Friday, April 18, 2014

Here Comes the Warm

We imagine one guy in particular isn't going to be sleeping much this weekend:
  • Friday - 54 degrees
  • Saturday - 62 degrees
  • Sunday - 71 degrees
And a whole mess of mid-to-high 60's after that.

We suppose that if we can keep it down to 30 shootings,  McCompStat will claim a 17% reduction in shootings over the same time period from last week - and the media will print it.

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That Was Quick

These bottom-feeders are "sure-thing" operators - they don't lose often at all:
  • A federal lawsuit on Thursday accused five police officers from Chicago and Glenview of conspiring to lie under oath at a court hearing late last month, only to be caught by a judge after a video taken from a squad car contradicted their testimony.

    One of the Chicago narcotics officers had asked the two Glenview officers to turn off their video cameras so the traffic stop would not be recorded, but one of the officers failed to do so, according to the lawsuit.

    The lawsuit alleged that the incident – first reported in the Tribune on Tuesday -- exposed a broader “policy and practice” by Chicago police “to pursue wrongful convictions in drug cases through untruthful testimony.”

    “The biggest casualty in the war on drugs is the truth,” attorney Jon Loevy told reporters at a press conference at his Near West Side office.
Not good....and not getting better.

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Another $100 Million?

For a library that doesn't exist yet, hasn't even been awarded as a construction project:
  • An Illinois state House panel on Thursday advanced a plan championed by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, to appropriate $100 million in state funds to help finance the construction of President Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum in Chicago.

    The panel voted unanimously after a hearing in Chicago where rival institutions angling for the facility all agreed it should be in the city; just where is the point of disagreement.

    The measure now advances to the floor of the state House. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said “there is no firm plan to advance this bill immediately.”

    While there have been some objections over the cash-strapped state of Illinois putting money toward an Obama library since Madigan announced his $100 million plan, no one testified against the state spending.
A state billions of dollars in debt and full of morons who can't wait to deify a president who, quite frankly, hasn't done much for Illinois in particular and Chicago specifically.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Nice Catch Officers

  • Seven people, including two firefighters and a police officer, were hurt Tuesday evening in a fire in the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side.

    Emergency crews responded about 6:10 p.m. to the two-story frame building in the 11600 block of South Michigan Avenue, according to Larry Langford, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

    Two police officers were in the area about 6 p.m., when they saw people trapped on the second floor of the building, said Officer Hector Alfaro, a police spokesman. The officers told a 15-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy to break a window and jump down into their arms.
  • The smoke was too strong for them to get inside the house, but the two Chicago police officers heard children screaming for help from the top floor.

    “At that time, it was just, ‘We've got to figure out something to do to get the kids,'” said Officer Kevin Tate, who spotted the fire while on patrol Tuesday evening on the Far South Side and sped to the scene with his partner, Officer Samanthia Smith.

    With the help of a couple of neighbors, Smith and Tate coaxed the 8- and 15-year-old boys to jump from a second-story window and into their arms.
A speedy recovery to all involved. Nice job Officers.

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Joravsky Adds it Up

From what we read, Rahm has over $1.7 Billion-with-a-B sitting in TIF funds that he uses to "reward" those who donate to him politically. That's enough for TWO pension balloon payments - and the FOP better make every effort to make sure that's EXACTLY where the money goes:
  • As we all prepare for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax hike to pay off billions of dollars in pension obligations, I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane to a not-so-distant era when our leaders acted like we didn't have a care in the world.

    The year was 2004—and what a glorious time it was!
"Glorious" if you were in with Shortshanks.
  • ...the city spent more than $250 million to build a[n underground train station at Block 37 at Randolph and State] ...it will probably never use. 
  • ...Millennium Park ... cost about $280 million in tax increment financing money
  • ...hotel-motel [tax] money ... in 2001 Mayor Daley had earmarked $360 million ... to rebuild Soldier Field
  • ... $57.8 million in an arbitration award for violating the LLC Parking Garage agreement
  • The Daley administration then spent about $22 million to buy space in a Streeterville skyscraper for the Park District's central office
  • TIF subsidies Mayor Daley doled out during those glory years to the likes of MillerCoors, Grossinger Auto, and United Airlines, to name but a few.  
  • Then, in 2008, the final year the Central Loop TIF district was operating, Daley went on one last binge, spending about $365 million.
Joravsky notes, "Man, it would be nice to have that money right about now for those pension obligations." but also notes that Rahm's recent expenditures for a Marriott Hotel and DePaul stadiummay rival the Block 37 debacle in short order.

