to take cover along with the shot suspect and the other suspect in custody. None of the officers were shot.

    A gunshot victim later arrived at the hospital, who is believed to be the likely victim of the man that the police officers has shot.
So not only was the subject armed (and his gun recovered), he had just shot someone else. And the cops had to Taser someone else, then take cover when the unruly crowd started taking shots at them. Sounds like the other day on the south side where someone started shooting in an alley to distract cops from their scene.

Or like this maybe?

Someone shooting nearby to distract the coppers from the loaded rifle and pistol in the hopes of stealing them back? Hopefully, there's a Department-wide evaluation underway on how to protect and process crime scenes, seeing as how it's gotten that much more dangerous. Perhaps some of the new Lieutenants can bring their vast years of street skills to the table and assist the brass?

Watch your backs. And fronts.


Arrests in Murder

And once again, the only thing Special Ed that has said that makes sense, rears its head again:
  • Derren Sorrells, 22, and Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, were charged Sunday with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered both held without bail, saying they were a danger to society.


    Both Sorrells brothers are convicted felons who were on parole at the time of the shooting — prime examples of the judicial system's inability to stop habitual offenders, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a Sunday news conference.

    "This tragedy isn't just noteworthy because Ms. Aldridge has a famous family member," Johnson said. "Rather, it shows that the cycle of arrests, convictions and parole isn't changing the behavior of those who repeatedly commit crimes.
And what had they been charged with that led to their early release?
  • Darwin Sorrells, of the 7500 block of South Wentworth Avenue, served three years in state prison for 2013 convictions of receiving, possessing or selling a stolen vehicle and for unlawful use or possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He was paroled in early February.

    He was convicted in 2011 of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to five years on that charge. He also has felony convictions from 2007 for aggravated battery in a public place and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

    Derren Sorrells, of the 6000 block of South Indiana Avenue, served four years in state prison for 2012 convictions of possession of a stolen vehicle and violating the terms of his electronic monitoring. He was paroled Aug. 12, according to the IDOC website.
Gee, someone on parole again?

Someone posted in the comment section that this was Darwin's SIXTH gun arrest. And the "day-for-day" credits that result in a mere 50% of a sentence being served really has to stop. Repeat gun offenders should be headed to Federal Court at every opportunity with no exceptions, with a floor of ten years in prison and a third strike provision resulting in a life sentence.

And Special Ed uttered the second truth of his tenure:
  • When asked about the difference in solving Aldridge's killing within days compared with the overwhelming majority of homicides that don't end in arrests, Johnson pointed to the community as being more cooperative because of to the high-profile nature of the case.

    "You know why we captured them right away? Because the community helped us with it," Johnson said. "Police officers very rarely witness crime, especially murder or aggravated battery with a firearm. … We take every death in Chicago seriously, but we need the community's help to bring these cases to a successful resolution."
Nice job to all involved.


Eighty in August

After a messy weekend (at least 9 dead, 47 maimed), Chicago has done something unseen in decades.

Eighty dead in a single month.

Congratulations, we guess.

Next stop - 500 dead reached by September.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

More NY Brilliance

Why didn't our brain trust at HQ think of this?
  • The NYPD has a message for revelers taking part in Brooklyn’s J’Ouvert festival next weekend: Don’t shoot.

    The 71st Precinct in Crown Heights posted fliers Thursday warning festival-goers to refrain from violence during the annual predawn Labor Day celebration.

    “This community will no longer tolerate this violence,” the fliers say. “Do not shoot anyone. Do not stab anyone.
NYPD coppers are greatly amused:
  • Speaking of the posters, a police source said, “I guess this is the de Blasio crime prevention program.

    “I found this absolutely hysterical. It’s just incredible. We’ve come to the point now where we’re asking people not to shoot one another. As if this doesn’t come naturally?

    “If they really want to reduce the crime here, they should be enforcing the law and restricting the permits.

    “This will have zero impact, of course. What a waste of paper, though I don’t want to put the graphic artist out of business.”
Has anyone downtown, maybe Special Ed himself, just said, "Why don't we ask them not to shoot?"

