Thursday, September 30, 2010

Voter Registration

The deadline is fast approaching, and the truly amazing thing is you can register to vote from the comfort of your own chair without ever leaving home.
  1. Go to this link at

  2. Skip step #1 and go right to this link for "Register to Vote"

  3. Skip both of those steps and go right to this link, which is a .pdf document you just print out, fill out, fold, stamp and mail.
The US Postal Service will take it right from you at your own door. All you have to do is show up on Election Day and vote at your designated polling place. After the first time voting, you don't even have to show up again, but can request absentee ballots for the rest of your voting career.

We really don't know how they could make it any simpler. 05 October is the deadline.


Beale Speaks (Out of his Ass)

  • The Daley administration agreed Tuesday to hold Chicago's first police entrance exam in four years to ease a severe manpower shortage -- amid demands that applicants no longer be required to complete at least two years of college.

    Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the City Council's Police Committee, wants to "level the playing field" for minorities to increase diversity in the ranks at a time when a two-year hiring slowdown has left the Chicago Police Department more than 2,300 officers-a-day short of authorized strength.

No matter how you cut that, Beale falls into the "racism of diminished expectations" trap, and it's an insult to every minority who has succeeded despite obstacles thrown into their paths. Instead of catering to the lowest, how about finding decent respectable people of all stripes who want to serve? Who want to make an impact? Who think that they can change things in some small way, shape or form? Sure, it's idealistic, but most of us came on the job knowing we wouldn't get rich, but who wanted to make a difference somehow.

Someone from Personnel might be able to find the Department breakdown as compared to the City's population breakdown, but we're pretty sure the numbers are pretty reflective. And guess who the actual minority is nowadays?


Mope-rah Speaks

It's quite easy to believe that this "journalist" is on the Sun Times editorial board, because seldom do we see such a disconnect from reality except as in her "newspaper:"
  • I challenge any one of the candidates who are seriously thinking about taking Mayor Daley's place to spend some time watching the street below Wanda Askew's window.

    Askew lives in the 7100 block of South King Drive. On Saturday morning, around 7 a.m., she heard a young woman screaming from the street below.

    "The young lady appeared to be on some type of drugs. I watched her for 30 minutes. I tried to talk to her. Every time the light would turn green, she would jump off the corner into traffic. A truck almost took out the corner trying to avoid hitting her."

    Askew said she called 911.

    "Twenty-two minutes passed. Nobody came. I called back and told the dispatcher that I pay taxes, too. Somebody is going to get hurt, or she is going to get herself killed. Another 15 minutes went by before a police van pulled up," she continued.

    "I met them downstairs. By then, she had been out there for an hour, and it looked to me like she needed medical assistance."

    Askew said a black police officer showed up, and said to her: "You the one who called and said you pay taxes? You need to call Mayor Daley. This is not a priority call. We are getting shot at, and we are understaffed," Askew said the officer told her.

    "I couldn't believe what I was hearing," Askew said.

    "I told him: 'You still pick up your check, don't you? You knew all that when you filled out the application. If you don't like your job, get another job."

Doesn't Mope-rah read her own employer's paper? Hasn't she been following Frank's and Fran's breathless articles over the past month or so rehashing what we've been screaming from the rooftops for going on 2 years now? There are no police to respond to calls. Period.

It doesn't matter if you pay taxes or not. No one is coming in a hurry to see about a mental dope addict walking in traffic unless they happen to get run over, and even then, chances are we'll just meet the ambulance at the hospital later. That's what Mayor Daley has wrought. That's what 100 years of one party rule have left in Chicago.

Oh, and Ms. Askew? When we signed up for the job, we also expected the support of the community, equipment that worked and a decent amount of backup should the need arise. Guess how much of that we're getting? Especially in places like 71st and King Drive.

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Grandma Free and Clear

  • A 12-year-old boy who was shot in the arm by a woman upset at the boy for throwing bricks at her South Shore home has been charged with assault, police said Wednesday.

    The boy, along with another 13-year-old boy, were each charged with one count of misdemeanor aggravated assault to a senior citizen.

    The 68-year-old woman was released from police custody without being charged because she acted in self defense, police said.

Hopefully, she got her gun back. And hopefully, she gets herself a shotgun for the next time.


Whoops Homicide

  • A Des Plaines man who police say was involved in a fight at a Rush Street nightclub two years ago died of his injuries Monday morning. His death has been ruled a homicide.

    Jason Stangeland, 30, of Des Plaines, was pronounced dead at 5:03 a.m. Monday at Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    Stangeland had been in a fight at the Level nightclub on the 1000 block of North Rush at 1 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2008, Des Plaines Police Deputy Chief Rich Rozkuszka said. During the altercation he suffered a blow to the head, possibly with a beer bottle, Rozkuszka said.

Can the Predictive Analysis Unit time travel yet?


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Police Entrance Exam

  • Chicago will hold its first police entrance exam in four years — attracting upwards of 30,000 applicants, a pivotal step to ease a manpower shortage that has left the department more than 2,300 officers a day short of authorized strength.

    [...] Connie Buscemi, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Human Resources, said the Daley administration has asked four firms with so-called “master consulting agreements” to compete for the right to administer a new police entrance exam, the first since 2006.

    “The request seeks a vendor who would purchase a pre-existing exam directly from an exam developer, provide exam materials and study guides, staff the exam and administer and grade the exam,” Buscemi said, noting that responses are due by Oct. 8.

About freaking time.

But 30,000 applicants? The last time there were even 30,000 test takers was the early 1990's. The last few years the City gave a test, they gave something like 3 tests a year in mid-2000's. The total for all three tests combined was somewhere around 10,000 people. Someone once mentioned that 5,000 failed and even more missed the physical, drug test or just didn't respond to invitations.


Quick Hits

It has been a while since we did a Quick Hits. First up, the gun-toting grandma:
  • A 12-year-old boy was shot and critically injured by a woman apparently upset at the boy and others for throwing rocks at her Southeast Side home Tuesday evening.

    The shooting happened about 5:25 p.m. near East 76th Street and South Coles Avenue and sent a juvenile to University of Comer Children's Hospital in serious to critical condition, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Richard Rosado said.

    Police said the 12-year-old boy was shot by a woman in her 70s. The boy and others apparently had thrown rocks at the woman's house and the woman took out a gun and shot him, a police source said.

"Teach 'em young" we were always told. Hopefully, junior learned not to fuck with grandma.

Next, an attempted suicide of some sort:
  • An 11-year-old boy is in critical condition after he was found shot multiple times in an Englewood home Monday night.

    At 11:30 p.m., an 11-year-old boy was found shot in the abdomen, back and arm in a home in the 6100 block of South Marshfield, police said.

    [...] Although the three or four people in the home claimed to have not witnessed the shooting, they told police the boy appeared to have shot himself, the detective said.
Yeah, shot himself in the arm, back and belly. Sounds completely plausible under the new "J-Fled Shooting Categories - Innies v Outies," page 33, paragraph 3, line 4, see note in appendix.

And not to put too cynical a spin on it, the kid shot in the above story is the second family member shot in 9 days:
  • Still weary from regular trips to a North Side hospital where her oldest son was recovering from gunshot wounds he suffered more than a week ago, Sharon Davis' life was further upended Monday night when her 11-year-old son was shot and wounded at a friend's house.

Family vendetta?


Another Towing Indictment

  • A seventh Chicago police officer has been charged as part of a probe into cops tipping off favored tow truck drivers to car crashes in return for bribes.
Seriously, but what the f#$%? For all it's inherent problems, this isn't a bad gig and yet, people risk it all on a few thousand bucks?

As Shaved stated earlier today, there are going to be more convictions over this towing scandal that in the entire SOS debacle.