Joravsky also takes apart Rahm's TIF "reform" efforts in a separate article. Rahm isn't broke. Chicago isn't broke. The system of checks-and-balances might be broken along with the oversight of taxpayer money. Keep this in mind if some half-assed agreement comes down the pike.

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    TIF Slush Fund Garners Contributions

    Another in a recent series of articles that points the spotlight at how TIF funds are used to reward connected companies and screw taxpayers out of actual capital projects - and pension funding:
    • [...] Chicago is facing a pension shortfall for its police officers, firefighters, teachers and other municipal workers. If you've followed this story, you've probably heard that the only way Mayor Rahm Emanuel can deal with the situation is to slash those workers' pensions and to jack up property taxes on those who aren't politically connected enough to have secured themselves special exemptions.

      This same fantastical story, portraying public employees as the primary cause of budget crises, is being told across the country. Yet, in many cases, we're only being told half the tale. We aren't told that the pension shortfalls in many locales were created because local governments did not make their required pension contributions over many years. And perhaps even more shocking, we aren't told that while states and cities pretend they have no money to deal with public sector pensions, many are paying giant taxpayer subsidies to corporations -- subsidies that are often far larger than the pension shortfalls.
    Go read it all. It's like the alternative media finally discovered they have an investigative set of balls.

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    Casino Meeting - City Missing

    Rahm is bound and determined to gut the pensions and raise property taxes instead of even considering a casino that might actually assist in solving the problem:
    • They said it could be “the largest casino in the world.”

      A “jewel” in Chicago’s skyline.

      Or an idea whose “day was yesterday.”

      Tourism boosters, corruption fighters, religious leaders and gaming lobbyists all had their say Wednesday on a proposal for a massive state-owned Chicago casino that could dwarf all others in Illinois. State lawmakers listened to their testimony during a day-long hearing held conveniently across the street from City Hall.

      But Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s staff skipped the hearing — where City Hall loomed through a sixth-floor window in the Michael A. Bilandic Building — and instead told the Chicago Sun-Times “the mayor does not believe it is appropriate to talk about gaming until we have addressed pension reform.”
    God forbid actually tapping a new revenue stream from out-of-towners, tourists and conventioneers that could alleviate the mess Rahm inherited but seems determined to exploit to the detriment of anyone who isn't a connected construction firm or connected casino investor. This is the asshole we're supposed to be "negotiating" with.

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    Gee, Ya Think?

    • Smoking marijuana even just a few times a week may change your brain, according to a study co-authored by a Northwestern University professor.

      The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, reported that young adults who use marijuana on a casual basis show significant structural changes in key regions of the brain affecting emotion and decision-making.

      “These are brain regions you don’t want to mess with — period,” said Dr. Hans Breiter, a co-author of the study. Breiter is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

    And just what parts of the brain are affected?
    • In the marijuana subjects, the parts of the brain that regulate emotion (the amygdala) and influence decision-making (the nucleus accumbens) were “grossly rewired,” according to Breiter, who’s also a psychiatrist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital..

      “Even casual use of marijuana can change the brain circuits that change the way you feel and change the way you make decisions, “ said Dr. T. Celeste Napier, professor in the pharmacology and psychiatry departments and director of the Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction at Rush University Medical Center.
    And the scientists are just discovering this now? How about asking any copper on the street how weed effects those we see smoking it day in and day out? Short circuiting behavioral and decision making processes - golly!

    It sure would have been nice to have this study released as states move toward legalizing marijuana.

    Oh, and when someone tells you, "the science is settled" regarding anything like marijuana or the origins of the universe or even, say, climate science, point to this study after someone "in the know" says weed is no more dangerous than alcohol.

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    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Rule 14 - On Tape and Under Oath

    • The dramatic revelation that five officers had allegedly lied on the witness stand in a Skokie drug case, has called into question dozens of other cases which the officers have pending.

      The Cook County State's Attorney's office will only say it is reviewing the matter, but privately, authorities are clearly concerned about a case which fell apart, when the officers were confronted with a video which contradicted their sworn testimony.

      That moment came two weeks ago, when the officers, three from Chicago and two from Glenview, testified in the case of a drug suspect named Joseph Sperling.

      "All five officers were telling the same story word for word," said defense lawyer Steven Goldman. "They were caught in a lie."

      The officers testified that they pulled Sperling over under the pretense of a traffic stop, asked for his license and insurance, allowed him to exit his vehicle and walk to the rear, then removed a duffel bag containing marijuana. Only then, they said, did they arrest and cuff him.

