Sunday, December 31, 2006
- Politics - Local - a few more routine indictments, convictions or guilty pleas from City Hall. Fitzpatrick has landed his punches there. Look for a boatload of headlines concerning County government though. The Feds took truckloads of records out of the County Building in 2006 and no one has seen hide or hair of them since - the accountants must be busy.
- Politics - State - Ryan retrial? Probably. We'll also bet they screen potential jurors a lot more closely this time. How about a few Blago scandals? They're out there and they're brewing.
- Politics - National and International - Someone is going to bomb Iran. The only question is whether it's the US or the Israelis. If it doesn't happen in 07, it's happening in 08. Hillary and Obama will announce runs for the nomination. Both will fall behind to someone else. The Republican nomination is as murky as the Dems. Just for laughs, we'll predict someone will finally prove bin Laden is dead. Europe will continue it's slide into irrelevance as more and more muslims force an aging population into new depths of ridiculousness. There will be some sort of coup in North Korea and China will suffer some major internal problems.
- Sports - everyone in Chicago will suffer disappointment. Da Bears will fall a game short of the Superbowl; the Bulls will suffer a second round playoff defeat; the Blackhawks will lose in the first round of the playoffs; the Sox moves will be nowhere near enough; the Cubs will still suck and outdraw the Sox by thousands.
- Department - New Superintendent. We'll stick with our Maher prediction of last summer. We'll repeat last year's guess that Starks is leaving this year. Williams will be the new First. SOS will be renamed, but remain intact. Convictions will result in heavy prison time and Administrative firings for this scandal will total more than a dozen. Brennan will remain a useless "hiring monitor" and we'll see a series of exams for small unit spots (Marine, K9, ET, FTO again).
- General - the economy will keep going despite the democrats control of Congress. This will be a blessing and a curse for Republican hopes in 2008. We'll do another 2 million page views without breaking a sweat and still manage to have fun despite the threats of lawyers and various media types. Seiser will still run it.
- A routine traffic stop on the Northwest Side led to a big find by Chicago Police: more than 450 pounds of marijuana, authorities said Friday.
Jeffrey Populorum, 46, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on the 4500 block of West George Street about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when he ran a stop sign, said Grand Central District Sgt. Rich Sliva.
Officers pulled him over and saw and smelled marijuana in the truck, Sliva said.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Gee Whiz Toddler
- Cook County's beleaguered health bureau got a new leader Thursday, when County Board President Todd Stroger appointed his father's personal physician to the post.
- The Chicago Sun-Times last year identified Simon as the highest-paid Cook County employee living outside the county, making $391,550 and living in Richland, Mich.
Sergeants to Join FOP?
SecondCitySarge is covering the angles.
Join in here or there - good idea or bad? Since a large number of Sergeants are members of both lodges, there would seem to be quite a bit of dissatisfaction with the PBPA union. Thoughts?
Friday, December 29, 2006
TRR's to OPS?
What happened to the R&D copy? The Deputy Chief Copy? Does the District even keep a copy anymore?
Can someone explain this witch hunt going on?
UPDATE: We're reading the comments section and hearing that this is a paper saving move. And that OPS was always on the distribution list anyway. And som people really don't believe any of that. We're looking into it some more - but ONLY sending something to OPS doesn't seem to bode well for anyone involved in any Use of Force issues.
Saddam to be Executed Tonight
- An adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saddam would be executed before 6 a.m. Saturday, or 10 p.m. Friday EST. Also to be hanged at that time were Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, the adviser said.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Reader Predictions for 2007
- Local, State, National and International politics;
- Sports prognostications;
- Department predictions;
- General guesses.
New Years Plans
- The NFL announced late Monday that the Bears-Green Bay Packers game scheduled for noon Sunday at Soldier Field would be moved to 7:15 p.m. on WMAQ-Ch. 5.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
- Organized labor helped get Todd Stroger elected president of the Cook County Board, but now union leaders say they feel betrayed by Stroger's proposal to lay off thousands of their members to balance the county budget.
"There hasn't been a more loyal group to President Stroger than the labor community," said Dennis Gannon of the Chicago Federation of Labor. "I'm very concerned about this budget being balanced on the backs of hard-working men and women."
In a challenge to Stroger, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- the biggest union of county workers -- met with him last week and argued that cuts alone aren't enough. The union proposed that the county raise taxes -- something Stroger has said he won't do.
And here come the scare tactics that "crime may rise" if these budget cuts take effect:
- Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine says there is a risk that crime could go up if the county proceeds with some hefty budget cuts.