Special Meeting

Invite only according to the rumor:
  • Unbelievable!!! Supposedly the A.S. [the "bartender] and the Superintendent's wife are hosting an invitation only event [...] for female police to have a meet and greet with female exempts. Only the "most exceptional" females with the "most potential" have been allowed to be invited. I guess if you are a stand up broad working the street you do not qualify. I wonder if this was a brain fart from the girls in the policy group?
We don't even know where to begin with this one. We will say that the crude innuendos that started popping up at the first mention of this will be summarily deleted as per policy.

But really? Having "the bartender," who's most famous accomplishment to date is having dope and illegal guns being stored in her condo is the person you want setting an example to any cop? We're pretty sure there are better examples, but we guess it depends on the lesson they are trying to teach. Obviously, hard effort and good police work aren't it.


He Makes Children Cry

The Oak Brook citizen who compares cops and firefighters to piss bums on the street? He like to make children cry. And he bragged about it last year to the Daily Herald:
  • Telling her mother that she wanted to come to the aid of a library under attack, 11-year-old Sydney Sabbagha stood at the podium before the Oak Brook village board.

    "I used to go to the library knowing there were people there to help me find a book. Now there is no one to help me," Sydney said solemnly. "It will never be the same without the people you fired."

  • "Those who come up here with tears in their eyes talking about the library, put your money where your mouth is," Xinos shot back. He told Sydney and others who spoke against the layoffs of the three full-time staffers (including the head librarian and children's librarian) and two part-timers to stop "whining" and raise the money themselves.

    "I don't care that you guys miss the librarian, and she was nice, and she helped you find books," Xinos told them.

  • Sydney was upset and "her little friend was in tears" after Xinos spoke at the meeting last week, says mom Hope Sabbagha.

    "I wanted that kid to lose sleep that night," a grinning Xinos says Wednesday, as he invites me for a nearly two-hour interview in his Mercedes-Benz in the gated Oak Brook community where he lives. "This is the real world and the lesson, you folks who brought your kids here, is if you want something, pay for it."

And read this quote:
  • "You may like the library, but when you call 9-1-1, you want a policeman or a fireman before someone to tell you where the books are in the library," says the man who has talked of privatizing, outsourcing or even closing the library.
Gee, he wasn't sounding so supportive of the police or firefighters the other day when he advocated firing a firefighter a month until the union dissolved and capitulated to his whims.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Good News Ernie, Danny!

Someone pointed us in the direction of this little treasure. Seven, count 'em, SEVEN, deleted scenes from that beloved CPD Exempt classic, The Warriors:

Someone get the popcorn ready.

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Jack Dunphy on L.A. Shooting

  • Everyone knows there are few certainties in life. Yes, you always hear about death and taxes, but recent events here in Los Angeles have revealed other certainties which are, perhaps not coincidentally, related to the first two.

    The first is this: If it is your custom to spend your afternoons getting drunk, wielding knives, and menacing passers-by on busy street corners, and if, after the police have arrived as they must when this behavior has been brought to their attention, you fail to drop your knife when ordered to do so, and if then you further tempt fate by advancing toward a police officer with the knife raised in such a way that the officer reasonably believes his life is imperiled, it is as close to a certainty as this world can produce that you will be shot and maybe even killed.

Dunphy isn't just writing about the riots in Los Angeles, he's serving on the streets attempting to maintain law and order in the face of an aggressive and violent populace. Go read the entire article.


Another Dickhead Response

No, we still aren't linking to the J-Fled blog, but this is exactly why we detest this individual so much:
  • Dear Sir,
    Another day of no unmarked pool cars, and not enough cars here to man the units needed. 015 is in the same boat, since they inquired today if we had any to lend. I facetiously ask, do the numerous people working at 35th Street with take-home cars share the same issue as those of us in patrol?
    Sgt. Eric Winstrom #1625

    Posted on August 12, 2010 at 02:51 PM CDT #
    Superintendent's Response

    You would be better served, as a leader, to look at solving the problem, rather than sending me cute comments. Pck up the phone, call DS O'Keefe, and see if he can help you. That's your job, that's why you're a sergeant. JW

    Posted on September 24, 2010 at 02:54 PM CDT #
So not only is the answer a month-and-a-half late, the smarmy tone completely captures the failed tenure of J-Fled. Exactly how is a sergeant supposed to get anyone, let alone O'Keefe (who is another story altogether), supposed to locate non-existent cars for his people? And his legit beef about persons not subject to any sort of emergency call out (like O'Keefe for example!) have unmarked cars at their disposal along with 50 or more people our readers could name at the drop of a hat.

Hey J-Fled? Do you know your minions on the policy group are running your blog with answers like these to officers and supervisors? If we pulled this with a citizen, we're sure we'd be the subject of verbal abuse beefs and CR investigations. We still can't wait to see the back of this asshat.


Alvarez Leaving?

Rumor Central via e-mails:
  • 26th and California source says that Anita Alvarez has applied for a Federal Judgeship and has the backing of our two Senators.

    How does someone who was never considered for a Traffic Court Judge gets the blessing for a lifetime Federal Judicial seat? Is the CCSAO in such a mess that Anita is looking for the seat ejector rather than run for re-election? If so, who gets to run the CCSAO office?
Hey, she was unqualified for her current job. Why not put her in another one where she can fuck up cases on a national level for the next 20 years?


Losing Your Marbles

  • An Englewood man has been charged with the May murder of his older brother following a dice game, police said.

    Chicago police from the department's mobile strike force found Curtis Marble, 26, of the 1500 block of West 63rd Street, hiding in an abandoned building Friday night after being alerted by Wentworth Area detectives of his involvement in the killing.

    In May, Marble and his brother, Laird, 27, were involved in an altercation in the 6100 block of South Bishop Street -- the victim's home, according to the medical examiner's office -- following a dice game, when the suspect grabbed a handgun and shot his brother.
So Mrs. Marble has to bury one son and send another to prison, all over an Englewood dice game. The good news is that he'll be out in 4 years based on Cook County sentencing guidelines.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Packers Favored

  • It's been some time since Chicago was anything but the second city in the quarterback portion of the rivalry with Green Bay, but with both teams at 2-0 and tied atop the NFC North heading into their Monday night matchup, the gap may be closing.

    The Bears are coming off an impressive win at Dallas and are off to their best start since the 2006 Super Bowl team won its first seven, in large part because Cutler is delivering the way they anticipated when they got him from Denver last year.

    Now, the difference at quarterback appears as narrow as ever as Chicago prepares for its 180th meeting with the Packers, a new wrinkle for the league's oldest rivalry.

Oddsmakers have the Packers by 3 to 3.5. The Predictive Analysis Unit says this means the Bears will win by 6. Place your bets.

UPDATE: Wow. Anyone seen our lucky horseshoe?


Nice Pinch

A very good job. We're going to quote liberally from the article because it's a good story:
  • Two veteran tactical officers are being credited with capturing three gangsters armed with pistols and a machine-gun type of assault weapon before they hurt someone early Sunday in the Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side.

    A man flagged down police about 3:30 a.m. in the 4700 block of West Washington Boulevard after one of the three suspects pointed a gun at him before fleeing in a white Cadillac sedan, according to police.

    Area 4 midnight Tactical Officers Rick Caballero and his partner John McKenna gave chase in an unmarked police car until the three suspects bailed from the car in a field in the 300 block of North Pulaski Road.

    Police said the partners grabbed two of them and placed them under arrest without incident while the third jumped a fence and fled on foot to the home of an acquaintance in 300 block of North Avers Avenue, which he ran into to try and escape.