      But Goldman confronted the fifth officer with the squad car video, which clearly showed the officers approaching Sperling's car and immediately taking him out of the car and putting him in handcuffs. Only then did they begin searching, finding the bag in the back seat.
    This was something out of a television show - a genuine "GOTCHA!" moment that defense lawyers usually only dream about. But they got it in this case, hands down. We have a hard time believing the prosecutors didn't have some sort of heads-up once the defense subpoenaed the Glenview in-car-cameras. That should have been a clue that something was up. Espeically in this age of cameras everywhere - traffic, red light, cell phones, squad cars, body cameras, Google-Glass, etc. And if they did have a heads-up, why didn't it come up in prep?

    Regardless, this one is going to reverberate for years. A Rule 14 violation is a bitch. Every single case that these coppers are involved in - as arresting officers, assisting officers, affiants on search warrants, inventory officers - is now in question. Every single piece of paper with their name on it can become suspect, even an innocuous To-From as a witness to a CR. And the sergeant involved? Defense attorneys are going to bury the city in a blizzard of paper for everything with his name on it - even such mundane things as Supervisor Logs that might show a car is supposedly logged at a certain location calls into question entire investigations.

    In the most extreme cases, a sustained Rule 14 means a minimum of 7 years not even being able to sign a simple case report, a traffic violation, or a parking ticket - your word is no good under oath and the City isn't about to put you on the stand for anything. They'll dismiss or settle in an instant. Charlie Williams wanted to fire everyone with a sustained Rule 14 on their record around ten years ago - he said it was around 150-to-200 coppers and he was seriously pursuing it until told to stop by certain connected persons.

    This is going to be ugly.

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    Wow, Just Wow

    Vanecko got out of jail this week. But we didn't see any media coverage on this - maybe we missed it:
    • The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed criminal defense attorney Marc William Martin to an 11th Subcircuit vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Carol A. Kelly.

      Martin's appointment is effective May 1 and terminates on December 5, 2016.

      Martin has been an attorney in Illinois since 1987. Martin was most recently in the news as one of the attorneys for Richard Vanecko, a nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Koschman.
    How very....unexpected? Surprising?

    Typical?

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    Exempt Moves?

    Someone said they move some people around?

    Garry getting all his pieces on the board before summer evidently.

    Any dumps? Or did everyone move up again? Funny thing about that - we remember more than a few dumps under Weis, but not so much under this guy.

    It's almost like he isn't really running the Department.

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    The Paradox

    Once again, the most observant readers:
    • The FBI says "You cant arrest your way out of the crime problem" and McCarty says "We need tougher guns laws to lock up the bad guys." Our leaders don't have a clue on how to fight crime. 
    We'll drink to that.

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    By His Own Words

    In regard to the latest Missing File scandal:
    • Chief Tracy said...More than one occurrence is a pattern, right Garry?
    Well, that is what he (and McJerseyShore) says at CompStat whenever the number crunchers find two robberies in a half-mile radius and they rip the shit out of some tongue-tied gold star, isn't it? Not that we feel for the exempt - they know what they signed up for and they get paid to eat shit. But it's funny how that comes around, isn't it?

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    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    More Missing Files?

    Where there's smoke, there's fire....and something is burning fierce:
    • A police lieutenant at the heart of the missing-files mystery in the David Koschman case was involved in another death investigation in which police records went missing.

      The Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division questioned Lt. Denis P. Walsh last year about missing documents in the death of Jason Stangeland — two years after IAD interviewed Walsh about the missing Koschman files, according to records and sources.


    • Walsh is among nine officers who were involved in both the Koschman and Stangeland cases, records show.
    Nine coincidences? Who's yanking our legs on this one?

    Nine?

    It certainly seems that there was a concerted effort on the part of a core group of people to manipulate and who knows what else deaths in the entertainment district. We don't see a political angle on this like the Vanecko case, but once again, a bar altercation resulting in a delayed death and files gone missing. Chicagoans are entitled to ask, "What the fuck?"

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    Never Fear! The Feebs Are Here!

    • Chicago’s “ingrained” gang culture is to blame for homicide rates far higher than other large U.S. cities, FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday.

