Monday, July 06, 2015

Hey, Where's Ours?

  • Chicago officials have issued more than $1.2 million in penalty payment checks to hundreds of paramedics who a federal court judge determined had been shortchanged on overtime pay.

    In addition to the penalty payment checks, the city also issued checks totaling nearly $2.5 million for the overtime it owed to paramedics but had not paid — for a total of more than $3.7 million to more than 700 paramedics, according to court documents and city officials. Paramedics recently began receiving those checks.

    U.S. District Judge John Darrah ordered the payments to make up for underpaid overtime wages dating as far back as 2004. Four separate class-action cases filed between 2006 and 2012 led to the order.

    The cases relate to the odd hours worked by the paramedics in the Chicago Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. Paramedics work 24-hour shifts, with days off between, often logging 48 hours a week. For all hours that exceed 40 per week, they get paid overtime, at a rate of 1 1/2 times their salary.
Um, don't we work 9-hour days? Four-on-two-off only equals six days, so the seventh day you work, you're actually working 45 hours in a calendar week four weeks in a row:

So that's 20 hours of overtime minus the 8 hours for the short weeks, means we've been getting shortchanged a net of 12 hours every six weeks.

Hop to it Dean - we aren't seeing that casino money any time soon, so we better make our nickels and dimes while we can.

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Oh Garry

  • After a relatively quiet start to the Fourth of July weekend in Chicago, a burst of gun violence overnight left three dead and 27 people wounded in just eight hours, including a 7-year-old boy killed after returning from a celebration.

    "It's crazy," said Vedia Hailey, the grandmother of the boy, Amari Brown. "Who would shoot a 7-year-old in the chest? who would do that to a baby? When is it going to stop?"
Um....gangbangers? Shooting at another gangbanger? Who had tattoos all over his face, including a five-poited star dead center of his forehead and another of a smoking hand-rolled joint? Who had his son out after midnight on what is historically a rather bloody night? We're just pointing out the obvious here.

Thirty shot with everyone on 12-hour shifts and no reserves on hand. We're going to call this weekend a fail as Chicago closes in on 50 shot.

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We Just Had a Thought

Has anyone been thinking about the end of summer parade coming up? Yes, we're talking about the Bud Billiken parade. Has anyone thought about what a shit-show this event if going to be this year?
  • Ferguson, Baltimore, Cleveland
  • D.O.J. "investigations"
  • the usual race-baiters spouting their BS
The rhetoric and nonsense is going to be piled on waist high and lord knows what the amp-ed  up sound systems and floats are going to be spouting at coppers lining the route. Plan on hearing a lot of "Fuck the police" and "I Can't Breath" t-shirts along with a lot of "Hands Up" gestures that have zero basis in reality.

We wonder if CPD has cancelled its float this year?


Sunday, July 05, 2015

Data Breach

Our e-mail and phone has been blowing up with a link to some site named "pastebin." It seems some hackers have accessed a city database and managed to snag personnel info, including the police department. They have made threats to leak the data unless the officers involved in the shooting of an armed assailant are not fired, arrested and prosecuted (evidently not having heard of a thing called "due process" or "justifiable shooting.")

The link we saw has released names of officers with the last name beginning with "A" and lists among other things:
  • name and title
  • salary
  • age
  • address and worth of home
  • phone number
  • social media accounts and names of friends contained within
We eagerly await the Department's response to this breach and the remedies they will be undertaking to make our safety and the safety of our families paramount.

Hello?? Is this thing on?


Crime is Down When Police are Up

Garry's make-or-break weekend is on pace to match all the other weekends this year, so you know that the only comparison will be how much less it was than last year's bloodbath:
  • At least four people, including a teenager, were killed and another 10 people were wounded across Chicago as the Fourth of July weekend got underway.
Carrying this forward and basing our conclusion on the observable evidence at hand, we can state without reservation that if there are more police on the streets, there is less crime.

All together now....
  • DUH!
Hey Rahm, we just solved your crime problem. Now solve our pension problem.

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When the Story Write Itself

  • Vonzell Banks was about to start a summer job next week before finishing his last year at Dunbar Vocational Career Academy.

    The 17-year-old was playing basketball with his cousin in Bronzeville when a gunman fired several times about 4:45 p.m. Friday, then jumped into a white SUV and sped away, according to police and witnesses.

    Banks was hit in the back and died half an hour later at Stroger Hospital of Cook County. His 19-year-old cousin was wounded in the foot.

    The shooting happened at a park named for Hadiya Pendleton, a King College Prep High School student who was fatally shot in 2013 in another park about a mile from President Barack Obama's Chicago home. Her death helped cast a national spotlight on the city's violence.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but renaming a park in the middle of a giant gang war, isn't really going to do anything to stop the gangs warring over turf.