Devine said the 17 percent budget cuts requested by county officials mean hundreds of county prosecutors will have to be laid off.
As a result, Devine said, more plea bargains are likely to be offered to defendants, and special units of the state's attorney's office that handle such offenses as arson and financial crimes would have to be eliminated.
Budget cuts across the board and no raising taxes? We might have to give the Toddster a nod - if it actually takes effect (we aren't holding our breath though).
What is This All About?
- Police in the southern Illinois community of Fairview Heights closed a movie theater last night after a fight broke out and a crowd of about 150 people mobbed the lobby. Police say no one was injured in the incident, but one juvenile was arrested and later released.
Police did not know what triggered the fight.
It was one of a rash of fights at movie theaters across the state last night.
Chicago Police say three fights erupted at city movie theaters within minutes of each other.
The theaters were on the city's west and southwest sides.
Saddam to Swing?
- Iraq's highest court rejected Saddam Hussein's appeal Tuesday and said the former dictator must be hanged within 30 days for ordering the killing of scores of Shiite Muslims in 1982.
- An Iraqi appeals court has upheld the death sentence for Saddam Hussein, Iraq's national security adviser said Tuesday.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Gerald Ford, RIP
The "accidental President" served with quiet dignity. He will be missed.
- The number of homicides so far this year has surpassed last year's total, according to unofficial Chicago Police figures, but overall violent crime is continuing to drop.
As of Thursday, there were 452 murders in Chicago, up three from last year's total of 449, according to unofficial numbers from the Police Department. The increase reverses a four-year decline.
Just out of curiosity - if the Department is budgeted a certain number of spots - what happens to the money when they don't fill those spots? Can someone enlighten us?
As a side note, we are exploring the possibility of opening a competing body removal service that will only charge a base fee of $500 per body (almost a 50% savings for the City!) Additional charges will be levied based on the degree of decomposition. We will be hiring shortly - wagon experience preferred. Submit resumes to our e-mail.
What's Really Going on Here?
- The FBI failed to fully investigate information suggesting other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, allowing questions to linger more than a decade after the deadly attack, a congressional inquiry concludes.
The House International Relations investigative subcommittee will release the findings of its two-year-review as early as Wednesday, declaring there is no conclusive evidence of a foreign connection to the attack but that far too many unanswered questions remain.
The subcommittee's report will conclude there is no doubt McVeigh and Nichols were the main perpetrators, and it discloses for the first time that Nichols confirmed to House investigators he participated in the robbery of an Arkansas gun dealer that provided the proceeds for the attack.
This is one of those times. Just from what we've read on our own or learned about at various training sessions we've attended, the questions the Feebs should have been asking and the clues they should have been following up on never received a proper airing out. And their best witness to the entire event went to the death chamber a mere three months before 9/11. We don't think this makes us some wild eyed conspiracy nutcase, but rather coppers who see a bunch of things that don't seem to add up and who desire a more thorough accounting of everything that happened that day. And this two year investigation doesn't do it.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Griese Gets a Shot
Things that make you go "Hmmmm."
The Bears are looking to sweep the Division, we thought we heard for the second year running. Good for them. But why make the switch now, two games before the end of the year? Right before the playoffs? It's going to be an interesting week to see if Griese gets more snaps in practice and maybe a start against Green Bay next week.
ESPN also covers the controversy.
- A funeral was held Saturday for Willie Posey. Posey was the bodyguard and friend of Chicago Bear Tank Johnson. Many relatives attending the funeral spoke out against guns and violence.
More Obama Problems
- Political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko made a modest pitch to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama last year.
- Rezko recommended a 20-year-old student from Glenview for one of the coveted summer internships in Obama's Capitol Hill office.
- The student got the job and spent five weeks in Washington, answering Obama's front office phone and logging constituent mail.
Like we said before, this guy's 15 minutes were up 10 minutes ago. There is no way he stands up to the brutal spotlight of a national campaign, not to mention the dirty tricks already being planned by Hillary's people.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Dead Chicagoans Worth Weight in Gold
- Police call them the body snatchers, and their invasion from Ohio began in 2004 when a Dayton company called GSSP Enterprises Inc. won a city contract for the grim but necessary task of hauling thousands of Chicago's dead to the morgue.
- They recently rewarded the Dayton firm with a new five-year, $15.5 million deal that boosts the rate the city pays by 335 percent--to $915 from $210 for each body transported to the Cook County medical examiner's office from the scenes of murders, accidents, suicides and many natural deaths.