      Speaking a day after one of the city’s warmest and bloodiest weekends so far this year, Comey said gang values went back decades in Chicago, but he warned “you can’t arrest your way to a healthier neighborhood.”
    We'd like to see them try though - one of the problems is Illinois gives day-for-day credit in prison. 6-to-10 becomes 3-to-5 with startling regularity. That needs to end. Another is the inordinately amount of time from arrest-to-trial-to-imprisonment. What good is 10 years downstate if it's already going to be 5 and the first 2.5 are served in Cook Conty jail waiting? There's no "rehabilitation," all the old crew is in there with you, all the old contacts and influences. These are local problems, not really on the FBI radar and certainly not addressable by them.

    The Director did make this observation:
    • Asked why Chicago has failed to cut homicide levels as successfully as New York and Los Angeles, Comey told reporters,“Chicago has a larger and more ingrained and sophisticated street gang structure than many American cities.”

      [...] “They’re old, they’re embedded in a part of the culture in this city, and it’s an enormous challenge,” Comey said.
    "embedded"? In many cases, since the early 1900's in fact, the gangs are part and parcel of the political structure - and this is something that the FBI can and should address. Political corruption on a massive scale in Chicago, comparable only to New Orleans and parts of New Jersey. The gangs own numerous aldercreatures, even today. And in other cases, the aldercreatures obtain tax-breaks for Outfit chop-shops. Those are things that the FBI ought to be looking at to break the cycle of corruption. That's where they can make a difference.

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    This Kind of Sums it Up

    From a reader:
    • Try N. Tofigure-Itout said...

      So, when we have a "good" weekend with low shot/kill #s, it's because of his ingenious and innovative strategies.

      When we have the more common "bad" weekends with high shot/killed #s, it's the law's fault.

      Hmm. Weren't the laws the same during the "good" weekends?
    Exactly.

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    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Blame the Gun Laws?

    • At least 36 people have been shot, four of them killed, and one person was stabbed in Chicago violence since Friday, officials said.

      The most recent weekend homicide took place around 2:40 a.m. Sunday when a 32-year-old man was fatally shot in the chest.
    But the tragi-comical part was this quote from our fearless leader:
    • In a statement, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said: "While Chicago continues to see reductions in crime and violence, there's obviously much more work to be done and we continue to be challenged by lax state and federal gun laws. Through our police strategies, the City's strengthened investments in youth violence prevention, and a close partnership with residents and community leaders, no one will rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety."
    Well Gar, your "reductions in crime" have been shown to be statistical manipulation of the highest order.

    Your "police strategies" of doing-more-with-less has led to overtime bills that dwarf any in previous Chicago history as the Department has to spend more on less coverage.

    Your blaming gun laws is pathetic as crime rates drop everywhere except Chicago in relation to increased gun ownership, though we hope Chicago will be catching up with that trend as Concealed Carry takes hold and gun ownership grows.

    And your hope that "everyone...enjoys the same sense of safety" seems to mean that everyone experiences the despair and terror of the ghetto as wilding explodes across the business districts, drug dealing moves to all the outlying neighborhoods, and burglaries, thefts and robberies abound in areas stripped of police protection.

    Congratulations - you and Rahm managed to do less with less and at a greater cost than ever before.

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    I'm Tax Exempt

    • Nahshon Shelton didn’t want to pay the 22-cent tax on his $1.79 two-liter of Pepsi on Saturday afternoon, Chicago Police said.

      So he allegedly pulled a blue-steel Intratec .22-caliber submachine gun out of his Gucci satchel inside the convenience store in the 4000 block of West Madison Street where they tried to make him pay it — and he threatened to kill everyone there, a prosecutor said.

      This “is my neighborhood, I’m tax exempt!” he would later allegedly tell the cops. “Man, you know what, I’ll keep it real. I had to put them in their place.”
    Because gangsters always carry their heaters in Gucci satchels. How much do you think he paid in taxes on the Gucci?

    He did get one thing right in a manner of speaking though - he's definitely a tax drain. We doubt he's paid anything near what he's managed to drain in his 36-year existence.

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    Smart Phones and Meters

    Anyone downtown know anything about this? Sounds like something cops should know, not just in the classier parts of town either:
    • For all you beat cops that like to check the meters in 001 and 018 and everywhere else get ready,

      The pay by phone program goes live next week.

      Supposedly there is an app on the city issued smartphones you will be required to use before you can just issue a ticket for Expired Meter.
    Here's the app site - we can't imagine citizens leaving their phones on the dashboard with the meter info - they'd bake in the summer sun - or disappear. We haven't heard anything about "city issued smartphones" though - can such a thing exist?  We scanned the Expired Meter.com site but didn't see anything last night.Sounds interesting to say the least, but how to pull it off?