Hey, since New York started it, you know someone here is going to steal it.


VRI Boycott Provokes Response

Just out from the Bureau of Patrol:
  • Days off Cancelled for All District Tact Teams, Area Saturation Teams, Gun Teams, Gang Enforcement Teams and Summer Mobile for the Labor Day weekend
  • Additionally, PEZ Zones will be covered by District personnel because the VRI numbers are so low
So the FOP point is being made - the Department is dangerously shorthanded and the only way to adequately man the streets is to cancel days off and force people to work.



Anyone want to explain why the only posted openings for next Police Period were all in 003? Fifteen openings, yet the Department posted a few dozen PPO's coming off of their probation into Area North last month - into spots that in reality, they wouldn't be able to catch a whiff of for five or six years.

They couldn't all be that connected, could they?

Does the Department want to keep all the unhappy, old, grumpy, coppers locked into undesirable spots for some reason? Or is this another ploy by Rahm?


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Trib Prints Crap

In their ever increasing efforts to stay relevant and stir the pot of anti-police sentiment, the Tribune comes up with this "exhaustive" study:
  • Every five days, on average, a Chicago police officer fired a gun at someone.

    In 435 shootings over a recent six-year span, officers killed 92 people and wounded 170 others.

    While a few of those incidents captured widespread attention, they occurred with such brutal regularity — and with scant information provided by police — that most have escaped public scrutiny.

    Now, after months of struggles with Chicago police to get information through the Freedom of Information Act, the Chicago Tribune has compiled an unprecedented database of details of every time police fired a weapon from 2010 through 2015.
"...brutal regularity..."

Um, hyperbole much?

They break down all sorts of stuff by race, because that's the only measure that matters to the lib-tarded media and their followers.

Here are a few questions that might lead to another "exhaustive" Tribune study:
  • This year, says that shootings happen an average of every two-hours-and-three minutes. A killing happens every twelve hours (two a day). Could the Tribune "reporters" calculate those types of totals over the same 6 year period? (hint - it'll be close to three THOUSAND dead and well over ten THOUSAND wounded.)
  • Maybe the Tribune could do an analysis of how many "Shots Fired" calls are made to 9-1-1, how many go out over the police radio daily, and how many were actually legit?
  • How many shots total were fired? We can't recall a scene in the past six years that didn't have at least five or six shots, counted by witnesses or shell casings we picked up. Most scenes were ten or more though. Some really messed up scenes were thirty and forty at a time. We're betting those totals would be in the hundreds of thousands of rounds fired.
And after all of that "exhaustive" research, if the Tribune "reporters" break it down racially so that if Eric Holder comes to town, we can have that "frank discussion" he was always going on about.

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Rumors of Hiring

This has popped up in e-mail and comments:
  • Anonymous said...Rumor from R&D that the budget for SGt and LT has been raised. They are adding 100 new LT's and 250 Sgt.
We've heard the same thing with slightly lower and higher numbers. We've also gotten word that the uniform stores across the city have been told to pre-order equipment for a hiring wave of 1,000 starting early next year. And all of this is before any mention of a Detectives class or the DOJ final report, which everyone knows is going to call for increase supervisory ranks.

So with the "55 and out" provision expiring next year, does anyone have definitive number of people leaving? The lowest number we've heard is 600, the highest at just around 1,000. So this hiring "wave" is, once again, barely going to cover retirements.


Trib Prints Truth

We've seen this far too many times in person. We're surprised it actually got published:
  • Three gunshots cracked the air close to where police were investigating a West Englewood shooting early Friday.

    “Run, b----, run!” a young shirtless man shouted as officers sprinted down an alley to check out the gunfire. Then, with mock concern, he added: “Hey, there’s somebody dead in the alley!”

    There was no one dead in the alley. Police suspected the shots were a prank by a group of young men who had been heckling them for about an hour at the scene of a shooting that wounded a 22-year-old man in the 7100 block of South Paulina Street about 12:50 a.m.

    Standing in a line not far from the crime tape, they had been alternately threatening and teasing the officers.

