Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tribute in Lights

Following the tradition of the past few years:

This is a nice shot of the buildings this year. And with the weather so nice, it's probably getting quite a few looks this weekend. Anyone know if the Marine Unit or Air One can get full panoramic shots of the skyline with this?

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Daley's Pension

  • When Mayor Daley leaves office in a couple of weeks, no one will be throwing any tag days for him. WBBM Newsradio 780 has learned the mayor will be receiving government pensions totaling nearly $200,000 a year.

    Mayor Daley has already notified the Municipal and General Assembly Retirement Systems he wants to begin collecting his pension on May 17, the day after he leaves office.

    When he does, he will be collecting a pension of nearly $184,000 a year. Of that, 64 percent will come from the state pension system and 36 percent will come from the city pension system.

    [...] Daley has not been in the state legislature since 1980.

    And, because Daley has about 40 years of government service, he’s eligible to receive the maximum of 85 percent of that mayor’s salary.

    When Daley left the state legislature in November 1980, his salary was $53,000 a year. Blair says the state portion of Daley’s pension will come to more than $117,000 a year. More than $66,000 a year will come from the city pension system.
Go figure that one out. And not in the article, but heard on the live broadcast by WBBM, the pension fund Daley is drawing from has liabilities that are four times the current assets of the fund.

But the evil police and fire fighters who spend 20, 30 even 40 years damaging their bodies and sacrificing personal time with their families, might top out at $60,000 a year to live out their already statistically shortened life spans.


Wysinger Out?

So, was Sneed wrong? Or is this a change from what was leaked? Or another classic case of misdirection by Shortshanks Rahm and the Machine before naming someone not even on the list?
  • Garry McCarthy — the director of the Newark, N.J., police department — emerged as the odds-on favorite to become Chicago’s next police superintendent on Friday.

    The Chicago Police Board is recommending that Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel pick McCarthy or one of two Chicago Police insiders with less experience to replace police Supt. Jody Weis, whose contract expired in March.

    The other finalists are Chicago Police chief of patrol Eugene Williams and Debra Kirby, a deputy superintendent overseeing the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Professional Standards. But only McCarthy was on Emanuel’s separate list of top contenders.

We're pretty sure Rahm stated he wanted a Chicago guy (or gal) in charge. But someone is pushing for McCarthy awfully hard to make Spielman and Main write this stuff that's so obviously different from the line Sneed was selling.

And word from HQ is the exempts are in-fighting pretty heavily trying to line up support for keeping their spots (or advancing) once the new supernintendo takes over.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Temporary Format Change

Shaved directed us to a temporary fix for comments. You'll notice the comments don't appear on a separate page as usual, but you should be able to comment anonymously or with a pen-name as before without signing up for a Google account.

We'll switch back to the old style once we get word the problem is fixed.


Two Different Tracks?

There's a process, or so we heard. And Rahm is doing his own thing, too:
  • Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel today said he's waiting for the police board to submit the names of three finalists for police superintendent so he can name Chicago’s next top cop.

    “I have to respect a process, and that’s my goal,” Emanuel said. “I look forward to getting those names.”

    The Chicago Police Board must interview candidates, conduct background searches and recommend three finalists. Emanuel has been been doing his own interviews of potential candidates as the police board does its work.
So is the Police Board wasting time if Rahm has his own career track for his picks?


Life vs Registry

  • Earlier this month, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a law creating a “murderer registry” that would require criminals convicted of first-degree murder to check in with the state for 10 years after their release from prison.

    The bill was named for Andrea Will, a young Batavia woman who was strangled to death by her boyfriend in 1998, when they were both students at Eastern Illinois University.

    The boyfriend, Justin Boulay, was set free last year after serving only half his 24-year sentence. For taking away an estimated 70 years of his girlfriend’s life, Boulay did just 12 years in the joint.

    Here’s an even better plan for keeping an eye on killers: don’t let them out of prison. I was all in favor of repealing the death penalty, but if Illinois isn’t going to have capital punishment, we should have another method of permanently removing murderers from society. The penalty for first-degree murder should be changed to a mandatory life sentence, with no chance of parole. It’s a lot easier to keep track of people in prison. Instead of asking murderers to check in with the state, we’ll have prison guards check their beds every night.

While we personally favor removing murders from breathing air, there would have to be way more safeguards in place for us to even consider supporting something like this. Like guarantees against assholes like Ryan emptying the prisons or Quinn from paroling/pardoning/commuting everything in sight for a political end.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Blogger seems to be having some technical problems. Where we usually have 300 comments by this point in the day, we seem to be hovering around 50, with large gaps between in the time stamps. We can only assume that once you, the reader, hits "Publish Your Comment," it disappears into the ether. It will resurface, we just don't know when. So bear with us while we figure this out and when it finally gets corrected, realize we'll be wading through a backlog of our own here.

Open post, but realize your comments aren't get through at the moment.


Fingerprint All Guns?

This is rapidly getting stupid - summarized from an e-mail:
  • An ASA with the Gang Prosecution Unit is requesting that all guns and ammo seized by the CPD be sent for fingerprints, regardless of the circumstances in which it was seized. Defense attorneys are using the lack of a fingerprint request to claim "reasonable doubt" exists in all such cases. It doesn't matter that fingerprints are rarely, if ever, recovered from a weapon. Defense attorneys are showing juries the boxes on the Firearms Recovery Envelope and claiming shoddy investigations are the policy of the day. The US Attorney and ATFE are doing the same thing on Federal upgrades for weapon charges.
The state crime lab can't even turn around rape kits in under three months, yet we expect them to be able to handle something like 1,000 guns a month?


You're Pfired!

  • Cardinal Francis George suspended Rev. Michael Pfleger from his ministry at St. Sabina Catholic Church and barred him from performing Catholic sacraments over public statements Pfleger made about a possible reassignment.

    In a letter from George to Pfleger released to the media on Wednesday, the Cardinal said Pfleger’s public remarks that he would leave the Catholic Church rather than accept a position outside of St. Sabina led to his decision.

    “If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish,” George wrote.

Good riddance.


Off Duty Shooting

  • An off-duty Chicago police officer shot and wounded a man after he witnessed an armed robbery on the West Side this morning, police said.

    The incident happened at about 9:30 a.m. in a backyard in the 1800 block of South Komensky Avenue, said Chicago Police [News Affairs].

    The off-duty officer saw the robbery taking place and shot the suspect...

Weapon recovered and officer OK. Only one thing could have made the story any better.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


  • The competition to become Chicago’s next police superintendent has come down to a three-man race between a veteran Chicago cop and a pair of outsiders, with a final decision possible later this week, City Hall sources said Monday.

    The top three are: Newark Police Chief Garry McCarthy; national drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske and Chicago’s deputy chief-of-detectives Al Wysinger. Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel was asked Monday whether an outsider can improve the morale problems that dogged career FBI agent Jody Weis.

The Sun Times' Frank Main does half of Rahm's hit job for him with this section of the article:
  • The only hitch for McCarthy could be a 2005 disorderly conduct conviction stemming from McCarthy’s attempt to get his daughter out of a parking ticket.
And then completes the picture with this paragraph:
  • Wysinger earned his chops on the day in 2007 when he ran down a gunman who shot a woman in a West Side gangway near his grandmother’s 80th birthday party. His appointment would almost certainly play well with the rank-and-file.
Looks like all of Rahm's pieces are coming together just in time for the inauguration.