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    Homicide Quilt

    • Lindsay Evans’ eyes gravitated to the lower end of the 4-foot-by-6-foot piece of fabric, where the names were so abundant in some neighborhoods that they were stitched on top of each other in a barely legible confluence of Chicago’s violence.

      “You can see the hurt and confusion in it,” said Evans, 26, a graphic-design student from Philadelphia.

      Hers is the desired reaction for the group of artists who created “Untitled (Homicide Quilt),” a quilted map of Chicago with the names of each of the city’s homicide victims from last year stitched into the neighborhood where a life ended.
    Is it wrong for us to hear tomorrows weather report of rain mixed with snow and a 40 degree temperature drop and think to ourselves, "Damn, that quilt looks warm - it'd be nice to sleep under that tonight." And the fact that most of the names on that quilt are currently enjoying the balmy confines of Hell just make it feel all the warmer.

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    Sunday, April 13, 2014

    Down, I Tell You, Down!

    • Two people were shot to death and 14 others were wounded in city shootings from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.
    • Three people were injured in separate shootings on the south and northwest sides, police said.
    We confess, we are amused that the Tribune has taken it upon themselves to specifically say "Three people injured in separate shootings..." We suppose that they've realized every number that came out of HQ for the past 3 years was, of course, horseshit, and they look like morons reporting it.

    The Sun Times shooting map is filling up nicely - and by nicely, we mean every single shooting was south of Chicago Avenue and East of Cicero as of yesterday.

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    Porter Case Going National

    We'd say the so-called "Innocence Project" is a textbook study in how not to handle capital murder cases:
    • One of the guidelines of liberal propaganda is that if you are going to lie, lie big.  Global warming, Obamacare, Romney’s a heartless guy. It might be time to add to the list the famous Anthony Porter exoneration in Chicago in 1999.

      Not only is Porter likely guilty of the double murder he was initially charged with, an innocent man therefore sits in an east central Illinois prison serving a 37-year sentence. His probable framing was largely orchestrated by a since-discredited “journalism” professor and his students at Northwestern University, a cowed prosecutor’s office in Cook County, and a Chicago media that enabled the whole charade.
    And the Sun Times lobs another few shells into the exploding mess:
    • At the heart of the memo, obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, is an explosive allegation that’s never been made public.

      The memo alleges that the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop the murder case against Porter and charge Alstory Simon — who made a videotaped confession to the murders — was a “political” one.

      “A political decision was made that this case should be put to rest because it caused too much publicity against the imposition of the Death Penalty, caused great doubt about the validity of death penalty punishment for mentally challenged individuals and incited a significant amount of negative press concerning Death Row reversals,” the memo said.
    So for the pure sake of political expedience, Porter was released, and whether by accident of design, Governor Ryan had his opportunity to show his true RINO colors and suspend the death penalty. We know ASA's and the States Attorney himself are immune from prosecution and punitive damages, but is Preckwinkle's bailiwick liable for putting the innocent replacement "offender" in prison? This part is ridiculous:
    • Then-Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Gainer Jr. presided over a grand jury in 1999 that was convened to reinvestigate the murders and the circumstances surrounding Simon’s confession.

      [...] On Sept. 7, 1999, Simon appeared before Judge Thomas Fitzgerald to enter his guilty plea. The judge asked about the evidence that prosecutors would have presented if the case had gone to trial.

      Gainer, the prosecutor, said he would have presented testimony about Simon’s confession and his wife’s statement implicating him.

      He also said he would have presented four witnesses who saw people in the bleachers and heard gunshots.

      But Gainer did not tell the judge that the witnesses were favorable to Simon and implicated Porter.
    Some people ought to be disbarred over this.

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    Amended Detective List

    Tracy Ladner's ghost strikes again:
    • 050 - Alexander-Fallo, J
    • 006 - Armstrong , D
    • 010 - Avolos, J
    • 177/123 - Bartik,R
    • 017 - Berg, D
    • 017 - Bosch, M
    • 606 - Branch, M
    • 011 - Bryja, J
    • 017 - Byerly, T
    • 025/606 - Calle, D
    • 025 - Campos, M
    • 022 - Carroll, E
    • 114 - Collins, T
    • 001 - Connolly, J
    • 011 - Curran Jr, T
    • 313 - Cygnar, B
    • 192 - DiPasquale, G
    • 015 - Duignan, M
    • 312 - Granat, A
    • 312 - Hayman, P
    • 311 - King, L
    • 606 - Levigne, W
    • 011/193 - Lopez, J
    • 024 - Manaois, A
    • 018 - McCarthy, J
    • 015/213 - McDermott, D
    • 009 - McKEndry, B
    • 121/002 - McLaughlin, B
    • 007/120 - Montelongo, R
    • 003 - Moore, A
    • 024 - Nickeas, S
    • 191 - Olson, T
    • 116 - Padalino, N
    • 022/166 - Pilarczyk, J
    • 019 - Pokuta, M
    • 010/606 - Shalabi, M
    • 012/166 - Siergiej, J
    • 019 - Smith, W
    • 192 - Thomas, H
    • 008 - Torres, P
    • 009 - Trotman, R
    • 009 - Wathen, V
    • 005 - Williams, S
    • 019 - Whicher, A
    • 002/231 - Wooley, C
    • 353 - Yurisich, D
    Congrats to the new crew.