    The house was surrounded by police, including McKenna and Caballero, Harrison District beat officers and K-9 units. Officers entered the house and found the third suspect on the second floor about 3:45 a.m. and he was arrested.

    Caballero and McKenna recovered three guns on the scene at the Pulaski Road address, including two pistols and a compact machine gun, similar to a M.A.C.-10 according to police. No one was hurt in the incident.

    A law enforcement source close to the investigation commended the officers’ work in the arrests of the suspects, all of whom are convicted felons and gang members.

    “We think they were out to do somebody harm and these guys prevented a shooting, if not a homicide,’’ the source said.

This is what police work is. Not "predicting" from a cubicle. Not event numbers. Not anything the J-Fled and Masters and any of the other number-fudgers downtown have turned this job into.

Excellent job Officers.


Predict the Sergeant

Here's one that even the Predictive Analysis Unit might be able to get right:
  • I just perused the qualifications for the Sergeant openings at OCD. Please go to the Human Resources Division web page, look it over and tell me I am not the only one to think the job is already gone to a brand new Sergeant who came from OCD prior to his promotion, who has a little college but not a degree. He has some medical absences and is only acceptable in the area of attendance. This administration is even more crooked than ever. He has taken a few outside training courses and is probably rifle qualified. The qualifications are as follows:

    1. Sergeant with 2 years in rank (unless has previous experience in OCD).
    2. Acceptable Attendance.
    3. Previous experience working on a team of some sort.
    4. Must have his own registered informants.
    5. Must have been an affiant on search warrants.
    6. Must list outside training courses taken.
    7. Must have 2 recommendations.

    I would say they did everything in this advertisement except print the person's name......Can anybody figure it out before they appoint this guy.....The winner gets assigned to the Predictive Analysis Unit!!!
Wow. Talk about your "narrow field" of candidates. It's almost like that SWAT test for sergeants where they disqualified candidates who had been previously thrown out of the HBT program, then suddenly made an exception for the policy group sergeant, even though he showed up with the wrong equipment. Not that they filled that spot - they just had him made "meri-clout-orious" lieutenant a few weeks ago. Business as usual.


Local Clemency Hearing

These happen often enough down state that actually having one here seems unusual. No reason we can't pack the courtroom:
  • Inmate Ronnie "Mad Dog" Carasquillo has requested a clemency hearing which will be held on Friday, October 8, 2010. At this hearing, Carasquillo's attorney and other supporters will appeal to Governor Quinn for his immediate release. Clemency hearing details:

    James R. Thompson Center
    100 W. Randolph Street
    Friday, October 8, 2010 0900 hours
    Room 9-034

    The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) is asking uniformed Chicago Police personnel to attend this hearing in support of PO Terrence Loftus (incident details attached), who was shot and killed by Carasquillo in October 1976. Carasquillo, a member of the imperial spanish gangsters street gang, has gained support in recent years from several politicians, including Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who was tentatively scheduled to attend the hearing on behalf of the inmate.

    Until the CPMF, FOP Lodge 7 and uniformed Chicago Police officers began attending en banc parole hearings in 2008, Carasquillo was very close to receiving enough votes from the Illinois Prisoner Review Board (IPRB) for release.

    Please come out in support of this brave officer. If you are unable to attend the hearing, consider writing clemency denial letters to Governor Quinn, Rep. Gutierrez or the Chairman of the IPRB, Adam Monreal.

    We believe Judge Wilson's message was clear when he handed Carasquillo a 200-600 year sentence.
Gee, Luis Gutierrez supporting gang banging cop killers. There's a surprise.


"Firemen, Like Cops, Are Street People"

The Chicago Fire Department held their annual memorial yesterday:
  • Every year, they come to pay their respect to fellow firefighters who went before them.

    Today, the 28th annual memorial service at Rosehill Cemetery was more somber than usual. Firefighters clad in blue uniforms with white gloves and others in black leather and blue jeans paid special tribute to Christopher Wheatley, the first member of the Chicago Fire Department to die battling a blaze in more than a decade.
A somber occasion, made more poignant by the recent loss of a comrade. Citizens everywhere should pause and consider the risks and sacrifices first responders world wide take just going to work every day.

Not in Oak Brook though. In Oak Brook, firefighters and police officers are just "street people." Click over to this article and if you can stomach it, listen to the attached audio from a Citizen Finance Advisory Committee meeting. The most telling portion starts around 7 minutes and 45 seconds:
  • The person says if the chief can’t choose who to fire, they will make the choice for him and it could be the chief who may be gone. While there is no indication that this is seriously being considered, I don’t hear anyone speaking up saying this is a bad idea.

    At point the person suggesting this tactic says, “Firemen like cops are street people. They only understand civilized force. That’s what they understand. You fire ‘em.
Seriously, go listen to the audio. This person advocates firing firefighters at random, in complete violation of contractual protections, seniority rights and bargaining agreements - and the city government representatives don't utter a word against it!

It just makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Police Limit

Inspired by the recently banned blog posts over at Arresting Tales:

Garey McKee's Police Limit 'toons the "Ghetto Shooting Template."


::Yawn:: Four More in Englewood

  • Four people -- ranging in age from 15 to 57 years old -- were shot on a South Side street Friday night.

    The shooting happened about 10:33 p.m. on the 1600 block of West 69th Street, according to a report from police News Affairs.

Word is that J-Fled and the policy group are looking at banning Fridays in an effort to keep the weekend violence down.


Interesting NYPD Lawsuit

Seems someone was fudging the numbers. Seems more someones may have attempted to stifle an investigation of the fudging:
  • Like many police officers, PO Schoolcraft joined the NYPD to help people and serve communities plagued by real crime; instead he was faced with enormous pressure to harass law abiding people in order to fudge statistics. Morally opposed to these policies, PO Schoolcraft refused to follow these unlawful orders and was met with retaliation from the highest levels of the NYPD. This ultimately culminated in an attempt to forcibly silence and discredit him; on October 31, 2009, several high ranking NYPD officials illegally entered PO Schoolcraft’s home, forcibly removed him in handcuffs, seized his personal effects, including evidence he had gathered documenting NYPD corruption, and had him admitted to Jamaica Hospital Center against his will, under the false pretense that he was “emotionally disturbed.”
He's asking for $50 million and according to various posters on TheeRant, he might get it. The feds want to interview him and other cops are coming forward. Brooklyn North may be keeping us updated as this progresses.

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JJJ's Opponent

We didn't even know he had an opponent until someone here mentioned it. Then Kass does a column on it:
  • There was a time when Isaac Hayes' phone didn't ring.

    But U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Bud Light, and his "social acquaintance" have changed all that.

    "The phone's been ringing lately," said Hayes, 36, Jackson's conservative Republican opponent in the 2nd Congressional District. "The media's finally getting interested in my campaign. The voters are tired of him. And so, yes, my phone is ringing."
And he's named Issac Hayes? This just gets better and better. This could be even more entertaining than we thought.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh God, Not Again

  • The United States Olympic Committee has not ruled out a bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics and the timing of the process makes it likely 2016 loser Chicago would be its most viable candidate.

    "I think it would be challenging for any other city to organize a bid in that time frame but not impossible," U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst told the Tribune after delivering his state of the USOC address to the organization's general assembly Friday.

    The International Olympic Committee will choose the 2020 Olympic host in 2013. Based on past timetables, the USOC would have to present a bid in early autumn 2011.
Let's put this out there right now:

No, No and Hell, No.


Hydrant Tampering?

All those cameras downtown and no one has seen anything regarding this?
  • A few weeks ago cfd conducted a 'routine' check and found beach towels shoved into many fire hydrants downtown. Specifically fire hydrants around city hall and both federal buildings. If undetected during an actual fire, cfd equipment/trucks would swallow up the towels and be blown.