    “You a traitor! You a traitor! You bogus as hell!” one of them said early on, focusing on the only black officer nearby.
So where's the DOJ? Where's the phony pfather? Where's the training for the "community" to (A) let the police do their job, (B) stop race baiting one of their own (who has actually made something of himself, and (C) start acting like certain lives matter instead of shooting each other at 12:50 in the morning?

Don't these healthy young adults have a job to go to in the morning? What could possibly possess them to stand around a shooting scene, running in and out of the crime scene tape, taunting the people trying to solve what ails their "community," and daring the police to Taser them so they can be YouTube famous and maybe score some Rahm-cash?

Oh yeah, the complete lack of anything resembling discipline, family structure, pride of self and community.

Again, we're surprised the Tribune even let this go to print as it paints an actually accurate picture of what we've been seeing for tens of years.

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Trooper Wounds Gunman

  • A state trooper shot two men in the back seat of a taxi Thursday night on the South Side when one of them pulled out a gun, according to Illinois State Police.

    State troopers were conducting an unrelated traffic stop about 8:30 p.m. near West 77th Street and South Vincennes Avenue when a cab pulled up, and the driver flagged down the troopers saying his passengers refused to pay their fare, according to a statement from state police. A source said the two passengers were accused of robbing the driver.

    The troopers walked up to the cab to talk to the passengers and saw “what appeared to be a gun” in one of their pockets, state police said. The man “did not listen to any of the Trooper’s commands and then pulled out a gun from his pocket,” and one trooper opened fire after telling him “numerous times to drop the gun,” state police said.

    The 25-year-old man accused of holding the gun was shot twice in the lower torso, police said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department. He remained hospitalized early Friday with wounds that weren’t thought to be life-threatening, police said.

    The other man, 23, was shot in the toe and released into police custody after being treated at St. Bernard Hospital, authorities said.
A trooper went to the hospital, but he wasn't wounded by gunfire. Nice job Trooper.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Can You Taste the Irony?

Filming a video for black lives matter....and gets lit up guys!
  • Chicago rapper King Yella broadcast the aftermath of his own shooting in an Englewood underpass Tuesday evening.

    King Yella, 26, whose real name is Cemone Lewis, said in videos posted to social media that he was shooting a "Black Lives Matter video" when a hail of bullets left him with a gunshot wound in his arm and a graze wound in his side.
And the black disciple twitter feed (who knew they had such a thing?) claims credit for the shooting. The video is at the link.

What was it that mattered again? We keep hearing one thing, but then reality knocks on the door and we see something else.


New Oversight!

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel's top aides on Thursday gave a group of aldermen a broad outline of his plans for revamping the city's much criticized police oversight system, but City Council members who attended said they were withholding judgment until they see a concrete proposal.

    Aldermen were told that a new agency to investigate police misconduct would be set up with more powers than the current one. It would be guaranteed minimum annual funding to prevent the mayor and aldermen from reducing its power through budget cuts. And a new Police Department inspector general would report to the city IG.

    But it remained unclear how the new investigative agency chief would be selected and what role the mayor and aldermen might play in making that pick. That's because the administration has yet to start drawing up plans to create a new civilian oversight board. Such a board might recommend a chief or pick one itself, aldermen said.
So, pretty much.....nothing. No details, no direction, lots of aldercreatures questioning what the end game is here. We trust the FOP is ensuring that this soon-to-be-appointed board dots the "i's" and crosses the "t's" in regard to all protections being due to American citizens - things like the Due Process that was blatantly ignored recently. After all, there are more than a few elections coming up shortly.


RIP Mr. Dennis

  • The son of a Chicago police officer killed by gunfire last week was laid to rest on the South Side.

    Friends and family, Chicago police officers and Mayor Rahm Emanuel were all among those remembering Arshell Dennis III.

    He was killed while in town to visit his ailing mother before returning to college in New York.

    A $13,000 reward is now being offered for information leading to his killer.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lightfoot Speaks Crazy Talk

  • Police Board President Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday sympathized with the police union’s claim that the Chicago Police Department is violating the due process of seven officers it’s seeking to fire for allegedly covering up the police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

    Lightfoot and Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo are unlikely allies.