Honor Guard Event

Police Memorial events begin shortly and this is one of the more moving ones:
  • In remembrance and appreciation of the ultimate sacrifice made by the Chicago Police Officers whose names are etched in the granite, the Chicago Police Honor Guard will post a guard at the Gold Star Families Memorial Park for a period of 24 hours on 02 May 2011. Officers and their families are encouraged to visit the memorial during this time to render honors to our fallen brothers and sisters.
St. Jude's is this Sunday and we expect a massive turnout due to last year's losses. God bless the fallen.


The Last Plea?

  • When he first walked into a federal courtroom Tuesday, disgraced former Chicago police Officer Jerome Finnigan appeared calm and comfortable, even exchanging pleasantries with the prosecutor who had been investigating him for years.

    But when it came time to admit to a judge that he had tried to have another cop killed, his voice dropped slightly, a hard pounding rain on the courtroom windows nearly drowning him out as he wavered in his admittance of guilt. He first accepted responsibility for planning to hire a hit man but moments later called the plot a "charade."

  • Prosecutors intend to seek a 13-year prison term at Finnigan's Aug. 11 sentencing. He agreed to cooperate with authorities.
Cooperate? What else are they looking at? One rogue team was all we understood there to be. Ten guilty pleas and at least that many resignations. Are the feds trying to climb a ladder here? And where does it lead?



  • The 49-year-old ex-convict was on crutches.

    But that didn’t keep James Roesch from escaping from custody at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California Tuesday morning, authorities said.

    Roesch was being held behind a courtroom Tuesday, awaiting a bond hearing for a recent burglary arrest, when he bolted about 10 a.m., sheriff’s police spokeswoman Liane Jackson said.

    At some point, Roesch “dumped” his crutches as he fled, Jackson said.

    He didn’t get far. Officers caught him as he made his way outside into the damp April morning, witnesses said. He was brought back in — with plenty of time to spare before his bond hearing.

At least they caught him quickly.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh Mikey Mikey Mikey

This wasn't a fight we wanted. It isn't even a fight we needed to have. But as most people know, you don't get to pick the time, place or occasionally, even if you get dragged into a fight. FOP President Mike Shields has decided to pick a fight with the blog. Not only pick a fight, but pick it badly, frame it poorly and conclude it immaturely. The comments are alive with trolls accusing us of all sorts of crap, none of it provable and even more of it just outright wrong. We will attempt to address Mikey and the trolls in this post and frame the debate as it should have been in the first place if Mikey let his brain do his thinking instead of running off at the mouth:
  • Dear Kid,

    Congratulations on your recent electoral victory. You managed to capture the presidency, but you ought to give Bella some credit. He ran a half-assed campaign and pretty much handed you the election. Don't read too much into it. You need to actually run the organization now, gain support, mend fences, build in-roads, introduce and support legislation, negotiate, fight battles, etc.

    What you don't need to do is address the blog. The blog has been around for almost six years. When founded, it was touted as the new "Rumor Central" (you can ask an old-timer about was before your time). A bathroom wall of sorts. A place for coppers to bitch, moan, vent, commiserate, exchange info, whatever. Your predecessor was in office for nine years and guess how many times he addressed the blog? We can think of two times total - once at a meeting to a direct question (yes, we attend regularly), once in the president's message. That's it. Donahue realized a president is supposed to lead; to be a big-picture guy; to be the face of the organization. If he addressed every little gripe people had, he'd be ineffectual. He'd also look like a petty ass, as you've so ably demonstrated.

    Now, addressing part one of your post. You state in the opening paragraph that SCC was "critical of the FOP because the organization has not come out in favor of the proposed legislation [concealed carry]." Guilty as charged. Did you read the entire post though? All of the other supporters of Concealed Carry? Chicago Police Sergeants. Chicago Police Lieutenants. Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. Illinois Sheriffs Association. That's some pretty dignified company, isn't it? It's also under 4,000 people if we guess correctly. Chicago FOP is twice and more times that, the "big dog" so to speak. Why are we being followers and not leaders? Granted, you can argue that it's Donahue's fault for staying silent for so long, but you decided to make this a debate about our statement and your aims. How better to break with the past than become a leader in the Concealed Carry debate? You did read the Constitution of the FOP, didn't you?

    to cultivate a spirit of fraternalism and mutual helpfulness among our members and the people we serve; to increase the efficiency of law enforcement and thus more firmly establish the confidence of the public in the service dedicated to the protection of life and property.

    What better way to start making a name for yourself than uniting behind something that's already legal in 48 other states and tracks with the Constitution of the FOP in being good Americans. Oh wait, you've already decided the police are better than the citizens we serve. We quote:

    "Chicago Police Officers already have that right"

    That certainly seems to run contrary to the FOP Constitution. We aren't better than the citizens we serve. We are entrusted with certain duties and privileges to ensure domestic tranquility and help preserve the rights of all citizens. Driving a wedge between the public and the police will serve to undermine your stated agenda to protect benefits, wages and pensions by alienating those whose support we need to pass legislation, but we suppose you missed that.

    And guess what else? Concealed carry IS an FOP issue. Who is going to be dealing with citizens carrying weapons? Who is going to be investigating citizen-involved shootings? We'll give you a hint kid...police officers. Don't you think the FOP would be better served with a well-trained force of officers not only familiar with the new laws, but actually well versed in investigating and enforcing laws that we might have had some input in? We run into more and more officers all the time who not only support Concealed Carry, but join the ISRA and the NRA to support these goals on a state and national level. Polling the membership and being a leader makes sense. Stop following the chiefs, sheriffs, lieutenants, sergeants, and especially the Daleys and see if a leadership role is a road to better days for the FOP. At the very least, we'd establish ourselves as a political force and not a punchline.

    And now to the other part of your post. Yes, we are anonymous. We have been so since the beginning. Your challenge to "emerge from the anonymity of his basement" is childish in the extreme. First of all, we don't have a basement. Second, how long have you been on the job? Do you have any idea what happens to people who don't toe the company line? There's a reason we're anonymous and we're pretty sure you know exactly why. Your grandstanding is exactly that - without substance and a cheap shot. Congratulations. You've demonstrated in one single line exactly how you intend to crush all opposition to your rule. We aren't the Lodge. We've never purported to be anything but the voice of the street cop with no aspirations to anything but needling the powers that be, exposing cronyism and nepotism, and pointing out in our own inimitable style the nonsense that goes along with being a Chicago Police Officer.

    Have you been clicking on our ads? Maybe going over to our PayPal account and dropping a few bucks in it just to say "thanks for the entertainment"? Oh yeah, you can't, because this is a hobby for us. A hobby. We post 3 to 5 articles a day, moderate 200 to 300 comments a night, pull in 14,000 visits daily and topped half-a-million visitors last month. And we do it for free. You've been in office for a month and posted two articles: One about the 1,300 SPARs story (that we broke here and drove the media to cover), the other attacking the blog.

    Wow. How many visits does the FOP site get? We challenged Aguilar to post a hit counter once so we could compare. He never responded, so we can assume that if people want info, they don't go to the FOP website, despite the fact we've given the FOP the top link in our "Police Related Websites" tool bar for all six years. Instead of challenging the blog and making accusations you can't possibly prove, why aren't you using the blog? Maybe there's a way to bottle the lightning. You had your people all over the comment sections during the election, spouting off about your opponents (and they had their supporters here, too). We let most of it go, deleting only the most outrageous accusations and rhetoric.