  • 100 percent true, then each house a list of hydrants to check.
Gee, wouldn't you think someone would, oh we don't know, let the cops know so they could maybe keep an eye on suspicious happenings in the area of such equipment?

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Cole Fundraiser

Just a reminder:
  • Densey Cole’s friends and family will be hosting a benefit to assist with the overburdening cost of medical bills, rehabilitation and necessary home renovation to accommodate his life as a quadriplegic and are asking for your help.

    Standing Up With Densey

    115 Bourbon St, Merrionette Park, IL

    October 3, 2010 - 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Tickets $25.00

    Food, Drink, Raffles, Silent Auction, Live Music


Friday, September 24, 2010

Big Surprise - Not

  • The one-year deadline has passed for congressional ethics investigators to announce whether a probe into U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson will resume, and so far, the committee refuses to shed any light on the situation.

    The Chicago Sun-Times first reported last year that congressional ethics investigators began an inquiry into Jackson regarding his entanglement with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

With Blago's retrial looming and Jackson politically wounded, well, you can figure it out.

And Axlerod is headed back to town? The news just keeps getting worse and worse for Chicago.


Dixie Square Mall to be Razed

  • For more than 30 years, Dixie Square Mall in Harvey has sat vacant and decaying -- a symbol of despair and loss of jobs and retail in the south suburbs.

    But in two months, officials will begin demolishing the building and preparing it for a new life, said Gov. Pat Quinn. Today, Quinn announced a $4 million federal grant for what officials claim will be the first step toward revitalizing that area.

We knew it had been closed when Hollywood used it for filming, but we figured it had been torn down in the intervening decades. Nice to see $4 million appear just when Quinn is needing a boost in the polls


Joe the Cop - Censored


We link to a couple good articles by "Joe the Cop" over at "Arresting Tales" and today, all the links are down. All Joe did was lay out a step-by-step about how 99% of police shootings play out and - voila! - he was 100% on the money.

We guess the truth hurts liberal feelings.

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CFD Cuts?

Anyone from the Fire side of things know anything about the rumor that the city wants to cut rigs from 5 firefighters down to 4 in exchange for the 55 and out? That would seem to be a rather large public safety issue and deserving of explanations.

And do you guys have an academy classes in at the moment or is it reduction by attrition, too?

Just curious.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Billboard Interview

  • He has become a rallying point for rank and file police officers. Chicago Police Officer Bill Cozzi was convicted of beating a man shackled to a wheelchair, an incident caught on videotape. So why when a police officer does something so wrong and ends up in prison, does a billboard go up looking for support? [...].

    The billboard is just outside Area Five Police Headquarters, on the east side of Central Avenue, just south of Grand Avenue.

    Reminiscent of the Chicago flag, with red, white and blue, it says, "Bill Cozzi, Stay Strong Friend. You Will Not be Forgotten. Your Friends and Family."

    Officer Bob Cavaiani spearheaded the effort to raise $3500 to pay for the billboard in less than 10 days.
Bob has a response to all the positive comments in our previous posting.


Joe the Cop Dissects CTA Shooting

  • On September 20 I wrote a blog post about the CTA Red Line shooting that occurred last weekend:

    CTA Red Line Shooting: the ghetto shooting template

    I wrote the post in reaction to a number of news items that appeared on September 19. In my opinion, the media coverage followed a pattern that I recognized from other police-involved shootings over the years, right down to specific phrases in the stories. I coined the phrase "ghetto shooting template" to describe that pattern. I was not attempting to be flippant, or deliberately provocative.

    50+ comments later, it's safe to say that I have never seen such a reaction to anything I've written. This is not the first time I've talked about police-involved shootings, or about racial issues in law enforcement, but this time I definitely struck a raw, raw nerve.
"Joe" isn't CPD, but he's local law enforcement and he's been around the block it seems. Click over to his site and search around a bit of his writing. Some really good stuff there.

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How About a Little Prison Time?

  • A serial panhandler was locked up for the 253rd time early Wednesday for causing a disturbance outside a River North nightclub.

    Darryl Marlow, 55, who told officers he lives in the 400 block of West Oak, was arrested at 2:05 a.m. at 873 N. Orleans, outside Stone Lotus, where he was disturbing patrons who were waiting in line to get inside, according to a Near North District police lieutenant.

    It was his 253rd arrest, according to police.

Even if he served 6 months for each arrest, he would have been in jail for 126 years.

Hey Cook County voters? Exhibit #1 as to why the justice system is broken.


Question for Bottom Feeding Lawyers

Someone want to explain how there can be "independent witnesses" for the police killing a convicted felon with a gun on a CTA platform, but when a Chicago cop gets killed in front of his home and a reward of $140,000 is offered, no one can be bothered to see shit? Do the lawyers offer "points" like Hollywood offers movie stars?

We were just curious.


Rahm Running

  • White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is feeling out other potential candidates for Chicago mayor.

    West Side U.S. Rep. Danny Davis met with Emanuel last night. Chicago Ald. Thomas Tunney, 44th, said Emanuel called him Friday. North Side U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley is scheduled to meet with Emanuel this afternoon in Washington.

    "I got the impression it is very likely he is going to do this,'' said Davis, who spoke to Emanuel for about half an hour at the Caucus Room, a D.C. restaurant at the chief of staff's request. "We talked about, if we were to become candidates, what kind of campaigning that should be done — that it's important to try and keep the city as harmonized as possible and that the city not become split and divided.

    "Whoever is campaigning should have that uppermost in their minds. And we both assured each other that, should we become candidates, that would be our approach and would be our tactics," said Davis, who is gathering signatures for his own potential mayoral campaign.
Rahm is probably telling everyone, "Look what happened to JJJ. You'd hate for that to happen to you, wouldn't you?" This is exactly who we don't need for Chicago.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bring it On? Consider it "Brought"

Way to go Jesse Junior! You start throwing out challenges like that someone is bound to cut you off at the knees. John Kass starts it off like this:
  • Just days ago, before his career was impaled by his relationship with a blonde nightclub hostess, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Bud Light, was busy patting himself on the back.
This was mere days after Jackson Jr. challenged the feds to "bring it on" regarding his involvement in the attempting to buy a US Senate seat. Unfortunately for Junior, some other powerful people want that seat, too, and we're sure they aren't above leaking this story out.

Seems the apple didn't fall far from the tree here. A smooth move by Representative Ex-lax.

UPDATE: And does anyone want to call the Sun Times? It seems their comments are disabled for this story and we're sure we saw them enabled for every single story written about the Chicago Police Department.

They must be having computer problems or something, right? It couldn't be that they have some anti-police agenda and employ that other "upstanding reverend" with the same last name, right?

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Casino Time

It would be the World's Ugliest Casino, that's for sure:
  • A Near South Side alderman who’s mulling a race for mayor proposed Tuesday that McCormick Place East be converted into a giant, but temporary, casino and that Chicago begin the search for a permanent gambling site.

    Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) mentioned the 37-acre campus that formerly housed Michael Reese Hospital, the old Chicago Post Office and 67 acres of vacant land at Roosevelt and Clark once owned by convicted businessman and Rod Blagojevich fund-raiser Tony Rezko as possible sites for a permanent casino.

He also throws some red meat to the CPD:
  • But, he sure sounded like a candidate when he demanded that the lame-duck mayor begin the search for Chicago’s next police superintendent immediately instead of waiting until March 1, when the $310,000-a-year contract of embattled Supt. Jody Weis expires.

    “We need somebody to bring up the morale of this department that is so low right now — that is at the lowest level it’s ever probably been,” the alderman said, reiterating his demand for the hiring of 1,000 more police officers. without saying how he planned to pay for it.