- That is far more than paid elsewhere in the nation for the same service, experts say. The Cook County Sheriff's Police, for example, pay $130 per body.
New Guns! But....
It's too much to hope that the Department would go back to a Double-Single configuration, but we've heard they might actually approve a .40 caliber weapon. We're sure one or more of our readers have some insight. Unfortunately, word has probably already leaked out to the various gun shops and they will have already added $150 to the price of the gun. We are also getting word that certain parties are resisting the implementation of a weapon mounted flashlight on a built in tactical rail. The fear is that officers will use the weapon mounted flashlight in place of their regular flashlights.
So let's get this straight - We're the police. We've gone through quite a bit of training. We qualify every year. We're finally getting the option to put an extra 100 rounds though our guns at Department expense for the first time ever. We're expected to make instantaneous life and death decisions at the drop of a hat. And the assumption is that we are going to wave our guns around at traffic stops, field interviews and maybe while pointing out a street sign in the dark to a lost tourist?
Actually, there might be a moron or two who does something like that. But it's overly sad that this Department has to stoop so low as to even consider that this might happen. And to counter act it, they have to kow-tow to a bunch of pencil pushing liability lawyers and mold an entire weapons system to the lowest common denominator.
What do the readers think? Is a built in tactical flashlight going to make you discard your stand alone flashlight, forget elementary gun safety and turn you into a drooling moron? Or is a tactical flashlight merely another tool in a long line of tools that this Department has ignored for decades to the detriment of officer safety and modern policing? (can you see which side of the issue we fall on?)
Democratic Over Reach Again
- U.S. Hispanic groups and activists on Thursday called for a moratorium on workplace raids to round up illegal immigrants, saying they were reminiscent of Nazi crackdowns on Jews in the 1930s.
- "This unfortunately reminds me of when Hitler began rounding up the Jews for no reason and locking them up," Democratic Party activist Carla Vela said. "Now they're coming for the Latinos, who will they come for next?"
Thanks to TexasRainmaker for the story.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Once Again, Two Sets of Rules
- Mayor Richard Daley is under fire for not firing a top city official who admitted to rigging exams to get a job for a son of a top union official.
A long time friend and political ally of the Daleys is on the job as the Mayor's Deputy Planning Commissioner at $129,000 a year, even though he admittedly broke the law by fixing a hiring exam.
- That's despite the fact that Kozicki, testifying with a grant of immunity from the Feds, admitted during the trial of Daley Patronage Chief Robert Sorich that he rigged a hiring exam so Andy Ryan,the unqualified 19-year-old son of a union boss, could get a job as a city building inspector.
The mayor's advisors claim that he hasn't been fired because the Feds have advised the city not to penalize cooperating witnesses. But he had to be forced to cooperate and given a grant of immunity from the feds to give an honest testimony.
Dyslexic Hit Man?
- A new theory in last month's slaying of a suburban plumbing company owner took shape Friday. It now looks like a mob hit with a tragic twist.
- The Chicago Crime Commission suspects the hit man went to the wrong house and killed an innocent man.
- [Lawyer] Alex Salerno said there is no reason anyone would want to kill his client. He added that the botched hit theory is ridiculous. Salerno says he's defended people in a number of murder cases and finds it unlikely that a professional hit man would make such a dumb mistake.
Sporadic Christmas Posting
We will be posting through Christmas and beyond. No worries there. But due to the large number of holiday obligations, the regularly schedule posting times might be a bit off. We're sure our readers are in the same boat and visit will be sporadic as well - or at least we hope everyone is putting family first over and above this website.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Is This Really a Surprise?
- An owner of Ice Bar -- the site of the slaying of Chicago Bear Tank Johnson's bodyguard -- once invested in a mob-tied casino and is the daughter of an associate of Outfit boss Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo.
Bar owner Anna Marie Amato also pleaded guilty to a felony drug possession case in 2005 but under the special probation she received, she did not have a felony conviction entered on her record, allowing her to keep her liquor license, according to court records and a city spokeswoman.
And then Thursday's article on the Channel 2 website about a copper hurt in a high rise fire. We heard that three cops went to get checked out, but only one went by ambulance. Everyone is supposed to be ok though.
Be careful out there.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Who is this Goof?
- A former Chicago policeman has now written a book called: "Brotherhood of Corruption." It details how cops can go bad. Mark Suppelsa has the story you can only see on Fox.
Anyone Hear About This?
Of course, it's a load of bullshit.