    This brings us to the other part of your post. The truly childish portion. We have never allowed speculation on the identities of SCC. That includes name, rank, assignment, etc. This blog was founded 6 years ago by police officers for police officers. We work the street in the trenches. Any comment guessing or accusing individuals of being "SCC" is summarily deleted without exception for the reasons previously stated above.

    That being said, we know you, your brother and others have been spreading certain names around. It pops up in comments, it is whispered in bars, and it appears in e-mails we've received from others (including your brother and other candidates actually). We will state for the record that each and every name bandied about is wrong. And now, as the President of the Chicago FOP, you have a larger responsibility to protect the organization and its assets from harm. Not harm from us, but harm from those you so cavalierly accuse without any proof and without any ability to prove diddley shit.

    You "keep hearing..."? Who the fuck are you trying to be? You have a storefront church that needs another few asses in the pews? You need some sort of federal handout or something? We "keep hearing" you bought cuff links for Rahm. We "keep hearing" you are using the FOP spot to run for a state senate seat. We "keep hearing" you like to drink the blood of kittens. You "keep hearing" crap and spreading bullshit, then you are going to get into a shitload of problems and it's going to be our dues money paying the price.

    There is a whole host of other issues to deal with. Delegating responsibility can cover much of the tedium that goes with these things, but the buck stops at your desk. Camden, Farrell and Donahue can help in small ways but they can't give you the gravitas you so desperately seem to be seeking by attacking the blog. You are supposed to be the face of 16,000 active and retired members. Stop acting like a child and start acting like a leader. Learn a lesson from Donahue, concentrate on the big picture, and grow thicker skin. Our criticisms of the FOP started long before the blog and have existed since the founding of the union in one form or another. You aren't immune to criticism, but we never named you as the target. You made this personal. Grow the fuck up.


    PS - We'd probably respect you more if you didn't reply to any of this. We've already handed you your ass.


Did Anyone See This Coming?

  • This morning, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel named the City's technology leadership team and announced an overhaul of the City's information offices. To make Chicago's data management more efficient and allow the City to respond effectively to taxpayers' needs, the Department of Information Technology will become part of the City's budget office.

    Emanuel previously announced that John Tolva, the Director of Citizenship & Technology for IBM, will lead City Hall's innovation and technology initiatives as Chief Technology Officer. Tolva will work closely with Jason DeHaan, who will continue as the City's Chief Information Officer, and Brett Goldstein, who will become Chicago's Chief Data Officer.

So is this going to be another Huberman-type incident where someone goes on a four year leave-of-absence but still manages to keep paying into our pension fund? Or is that nonsense stopping with the Rahm administration?


What's That Smell?

  • The bodies of two unidentified men were discovered Sunday buried in a 15-foot-tall pile of manure at a small horse farm in Gary.

    A man who kept horses at the stable noticed an arm sticking out of the massive pile of manure around 10 a.m. Sunday and called police, said Gary Det. Cpl. Mike Barnes.

    Police unearthed the body and used a backhoe to sift through the steaming mound of composting manure in search of other remains, eventually finding the second body, Barnes said.

    "It was the biggest pile of (manure) I have ever seen," Barnes said. "They've been putting it back there for years."

We're going to assume when Det. Cpl. Barnes is quoted as saying "(manure)" he actually used the word (shit). It's a bit more humorous that way - not that the story needed that much help anyway.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Um, Info Please?

  • North Side detectives are warning businesses in the city’s Near North Police District about burglaries that resulted in many “expensive items” being stolen from three high-end retailers in the last two weeks.

    However, while police are asking for the public's help in the investigations, police would not release locations, exact dates or times of the burglaries.
Evidently, the detectives wanted to release the locations, dates and times, but they were all afraid to access the reports that had the information available to them. The newest policy seems to be the following:
  1. respond to crime;
  2. write a report;
  3. send report to supervisor for signature (electronic or paper);
  4. bury the report in the decorative shrubbery around the Area Centers in the hopes that someone spontaneously confesses on video and the State's Attorney can then deny charges in a few years.
The Department is getting as bad as the media in not broadcasting the descriptions of criminals terrorizing city businesses and citizens.

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Fake Calls

It's times like these we can understand old man Daley's logic about shooting to kill arsonists:
  • Police are looking for a man who made three bogus 911 calls from payphones Sunday morning, including ones reporting shots fired and an “officer down” on the Southwest Side.

    He made his first call at 7:23 a.m. while at a gas station near the 7800 block of South Western Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer Robert Perez. The caller claimed he was having a problem or an argument with the gas station attendants there, but when officers got to the scene workers there said that was not true.

    A few minutes later he moved to another pay phone near the 7800 block of South Western Avenue and told dispatchers there were shots fired, and then hung up. He called back moments later to say an “officer was down,’’ and hung up again, Perez said.

    Officers investigated but found the reports were not bona fide.

The potential for major injuries or even deaths responding to calls like these, not only for the police officers, but for innocent bystanders, increases at an exponential rate. And for a fake call like this in a political atmosphere like today, officers would be crucified. Unfortunately, that's the reality today. Be careful out there.


Nice Pick Rahm-bo

  • Chicago’s next Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard was named in two federal lawsuits during his three years as superintendent of the Rochester, NY school district, including one that accused Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s controversial pick of age discrimination.

    Both lawsuits were filed last July.

    The first accuses Brizard of firing Marilynn Patterson Grant, Rochester’s former deputy superintendent for teaching and learning, “without cause” last year after making several derogatory comments about her age. Grant, who is 58, had worked for the Rochester City School District for 35 years.

  • A second lawsuit, filed by a former coordinator for homeless children and families, alleged that Brizard had instituted a policy of sending teachers under investigation to an alternative work location called a “rubber room” as a form of punishment.
You'd think Rahm's people would have vetted this is some manner. But then, seeing all the scandal-plagued picks Rahm brought to Washington for Obama, maybe he just doesn't care.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Million Dollar Bail

  • A Chicago man is charged with attempted murder after police said he sprayed a house with gunfire from an AK-47 rifle.

    Judge Adam D. Bourgeois Jr. ordered Maurice Tousant, 32, held in lieu of $1 million bail Saturday on that charge and another count of aggravated discharge of a gun.

    Witnesses said Tousant approached the house in the 2800 block of West Monroe Street in the East Garfield Park neighborhood April 3 and shot at a woman and two men who took cover as the bullets ripped through walls and windows, according to a police report.
A million bucks and the only thing this jackass hit was a building. This is what judges ought to be doing regularly.


15 Years = 6?

  • A former city of Chicago health department employee convicted of running over a cabdriver with his own taxi has been released on parole after six years in prison.

    Michael L. Jackson was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2006 for the death of Haroon Paryani.

    According to the Illinois Department of Corrections website, Jackson was released Friday from Logan Correctional Center.

    Jackson was convicted of second-degree murder in Paryani's death. He was acquitted of first-degree murder and aggravated criminal hijacking.

    He was accused of running over Paryani on Feb. 4, 2005, during a dispute over an $8 cab fare. Prosecutors and witnesses said Jackson drove the cab over Paryani three times.

A dispute over $8 and a man is dead, run over three times by his own cab. Adding insult to injury, a 15 year sentence for murder is over in 6 years - 40% of sentence served.

Where's the justice in this?


Preckwinkle Shows Her Ass

  • In the winter of 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama asserted that blacks and whites "are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates and receive different sentences for the same crime."