    Not only does she preside over the Police Board that will decide whether to uphold the firings recommended by Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and has fired 12 officers in the last year.

    Lightfoot also co-chaired the Task Force on Police Accountability that released a scathing 190-page report last spring that Angelo denounced as “biased” against police officers because it portrays them as racist. The report also complains about a police contract that turns a “code of silence into official policy.”

    But that didn’t stop Lightfoot from acknowledging that Angelo had a point when he argued that the seven officers targeted for firing have not been treated fairly.
So what exactly is she going to do to ensure fairness?

Nothing. She blames the Department, specifically Special Ed:
  • Lightfoot was asked whether that should have happened already and whether, in his haste to solve a political controversy, Johnson may have put the cart before the horse.

    “In the normal course, that would happen. Typically when an officer is stripped, they’re given specific allegations. They’re given access to information. In something this serious, yeah. It should happen. I can’t account for why it sounds like it hasn’t happened in this instance. But, I’m hoping that circumstance gets rectified shortly,” she said.
So is Special Ed being set up for a fall? Get a load of this second article where Lightfoot says the Contract and promotional process is all wrong:
  • Police Board President Lori Lightfoot argued Wednesday for increased training and changes to both the police contract and to the way police supervisors are chosen to restore public trust in the Chicago Police Department shattered by the police shooting of Laquan McDonald.


    She homed in on a system of choosing police supervisors that “makes no sense whatsoever because they are not tested or selected for their ability to actually supervise.”

    “Sergeants who, on a day-in, day-out basis, touch more officers than anybody else in the department — they are the backbone of the department. They are the key to cultural change. And they have to be selected in a way that makes sense. They have to be supported with training and follow-up, so they can do their job effectively,” she said.

    “You’ve got to think about internal legitimacy and external legitimacy. Those are not things that the department currently tests for. If you collect people on a set of criteria that isn’t really consistent with the realities of the job, you’re setting them up for failure.”
So....the ability to be given and remember the answers to a promotional exam isn't a good way to select supervisors? And people who were granted "merit" bumps, probably shouldn't be scoring 1, 2 and 3 on the exam, when all three of them work in the same Unit? And one is married to the First Deputy? And another is sleeping with the Chief of Patrol? And (if the rumors are true) scoring a perfect 100%?

So what criteria would be appropriate for promoting supervisors we wonder.

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Detectives Down a Third

  • In a city with as many as 90 shootings a week, homicides this year are on track to hit their highest level since 1997.

    Chicago's murder clearance rate, a measurement of solved and closed cases, is one of the country's lowest, another sign of problems besetting police in the third biggest city in the United States.

    Over the past 10 years Chicago has consistently had one of the lowest clearance rates of any of the country's 10 biggest cities, according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Chicago Police Department.

    Last year, Chicago police had 480 murder cases and solved 223 murders that had been committed in 2015 or before, for a clearance rate of 46 percent, according to Chicago police figures.

    That is well below the average national rate of 63 percent, and the average rate of 68 percent for cities with populations of more than 1 million in the past decade, according to FBI figures.
New York and Los Angeles have a Detective rank that is approximately 15% of their total manpower.

Chicago - 8%, and falling. And the clearance rate (according to has dipped below 21%.

Anyone seen the result of the Detective test yet?


Nice Street Rahm

  • A woman had her computer bag snatched from her hand in the 4200 block of N. Hermitage yesterday afternoon—the same block that is home to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his 24/7 police personal police force.

    No one is in custody.

    The woman was walking near Emanuel’s home shortly after 1PM Tuesday when a teenager jumped out of a “very old black Cadillac,” grabbed her computer bag from her hand, and then fled in the same vehicle. She was not injured.

    Police describe the offender as a black male teenager wearing a white tank top and black cargo pants.

    The crime has been classified as a theft.

    The mayor's home is protected around the clock by at least eight police officers who are assigned to patrol our 19th district. The force includes at least two cops in front of Emanuel's home, at least two more in the rear of his home, a sergeant, and "roving units" that make circles around the block.
We suppose it doesn't matter - the thief fled in a car, so he would have gotten away clean regardless.