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    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Poetic Justice and Amazing Stupidity

    • An infant was wounded when the car it was in fled police officers who saw someone inside firing a gun in Humboldt Park late Friday, police said.

      The boy is in stable condition. He was taken to Lurie Children's Hospital, police said. Police found a revolver in the car.

      A baby bottle sat next to a flannel shirt among other debris from the crash. The hood of the car had a light-pole sized dent in the front of the hood.
    Reporter Peter Nickeas does it again, describing a crime scene with the little details that really end up standing out when cops observe it.

    The story goes on:
    • The car caught fire after the crash and police pulled a number of the occupants out. At least one had to be cut out by firefighters, who removed a door that sat leaning against a currency exchange.
    And the Grand Finale!
    • A male driver, two female passengers and the infant child were in the car when it wrecked. The male driver of the car was pronounced dead after the crash at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said. Police were behind the car when it crashed.
    Great date night - grab baby's momma, her best girl, and bring along junior to show him the ropes while you go out and bust a few caps and some Almighty Insane Unknown Traveling Dirtbag - in front of the police - and then wreck into a lamppost. Priceless.

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    Chop Shop Jackpot

    • Police said they have recovered more than 200 vehicles from a Southeast Side salvage yard that had been previously identified as stolen.

      Sources said that 245 vehicles recovered from the salvage yard at 3033 E. 106th St., were found to have been stolen and that many of them had been destroyed and were not intact. Officials said the vehicles were taken to the salvage yard to be stripped for parts and scrap.
    And again, this was a shop that an aldercreature got tax breaks for. We know politicians are crooks, and they aid and abet crooks all the time. But to actively subsidize them instead of letting them score their own graft? What is the world coming to?

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    One, No Wait, Four, No Wait, Eight Shot

    This is just a preliminary accounting of course. The real numbers will be adjusted as either more people turn up with bullets in them, or Denis Walsh finds a new pencil with a fresh eraser:
    • Two people were shot to death, another man is in critical condition with a head wound and at least seven other people were wounded in Friday night shootings.
    The Sun Times has provided a new feature for keeping track of shootings:
    We don't know about you, but this is going to be amazingly helpful in deciding  how to plan our weekend family outings and avoid traffic tie-ups and brass/lead debris in the roadways - we certainly hope they make an app out of it for our smart phone.

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    Unavoidably Detained

    As happens occasionally in our line of work.

    Posts will be up shortly.

    Open post for the moment.

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    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Nice Neighborhood Rahm

    • A man was robbed early Thursday morning around the corner from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home on the North Side, Chicago Police said.

      The 29-year-old man was walking on the sidewalk in the 1700 block of West Berteau Avenue at 5:45 a.m. when a man got out of a white van, implied he had a weapon, and demanded the victim’s backpack, according to police.

      The victim, who is hearing-impaired, gave the man his backpack and the robber got back into his van and drove away, police said.
    We know that there are at least two and as many as four squads, marked and unmarked, parked within spitting distance of the Rahm homestead - spitting distance so Rahm can gob on those who keep him safe at night. You'd think with that kind of presence, robberies might be at a minimum in the area, but we guess not.

    Earlier reports had the robbery across the street from Rahm's house. It's currently "around the corner." By next week, it'll be all the way in Evanston and no longer part of the CompStat equation.

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    Near North Non-Security

    From a reliable source, three Officers had their personal cars broken into while attending training at the Near North location. Many districts are putting up a "station security"car lately. 

    Perhaps if the city had actually planned ahead and build secure parking, this wouldn't be an issue, but open flat lots with a 3-foot-high perimeter fence isn't really "secure" by any stretch of the imagination - and Near North has none of that.