    Speaking Tuesday at the Fairmont Hotel during an event sponsored by the Executives Club of Chicago, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle echoed that assertion about Cook County's criminal justice system.

    "Nobody talks about institutional racism, but what kind of a criminal justice system has an outcome where 70 percent of the people are African-American and the rest are Latinos."

Toni digs herself a deeper hole, somehow equating population breakdown with some bizarre expectation that it should match the population of the jail:
  • Preckwinkle described Cook County jails as "entirely black and brown people. ... This is in a county where a third of our population is African-Americans, a third Latino, and a third white and Asian."
Then someone comes in completely avoids pointing out Preckwinkle's bullshit:
  • Steve Patterson, spokesman for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, wouldn't address Preckwinkle's thesis, saying in an email, "At the jail, we just house the people arrested - not sure where that fits with what she's saying."
And of course, the usual suspects chime in with their crap:
  • Ted Pierson, co-chairman of the National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, a Chicago area civil rights organization, agreed with Preckwinkle.

    "I agree with everything she said," continuing, "the system is rigged."

    "The state's attorney won't even bring the case if they're white," Pierson said.

What a pile of crap. And these people are running government? You have to read two-thirds of the way through this garbage before someone actually cites a study that pretty much proves Preckwinkle and her adherents are full of shit:
  • Nationally, Preckwinkle's notions have been challenged numerous times. Heather MacDonald, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, challenged similar nationwide statistics in a June 2008 article for the City Journal.

    "The favorite culprits for high black prison rates include a biased legal system, draconian drug enforcement, and even prison itself," McDonald wrote. "None of these explanations stands up to scrutiny. The black incarceration rate is overwhelmingly a function of black crime. Insisting otherwise only worsens black alienation and further defers a real solution to the black crime problem."

    John Lott, author of the book "More Guns Less Crime," challenged the idea that the nation's drug laws were biased against African-Americans in a piece for the libertarian Cato Institute, published in March 2009. In it he suggested penalties for drug offenses were set up "because the lives of many blacks were being destroyed by blacks and people thought that they could help by having large penalties on those involved with crack (cocaine)."

    A 1994 study by Stanford University professor Joan Petersila of about 11,000 inmates in California concluded that sentencing relied heavily on prior criminal record, seriousness of the offense and the presence of a gun, while race played a negligible role.

Just another example of why Cook County is a laughing stock.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reprimands for Everyone!

Without citing a single General Order, Department policy, ordinance or rule, the push to repair morale continues unabated:
  • Chicago police are investigating whether numerous officers improperly looked up internal reports concerning allegations that two patrol officers sexually assaulted a woman while on duty last month, a department spokeswoman said Friday.

    The department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating "who accessed reports for what purpose," police spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane confirmed in an email.

    Officers found to have looked up the reports without justification could face discipline ranging from a written reprimand to a day or two off without pay, police sources said.

    Patrick Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents rank-and-file officers, said the department can block access to sensitive reports but didn't do so in this case.

    "That's almost like a tacit admission that it's not a problem to take a look at this particular arrest report or case report," Camden said.

It's good to see the Orange One getting the correct side of the story out there. The Department has the ability to lock out unauthorized viewing, but didn't, leading to the conclusion that this wasn't a real priority. And as some people pointed out, we were encouraged from Day One at the Academy to review reports to learn how to write good paper. We have gone through numerous training sessions where case reports were handed out to demonstrate the proper method to write something that would stand up in court. And we're old enough to have sat through a few promotional exams where the "in-basket" portion of the test included a dozen or more case reports to review for accuracy and completeness.

All of these are valid explanations and every one of them ought to be utilized during an appeal of any "reprimand" handed down for this bullshit move. The Department had the tools available to lock this down and failed.


85 Clemency Petitions

  • Gov. Pat Quinn granted 85 clemency petitions on Good Friday, pardoning or expunging criminal records on a number of felony and misdemeanor crimes, including some that were committed more than 50 years ago.

    The crimes Quinn wiped from the record include reckless conduct, aggravated assault, robbery, resisting a peace officer, drug possession, burglary, theft, arson and prostitution. Quinn denied clemency requests for another 189 cases.

    The earliest offense dates to 1960, the latest was committed in 2004. Most of those who received pardons were initially sentenced to probation or paid small fines.
As listed, many of these charges aren't run-of-the-mill misdemeanors. And it sure would be nice to have those "resisting a peace officer" convictions made permanent so it popped up on routine name checks. But Quinn can't be bothered with that.


A Retiree's Stories

A retired copper who probably taught more than a few of our readers at some point, has a blog.
This is something we're surprised more old timers aren't doing. You've got the Internet, all sorts of free blogging software, all sorts of time, and a million stories that are begging to be told. Some enterprising people might even be able to market a few of the better ones to Hollywood.

That is, as long as the statute of limitations has run out on a few of them.


Friday, April 22, 2011

This is "Building Morale"?

It sure looks like Rahm is going to have his work cut out for him, publicly stating he's looking to "raise morale" on the Department and then have the following bullshit to have to wade through:
  • A list of superintendent candidates with more baggage than a charter flight to South America;
  • Another try by Anita Alvarez to boost her career and secure a federal judgeship by indicting police officers for crimes that couldn't and wouldn't be charged the same on a regular joe;
  • Thirteen hundred SPARs for reading and/or printing a report without any proof anyone except one person ever distributed it outside of approved channels;
  • And the newest rumor that J-Fled is sticking around town in hopes of landing the IPRA job under the new administration
16 May is going to be a very interesting start to the next four years.


"Concerned" About Concealed Carry?

This is a misleading article by the anti-gun people over at the Tribune:
  • Chicago police joined gun control groups Wednesday to voice concerns about flaws in Illinois' mental health screening system for would-be gun owners, problems that could be amplified with passage of a bill to allow permits for carrying concealed firearms.
But evidently, the Tribune has neglected to mention the following organizations that have come out in favor of the Right to Carry in Illinois
  • Chicago Sgt's Association

    Chicago Lt. Association

    IL Association of Chiefs of Police

    IL Sheriffs Association

The only people who seem to be against concealed carry are the exempts that Shortshanks sends down to Springfield - exempts who owe their continued employment as exempts to the political machine run by a midget who is protected 24/7 by armed guards. And who will continue to be protected by armed guards following his retirement from the public arena, despite the fact we've never seen a credible threat to his safety. At least Ed Burke had the foresight to publicize his threat from 30 years ago and managed to garner another more recent threat from a senile old man when Rahm made noises about removing his security detail.

Strangely absent from the above list - the Chicago FOP. Maybe it's about time the organization polled it's members and publicized where it stands, either with the citizens who know we're undermanned, who know we can't be everywhere at once and who are willing to help us out or with the political masters who don't trust citizens to be responsible for their own well being and less dependent on the government.

Forty-nine other states, just about every single one with a lower per capita rate of crime, can't be wrong. Illinois isn't unique except in it's desire to deny citizens the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.


"One Last Chance" Equals Death

  • Judge Thomas Fecarotta Jr. didn't know if he could believe the teen standing in his courtroom anymore.

    He'd given Mathew Nellessen, who was back in court because of a probation violation, chance after chance, and the judge's frustration seemed to be bubbling to the top.

    "The public is going to say what is with this crazy judge, he got a kid that he gave a break to," the Cook County Circuit Court judge said at a hearing in March, according to transcripts.