Um, casino....millions in revenue....hire more police? The problem kind of solves itself as some point - as long as they aren't paying the supernintendo a million bucks.


An "Uncommon" Occurrence

  • Two men were shot Monday night outside the aldermanic office of Democratic nominee for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

    The men — ages 19 and 26 — were wounded in a drive-by shooting on the 4600 block of S. Cottage Grove, police said.

    One victim was shot in his foot and the other in the leg. Preckwinkle (4th) said shootings are not common in the area and the incident was not related to her.

We guess it's only common if you draw the circle big enough.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cozzi Billboard

The boys and girls over in 025 and Area 5 have outdone themselves.

A rather sizable billboard has just been unveiled behind the station supporting Bill Cozzi

The board is a show of support for Bill, containing no political overtones. The creator's intent is this:
  • We do not condone the original incident , but we stand in agreement as to the miscarriage of justice that has befallen Bill. being charged twice for the same crime is excessive and the only reason that this has happened to Bill is because of his being a Chicago police officer and someone wanting to kick start their career here in Chicago.
The billboard is directly behind 025 and can be viewed best while driving southbound on Central from Grand.


Wrigleyville Bomb?

Wait a minute - we've got sidewalk enforcement, Operation Return to Owner, and now J-Fled answering questions over a bomb plot? Sounds like somebody is trying to polish up someone's image:
  • A 22-year-old North Side man who wanted to bring political change to the city was arrested early Sunday after placing a backpack which he thought contained explosives into a trash can on a crowded street near Wrigley Field.

    Sami Samir Hassoun, a Lebanese citizen and permanent U.S. resident, was arrested just after midnight Sunday morning without incident on North Seminary Avenue near the 3500 block of North Clark Street by members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to a release from the FBI.

    The arrest followed an investigation that accelerated in June, according to the release. The FBI said the public was never in danger as the explosive device was provided to Hassoun by an undercover agent.

Ah, so this is another one of those "investigations" where everyone involved was a fed except for guy actually charged. This guy seems like a nutjob:
  • In June, Hassoun, of the 4700 block of North Kedzie, began expressing to an associate the desire to commit acts of violence in the city for monetary gain and to cause political transformation, the complaint alleges. Unbeknownst to him, his associate was secretly cooperating with the FBI.

    Through the summer, Hassoun discussed a number of possible plots, including a biological attack on the city, poisoning Lake Michigan, attacking police officers, bombing the Willis Tower or assassinating Mayor Daley, the complaint alleges.

  • He saw attacking Chicago as a means of creating chaos to gain political control of the city and its sources of revenue, the release said.
Political control? From Shortshanks? Sources of revenue? Daley sold them all.

Obviously, a nutjob.


Return to Owner?

  • Authorities this past weekend arrested 249 people, took 24 parolees into custody and seized 22 guns as part of a joint law enforcement crackdown that Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said would send a clear message to criminals.

    The sweeps were the third leg of "Operation Return To Owner," a plan that saturates high-crime areas with law enforcement and city inspection teams aimed at targeting criminals, along with the derelict businesses and slums that attracts them. The suppression strategy aims at lowering violence by putting a finer law enforcement focus on areas plagued by gang violence and drugs.

Wait a second....a "joint operation?" Who with?
  • The police's gang enforcement, tactical officers and rapid response and gun teams were joined by officers from Illinois State police, sheriff's, state's attorney's offices, as well as state corrections and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
And whom are we returning the streets to? Squanto? The only message we're seeing is that Chicago Police can't follow up on any meaningful crackdowns without a massive infusion of officers from any number of outside agencies. Same thing for the Buildings and Licensing divisions of Chicago.


Back to Crosswalks?

  • Chicago police have gone on a ticketing blitz focusing on dozens of high-accident locations to enforce a new state law requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

    The law, which took effect this summer yet remains little-known among the public, is all about improving safety and reducing crashes involving pedestrians, officials said.

    While Charles Burke welcomes the idea, he says he hasn't noticed any changes making it easier to cross streets.

And once again, we'll state thank goodness the homicide rate, numbers of shootings and property crime is a such a low level that we can afford to concentrate on such pressing matters as people crossing the street.


Detective Writes to Zorn

Since we avoid Eric Zorn's column like the plague, we didn't see this from a few days ago.

It's a letter from a detective to Zorn. He signs his name to it and pretty much takes FOP President Donahue to task for pushing for a march around HQ. The letter is, in our opinions, a bit disjointed, but we are aware of the difficulty of producing posts that flow.

He also addresses a number of issues addressed here continuously. We all end up rehashing many of the same arguments after beating our heads against the wall for years on end.

Some commentator wants us to rip the detective a new one, using all sorts of inflammatory language. And calling us names because they haven't seen any posting on it.

Frankly, we don't see much to address seeing as how Zorn and the letter were published on 16 September, a full day after the march occurred. We aren't going to begrudge the detective his opinion and we aren't going to point out Zorn's selective quoting that makes the letter seem harsher than it is - and it is a pretty pointed letter.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The detective has his. It reflects small portions of ours. Some doesn't. It's all moot at this point, and it was moot when it appeared in Zorn's column.


Monday, September 20, 2010

More Money Gone?

We've had it mentioned in a couple comment sections. There is some lawsuit settlement paper being posted in the stations about anyone arrested and held in interrogation rooms or overnight in lock-ups are entitled to money.

What sounds truly ridiculous is that they are offering $90 to anyone held in a Chicago Police lockup overnight if they didn't have a mattress.

A mattress?

Mattresses are havens for bugs and vermin of all sorts. They also provide hiding places, provide fuel for mischief and could conceivably be used in a manner completely at odds with their design. Jail isn't supposed to be comfortable. It's a temporary holding spot until bail or transfer, nothing else.

But now it seems to be a source for payoff money - $16 million plus of your and our money.


Ambulance Cuts

We blame Daley for this - evidently, it's cheaper to walk to the hospital:
  • A man shot in the South Chicago neighborhood early Sunday later walked into a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

    The shooting happened about 12:15 a.m. on the 8700 block of South Kingston Avenue, according to police News Affairs [...]. The 18-year-old victim was walking when he was shot by an unknown offender who fled the scene. The victim suffered gunshot wounds to the shoulder and arm and later walked into Advocate Trinity Hospital for treatment,...

Plus, it completely distorts time lines, crime scenes and let's witnesses hide or alter stories. Got to maintain the "no snitching" policy.


Order of Protection Failure

  • A 47-year-old man was charged today with Friday's slaying of a woman in what police are calling a "domestic-related incident."

    Carey B. Donald was charged with first degree murder in connection with the death of Chorelynn Johnson-Roth, 53. The two lived at the same address on the 1300 block of West 56th Street, officials said.

    Johnson-Roth was pronounced dead at 11:50 a.m. Friday at Stroger Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. She died of multiple stab injuries in a homicide, the office ruled today following an autopsy.
According to our comment sections, Johnson-Roth had the ex served with an Order of Protection about five minutes before he inflicted multiple wounds to her with an axe.

Anyone want to point out what a useless invention the Order of Protection is? It's just another "illusion" of protection that does nothing.
Maybe she should have gotten a gun?


Contrary Witness

  • Chicago police shot and killed a man on a CTA Red Line train early Saturday who, officials alleged, was walking through the train with a gun.

    [...] But several witnesses who telephoned the Tribune and other media outlets Saturday countered that version of events, arguing that Lash appeared unarmed and that the shooting appeared unjustified.