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    Olympic Disaster

    • Amid growing concerns that Brazil might not be ready to host the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, Olympic officials have launched a series of emergency measures to jump-start the much-delayed preparations.

      This latest effort follows months of sluggish construction, labor strife and governmental chaos in the host country.

      “We believe that Rio can and will deliver an excellent Games if the appropriate actions are being taken now,” Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said at a Thursday news conference.
    As corrupt as Rio is, we imagine Shortshanks wouldn't have given them a run for the money if he managed to land this quadrennial financial disaster.

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    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    40 Detectives

    Must be promotion season - post it if you got it.

    UPDATE: Congratulation to the new Detectives:
    • 050 - Alexander-Fallo, J
    • 006 - Armstrong , D
    • 010 - Avolos, j
    • 177/123 = Bartik, r
    • 017 - Berg, D
    • 017 - Bosch, M
    • 606 - Branch, M
    • 011 - Bryja, J
    • 017 - Byerly, T
    • 025/606 - Calle, D
    • 025 - Campos, M
    • 022 - Carroll, E
    • 114 - Collins, T
    • 001 - Connolly, J
    • 011 - Curran Jr, T
    • 192 - DiPasquale, G
    • 015 - Duignan, M
    • 312 - Granat, A
    • 606 - Levigne, W
    • 011/193 - Lopez, J
    • 024 - Manaois, A
    • 018 - McCarthy, J
    • 015/213 - McDermott, D
    • 009 - McKEndry, B
    • 121/002 - McLaughlin, B
    • 003 - Moore, A
    • 024 - Nickeas, S
    • 191 - Olson, T
    • 116 - Padalino, N
    • 022/166 - Pilarczyk, J
    • 019 - Pokuta, M
    • 012/166 - Siergiej, J
    • 019 - Smilth, W
    • 192 - Thomas, H
    • 008 - Torres, P
    • 009 - Trotman, R
    • 009 - Wathen, V
    • 019 - Whicher, A
    • 002/231 - Wooley, C
    • 353 - Yurisich, D
    Eight years? Or nine? Long time waiting ladies and gents.

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    Closer....Closer....

    • South Side rapper Blood Money, who had collaborated with his cousin Chief Keef, was shot and killed Wednesday night in West Englewood.

      Mario Hess – also known as Blood Money – was just signed by Interscope Records about two weeks ago, according to his manager and cousin, Renaldo Reuben Hess.
    So once again, Chicago is deprived of a south side noisemaker who died the way he preached - at the barrel of a gun promoting disrespect and violence.

    In the meantime, eight others were wounded Wednesday in a violent five-hour stretch. And the Monday/Tuesday timeframe was nothing to brag about either.

    Crime is down!

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    Tentative Fire Contract

    Lots of comments popping up about this. Hopefully, there will be some info in the morning rags about what they got, what they lost and what they gave away - because it's going to affect the FOP Contract in more ways than we can imagine.

    UPDATE: Here's the initial report from the Sun Times.

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    Dean Meets Rahm

    One comment said the "breakfast" was a cup of coffee and all of 15 minutes. This is a lot of ink for a quarter-hour meeting:
    • Newly elected Fraternal Order of Police President Dean Angelo said Wednesday he’s hopeful he can work with the city to resolve the pension crisis and deliver a new contract for Chicago Police officers after breaking the ice with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

      Emanuel and Angelo met for breakfast Tuesday, their first face-to-face meeting since Angelo’s victory in a runoff election to replace ousted FOP President Mike Shields, who was a constant thorn in Emanuel’s side.

      The two men never talked about the retroactive pay raise that Angelo wants Emanuel to put back on the table as a show of good faith to rank-and-file police officers who don’t trust the mayor.
    Maybe if Rahm would come clean about his "1,000 Officers" lie and his lying Supernintendo and every other lie he's told to police, fire and taxpayers. Truth is an alien concept to this guy, as it is to most pols, and cops pretty much know when they're being bullshitted. No cop or fire fighter is ever going to "trust" Rahm - he's lied constantly. Angelo has to know this and we certainly hope he's trying to "look reasonable" before making Rahm look unreasonable.

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    Porter Still Guilty

    • The former chief of criminal prosecutions for Cook County is questioning whether his boss at the time, Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine, freed a convicted killer and put an innocent man behind bars for a double murder after failing to thoroughly review key evidence, according to a sworn affidavit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

      Thomas Epach Jr., a highly regarded retired prosecutor, wrote in the affidavit that Devine’s decisions were “highly unusual, if not unprecedented” in the case of Anthony Porter, who was convicted of a double murder in 1983 but whose conviction was thrown out 16 years later.
    You might think there was a thorough investigation of the so-called "confession," but you'd be mistaken:
    • In Epach’s affidavit, he said Devine decided to release Porter from prison less than two days after the media broadcast the videotaped confession of Simon.
    Two days, and Alstory Simon has been serving Porter's time for the past 15 years. What a fucked up system we have here.