Sorry about your computer, here's your report. Never mind those eight coppers within 300 feet of the scene. We guess none of them or their squad cars had active cameras either.

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Double Digit Increases

Sam Kinison had a comedy routine back in the 1980's making light of the Ethiopian famine. It went something along the lines of, " where the food is! You live in a f@#$ing desert! Move to where the food is!"

Guess where crime is up double digits this year? Where the police aren't - kind of an "anti-Kinison" explanation:
  • A wave of violent crime is washing across the North Side this year as Chicago police officers face increasing threats and scrutiny.

    Through July 31, violent crime reports are up in every lakefront neighborhood from the Loop to Edgewater.

    Reports of the most serious crimes—homicide, criminal sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated battery—are up as much as 61%. Uptown saw the smallest increase in our study, with 15% more violent crime this year.

    And virtually every area is also seeing an increase in total crime. Only North Center showed an overall crime drop through July 31, with a 4% reduction compared to the same time last year.

    The Loop has seen crime jump 26% overall this year, the most of any area. Near North is up 15%. Lincoln Park and Edgewater have both seen 11% overall crime increases.
That's pretty bad. But as the pressure is brought to bear on the hood, the hood goes where the pressure isn't as great and the hunting is extremely....lucrative, shall we say?

And Eddie, via Rahm, just whistles along with the violin as Rome burns.

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Not Guilty Plea

  • A Chicago activist pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he assaulted officers during protests last month over police shootings.

    Ja'Mal Green, 21, made his first court appearance before Judge Charles Burns, a former Cook County prosecutor who was randomly assigned the case by computer Wednesday.

    A day earlier, Green's attorney moved to substitute the first judge assigned the case, Judge Maura Slattery Boyle, also a former county prosecutor.
BAd luck going from one former prosecutor to another. But then, it's Cook County, so there's no telling which side of the fence they'll land on. After all, they have to please their political masters, too.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Three Years

We confess to not having much use for media people. For the most part, they're liberal tools with an agenda. There are a few who make the effort to see both sides, but they're rare nowadays. Janssen at the Sun Times did the old one day media course at the Academy and came out with an understanding of what cops do. Kass shows flashes of the old newspaperman instincts.

But this piece by Nickeas in Chicago Magazine is the culmination of three years working nights at shooting scenes and fires and fights and all sorts of crap, citywide. He was outside the tape for most of it, but he was there, doing his job and watching cops do their jobs.

He doesn't paint a pretty picture either. It's ugly. It leaves scars. The last portion of the article is how he found it hard to relate to normal life after seeing three years of shit:
  • For three years, I’d inhabited a world separate from the one my friends lived in. On the train into work on summer Fridays, the other passengers dressed up for a night out in Wicker Park or Lake View, I’d sit there preparing for my shift, checking Twitter to see where people were getting shot or where people were calling in gunfire. I’d vacillate between wishing I were out with my wife and just wanting to start working.

    There’s not a relationship in my life that is stronger now than it was when I started covering violence. I don’t remember when I stopped giving honest answers when people at dinners or parties asked, “How’s work?” The truth is a conversation ender. I’d start a story, see things getting awkward, then power through it, apologizing at the end. It’s an isolating job. Part of leaving nights has been learning to move past that, or deciding whether to even try. Maybe it’s not healthy, but writing about violence feels like what I should be doing. It feels normal. It’s what I want to do. I want to help the city understand a little. That’s important to me.

    The winter after I’d finished working overnights, Erin and I were sitting on our couch, drinking wine, catching up. I was trying to explain to her how that three-year stretch had felt like a fever dream, an otherworldly odyssey, and how the world had throbbed around me while I learned to keep my eyes open. For three years, I hadn’t been home on weekends, and when I was home, I was in a fog. The closest to alive I felt during that time was in moments of fear and stress. That had become life.

    I said all this to Erin, telling her I’d packed a lot of living into those three years.

    She looked at me and asked, “But what kind of living?”
Now imagine making a career out of it.