    Even Nellessen's public defender and the prosecutor had agreed to four years in prison. But Fecarotta opted to give Nellessen one last chance: He credited the 19-year-old Arlington Heights man with time served, released him from custody and recommitted him to probation.

    Less than a month after his release, prosecutors say Nellessen murdered his father.
Not just murdered, but slaughtered him with a baseball bat and a steak knife after making him sign over a check for $100,000 from his retirement funds. How could anyone not see this one coming? And what consequence is laid at the feet of the judge? We don't think he's civilly liable. The state's attorneys? Nope, not them either. The system is broken and no fix is forthcoming.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Here Come the SPARs

A-fucking-mazing. Get a load of what IAD is doing (click the image for full size):

Evidently, IAD is going to go through with the 1,300 complaints for viewing/printing the case report from the 023 District incident. This is the only scan we've received so far from our informants, but we can only assume that one went out to every command in the city since so many people accessed the reports.

So now the question becomes, "Did everyone get get a SPAR notice? Every exempt that accessed the report? Every detective? Every supervisor who may have used this not as an opportunity for cheap shots but as a training tool?" A blanket SPAR with no investigation whatsoever? One could plausibly assume this is a trial balloon to see how hard the new FOP regime is going to fight for officers, because there is no justification we can see for naming 1,300 names in some sort of misguided witch hunt.

This is one of the stupidest things we've seen come out of downtown in a long time, and that's saying something seeing as how J-Fled just left.


Wah Wah Wah!

  • Jerome Williams kissed his mother on her forehead Monday night in her Englewood apartment house when he told her he was going to run a store errand.

    Two hours later, the 27-year-old was killed when, police say, he exchanged gunfire with Chicago police at a Family Dollar Store a few blocks away, leaving one officer wounded. Police said the shooting was sparked by Williams -- a parolee who was also a father of two with a third child on the way -- sticking up the store.
Gee whiz. A parolee in trouble with the law. And with three different babies by three different women. What a fucking surprise. But wait, it gets better:
  • Court records show that Williams was sentenced to 5 years in prison for aggravated discharge of a firearm in 2001 and 14 years for conspiracy to commit murder in 2005. He was paroled in December 2009 for the conspiracy conviction, and his parole was set to end later this year, according to a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Let's see - convicted in 2001; sentence to 14 years; that should be sentence discharged in 2015. But he was paroled in 2009, a mere 8 years, which isn't even close to what "truth-in-sentencing" might lead you to believe - oh wait, we don't have truth-in-sentencing here. Might this be another one of Quinn's 1,800 early parolees? But wait, it gets even better:
  • “What made him go in that store? I don’t know. I don’t know what was going through his mind,” his mother, Vanessa Williams, said Tuesday afternoon from the hallway outside her apartment. “But I know he’s not a killer.”
He's not a killer - just a convicted aggravated discharge of a firearm offender, convicted murder conspirator, AND attempted murderer of police officers. We guess it's not from lack of trying though, just lack of better aim. And the cherry on top?
  • Vanessa Williams had an older son, Tony Williams, who was shot and killed on the South Side in June 1999. She has two other children, a son and daughter.
Evidently, this absentee momma has a habit of raising children with no impulse control, easy access to illegal firearms, and a nasty habit of being on the wrong end of gun crimes. And the Tribune company gives her ink to spout her bullshit while we pay for it.

UPDATE: We're being told our calendar and math are wrong in the comment section and that he served less than 4 years on the second charge.


So Did He Pay Rent?

  • Venture capitalist. An assistant for a cable sitcom on Spike TV. Amateur podcaster on the fortunes of the Chicago Bears.

    Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of Mayor Daley, is all of that — in addition to being at the center of a 7-year-old homicide investigation that’s now itself the subject of an investigation by the city of Chicago’s inspector general’s office.

  • Vanecko’s most current address — the one he used when he updated his Illinois driver’s license and voter registration two years ago — is a South Loop apartment building that his oldest brother’s investment firm bought with city pension money it’s managing. But according to interviews with people who know him and an industry website, Vanecko, 36, now lives in Southern California, where he’s pursuing a career in the entertainment business.
This means that Richard (the one who got away with manslaughter) was living in a building owned by brother Robert (the one who got away with millions in pension money). A building he bought with Chicago Police pension funds. Technically, the investment firm is the landlord, but it's police pension money paying the bills.

So we wonder, was Richard paying any rent? Was he paying the going market rate or was he scamming a discount (or free) from his brother's largess? We're thinking this was the 1212 S. Michigan address, which isn't exactly a low rent building. We're also thinking this could be part of the reason the Venecko/Daley investment saw little-to-no-return on the Police Pension monies.


Bad News and Good News

  • A Chicago police officer and former member of the department’s now disgraced Special Operations Section pleaded guilty today to a federal misdemeanor civil rights charge that stemmed from his false arrest of a suspect in 2004.

    Eric Olsen, 38, pleaded guilty to falsely stating in a report that he saw the suspect drinking alcohol in front of a Chicago tavern and then conducted a search, finding cocaine in the suspect’s waistband, according to court documents.

    Olsen’s sentencing was set for Aug. 23 in federal court. He faces up to a year in prison.
Only one name left after yesterday.


On the brighter side, another high bail by Judge Bourgeois:
  • Two men were ordered held on bail today after being charged with breaking into cars in a hospital parking lot and trying to run down several off-duty police officers, officials said.

    The incident happened Monday in the parking lot of Resurrection Medical Center in the 7500 block of East Talcott Avenue, police said.

    Several off-duty police officers spotted two men in the parking lot breaking into vehicles.

    The officers identified themselves as police and ordered the men to stop, but they instead got into a vehicle and started fleeing the scene, police said. In the process, police said, the man tried to run down pedestrians, including one of the officers.

  • Both men were ordered held on $300,000 bail by Criminal Court Judge Adam Bourgeois
Good job by all the officers, on and off duty at the scene.

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An interesting bit of videotape:

  • Filmed by the Lumiere Brothers, this is said to be the first thing ever filmed in Chicago. Can anyone recognize the building? My best guess is that it's Bridewell Prison (too dark to be the coliseum). I thought it might be the Chicago Day Parade in October, 1896, but I think it was actually earlier than that.
We know we've got a bunch of retirees reading, but we don't think any go back that far.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Swear I Didn't!

  • A South Shore teen who was allegedly struck by a Chicago police sergeant last fall denied Tuesday the officer's claim that the teen tried to spit at him.
The "reporter" expects the jagoff to admit it? Seriously?
  • But prosecutors said surveillance video that captured the incident showed Jeffries was cooperating with police and never acted "in a physically provocative manner." A number of officers who allegedly stood by during the assault were stripped of their police powers.
Because someone handcuffed would never spit on anyone. And if they did, it'd would show up as plain as day on a grainy surveillance video clip with no sound.

The suspension of disbelief required here is a bit high, at least from this end. But evidently you don't even need to do that to be Anita Alvarez.


Another Plea

  • A former Chicago police officer pleaded guilty today to federal felony charges stemming from one of the worst misconduct scandals in the department's history.

    Keith Herrera, 33, admitted taking part in three robberies in which he and other officers with the Special Operations Section stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from suspected drug dealers and other citizens after making illegal searches of their homes or traffic stops.

    He faces up to 13 years in prison when he is sentenced July 14.

What will today bring? Only two left to plea.


The Latest Name

The most recent flavor of the day:
  • According to the Chicago News Cooperative, the biggest name is Gil Kerlikowske -- currently President Barack Obama's drug czar. Kerlikowske met with Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel last week in Chicago and was back in town over the weekend for an interview with the Chicago Police Board, the CNC reported.