    "I didn't see a gun at all," said Natalie Bruce, who said she was on her way home from church when the shooting occurred. "The officers put his hands behind his back. They seemed like they were patting him down, and they tussled a little bit, but they had him pinned against the wall."
We're assuming the Tribune is going to stand by their reporting that Ms. Bruce was headed home from church at 2 AM and not from Church's Chicken. And we're sure the Tribune, being upstanding corporate citizens who never ever be involved in anything shady, immediately forwarded this citizen's story and contact information to the proper investigative body.
This is why we can't wait for these newspapers to go under.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cowboys by 7?

Depending on the oddsmaker, it's as much as 8.5 And a projected 95 degree high today:
  • The Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys each had controversial endings to their season openers, and only one team came away with a victory.

    As a result, the Bears will be trying to get off to their best start since 2006, while the Cowboys look to avoid opening 0-2 for the first time in nine years Sunday at Cowboys Stadium.
Dallas has something to prove. The Bears just want to prove last week wasn't a fluke.What does the Crystal Ball Unit say?

UPDATE: Interesting. The Bears played up to the level of their opponent - and won. Hmmm.


Not a Smart Move Junior

You really shouldn't challenge the feds like this:
  • As he dips his toes into the city's mayoral fray, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. declared Friday that if government prosecutors have evidence he did anything illegal in his dealings with Rod Blagojevich, "Bring it on."

    Jackson, speaking on WLS-AM's "Don Wade and Roma" show, for the first time publicly responded to an allegation that he was present at an Oct. 28, 2008, meeting at which fund-raisers discussed raising $1 million for Blagojevich in exchange for Jackson's appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Too many people are on too many tapes to be making blanket assumptions there isn't something extremely damaging somewhere. Jesse Sr. is supposedly on more than a few of these tapes making who knows what kinds of statements and he was already making news for threatening to cut off Obama's testicles, you think he wouldn't use around other inflammatory language? And then lie about it?

Tread carefully around Feds.


That Time of Year

Time for some hockey!
  • A steady throng of thousands and thousands of Blackhawks fans continually streamed through the United Center on the first day of training camp to cheer the Stanley Cup champions Saturday as they hit the ice for the first time since bringing home the title.

    They also got their first glimpse at the newcomers on a roster that was stripped of its depth with the departures of 10 players during the offseason. It's those new additions — the likes of Marty Turco, Viktor Stalberg, John Scott, Fernando Pisani and Ryan Potulny —who may be the difference for the Hawks in their efforts to repeat their first NHL championship since 1961.
They sold out a practice session for pete's sake. It's going to be a long hard slog, but they should make the playoffs. Then the real work begins.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Another Honor Student Killed

  • Police shot and killed an armed man in the South Side Fuller Park neighborhood on an "L" at the Garfield/55th CTA Red Line stop, temporarily disrupting service early this morning, authorities said.

    About 1:40 a.m., police responded to a man with a gun on the CTA train at 220 West Garfield Boulevard, according to a release from police News Affairs. The Garfield CTA station is located at that address.
    A train operator directed police to the train car in which the suspect was last seen. When police approached the suspect on the train, he began to fight with the officers, the release said.

    At one point, the suspect pointed a gun at the officers, prompting both officers to shoot him, the release said.

    The suspect was identified by the Cook County medical examiner's office as George Lash, 19, of the 3300 block of South Giles Avenue. Lash was shot and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was declared dead at 2:31 a.m., according to the medical examiner's office.
Good job, Officers.

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Ridiculous Interview

Softball question. Canned answers. Pretty much a whitewash of J-Fled's tenure here.
So far, we have the Sun Times Editorial Board, Skippy Jacobson and now Bob Sirott all in the J-Fled Cheering Section. And Mope-rah Mitchell was one of the first media members calling for J-Fled's resignation a few years back.

Wonder what changed? Shortshanks must have told her to "Knock it off."


New Sergeant Assignments?

Anyone seen a list? We didn't even know they graduated.


Parking Meter Lawsuit

When the government botches up governing, are courts the answer, rather than distant elections somewhere down the road?
  • A local investment firm advising Mayor Daley's administration in the run-up to the parking meter deal provided a "grossly faulty assessment" that will short-change motorists and Chicago residents for years to come.

    That's according to a class-action lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court against the Chicago-based firm William Blair & Company, which analyzed the deal and advised city officials before they approved the 75-year, $1.15 billion deal to lease the parking meters, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

    According to court papers, Blair was paid millions for the analysis and in a written memorandum to the city in June 2009 issued a report stating the deal "was fair to the City from a financial point of view."'
Fair to the City?
  • The company expects to rake in more than $73 million this year — more than triple the city's annual $20 million take before the meters were privatized.
Double the money would have alleviated a lot of problems, including the bond rating and the half-a-billion dollar deficit. It might have smoothed over the rough patch we're going through. Government is supposed to provide for the citizens, not for cronies.

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Shot Twice in Nine Hours

  • A South Side man is cursed — or terribly lucky — depending on your point of view.

    The 23-year-old man was shot twice this morning in different neighborhoods and survived.

    “Someone is trying real hard to kill this guy,” one police source said.

Hopefully, that "someone" succeeds shortly. And without killing anyone else either.

And on the bright side, the Predictive Analysis Unit can just stick a tracker on this jackass and predict with pretty much 100% certainty that he'll be a target again shortly.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Alderman Races

Another cop enters another race. But this time it's a cop most of us know:
  • Jim Mullen, the plain-clothes Chicago cop shot in the line of duty 14 years ago and left a quadriplegic, will announce his candidacy for alderman of the 41st Ward on Sunday.

    "I wanted to be a police officer to serve and protect," Mullen said at his Edgebrook home Thursday. "It's my chance to serve and protect the people of the 41st Ward as alderman."

It's a crowded field in the 41st Ward, and it includes another cop, also shot in the line of duty:
  • Mullen is one of two officers shot in the line of duty in the race. Chicago Police Sgt. Richard Gonzalez is also running. Gonzalez runs a company, RMS, that manages 2,500 properties in a four-state area.
No, we aren't endorsing one over the other. But what we'd like to have is a list of all CPD running for office this election cycle. We're going to start a sidebar of links to their sites and encourage everyone to look toward supporting our own. Post them in the comment section or e-mail them.

We need some voices at the table. This might be the election to do it.


CAPS Dead Again

It lives, it dies, it gets a reprieve, Shortshanks says, "Maybe not"
  • Mayor Daley said Thursday he wants to take the police out of community policing to put 200 more officers on the street.

    Daley said Chicago’s Alternative Policing Strategy, known as CAPS, was conceived as a civilian-run program in the 1990s but now involves many more uniformed officers than was originally intended.

    “Over 200 police officers or more were assigned to CAPS over years — lieutenants and sergeants and patrolmen. In some districts, they had 8 to 10 or 12 people assigned to CAPS. . . . All the sudden, a civilian thing . . . went to a Police Department [program]. That was not the concept,” the mayor said.

  • In light of that shortage, which triggered a police protest this week, Holt said the move makes sense.

    “The citizens have spoken. They have complained about not enough police presence. They want more police presence in their neighborhoods,” Holt said.

    [...] Critics contend the program is being decimated. Holt denied that.

Decimated means one-in-ten officers are being cut out. This is more like six or eight out of ten, so "decimation" is an understatement.

Regardless, we are unable to currently afford the previous CAPS luxuries.

A question though - seeing as how J-Fled and Shortshanks are so eager to put more officers on street duty, doesn't that imply that crime is out of control? That they are losing or have lost control of the streets? They can't have it both ways. Or maybe they can until there's a massive upheaval in the ranks of the city council. It's promising to be an interesting campaign season.


Sounds Familiar?

  • A man apparently impersonated a bus driver and drove a CTA bus out of a garage on the South Side last week, prompting the CTA to consider tightening security.