According to the letter, after a certain Deputy Superintendent put the onus for poor response times on OEMC and dispatchers, the staff at 9-1-1 has been playing everything by the book. This led to a number of hurt feelings so the Deputy Superintendent made an appearance and told the dispatch roll calls that he had been misunderstood and misquoted. It WASN'T the dispatchers fault at all - it was all the fault of the Field Sergeants who couldn't supervise adequately enough.
For our money, we're still sticking with the manpower shortage theory, but what do we know?
We'd love to see the boys and girls over at Chicago Dispatchers or the LetsTalkChiTown blogs let us know what was actually said at this roll call. And we would REALLY like to see what SecondCitySarge has to say about all this. Are Sergeants truly the source of all RAP's and evil within the Department?
Darwinism Strikes Again
- Rescue teams gave up any hope of finding two missing climbers alive on stormy Mount Hood and abandoned the frustrating, 9-day-old search Wednesday at the request of the men's families.
- [Local Sheriff] Wampler said the men's families made the decision to end the search as yet another snowstorm barreled in.
ComEd Rate Hikes
- Electric bills are going up for Commonwealth Edison customers. The utility got permission Wednesday to raise rates more than 20 percent. That increase takes effect in January. The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the increase Wednesday. Last month, lawmakers in Springfield defeated a proposal to block the increase.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Was the Ball Dropped on DNA Test?
- Could a woman's life have been saved if Chicago police and the state police crime lab worked more quickly to match DNA from a murder scene to a suspect? That's one of the questions being asked after we learned it took more than six weeks for a cable repairman's DNA to be analyzed. Late Tuesday afternoon, the chief of detectives said her team believed the best chance for solid evidence would come from a fingerprint left on a shower curtain, not DNA from the victim's body. They thought most of it would have washed away in the soapy bathwater. Detectives ordered a rush on the fingerprint -- not on DNA found on the victim
- Chicago Police detectives asked the State Police crime lab to put a "rush" on DNA testing in connection with a Hyde Park rape and murder that occurred Oct. 21.
- But the lab didn't alert investigators until Dec. 12 that usable DNA from the presumed killer was recovered on the victim, 39-year-old Janice Ordidge, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
- Surrounded by her congressman husband, her two young children and a throng of sign-waving supporters, Sandi Jackson filed nominating petitions Monday in the race for alderman of the South Side's 7th Ward.
The campaign turned in close to 5,000 voter signatures, she said, adding that she felt "compelled" to run after watching the recent political maneuvering by new Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and Stroger's mentor, former Ald. William Beavers -- whose daughter, Darcel A. Beavers, was recently appointed to the aldermanic seat Jackson hopes to win.
Let's Deport Her Already
- On Friday, the Sun-Times asked readers whether they thought Elvira Arellano's move to avoid deportation by taking sanctuary in a West Side church would have any effect on immigration laws. Here's what you thought:
Of 665 respondents:
605 (90%) said "No"
60 (9%) said "Yes"
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The Wrong Lesson Learned
- City of Chicago officials are preparing to settle a police brutality case that has generated no stories in the mainstream media -- but which watchers in the blogosphere say threatened to expose widespread patterns of abuse in the Chicago Police Department.
- As Kalven reported on his blog, the numbers show that of the 10,150 complaints of excessive force, illegal arrest, illegal searches, racial and sexual abuse filed against Chicago officers between 2002 and 2004, only 18 times were officers suspended for seven days or more.
- That means an officer accused of abuse has a 99.8 percent chance of getting off without any "meaningful discipline," Futterman said. The figure exposes as a lie the department's attempts to portray the abuse under former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge as ancient history and practices as having been reformed, Futterman said.
Notice that the lawyers and the media completely disregard and make no mention of the fact that the Sworn Affidavit law has reduced the number of frivolous allegations made by citizens over nonsense to record lows. The high numbers from 2002 through 2004 had everything to do with the culmination of the entire populace of the CHA being trained to whine and complain about every little perceived slight inflicted on them by officers enforcing the law.
Gun Turn In - Update
- The Gun Turn In tally is currently at 2,976. Just short of 3,000. This number is a little misleading, as it includes approximately 150 BB guns that were collected at $10 a piece.
- Most of the stuff is crap, but there are a few pieces that were excellent. Several WWI and WWII era pieces including 1911s, a P38 (all original), and a couple of WWII era Japanese rifles that were obviously collected on the battlefield and sent home by our fighting men.
- the guns are being sent to ERPS piecemeal. The current plan is to do some training with the recruits and allow them to do all the inventories, and then send the weapons to ERPS in small batches as they get done with them over the next several months. Apparently ERPS just finished with all the weapons from the last gun turn in (in April) a few weeks ago, and is just not prepared to deal with a single bulk shipment like that again.