    Kerlikowske's official title is director of White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Before his current post he was the Seattle police chief for 9 years and also had been Buffalo New York's police commissioner.

    The CNC also lists the following applicants:

  • Garry McCarthy -- Newark New Jersey's director of police, also a former NYC deputy commissioner
  • Gene Williams -- Chief of Patrol, CPD
  • Al Wysinger -- Deputy Chief of Detectives, CPD
  • Deb Kirby -- Asst. Deputy Superintendent, CPD
  • Michael Shields -- Head of security for CPS
  • Dan Isom -- The Chicago Tribune reports that St. Louis' police chief has also thrown his name in the hat.
Was McCarthy the one who called Chicago's last supernintendo search a joke and rigged against outsiders? Or are we misremembering our NYPD applicants?


No Experience, But....

This has always bugged us - putting someone in a position whent they have no idea how it actually works. Transportation, schools, police departments, etc. Rahm is continuing that trend:
  • With a pledge to hold the line on CTA fares, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday chose a proven reformer with no background in transportation to serve as CTA president: former Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool.

    “I don’t believe it’s time — given how the middle-class feels that they’re nickel-and-dimed on taxes — to be raising rates at this time,” said Emanuel, who campaigned on a promise to extend the CTA’s Red Line on the South Side and rebuild it on the North Side.

    “My first order of business is to see how operations are working to make sure we’re doing it in the most efficient and effective way. ...They have to go through the operations line by line … and find savings.”

Claypool is credited with revamping the Park District despite not having a background in that sector either. We contend that a trained monkey could have done the same thing - it was simply time to modernize and Claypool was in the right place at the right time. Here's what's brewing in any event:
  • If Claypool’s CTA tenure is anything like his stint at the Park District, CTA unions could be in for a rough ride.

    He presided over an unprecedented expansion of recreational programming and capital spending while holding the line on property taxes and cutting 800 jobs from a payroll of 4,100. Park District harbors and Soldier Field were turned over to private managers, more than doubling non-tax revenues.

So Rahm has brought in union busters at the schools and CTA. Very interesting.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cop Wounded - Will Be OK

  • A Chicago police officer was shot in the leg and a suspected robber was fatally wounded Monday night at a Family Dollar store in the West Englewood neighborhood, officials said.

    Shots were fired by police at about 8:35 p.m. to stop an apparent robbery at the store in the 6300 block of S. Ashland, police officials said.

    Witnesses said they heard at least a dozen gunshots.

    "I saw the cashiers running out," recalled Kevin Pride, 51 of Englewood, who was outside a nearby store during the incident. "They were screaming. Then police ran in. And then you the shots."

Bad guy dead, cop will be OK. A fantastic job all around. Speedy recovery Officer. And a job well done by all responding units.

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Shots Fired in Copland

  • Two men were arrested this afternoon after off-duty officers spotted the suspects breaking into cars in a hospital parking lot on the Northwest Side, police said.

    The incident happened at about 2 p.m. in the 7500 block of West Talcott Avenue in the parking lot of Resurrection Medical Center, according to a police statement. Resurrection College Prep High School is on the same block.

    Citizens and off-duty police officers were exiting the hospital when they spotted two men in the parking lot apparently breaking into vehicles.

    The officers identified themselves as police and ordered the men to stop, but they instead got into a vehicle and started fleeing the scene, police said. In the process, police said, the man tried to run down pedestrians, including one of the officers.

    Fearing for his safety, the officer shot at the vehicle, police said. No one was hit in the incident.

Good thing we're going to strip officers out of these "quiet" neighborhoods, because nothing ever happens up there.

To our north side brothers and sisters - better stock up on the ammunition and keep an eye on each other. You're all going to be pulling a double shift - eight hours at work and another shift watching the yards, alleys and parking lots.


Ending With a Whimper

  • Former Chicago police Officer Stephen Del Bosque pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor civil rights charge stemming from his work in the infamous Special Operations Section, which was disbanded because of a scandal.

    Del Bosque, 35, admitted lying on a 2005 police report by falsely claiming he saw a suspect drop two bricks of cocaine. He also lied in testimony before a grand jury, leading to false charges against the suspect.

    Del Bosque, who agreed to cooperate with authorities, faces up to 12 months in prison when he is sentenced. Del Bosque joined the department in 2000 and resigned after a probe by state and federal authorities began.

    Del Bosque was one of four current or former Chicago police officers who were charged earlier this month in federal court in connection with the SOS scandal. Lawyers for the other three have also indicated each plans to plead guilty to wrongdoing.

No trials, no corruption reaching the highest levels of the department. Just a rogue team with inadequate oversight, the same as most scandals end up being. It's too bad an entire unit where 99% of the officers did nothing wrong got painted with the same brush as that team did. In that way, it's kind of a microcosm of the Department at large. We assume this whole thing will be finished and done with prior to Rahm taking office.


Rahm Picks a Winner

  • City education reform groups are praising Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's selection today of Jean-Claude Brizard as the new Chicago Public Schools CEO while community groups are raising concerns.

    Phyllis Lockett, who heads up the Renaissance Schools Fund, which raises money for charter schools in Chicago, gave Emanuel high marks for the team he put together.

    “I think the mayor elect did a phenomenal job in welding a team with a good balance of business experience and education experience,” Lockett said. “That’s what you need to run a $6 billion system with the complexity of what strong education reform requires.”

    But Julie Woestehoff, the executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, says she’s been getting “condolences” from community groups in Rochester, where Brizard spent a controversial three years.

Brizard has a education background which is a big change from picks by Shortshanks. Brizard is also a big proponent of charter schools and the like, a big no-no according to the teachers' union. The teachers of Rochester just had a "no confidence" vote on him and he lost. But that might be because Brizard wants to shake up the established order.

Rahm isn't making this pick lightly. Everything we've ever read about the man shows he wants to be in total control, up to and including his time with Obama when he infamously lobbied naked congressmen in the showers. It's going to be a fight and Rahm is drawing up the battle lines early. Hopefully, the FOP is watching and learning.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Police Week Info

The folks helping set-up the Chicago portion of the Washington DC trip are getting tons of calls about the event, so we're re-posting the article that went up back on 28 March, including the airfare code:
  • Police Week 2011 information: In our 15 years attending, we have never seen this many officers from Chicago going on the wall. I hope that we have a record turnout from our department.

    Please help honor our FIVE brothers in blue as well as the other men and women being added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington DC.

    Airfare: This is code is valid for 10% off the lowest published airfare for travel from 09 May to 19 May 2011 on American Airlines.

    The Promotion Code you will need to enter is 5251DH. Book asap as gas prices rise, so will the fare.

    We will be hosting a party again at Clyde's in Chinatown. All Departments are welcome to attend. The party will take place on May 14th, 2011 from 7-10pm. Tickets are $65 each and are available from Marikay O'Brien Unit 124 773-677-4397 (northside) or Sharon Colby Unit 640 773-544-2908 (southside).

    Tickets must be purchased prior to May 6th

    We had over 75 people purchase at the door last year. This year we need to have a more accurate headcount for room space and food and beverages. We must insist no tickets will be sold at the door. If you did not receive a info packet, please let us know. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call either one of us or email

    Thanks and we hope to see you there!