    The man, wearing what appeared to be a CTA uniform, drove the bus out of the 103rd Street garage and was seen later that night by another employee, according to a release from the CTA.

Thank goodness he wasn't intent on any real harm. Now can we expect keypad doors on CTA bus barns along with security and the like?


More Coyotes

  • A coyote was spotted this morning near a dog park at Huron Street and the Chicago River.

    The coyote was apparently wearing a monitoring collar and was allowed to go on its way.

    It was on the highest point of a grassy knoll at Huron and the river – walking around and looking for food....

  • “It was probably a female that was radio-collared last spring along the north part of Chicago,” says Dr. Stan Gehrt of Ohio State University is principal investigator of the Cook County Coyote Project.
Well, if it was being monitored, wouldn't they be able to confirm it via the tracking collar? Or is this like a "Blue Light Camera" where the City puts them up everywhere, but no one is actually watching anything? It would explain a lot.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The CAPS Zombie

  • Big changes in the works for Chicago Police are now being put on hold. CBS 2 learned that a large number of officers were about to be reassigned to street duty. Now, the plan has been put on hold, after a protest about where the officers were coming from. [...]

    It was supposed to happen this week. We already had the details: 130 officers to be reassigned.

    But once the department's partners in its Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy, or CAPS, started to protest at 7 p.m. Wednesday, the moves were put on hold -- until at least next month.
Prediction (and not from the crystal ball unit either):
  • It will be far easier to disband MSF, TRU, GEU or send the gang teams back to the Districts than it will be to kill CAPS once and for all.
If J-Fled and the Policy Group had even one-half-of-one functioning brain cell, they'd close two districts tomorrow, remap the remaining beats and eliminate District Managers along with about 20 gold star/director slots that are redundant, useless and money wasters. That alone would at least give a veneer of credibility to attempts to paint J-Fled as a "reformer."

He'd still be an out-of-touch, ego maniacal, run-from-gunfire coward with zero people skills and even less leadership ability, but he could claim the "reformer" label and not be subjected to outright laughter.


Mayoral Support - LA Style

  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also offered a vigorous defense Thursday of the officers involved, saying they were heroes who "acted with bravery."

    "Let's be clear, and I will be, about what happened in the Westlake area," Villaraigosa told reporters. "There was a man with a knife. That man with a knife was threatening individuals, innocent people who were on the street there. That man was in close proximity — in fact, the facts will show that actually he had his hand on at least one person at some point in that altercation.

    "We've got to go through an investigation," Villaraigosa said. "But when it's all said and done, I'll guarantee you what's going to come out is that these guys are heroes, and I stand by them."

Cops kill a knife-wielding assailant and the mayor is right there, backing their proper, lawful and effective Use of Force. That's fantastic.

We've never seen anything approaching this sort of statement in any police shooting in all of our years. Neither has any old timer we've approached. The closest thing we can even recall is old man Daley's "shoot to kill arsonists" order.

Nowadays? Reverends up in arms, lawyers lining up with their hands out, Corp Counsel negotiating dollar amounts and the City Council signing off on any settlement that passes by. Maybe the LA Mayor can write a book and then someone here can steal every idea out of it?


March Coverage

Chicago Breaking News and the Sun Times. Channel 2, Channel 5 and Channel 7.

And of course, the argument about numbers begins:
  • They say they're tired, they need help and they're worried about their safety. And so are their loved ones. Hundreds of Chicago Police officers raised signs of protest and their voices Wednesday, saying they need more officers on the street.

    Rank and file officers are marching around Chicago Police Headquarters Wednesday morning, taking aim at their boss, Supt. Jody Weis. Such a protest has never happened before.
The media consensus seems to be "300 officers." They must have learned their shady counting from the people who have been telling Chicagoans crime is "down." Including family members, interested citizens and supporters from other unions, our headcount, and the counts of those we traveled with had it around 600. Not the thousand or more hoped for, but still, not the bomb others were predicting.

Meeks and Fioretti were the big mayoral hopefuls on scene. The Sun Times had pictures of Colleen Lawson marching. Ms. Lawson was one of the lead plaintiffs in the McDonald v Chicago case that restored Second Amendment Rights to Chicagoans. We saw some brass marching, too, but we'll see if anyone else noticed - like when the dumps start in a day or two.


No, and Hell No

At least that's what we told the pollster who called the house during dinner:
  • White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel planned to meet privately with Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. of Illinois on Wednesday night to discuss the Chicago mayor's race, according to two people familiar with the plan.

    The meeting follows Emanuel's decision to commission a poll testing his viability as a mayoral candidate, and as he tries to help the White House retain Democratic majorities in Congress.

When you live in the cesspool of Illinois politics, voters have to be wary of what floats up from the depths. Rahm is one of those things surfacing from the nether regions of Hell. His only redeeming quality would be scaring off less well-funded candidates that might split voting blocs.


Sworn Affidavit Prosecution

  • A Zion woman who claimed she was harassed and abused by a Gurnee police officer admitted Wednesday that she made up the story.

    Shirlon Rogers, 44, pleaded guilty to perjury and driving under the influence of alcohol after her story was undone by the dashboard camera in the officer's squad car.

Of course, that would never happen here. The camera would be broken or Felony Review would refuse charges and the ASA would toss the left-over charge at the preliminary.

It's amusing how every other state law seems to work outside the confines of Cook County. It must be something in the air.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On the Way Downtown

Underway. We will attempt periodic updates, but phone blogging is sporadic in the best of times. Send photos if you can and we'll try to get the best ones up.

UPDATE: Some pics ...

UPDATE: Saw Ald. Fioretti talking to some media people.

UPDATE: Wrapping it up here just before the noon news cycle starts? Numerous CTA personnel were here bitching about the lack of police on the buses and in the tunnels. Thanks for your support!


Walter Joins the Sack Sniffers

This isn't the tiniest bit surprising, seeing as how Walter used to have underwear put on his head by members of the Chicago Cubs when he was their bat boy. We're not even surprised he makes up a provable lie to support his position:
  • But, the number of citizen complaints against the Chicago Police is down, the number of cops in trouble is down, the number of crimes being committed is down, and the number of crimes being solved is up.

    And the gangbangers are sounding a little less fierce than usual. What's so bad about all that?
There are less cops Walter. That means less citizen interactions. That means less complaints.

The number of crimes isn't down - the numbers in certain categories are down. That's a big difference because it lets the bean counters shade the facts. Count the number of people with more holes in their bodies than when the day started. Or the recent article by your station about CTA crime being up 77%.

Here's where Walter outright lies though - crimes being solved? Fantasy Walter. You shouldn't have said that. Clearance rates are at historic lows. Nothing is being solved. The Department hasn't promoted a detective in three years now. Cook County jail had to close two entire divisions last we heard because there are no offenders being processed through. Oops.

Gangbangers being less fierce? Just because you and your ilk refuse to cover the downtown wildings, doesn't mean they aren't happening. We've linked to a Wisconsin technology writer who blogged about how bad Chicago has become. We've posted about the bachelorette bus party confronted and beaten by gangbangers. The massive North Avenue Beach re-deployments, the special hire-back programs for the other beaches, the Taste fiascoes and subsequent cancellation of 03 July fireworks. The shootings, stabbings and fights at the Rock and Roll McDonald's should be a category of their own this summer.

We'd love to see Walter go for a Big Mac around 2 AM this Friday. Less fierce our asses.

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Sun Times in the Tank

*** WARNING***

Long post. We're going to take the Sun Times to the woodshed.

No wonder the dead-tree media is dying. Get a load of this "editorial reply" to yesterday's whinny screed by J-Fled. Try not to vomit:
  • It is easily the most dangerous and frustrating job in Chicago. The hours you work are miserable. The respect you deserve is not always forthcoming.