- the City got a deal on the Mastercards they were handing out - apparently they expire in 6 months, rather than the normal year time limit. Wonder how much they saved on that, and where the money went. I guess they forgot to mention that in the press conference.
- maybe the city ought to look into donating or auctioning off some of the museum pieces? Why melt down a World War II collector's piece worth $12,000 when the mayor needs every dime he can lay his hands on?
- Where are these things being stored until they're sent to E&RPS? Is E&RPS that short handed like everyone else in the Department seems to be? Everyone except 35th Street that is. And having recruits inventory the guns? Is this before or after they're tested ballistically for links to crime scenes? What kind of legal ramifications would there be with chain-of-custody issues for a turn in tested at the crime lab and then inventoried months later by a recruit?
- We're betting that almost no one knows about the 6 month limit on those Mastercards. THAT would be an extraordinary bit of info to get out into the media.
Bad Ideas for Pets
- A 13-foot boa constrictor wrapped itself around its owner's neck and killed the man in his home, authorities said.
An acquaintance found Ted Dres, 48, inside the snake's cage Saturday and called police, the Hamilton County Sheriff's office said.
The snake was still strangling Dres when deputies arrived, and the officers had to work with members of an animal protection group to remove the reptile, the sheriff's office said.
Monday, December 18, 2006
"Hundreds" of Guns Collected
- Hundreds of firearms, including some deadly assault weapons, were swapped for credit cards Saturday during Chicago's second citywide gun trade-in.
- Anyone bringing in an assault weapon received a $100-dollar credit card, a $50-dollar card for a rifle or handgun, and $10-dollars for a BB gun or replica gun.
UPDATE (prior to publication): The Tribune reports over 1,200 guns.
Just Bizarre. Really Bizarre.
- Rick Lisko hunts deer with a bow but found his most unusual one driving his truck.
One day last month, Lisko found a young buck with nub antlers -- and seven legs. Lisko said it also had both male and female reproductive organs.
''It was definitely a freak of nature,'' Lisko said. ''I guess it's a real rarity.''
He said he slowed down as the buck and two does ran across his driveway Nov. 22, but the buck ran under the truck and was hit.
When he looked at the animal, he noticed 3- to 4-inch appendages growing from the rear legs. Later, he found a smaller appendage growing from one of the front legs.
No matter how freaky, the deer was skinned and consumed.
''And by the way, I did eat it,'' Lisko said. ''It was tasty."
Home Field Advantage for How Long?
Sunday, December 17, 2006
What's Up With Harwood Heights?
- Child of a copper (one person's son, one person's daughter) were driving through Harwood Heights. Both pulled over by a radar car. Both times, they are approached by the cop (both times allegedly a female cop) and told first thing, "I see the FOP stickers and I don't want to hear a word about them." The cop's kid is then given a ticket.
Remember the bank robbery in Harwood Heights a month or so ago? And the off duty guy from 025 witnessed the robber run out of the bank at Harlem and Lawrence with a gun and exchanged gunfire with the offender before the dye pack exploded? The chase went from Harwood Heights into 016 where the offenders were apprehended. After 016 took them into custody, it is alleged that a female copper from the burbs went into a Chicago Police squad car, removed the prisoner from the car, took off the handcuffs and then put her own cuffs on an offender saying that as it happened in Harwood Heights, it was their arrest.
An argument ensued. In one version we heard, the Commander of 016 showed up and the Commander of Harwood Heights showed up and further arguing went on. The end result was that a blanket CR number was obtained on 016th District officers for being disrespectful toward the suburban cops, especially the female. In another version, it is alleged that the daughter of the Harwood Heights police commander was arrested later that week and long-formed by 016 shortly after this incident and had to spend time in one of our fine lockups.
Who's got the real scoop? If anything, this female from Harwood Heights needs to be straightened out in a big way. An arrest is not based on where the crime occurred but where the subject was apprehended and by whom. And isn't the FBI going to take this piece of garbage off our hands anyway for the bank robbery before we charge him with attempted murder? And if the 016 District Commander didn't back his guys on the scene, there ought to be repercussions. And finally, if Harwood Heights is playing games with our kids and not extending the courtesy they'd extend any other citizen, and are in fact TARGETING people with FOP stickers, it's time to crack down on them a little harder than is being done to us. We need info on this incident.
What the Hell Lovie?
- Troubled Chicago Bears nose tackle Tank Johnson is cooperating with police investigating the fatal shooting of his friend inside a nightclub, authorities said Saturday.