Sure, it felt good at the time and you even got the First Lady to come in and give a speech that made everyone feel really really good (even though Michelle is in no way similar to Ms. Pendleton, growing up in a connected family that never knew hardship), but what did it really accomplish? You just renamed a piece of territory that the kids still can't use and the gangs use a landmark in the never ending battle for dope territory.

Unfortunately, the only lasting memorial created was the opportunity for another funeral by failing to address the reality that exists across the south and west sides.


$$$ Up in Smoke

  • After leaving thousands of attendees disappointed last year and earning the nickname "the fiasco on the river" when the planned burning of floating houses sputtered, the Great Chicago Fire Festival will move its act to dry land at Northerly Island this fall.

    The Sept. 26 climax of the festival is again set to be an artistic re-enactment of the 1871 fire that burned much of Chicago, Redmoon Theater executive artistic director Jim Lasko said Friday.

    But rather than trying to pull that off by igniting structures floating on the Chicago River, Redmoon will burn down a model house on Northerly Island south of the Loop, with the crowd of onlookers facing the city's skyline in the background, Lasko said.
Remember, this is going on with $100,000 in taxpayer money. If the city wants to give us $100,000, we'll make sure it goes up in smoke, too, in the form of fine cigars. Oh, and the Park District is contributing another $75,000, but that money grows on special trees evidently...not taxpayers.

We hope the assholes at Redmoon Theater remember that 300 people died in the Great Chicago Fire, not to mention the 100,000 homeless.

We can hardly wait for their artistic interpretation of the crash of Flight 191 when they'll fly a burning Cessna into a trailer park constructed entirely of matchsticks. That'll be a show worth seeing! Bring the kids! Have a barbecue!


Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy Fourth

Hope everyone is being safe out there.

A happy holiday to you all.


There Goes Dart Again

  • As the violence in Chicago's streets hits the peak summer months, City Hall is receiving reinforcements of sorts from a surprising source: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, whose office has begun putting extra boots on the ground in high-crime city neighborhoods.

    So, the Chicago Police Department is graciously thanking the sheriff for his assistance in its time of need, and the sheriff is modestly just trying to do what he can?

    Not exactly. This being Chicago, the story of just what the sheriff is or is not doing has been dragged into Chicago-style electoral and departmental rivalries. Everyone is careful to be polite about it—at least publicly. But here's a tale about the war on crime and the use of your tax dollars that you haven't read elsewhere.
Not that the help isn't appreciated, and we certainly could use a few more residence checks on parolees who flagrant violate the terms of their release with astonishing regularity, but doesn't this just point out the pitiful manpower shortages we're operating under yet again?


Just for Jake Fundraiser

  • On December 12, 2014, 8 year old Jacob Danny Mieszala found out that he had a large inoperable brain stem tumor called Ganglioglioma.

    If you have had the pleasure of knowing Jake, you know he is special for so many reasons. Jake loves school and excels in all of his classes. He is bookworm who enjoys art, drums, soccer, animals, his treehouse, and exploring the great outdoors. Above all, Jake loves his family, who he affectionately refers to as “the zoo.” Jake has a 4 year old little brother named Casey who thinks the world of him and tries to be just like him. Jake also has a few other non human siblings which include 4 dogs, 1 cat, and 2 birds (hence “the zoo”). Jake’s mom, Lauren, is his biggest advocate and supporter. Jake’s dad, Paul, is a US Army veteran and Chicago Police Officer who helps motivate him in, what has become, the fight of his life.

    Because of the location of the tumor and the medications he is now on, Jake has had some unfortunate symptoms present themselves that have restricted his mobility, breathing, and vision. It has been hard to see his childhood taken away from him, but through all of these changes, he has somehow found a way to keep a smile on his face and inspire everyone around him.
Read more at the embedded link up top. Comments closed here - informational post only.

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Busy Weekend

As you can imagine, the 12-hour day debacle is wreaking havoc with schedules of coppers all over town, including the ones here.

Comments may be delayed. Posting also. We'll get there when we get there. Besides, we're assuming that reading will be delayed for you, the visitors.

Be safe ladies and gents. Keep an eye on each other during these long days and longer nights.


Connect the Dots to Rahm

  • Just 12 weeks after Rahm Emanuel won a bruising battle for re-election, the Chicago mayor has unveiled a pension initiative that could be a significant financial boon for his largest campaign contributors. On Wednesday, the mayor proposed shifting city teachers' retirement savings into a state fund that invests heavily in -- and pays big fees to -- financial firms whose executives bankrolled the mayor’s campaign.

    At a city hall press conference, Emanuel portrayed the plan as a way to solve Chicago’s educational funding crisis. Emanuel said teachers could agree to either contribute 7 percent of their pay to the existing city pension system or merge the city’s own $11 billion teachers' pension fund -- controlled by the teachers themselves -- with the $45 billion state teachers' fund controlled, by statute, by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Emanuel said the latter proposal would mean that the state funds teacher pensions equitably. As of now, the city of Chicago pays a larger share of its teachers' pensions than other municipalities in Illinois do.