Shield Point

Anyone ever heard of this outfit? Because we haven't, and we can't find much about them anywhere in a google search. But they certainly have an interesting co-founder listed at "":
  • Michael Masters
    Co-Founder at Shield Point
    Location - Greater Chicago Area
    Industry - Security and Investigations

    Michael Masters's Overview:

    Current: Co-Founder at Shield Point

    Past: Chief of Staff at Chicago Police Department
    Assistant to the Mayor at City of Chicago
    Administrative Assistant at Partnership for Public Service
    Fellow at United States Attorney's Office
    National Advance Team at Office of the Vice President/Gore 2000

    Education: Harvard Law School
    University of Cambridge
    University of Michigan
We wonder if this has any sort of connection to that "Force Strategy" company that was founded by Lewin and the Crystal Ball Unit's five-year-exempt wonder that has since mysteriously disappeared. It certainly looks like some sort of future endeavor. Maybe something to do with background investigations and such? Some service that might be necessary should there be a sudden hiring influx of a certain municipal police department?

Just wondering.

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Pardon Our Laughter...

  • A gunman caught in the act during a convenience store shooting on the South Side Saturday afternoon was run over by cops and arrested, prosecutors say.

    Demetrius Allen, 28, appeared in court Sunday morning with two black eyes, wearing a large bandage wrapped around his head.

    Prosecutors allege he shot a 30-year-old man twice in the shoulder in the store in the 5800 block of South Morgan before police officers spotted him running away with a revolver in his hand, and then pointing the weapon at them.

    Fearing for their safety, the officers ran him down with their unmarked squad car, according to a police report.

    Allen, of the 6100 block of South Morgan, is charged with unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of aggravated assault of a peace officer. He scowled as Judge Adam D. Bourgeois set his bail at $250,000.

First up, this Judge Bourgeois is appearing in a bunch of articles lately, and we have to admit, we're liking his style on the bench. High bails and some pro-police commentary.

Second, an excellent job by the responding unit to run this asshole over. We're imagining the look on jagoff's face when he realized he was facing a few thousand pounds of metal that wasn't stopping - probably very much like Wile E. Coyote. Priceless.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Is it Worth It?

  • Former Homewood supermarket cashier Cecilia LoCicero recalls seeing shoppers using state Link cards to buy steaks and lobsters, a shopper who fumbled for his second or third card when the first one had no money on it and other customers who took cash back from the cards to buy cigarettes or alcohol.

    The Link cards are “abused so much, you just don’t know,” she said.

    As state lawmakers mull a plan to study abuse in the food assistance program known as Illinois Link, some say putting users’ photos on the debit card needlessly invades privacy while failing to curb larger abuses. Others believe the program is hobbled by abuse.

We imagine if a real investigation was undertaken, the fraud would be staggering. And this nonsense about having a photograph on the card being embarrassing? Grow up - you're getting free money from working people. You can damn well get over any embarrassment and make sure that OUR money is being spent properly and not funding rock habits, luxury items and international terrorism.


Check Your Gear

The Department is having everyone check their riot helmets and turtle gear in anticipation of some out-of-control events on the horizon.

It can't be because of the Blackhawks, seeing as how they're down a few games. The "Subway Series" is too far in the future to be a real concern yet.

But the Bulls showed some character yesterday. Downtown is starting to dust off the old special event folders.


NOT an Accident

  • A 16-year-old boy was critically wounded this afternoon on the South Side when a handgun accidentally fired and the bullet struck him, police said.

    The teen was wounded about 3:50 p.m. in the 0-100 block of West 71st Street, according to a news release from Chicago police.

    The boy was rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was listed in critical condition for a gunshot wound to the lower left abdomen.

    Police didn't say whether the teen was handling the weapon when it fired. Wentworth Area detectives were investigating the shooting.
Guns are fairly simple machines that require very specific steps to place them into a position that enables them to be fired. An ignorant person or persons mishandling a weapon that results in the gun functioning as designed is not an accident. We've met children as young as seven who are more capable and qualified to handle firearms than certain adults in their forties. We've even raised a few.


Interesting Hobby

  • Even on his days off from working overnights for the Chicago police, John Lewison usually stayed up through the night and slept during the day.

    It was often early in the morning, after having his fill of CNN, that he turned to a hobby of sorts. Sprawled on a couch in his North Side home in a T-shirt and sweatpants, Lewison tried to unravel a murder mystery that has mystified law enforcement and crime buffs for decades: the identity of the Zodiac killer, who is believed responsible for at least five homicides that terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s.

    Lewison, who has risen to lieutenant in nearly 25 years with the department, thinks he’s come up with a solution to one of a series of coded messages the serial killer sent along with taunting letters to the news media. The cryptograms, composed of alphabetic, mathematical and astrological symbols, are thought likely to contain vital information about the suspect.
We thought Clint Eastwood solved this one back in the day?

It's an interesting article and definitely an interesting hobby of sorts. It's certainly a welcome change of pace from the stuff one usually sees in the media lately and it would be fun to see the Chicago Police solve a California based serial killing.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Problems for Shields

  • Michael Shields is rumored to be one of the top candidates for the job of Chicago Police Superintendent. But some Chicago neighbors want to do a better job of policing his own rental property.

    Shields has a high-profile resume. He is a former deputy superintendent, current head of security at Chicago Public Schools, and a cousin of First Lady Michelle Obama.

    But residents of the one South Side block said they have a question for Shields: "Where's the landlord?"

Wonder of wonders, in Shortshanks' haste to crack down on problem buildings and landlords, this one isn't really on the radar. Probably not enough to derail the "Shields for Superintendent" train, but it's definitely a sign that "business as usual" is alive and well in Chicago.


So What's the Angle?

  • Brutality charges have been filed against a Chicago police sergeant caught on video slapping a handcuffed man -- but an attorney says the officer was justified because the suspect tried to spit on him.

    “If I tried to spit on you, wouldn’t you find that offensive?” asked Robert Kuzas, who is representing Sgt. Edward Howard Jr., 48, a 24-year veteran of the police department. Howard is charged with aggravated battery and official misconduct.
This is overkill of tremendous proportions. The case is over 6 months old and appears to be driven solely by the fact that the mother of the accused is an IPRA investigator. Amazing how the video is already leaked to the media (polluting the jury pool) and felony charges are approved for something that in any other circumstance not involving a police officer, would barely qualify as a simple battery.

Shaved is all over this story.


Parolee Slain

  • A parolee on electronic home monitoring was found shot to death in the backyard of his South Chicago neighborhood home this morning, police said.

    Killed was Cedric Davis, 31, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Davis was found by police officers who went to the home in the 7900 block of South Manistee Avenue about 8:15 a.m. after calls to 911 reporting gunshots
  • Slain only five days after his birthday, Davis was on parole for a 2006 conviction for receiving/possessing a stolen vehicle, according to state records. He had two prior convictions on the same charge, as well as a felony drug conviction, records show.

    Police had not made any arrests in the shooting as of tonight and didn't offer a motive.

Motive? How about he was an asshole and someone finally get fed up with his crap? Good riddance to someone who never contributed anything to society aside from crime statistics.


Friday, April 15, 2011

This is a Stretch

  • Parts of Chicago would become “prostitution-free zones” under an ordinance introduced by a West Side alderman.

    Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said the ordinance would bar those convicted of prostitution-related offenses from public parks and walkways in the zones. The police superintendent would designate the zones with input from elected officials and community groups.

    [...] Ervin, the 36-year-old son of a former Chicago police commander, said he believes the proposed ordinance would pass constitutional muster.