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    Springfield Votes

    Someone was asking:
    Keep it handy - remember their votes.

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    Everyone Raising Taxes

    • Hoping to ward off another credit rating downgrade, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Wednesday that she will soon present a plan to reform the county’s underfunded pension system.

      And she’s leaving the door open to hiking property, sales and other taxes.

      When asked repeatedly about the possibility of tax increases, Preckwinkle responded: “We’re looking at all the options. Everything is on the table.”
    The democrats' solution to everything. Nothing ever on the "cut spending" side, always with the tax hikes. No wonder everyone is leaving.

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    Wednesday, April 09, 2014

    Joravsky and Friends Strike Again

    • On March 5 the City Council voted 46-3 to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to spend $55 million in property taxes on a new Marriott hotel in the South Loop—part of his ambitious development plan that also features a basketball arena for DePaul University.

      The vote followed a September decision by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, a state-city entity, to award Marriott the coveted contract to run the new hotel.

      Following the council vote, the mayor and his aides crowned themselves wizards of economic development. "The hotel will generate new taxes and jobs while supporting the area's planned revitalization," said Andrew Mooney, the city's planning commissioner.

      However, what the mayor and his aides didn't mention—and what has gone unreported until now—is that in the year leading up to the lucrative deal for Marriott, the hedge fund of one of Emanuel's largest campaign contributors bought millions of shares of stock in the hotel chain.

      That hedge fund, Citadel LLC, is run by billionaire Kenneth Griffin, whom Forbes last fall deemed the wealthiest man in Illinois. He is famous in the financial world for making a killing in high-frequency trading.
    Amazing how that works out, isn't it? But our pension funds languish as Rahm (and Daley before) fail to live up to their actuarial obligations. How about they slip a little "inside info" to the managers of the pension funds to take themselves off the hook? OR wouldn't that be legal/ethical? Not that it matters to these thieves.

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    Ball in Quinn's Court

    • Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s partial city pension overhaul cleared the Illinois General Assembly today, putting the measure in the hands of a skeptical Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.
      The Senate approved the city pension bill 31-23-2, hours after the House had done the same.

      The road to passage got much easier after the measure was changed to exempt state lawmakers from endorsing a property tax increase for Chicago, instead putting the pressure on Emanuel and the Chicago City Council to do so. The bill also would scale back the annual pension increases for retirees, meaning it could end up being challenged in court.
    We're pretty sure it's going to the Courts no matter what. The House cobbled together a veto-proof majority, but not the Senate. Quinn did manage to put Rahm on the spot with the proposed property tax increases. That's going to be Rahm's baby all the way - not Quinn's and not the Springfield crowd. This is going to run completely counter to Quinn's proposed property tax relief though, so no matter what happens, once again, property owners are going to be screwed.

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    Term Limit Support "Overwhelming"

    • A new poll released by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows there's very little opposition to term limits in Illinois.

      In fact, 61 percent of those polled strongly favor term limits for legislators, while only 17 percent either somewhat oppose or strongly oppose them.

      "Regardless of your position on term limits, it's clear the idea has support," said David Yepson, director of the institute. "If organizers are able to get the measure on the ballot — and it's not clear the courts will allow that — it should be easy for them to win approval."
    But for some odd reason, you'll never see this question on a ballot. It will literally take an Act of God.

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    Daley Crony Corruption?

    • Former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s deputy chief of staff admitted in court Tuesday that he cashed more than 150 large charity checks at a Chinatown restaurant then kept part of the money for himself.

      Gene Lee — a 65-year-old Chinatown community leader who for years was an aide to Daley — misused donations from major Chicago-area businesses including Comcast and McDonald’s, that were meant to be spent on Chinatown’s annual summer fair, he admitted.

      Pleading guilty to embezzlement and tax fraud, a contrite Lee repeated the phrase “Yes, your honor” dozens of time as he indicated to Judge John Darrah that he understood his rights and acknowledged that he cashed 161 charity checks worth a total of $132,000 at the unnamed restaurant.
    We can hardly believe that anyone associated with the former mayor would have anything to do with shady accounting practices. Especially in light of how scrupulously his own spouse ran her charity.

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