Police talked to Johnson at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where Willie B. Posey was pronounced dead early Saturday morning, and planned to speak with him again later Saturday, said Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline.
Posey, 26, died after a fight inside Ice Bar, a club in the city's trendy River North neighborhood, Cline said.
What Time is it Boys and Girls?
- Chicago police said Saturday afternoon they had already collected more than 500 guns in a citywide gun turn-in. More than a dozen churches were serving as collection sites where people could turn in guns anonymously and with no questions asked.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
- Gov. Jeb Bush suspended all executions in Florida after a medical examiner said Friday that officials botched the insertion of the needles during the execution of a convicted killer earlier this week. Dr. William Hamilton, who performed the autopsy, said that the execution of Angel Nieves Diaz took 34 minutes - twice as long as usual - and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals because the needles were inserted straight through his veins and into the flesh in his arms. Hamilton refused to say whether he thought Diaz died a painful death.
Now you inflict horrors on other human beings and all that happens is you go off into a happy place of blissful unawareness before you never wake up? Screw that. We'd rather the jagoffs go out in an untold nightmare of psychotic pain and brutality before begging to be put out of their misery. The death penalty is as much about society's vengeance as it is about justice. And if that's bloodthirsty of us, too damn bad.
Food as a Weapon?
- More than 300 people say they became ill, and at least three have been hospitalized, after eating at an Olive Garden restaurant last weekend, health officials said Friday. The customers complained of nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea.
"We're trying to isolate what the cause of the illness might be," said Marion County Health Department spokesman John Althardt.
Friday, December 15, 2006
And now for something completely different
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Shut Up Dorothy
- The City Council's champion for slave reparations accused Mayor Daley on Wednesday of forging ahead with the $563 million privatization of downtown parking garages in a show of "unprecedented favoritism" toward Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
- A 17-year-old man was charged Wednesday with the shooting of a Shakespeare District police officer who was injured while trying to break up a fight between suspected gang members on the West Side Monday.
Roscoe Woods of the 8400 block of South Kenton Avenue was charged with one count each of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, according to Cook County State's Attorney's office spokesman Andy Conklin. Both offenses are Class X felonies and carry penalties of six to 30 years in prison upon conviction, he said.
RIP Peter Boyle
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Portent of Things to Come?
And not only did "da mayor" (or "dayor" according to the CBS 2 link) appoint an additional 3 aldercreatures to the City Council Tuesday, he appointed three women. Which brings to mind an interesting question for the police department:
- Kirby or Maher?
Any speculation in the comments section will be monitored overly closely. No misogynist ramblings. No crude references to body parts. We mean it.
Downtown Shooting Fallout
- The gunman, 59-year-old Joe Jackson, was killed by police in Friday afternoon's murderous rampage. Jackson's family and friends have said he felt his portable-toilet-for-trucks invention had been ripped off.
As to preventing this from happening again, we have this from Channel 2:
- A gunman's rampage at a downtown law firm last week has gun advocates renewing an old push for a change in Illinois law.
As CBS 2's Mike Parker reports, some people say more weapons will actually reduce crime.
A gun rights group says the victims of Friday's tragic Loop shooting rampage might still be alive if law abiding citizens were allowed to carry concealed weapons. Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association believes armed office workers, might have stopped it.
Food Poisoning Event
It seems about half of the attendees have come down with some nasty food poisoning. Is it just us or does it seem there are quite a few of these outbreaks occurring lately? The spinach scare; packaged salads being pulled; Taco Bell. What's going on out there?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Daley Running Again
Reports at the Tribune, Sun Times, Channel 2, Channel 5, Channel 7
- Bill Beavers, the newly-elected Cook County commissioner and former alderman, says, with his usual candor, the only thing standing between Daley and another term is a federal indictment, which, according to Beavers, is highly unlikely.
Tour de Force?
Once again, we've attracted the attention of media types who think there might be a story worth telling. Or at least, that's the line we're getting. The question posed to us via e-mail is as follows:
- I'm wondering if you or your readers have any educated guesses about how these thefts are being pulled off. I'm also wondering if you think the airlines or TSA could be doing anything differently to reduce the opportunity for gun/ammo theft.
Now before anyone goes off half cocked and starts ripping on us for even dealing with reporters, take a deep breath. This is still a public website, accessible to anyone with an internet connection. We know Frank Main and Fran Spielman have been here a number of times and we've been contacted by Mark Brown and others. For the most part, we've been polite to anyone who drops us a line and this reporter asked the question - they're asking for an opinion, nothing that reflects Department policy, and lord knows we have plenty of opinions posted on here every single day. So if you're going to answer, be polite.