[Disclaimer - some of our number have met Nickeas on a few crime scenes. He's a personable guy. We've gotten his card a few times as he passed through.]

[Also, Nickeas is not related to the copper of the same name. We've seen this comment numerous times in the past.]


Sounds Like an Admission

In open court no less:
  • A Far South Side man accused of shooting at a Chicago Police officer lashed out at a Cook County judge in court Tuesday, saying he should have just “smoked his a ‑ ‑” after being ordered held without bail.

    “Chicago Police shot at me first,” Kentrell Pledger, a reputed [b]lack [d]isciple gang member, pleaded with Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr.

    As sheriff’s deputies led Pledger away, his protests grew louder: “He shot at me first. So get your story straight, dog. And for that, I should have smoked his a ‑ ‑.”

    Pledger then told Bourgeois, who is African-American, “You ain’t black, you’re white, b ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑.”
Hopefully, going away for a long long time.

Did someone hear about shots fired at the police again Tuesday? We can't find mention of it in the media.


Establishment Expands

  • Following a path blazed by countless city snow plows, Kim Foxx found her way recently to the three-story, fortress-like home of powerful Ald. Ed Burke and his wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke.

    The rooftop deck of the Burkes’ 5,600-square-foot home on the Southwest Side was the site of a campaign fundraiser on Aug. 16 for Foxx, the Democratic nominee in the November election for Cook County state’s attorney.

    Ed Burke had been a major supporter of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who was unseated by Foxx in the bitterly fought primary last spring.

    Neither Burke nor Foxx wanted to talk about their budding alliance. A spokeswoman for the 14th Ward alderman and City Council Finance Committee chairman did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. And a Foxx aide declined to answer questions about the fundraiser, instead emailing a one-line statement.
So Prickwrinkle and Burke are playing footsie. And Mike Madigan was listed as "co-host." Funny how the media reports it yesterday when it was held on 16 August - a full week ago. If that doesn't tell you investigative journalism is dead in Chicago, we don't know what would.

By the way, anyone looking to contribute to the Republican running against the establishment candidate, you can donate to Christopher Pfannkuche here.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

You Want What Now?

So, two people get shot a memorial for a 14-year-old gang banger who was killed the other day. One of them was 8:
  • Eight-year-old Jamia Barnes was playing Sunday evening on a front lawn near a vigil for a teenage boy killed hours earlier when she saw a man in a car arguing with a woman outside.

    "Somebody had the gun in their lap ... and he got it out and started shooting," recounted the soft-spoken third-grader, fiddling with the bandage on her right wrist and pulling at her hair.
It's always tragic when an innocent gets shot. Not the 14-year-old. He was just following in his grandmother's footsteps, who has her own record for dealing dope. But the 8-year-old didn't make life choices that lead to being shot.

Mope-rah quoted grandma in a column Monday (no link for Mopey):
  • “In the 1980s, there was a War on Drugs. Now there has to be a War on Guns. Police are going to have to pull over these young men in these cars with tinted windows, Davis said.

    “Police ride right past, instead of pulling over these guys with these big shirts where they are hiding guns. They need to kick in some of these doors. The guns are right here under your nose. How do you get the guns off the street,” she asked rhetorically.

    “You ride around and stop these guys.”
This is grandma who's done prison time for dope. And she's giving the Department "street lawyer" advice to pull people over, kick in doors and stop folks based on......

Sorry, we stopped listening to what we were typing for a second there.

What was it we said back on 30 July?
  • It's over boys and girls. Until there is a wholesale shakeup in the political order, the loud and lawless have won. Let them sort it out.

    One day, they'll demand and scream at the police to "do something!" And we'll whisper from our retirement home far away from here, "no."
That day is arriving faster than we expected....retirement we mean. The other thing, well, we've been responding to calls, cutting paper and leaving to make notifications.

Welcome to the world you created grandma.


Due Process?

  • Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo on Monday accused the Chicago Police Department of violating the due process of seven officers who stand to lose their jobs for allegedly covering up the police shooting of Laquan McDonald.