    He pointed to the city’s anti-gang loitering ban, which prohibits known gang members from congregating in designated hot spots.

The anti-gang prohibition had to be rewritten a number of times and is an unwieldy tool at best, with announcements being made, contact cards, time limits, etc. The intent was to deny the gangs the ability to "stake out" territories by representing on street corners.

The trouble with prostitution is that the whores aren't really establishing territory and performing in full view of the public as the gangsters are. They advertise in public and perform in semi-private. Besides, there are already numerous laws on the books about soliciting rides on the public way, indecent exposure, etc. This would be overkill, not to mention constitutionally questionable by denying people the ability to walk on public streets - the gang hots spots are fixed locations representing territory. A prostitute walking from point A to point B isn't.

Say hi to Claudell for us though Jason.


No Death Penalty Leads to Killing

  • A 20-year-old Canadian man methodically stalked and tracked a Westmont woman before killing her Wednesday night in Oak Brook — even stopping to reload his gun and continue shooting during the attack.

  • [DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert ] Berlin said Smirnov had done research on the Internet to determine if Illinois had the death penalty, deciding to go through with Vesel’s murder when he discovered it does not.
Well gee whiz. We guess that shoots down just about every argument that the death penalty isn't a deterrent to at least some criminals. What's that line that certain folks like to use? It goes something like, "If even one life could be saved...."

There's one. There will be others.


Two Guesses

Some stories are just too bizarre to pass up. This one comes from San Francisco:
  • Well, I'm not exactly sure how this happens, and the police aren't either, but a man on fire ran out of an adult entertainment store in SoMa Wednesday night, says the SFist.

    Lt. Kevin McNaughton said at 6:10 p.m. at the Golden Gate Adult Superstore on the corner of 6th and Mission Street, a man ran out fully engulfed in flames.

  • Lucky for the unidentified man, emergency personnel just happen to be in the area. Lt. Troy Dangerfield told AP several onlookers tried to help the burning man as he ran past them. He said a fire department unit who was responding to a call just up the street eventually grabbed the man and extinguished the flames.

    He was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital where he was treated for burns he suffered over 90 percent of his body, varying from first- to third-degree burns.
Call us cynical, but we're going to bet it had something to do with friction.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

If It Looks Like a Duck....

...walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it's probably a duck.

Same thing if it looks like a cover-up:
  • The decision by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office not to charge a nephew of Mayor Daley in the one-punch death of 21-year-old David Koschman in 2004 hung largely on the fact that witnesses couldn’t positively identify the nephew, Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, in a police lineup, according to prosecutors.

    State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and the Chicago Police Department have refused to release photographs, though, of that lineup and of a second lineup in which witnesses identified two other men as being there with Vanecko when he threw the punch in a drunken confrontation on Division Street at Dearborn in the early morning hours of April 25, 2004.

    Now, the police are asking Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office — where one of the two retired detectives who supervised those lineups now works — to ensure that those pictures, as well as some other records, aren’t made public.

The Department is asking Lisa Madigan (who unilaterally decided that FOID records are all part of the public record and that gun owners have no expectation of privacy) to seal investigative records - records that are pretty much obliged to be released to the defense in any criminal prosecution and are pretty much discoverable in any civil action.

We foresee many lawyers charging by the hour getting rich off of these court battles.


City Sticker Fees

  • Owners of gas-powered cars in Chicago could get some city sticker shock to go along with the pain at the pump if one alderman's plan to increase the cost of the annual stickers is approved.

    Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno, 1st, hopes to raise about $21 million a year under a proposal that also would make the stickers free for drivers of electric cars and cut the cost for those with hybrid vehicles.

  • Moreno, who said he hopes to offer exemptions for heavy trucks that people need for businesses, suggested the higher sticker prices are justified because larger vehicles do more damage to city streets.
Of course, it couldn't have anything to do with the crappy material and crappier contractors the city uses to pave and repair streets, not to mention the piss poor job plowing and salting over the winter.


Media Starts to Notice

Seeing as how a liberal arts college is worried, it must be safe to finally start to notice the "wildings" downtown:
  • The Flash Mob Offenders may be back around Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus.

    According to Campus Safety, about 70 teenagers stormed the McDonald’s at Chicago and State this weekend.

    Here are more details from an email sent out by Campus Safety:

    Loyola Community,

    This past weekend, a serious incident took place at the McDonald’s located on the corner of Chicago and State. Due to the establishment’s proximity to the Water Tower Campus, we want to be sure you are aware of the situation.

    On Sunday, a group of about 70 youths stormed the restaurant and created a disturbance. Approximately 10 Chicago Police Department (CPD) units responded and ultimately closed the restaurant for nearly three hours until peace was restored. Both CPD and Campus Safety believe this activity is related to the same group of individuals who have attempted to create havoc in the area before. In February, we alerted you to a similar incident in which these “Flash Mob Offenders” were allegedly committing thefts within local retail stores around the Water Tower Campus community. The offenders exit the Chicago Red Line stop, they go to various shops or restaurants, usually clothing stores, and then storm the stores, taking as many items as they can carry. The incidents seem to occur most often on weekends, between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Golly. It sounds dangerous. But you have to go to the Loyola website to read anything about it since the media won't cover it. Or at least they haven't recently.

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  • The Illinois House today passed a ban on the use of artery-clogging trans fats in food served in restaurants and in school vending machines that would start in 2013.

    Although many cities and counties have passed bans, if the bill passes the state Senate and Gov. Pat Quinn signs it, Illinois would be only the second state in the nation to pass such a measure. The first was California.

    If it becomes law, restaurants would not be able to serve food with trans fats starting Jan. 1, 2013. The ban also would apply to vending machines in public and private schools.

How much was that tax hike? How large was that deficit? When are all the pensions scheduled to go belly-up? And these idiots are banning trans fats?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

40 Applications?

  • More than 40 people have applied to become Chicago’s next top cop, officials said Tuesday.

    The Chicago Police Board will interview the candidates for Chicago police superintendent and present three finalists to Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who takes office May 16.

    Many of the candidates are members of the Chicago Police Department.

    “Of the external candidates, many are current or former leaders of large organizations,” said Demetrius Carney, president of the Chicago Police Board.

Someone had a good suggestion in the comments earlier. Name all forty. Then list their letters of recommendation so everyone knows what favors are to be owed upon appointment. Plus, it'd be useful to have a list of everyone's connections who didn't make the cut.

Does anyone know if the Police Board have to conduct "open meeting" type notifications for interviews and such? Or does everyone have to rely on spies and Sneed to watch the front door to see who shows up what day?


The Endless Cycle

A "memorial" for last year's dead gang banger results in.....ANOTHER dead gang banger!
  • A person was killed and four others — including an 8-year-old and 10-year-old — were shot Tuesday night during a memorial for a teen on the Southeast Side, officials said.

    The group was shot about 9 p.m. near East 79th Street and South Escanaba Avenue, said Fire Media Affairs spokesman Will Knight.

    The 8-year-old was shot in the foot and the 10-year-old was shot in the leg.

    The memorial was for a 17-year-old killed last year, officials said.

If only this could have been predicted. And prevented somehow. Maybe a small, almost secret unit of officers riding around to various parts of the city, logging and mapping all of the empty liquor bottle and dollar-store candle memorials. Then they could set up a camera and monitor the situation once the sun goes down.

And then they could call in Predator drone strikes. Honest to pete, what the hell is going on down south?

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