Standard disclaimers apply - we cannot guarantee that any reader or poster is actually a police officer, let alone even posting from the United States. We have readers on 4 continents. That is all.
Oh, Poor Baby
- Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph laments in a series of letters to a newspaper that the maximum-security federal prison where he is spending the rest of his life is designed to drive him insane.
- Rudolph wrote that he spends 23 hours a day in his 7-by-12-foot cell, his only exercise confined to an enclosed area he described as a ''large empty swimming pool'' divided into ''dog-kennel style cages.''
- 'Using solitary confinement, Supermax is designed to inflict as much misery and pain as is constitutionally permissible,'' he wrote in a letter.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Pension Disaster Looming
- If Illinois government were a private business, it would be careening toward bankruptcy, an influential civic group said Wednesday in a report that identified $106 billion in liabilities that the state has no money to pay.
- The amount equals a debt of $8,800 per Illinois resident, said the report from the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a nonprofit association of elite business leaders. It said the long-term bills total nearly three times what the state spends each year in discretionary accounts, money not held aside for a specific purpose.
As we understand part of the problem, some politicians permit "deferments" of payments to pension plans. The deferments are then spent on various social programs in efforts to buy votes from special interest groups. The reverend Meeks attempt to extort $4 billion dollars from the state for "education" (and his threat to run for governor) was a prime example of robbing Peter to pay Paul - and screwing the pension plans.
The above referenced article doesn't seem to do a good job explaining how the pension plans ended up in the sorry state they are in. And the $8,800 debt per Illinois resident is kind of misleading - there are tens of thousands of people in Cook County alone who live entirely on money that has been deferred from various pension plans. How are they going to be responsible for almost $10,000 in debt? And the solution they come up with? Raise taxes. That's a political winner, eh?
- The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much. - Ronald Reagan
What is Quinn Running For?
- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn says he wants to introduce legislation to end so-called "double dipping" by banks that charge fees for using ATM's. The fees are charged to withdraw money and customers are also charged usage fees by their own banks.
Downtown Shooting - Analysis
- For all the beatings SWAT has taken on this site over the past few weeks, they performed outstandingly in this situation.
- The District and Area people, first on the scene, were more than outstanding. They were a credit to the entire Department.
No one practices evacuation once they're out of grade school. There are some companies that do it once in a great while. But in reality? We've become complacent. Again. What if this was a couple of well armed nutcases? With a car bomb nearby? Or a team of terrorists hitting two buildings or three? Are we paranoid? Or maybe a little hyper sensitive? We should all be thinking this way a little bit - but we don't see the city doing it.
Too Close to Home?
- An autopsy showed Saturday a 23-year-old Southwest Side woman found in her bathtub was suffocated and strangled to death.
- About 8 p.m. Friday the woman, identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office as 23-year-old Ursula Sakowska, was found in her bathtub in the 6100 block of South McVicker Avenue by either neighbors or friends
- The woman, who reportedly was found with duct tape over her mouth, died from suffocation and strangulation, according to a medical examiner's office spokesman.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Griese to Get a Shot?
Report from ESPN says he got half the practice snaps this week:
- While Chicago Bears backup quarterback Brian Griese continues to deflect questions about stepping in for a struggling Rex Grossman, it seems that the Bears are at least preparing for that possibility.
Griese has been receiving half of the reps in practice this week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on its Web site, citing an unnamed player.
If This Was You...
- Chicago Fire Commissioner Raymond Orozco Jr. has paid the state a $15,529 fine for excessive college aid his daughter received based on phony claims made by a paid financial adviser.
- Although Orozco considered himself and his family as victims, he's paid the $15,529 fine as part of a deal with Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office to end an investigation into the matter.
- In a sworn statement, Orozco said that he only briefly met Martin in an initial meeting at their house. Instead of discussing the scope of Martin's worth, the commissioner left that task to his wife and chose to spend most of the time painting a daughter's bedroom.
It must be nice to have a spouse that can step up to the plate and be willing to take the fall for any financial missteps that happen to surface in your household.
All Bosses Read This
- A 71-year-old Arlington Heights woman will get $4.1 million because a van driver last year ran a red light and crashed into her while he was looking down at his BlackBerry, attorneys said Friday.