    In his long-awaited response to a scathing report by Inspector General Joe Ferguson, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson has moved to fire the seven officers for allegedly violating Rule 14.

    That’s the “If you lie, you die” rule that prohibits officers from filing false reports or lying under oath during the course of an investigation.

    Angelo complained that none of the seven officers have been told how they lied. That, he said, is a violation of due process.

    “They committed a Rule 14 violation based on what? What specifically did they do? What did they say? What did they write that puts them in that category? I don’t know. They don’t know,” Angelo said.
Did you know that you can't even put a prisoner in lockup without telling him what he's charged with? It used to irritate us a long time ago when the lockup keepers would ask jagoff, "Do you know what you're charged with?" It's like they didn't trust us. And the fact was, they didn't trust us, because they had been burned before. So now, their routine was to ask everyone. Once we worked lockup a few times, we developed the same habits...and tried not to work the lockup - it made us cynical.

To be hammered with 15 or 20 Department charges and not even be able to adequately prepare a rebuttal or assist your lawyer in mounting a proper defense is unconscionable. But then again, so is having a shooting ruled "justified" by eight or ten exempts who haven't even seen the inside of a beat car in decades, and then get dragged into a political maelstrom where the same guy who said "justified" months ago is suddenly driving a bus over your back.

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More Cameras

Remember, you're always on camera somewhere:
  • Dear SCC,

    I am informing you that a Department of Revenue ticketer came in my Northside neighborhood and as we spoke he stated he was equipped with a small covert body camera which he showed me. To this individuals credit he thought it was BS and wrong for him to do that. He stated that they have been instructed to activate this device if a city worker tries to get out of a ticket, argues or intimidates them. Look like the good old City of Chicago is trying jam even more coppers and city workers!
Nice how the sole instruction is to activate the camera "if a city worker tries to get out of a ticket, argues or intimidates them." Not other citizens who can't be suspended or fired, thereby saving Rahm pension money. Just city workers.

Do yourself a favor and park legally. Because the first one caught be these cameras is almost certainly going to be a copper parked by Traffic Court or at a bar or somewhere just "for a second" and the parking vultures are going to swoop in and the copper will be on the news and in front of the Board on some easily avoidable Rule violation.

Sorry, but we're cynical nowadays.


Please No

Rumor the other day:
  • Tina Skahill is back in some capacity
Someone please tell us this isn't so.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Who was the Chief of Patrol?

  • Even after Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson decides whether to fire 10 officers accused of covering up the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s investigation will continue to determine whether police brass were part of a code of silence.
Investigating the brass? Interesting:
  • On Oct. 21, 2014, the day after the shooting, an executive committee comprised of police brass watched the video. They saw Van Dyke empty his weapon, even though McDonald apparently posed no threat, with many of the shots fired while the teenager was already on the ground.

    Then-Police Supt. Garry McCarthy presided over that meeting, with members of his executive staff including then-First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger, then-Chief of Detectives John Escalante, then-Deputy Chief David McNaughton, the incident commander on the scene the night of the shooting who abruptly retired earlier this week, and others. Escalante also announced his retirement this week.
Gee whiz, that's quite the line-up. McCarthy (gone), Wysinger (gone), McNaughton (gone) and Escalante (gone).

The thing is, we can't believe that only four exempts participated in the meeting. When brass meet for something big, there's always eight or ten attending. It's usually the entire chain of command. If we remember correctly, it'd be something like this:
  • Supernintendo (McCarthy)
  • First Deputy (Wysinger)
  • Chief of Patrol
  • Deputy Chief of Patrol
  • Chief of Detectives (Escalante)
  • Area Chief Patrol
  • Area Chief Detectives
  • On Scene Incident Commander (McNaughton)
  • Commander of involved member
Guess what just hit the comment sections?
  • *This is just a rumor again* SCC, this is unf#ckingbelievable how this is unraveling in just days. CPD gets a message from the OIG saying to fire Gene Roy. CPD releases a statement announcing Gene's "age-related" retirement that same day. Too little too late. Last week Gene Roy was interrogated by the OIG. Friday Dan Herbert got an order from a judge to turn over the transcript of the interview. Roy was given a copy of a list of attendees at the post-shooting briefing after this incident and asked what each attendee said. It was an easy answer. Each attendee was asked by the chief of patrol and each attendee said "This shooting is justified." Eddie Johnson was an attendee. I REPEAT: EDDIE IS ON RECORD AS SAYING THIS WAS A JUSTIFIED SHOOTING. How the F%CK does this guy fire officers who did nothing more than appear on scene to appease the mayor? He thought this would save his girlfriend? F%CK YOU EDDIE. YOU ARE DONE. Hope you had a good time with the shortest term of a superintendent ever you dipsh*t. *This is just a rumor again*
  • Holy shit Eddie is F$&&@d! Sworn testimony from multiple sources that Superintendent Johnson as Deputy Chief determined after viewing the video Van Dyke was justified. Either Eddie fires himself or this just went off the rails.
Oh yeah....the Chief of Patrol is always involved in these meetings.