    Your pay could be better. And God help you if you should have a bad day, lose your cool and get a little too rough. People who have no idea what you go through and put up with every day will be the first to call for your head.

    It is the most dangerous and frustrating job in Chicago -- cop.

So far so good. Now it heads downhill:
  • But here is the other side of the coin: If you can't handle the pressure, you shouldn't be a cop. If you torture suspects in a police station basement, you shouldn't be a cop. If you beat up a woman bartender, you shouldn't be a cop. If you pummel a man handcuffed in a wheelchair, you shouldn't be a cop.

    Because all you do is sow distrust in Chicago's neighborhoods for all police officers, the vast majority of whom would never in their wildest dreams beat up a woman bartender or slug a man handcuffed in a wheelchair. What you're doing is hurting your fellow officers, sullying the reputation of an entire department.

Um, none of those people are cops anymore. Each of those cases cited went through the process and were summarily adjudicated. Maybe not in the rapid-fire manner so often preferred by media types, but the wheels of justice ground slowly to an outcome, none of which made all parties happy, but the cases ended.
  • It was with that in mind that Mayor Daley hired Police Supt. Jody Weis three years ago to clean up the department's image.
Oh, so now J-Fled was hired for an "image" problem? That's the first we've ever heard about that. Nice to see the Sun Times is moving the goalposts again for Shortshanks to protect his legacy of hiring this ass.
  • It was an image that sorely needed restoration. Chicago was going through a mini-spree of police brutality cases. The much-maligned Office of Professional Standards was seen as turning a blind eye to rogue cops. Seven members of the elite police Special Operations Section were charged with a litany of crimes, including a conspiracy to kill a fellow cop. And it seemed like everyone in the nation had watched the video of off-duty officer Anthony Abbate attacking bartender Karolina Obrycka.
"Mini-spree?" What? When? Who? Can someone cite these cases? SOS? Seven cops in a unit of 350? On a force of 10,000? And can anyone tell us what's going on with that "conspiracy" case? You have to love how the Sun Times cites an allegation that's about to be dropped shortly as entrapment to bolster their editorial. And the reason "everyone in the nation watched the video" is because every media outlet played it over and over and over. Honest to god, we'd see ABC News running a story about Chicago cops rescuing a dog on the lake ice, and the next shot would be, "You may remember the Chicago Police Department is under a cloud after a drunk asshole beat a bartender." It was a running joke at that point.
  • But three years later, all is not well inside the Chicago Police Department. Weis, in a long letter that appeared in Monday's Sun-Times, criticized the police union for trying to continue "business as usual." And an anti-Weis march by potentially thousands of rank-and-file officers is scheduled for Wednesday outside police headquarters.

    Weis, a career FBI agent and the first outsider in nearly 50 years to serve as Chicago Police superintendent, clearly has made mistakes. Promptly replacing 21 of 25 district commanders left many officers on the street wondering if the top brass understood the challenges they face. His decision to wear a uniform even though he never was a street cop offended those who were. And merit promotions for two officers who worked as drivers for Weis angered cops who work the streets who had been passed over.

No one wanted business as usual. J-Fled refused to work with the union. He instituted changes in direct violation of signed contractual agreements and then had to backpedal constantly. His missteps were numerous and the advice he received was from people who had never operated under a contract in their careers, i.e., clout babies. The immediate replacement and shuffling of district commanders, along with the other brass, was a power move by Daley to break up the old guard. J-Fled had ZERO knowledge of the CPD, yet he's making 30 and 40 moves of exempt personnel based on what exactly? Oh yeah, phone calls. And when he wouldn't return Daley's phone calls, Shortshanks replaced J-Fled's Chief of Staff with well-known political insider Michael Masters Masters Masters, who's primary duty was to pick up the phone and tell Jody it was the mayor on the line and he better get his ass over to answer it.

The "business as usual" was all from the fifth floor of Headquarters, not the union. The superintendent's driver making "merit" sergeant was just the icing on the cake. Cline did it. Hilliard did it. J-Fled was signaling loud and clear that nothing had changed.
  • Most controversial was Weis' decision early in his tenure to call in federal authorities to probe the case of Officer William Cozzi, who had been caught on video beating a man shackled to a wheelchair. Cozzi already had been suspended for two years without pay.

    Looking at that incident now, it's a legitimate question whether Weis reacted too quickly, coming down too hard on a veteran officer with an otherwise commendable record who already had been punished. And without a doubt Weis had a political tin ear for department politics, clearly never anticipating how deeply unpopular -- even loathed -- that one decision would make him among the rank and file.

Word is that Daley himself, after hearing about J-Fled's recommending the Cozzi case to Fitzgerald, asked aloud, "What the hell did he do that for?" J-Fled is backtracking this so severly he's leaving skidmarks on the pavement and in his shorts. We recall very clearly, though we can't currently locate the article, that J-Fled called this the "worst case of police brutality" he had ever seen in his career. As anyone with half a brain can attest, J-Fled must not get out much.
  • But a thoughtful, respectful discussion of Weis' failings was never ventured. Rather, Weis has been subjected to the cheap-shot warfare of 24-hour anonymous bloggers.
Respect is a two way street. J-Fled held five town hall meetings and then never again. His Deputy Superintendent Bartender Bea took down names and had at least one officer dumped from his assignment after the first meeting - that kind of chilled the subsequent meetings. He visited maybe ten roll calls that we ever heard about. Pointing out bad decisions and poor moves isn't "cheap-shot warfare." That's legitimate criticism of a bad leader. J-Fled's whining about "it's everyone elses fault" speaks to a poor leader with no ability toward introspection - witness the Morale Survey that STILL hasn't seen the light of day. Ask the Lieutenant who got dumped from her spot after insisting the results should be released about that one.

And even if you add up all the hours blogged from here, Shaved and Crimefile, it doesn't add up to 24 hours a day. We do find it interesting that the Sun Times editorial was published without a name attached to it though - anonymously you might say.
  • For their part, the police union and rank and file officers need to show they don't want "business as usual" and are determined to gain the respect of citizens still terrified by the years of police torture under recently convicted former Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

Ummm, yeah. Because everyone we run into is oh, so terrified of Jon Burge. You can't find 1 person in 10 who even knows or cares about Burge. You people are morons.
  • Now that Mayor Daley is not running for re-election, it seems unlikely Weis will remain when his contract is up early next year. The next superintendent needs to stand up for officers when they're in a pinch, but must like Weis have zero tolerance for cops who cross the line.

    God help him (or her) if he runs into the same ugly buzz saw that's taking Weis down.

Thank god he's gone shortly. He's been a disaster. And the reason superintendents haven't stood up for cops in a pinch is directly traceable to Shortshanks. You think Phil Cline went hat-in-hand to Meeks because Meeks was racially profiled? Meeks was wrong, but Daley needed Meeks' votes, so Phil was sent south to embrace a race baiter. It's about votes for The Machine.

And it's funny how J-Fled's tolerance seems to be endless when it's politically connected gold stars with their assorted body parts in the wringer. Ernie, Tony, Ruth, Bea, Penny, Frank, Mike, the list is extensive.

The buzz saw taking J-Fled down is of his own making. A litany of bad decisions; a complete inability to self-evaluate and adapt to the situation; the arrogance typical of an FBI product too wrapped up in his own importance; a history of attacking the messenger (FBI whistleblower Wright; Lt. Andrews); and of course, running from the sound of gunfire.

It sure seems that the Sun Times is fully on board with the "re-hab J-Fled's image" as much as they were with the "destroy the CPD" kick they were before. Who are they taking their marching orders from?

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