Don Svec, an employee of Berry Electric Contracting Co., was lost and using his BlackBerry's navigation device to try to find his destination, it emerged during interviews leading up to the trial in the case, said Tim Cavanagh, attorney for Dorothy Barnes, who was badly hurt in the crash.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
- COMMAND CHANGES
- James Keating promoted to D/C CCG
- Steve Georgas promoted to Commander of 018
- Kevin Ryan promoted to Commander of 001
- Ralph Chiczewski reassigned to D/C Special Functions
- Steve Caluris is reassigned to D/C Narcotics and Gangs
- Robert Evans is reassigned to Commander of Traffic
- CAPTAIN PROMOTIONS
- ANAGRONE, Kenneth 014 From 189
- ELMER, Richard A. 021 From 170
- O NEILL, Donald J. 009 From 126
- PARRA, Arthur R. 002 From 007
- RAYMOND, Alberta 003 From 006
Home Grown Terror?
- A Rockford man allegedly planned to set off hand grenades in garbage cans at a shopping mall near Rockford as part of his plot to let the world know "the time for jihad is now."
Derrick Shareef, 22, targeted the Cherry Vale shopping mall, which has about 130 retail stores. But in recorded conversations he said the mall was "just one potential place," and that he hoped to one day "smoke a judge," according to the federal charges.
Should he die before the attack, Shareef made a videotape statement to explain his actions.
Coverage at the Sun Times; Tribune; Channel 2; Channel 5; Channel 7
Friday, December 08, 2006
We're Getting Sued?
- Dear Sir/Madam, Please be advised that we represent Sgt. Christine Hitney. Please immediately remove and cease from posting the disparaging and defamatory comments and photos of her on your Blog page. In our opionion [sic], the photos and comments which are being posted of Sgt. Hitney are violative of her rights. This is a a [sic] serious matter. If you fail to comply with our request, we shall advise our client accordingly.
Barry A. Gomberg, Esq.
Barry A. Gomberg & Associates, Ltd.
53 W. Jackson, Suite 1350 Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 922-0550 Office
(312) 922-0066 Fax
First of all, we weren't the ones who took pictures inside a crime scene (unauthorized pictures that are a violation of General Orders by the way) and then sent them around the Internet. We received the original set of pictures from 3 different individuals and the address lists of forwarded recipients was around 180 names. By her own actions, the sergeant made herself a public figure. By wearing a badge inside a designated crime scene, the sergeant was acting as a public official - private citizens weren't allowed within the tape.
Secondly, satire is protected speech. According to the FirstAmendmentCenter website:
- satire tends to invent a fictitious situation (though possibly with elements that actually occurred) for the purpose of ridiculing someone or even some idea.
- Iroquois Theater fire, Hindenburg disaster, Eastland sinking and St Valentines Day massacre;
- the Kennedy assassination and funeral;
- the caves drawings of France;
- the Lincoln assassination;
- the Oswald shooting, the Wizard of Oz or a Gulf hurricane;
- an Afghani hovel;
- Saddam's trial;
- the 1968 riots and the Brady Bunch
- The Munsters;
- Brokeback Mountain;
- crossing the Delaware with Washington;
- chiseled in Mount Rushmore;
- dog sledding in Alaska (ok, this one is possible);
- marching with a giant shamrock (this is also possible we suppose);
- assassinating Julius Caesar;
- the moon;
- surviving the Titanic;
- rising from the dead;
- and attending hearings in Washington with Trump
In the case of Hustler Magazine Inc. et al v Jerry Falwell, a directed verdict cleared Hustler of invasion of privacy and libel because "no reasonable person would believe the situation depicted" would be true. The US Supreme Court further denied an emotional distress award "as public figures and public officials could not recover damages for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress without an additional showing that ''the publication contains a false statement of fact which was made with 'actual malice,' i.e., with knowledge that the statement was false or with reckless disregard as to whether or not it was true.""
Though it pains us to stand anywhere near Larry Flynt, he did the First Amendment to the Constitution a great service in this case.
As to the comments section, the recent California Supreme Court decision in Barrett v Rosenthal pretty much covers anything from there:
- The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that bloggers and participants in Internet bulletin board groups cannot be sued for posting defamatory statements made by others.
In deciding a case closely watched by free speech groups, the court said a federal law gives immunity from libel suits not only to Internet service providers, like AOL, but also to bloggers and other users of their services.
If the sergeant is demanding an apology, here it is - we're sorry you got caught doing stupid shit. We're sorry for depicting you dog sledding in Alaska and at the Southside Irish parade if in fact you attended neither. As to any of the other situations, we're afraid we don't owe you anything due to satire, freedom of speech, court decisions, etc.
By the way: have you apologized to the family of Joshua Woods? That's his family's car you can see in the background of your picture.