And who was the Chief of Patrol?

So Roy and Special Ed were at this meeting, too? And they gave the shooting a "justified" rendering? Anyone see a tiny little problem here? Or is everyone seeing a giant f#$%ing issue with this?


Lovely Weekend is still totaling the body count, but as of this evening, it stood at 8 dead and 48 wounded with about two hours to go.

We're thinking that those 200 arrests the Department was making missed a few of the bad guys.

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Good Question

Missed this one earlier last week, but it's a fair question:
  • The lawyer for the Chicago police officer charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald fired his first legal salvo at the prosecution case, asking Cook County prosecutors Thursday to specify how his client acted "without legal authority" when he shot McDonald 16 times.

    In the filing, attorney Daniel Herbert noted that the law gave Officer Jason Van Dyke "the authority to use force, including deadly force, in situations including but not limited to making an arrest and preventing escape."

    Herbert also asked prosecutors in the filing to identify "the particular shot or shots which killed Laquan McDonald."
As we understand it, this could make the First Degree murder charge to be invalid, something legal experts, lawyers and court watchers have said is probable, given the lack of premeditation.

This gives rise to the very real possibility we're seeing a Chicago version of Baltimore - overcharge to a political end to defuse a heated situation on the streets.

Chicago also risks a Baltimore-like backlash.

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ISP Shooting

  • An Illinois State Police trooper shot and wounded a teenager in a stolen car Saturday evening after its driver attempted to run the trooper over, according to state police.

    Troopers on Saturday evening had been pursuing the vehicle, which was reported stolen at gunpoint in Chicago earlier in the day.

    The chase lasted until about 6:50 p.m., when the vehicle stopped in traffic on the Chinatown feeder ramp.

    State police approached it, at which point the driver attempted to run over a trooper, according to police.

    The trooper fired shots at the vehicle, which continued to drive away. The trooper was "fearing for his life," according to a statement from state police.
Some "good Samaritan" spotted the young 15-year-old scamp fleeing the scene and offered him a lift to Stroger where he was arrested. Two weapons were also recovered.

There are going to be a bunch of comparisons to the recent CPD shooting, but remember, these are two different agencies. We don't know the ISP policy and if it is more in line with State Law as opposed to being more restrictive as CPD is.

In any event, nice job by the trooper.


VRI Threats

So, anyone eager to work VRI?
  • I really screwed up and want to explain what happened. I have just under 6 years on the job. I put in to work for VRI Labor Day weekend forgetting about the FOP asking us not to work. I called to cancel the day I was given (never got one before). I was told I would be suspended from the program for 6 months and a CR issued. I was told the City implemented this policy for only the Labor Day weekend. Is this for real or a scare tactic. No one from FOP called me back yet. If I end up working I plan to donate all my earnings for the day to the Chaplains Ministry.
A six month suspension for canceling with more than adequate notice? Sounds like the city is changing the rules in the middle of the game. Again.

Is there a way to grieve this so officers can get suspended for the six months, grieve it, win it as an unfair labor practice, then get paid for six months of VRI (three days per month, 18 days at time-and-one-half) for all the days you should have gotten? That would be a bit over $5,000 for not even working a single day.


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