    What the mayor did not say is that the initiative could end up shifting billions into a fund whose portfolio is run, in part, by Grosvenor Capital and Madison Dearborn Partners, two firms whose executives have together given over $4 million to the mayor's campaigns and affiliated PACs. That includes over $2.7 million from Grosvenor CEO Michael Sacks and his wife, Cari. Sacks has been called Emanuel’s “fixer” and “go-to guy” he was appointed by Emanuel to serve as vice chairman of World Business Chicago, an economic development group that Emanuel chairs.
Is the Chicago voter so numb to all of the blatant corruption that goes on with their money? Of course, the feds are useless with the current occupant telling the FBI which people to go after and which ones to leave alone.


Slow Response?

  • Nearly a month after she was attacked in one of the city's most affluent neighborhoods in the middle of the day, Julia Evans is still shaken.

    But that's not just because of the crime itself — Evans said what was most "appalling" was the slow police response. After being violently attacked by thieves, the 30-year-old waited more than an hour for officers to arrive on scene.
Have you complained to your aldercreature? How about the mayor?
  • The young man grabbed her, hitting and scratching her across her arm and torso. Evans fought back, and the offenders walked away from the scene, stealing cash and medicine from her car in the process. No one came to her aid.

    "They didn't run away. They nonchalantly walked away, almost like they hadn't done anything. Then I started screaming," she said.

    Sobbing and bleeding, Evans immediately called 911 from her cell phone. After some trouble connecting to an operator, she said she told the responding operator that she was physically assaulted during a robbery and the offenders were fleeing the scene.

    At that point, she was transferred to 311, or the city's nonemergency response system, which transferred the call back to 911, Evans said. An operator then indicated that police would be sent to the scene immediately, according to Evans.

    Evans placed calls to 911 at 1:45 p.m, 1:47 p.m. and 1:55 p.m., according to her cell phone records. Then she waited.
    "I was told by multiple 911 operators that someone was on the way," she said.

    Finally, officers arrived on scene at 3:15 p.m., Evans said. They took a description of the men. She said she didn't seek medical attention at that point.
While we're sorry that this nice young lady had to go through the traumatic experience of being mugged and bruised, we'll just point out that we can't be everywhere, we can only arrive when dispatched in a timely manner, we've been complaining about the shortage of officers and cars for years now, and due to the reclassification of crime, if the offenders are gone and no one is dying, you're getting shunted to callback, plain and simple.

This is what Rahm wants and Garry has helped give him. We certainly hope you didn't vote for this, but it's what you got.

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Ride to Remember Time

Registration has begun:
  • The 11th Annual Area 4 Ride to Remember Memorial Motorcycle Ride is July 26, 2015.

    Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 9:00 a.m.

    Former Area Four Detective Headquarters, 3151 W. Harrison - Harrison and Kedzie - West Parking Lot, Chicago, Illinois 60612.

    Registration: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. sign in and line up. Online registration is available for a small convenience fee. Pre-Registration: Register by July 15, 2015 to ensure t-shirt delivery on day of ride.

    Registration Fee: Rider $30.00 Passenger $30.00. After July 15, 2015: Rider $35.00 Passenger $35.00

    Registration Includes: Memorial ride, Ride to Remember t-shirt, and party for all participants at Teamsters Local 705 Union Hall 1645 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
We've heard that exposed tattoos are acceptable.


Thursday, July 02, 2015

Get the Checkbook Ready Toni

  • Police are investigating the death of a 49-year-old woman found early Tuesday in the Lawndale neighborhood on the city's West Side.

    About 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call in the 4300 block of West Flournoy Street where they found the woman unresponsive inside a third-floor unit of an apartment building, said Officer Hector Alfaro, a Chicago Police Department spokesman. She was pronounced dead.

    The woman was identified as Vanessa V. Taylor of the same address where she was found dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

    Police did not immediately say how the woman died but said it was a homicide. Early Tuesday, a person was being questioned in the woman's death, and police said the incident appeared domestic-related.
Cut and dry domestic related homicide, right? Wrong - and wrong very badly:
  • SCC,

    I work in 011 and on 28 June, the third watch had a call of a Mental fighting everyone in the house at 4311 W. Flournoy. The subject barricaded himself in the house, armed himself with a sword and numerous knives, cut the gas line in the house and threatened to blow everything up. Coppers made entry with a family member's keys, tasered the guy and took him to County for a 72-hour hold for mental evaluation. Everything was done properly under RD# HY-319903.

    End of story?

    No. County doctors released him in direct violation of the 72-hour commitment law. 30 June at 0230 hours, 011 District personnel got a well being check at 4311 W. Flournoy. They arrived, made entry through an unlocked door and found the subject, again armed with knives menacing the police. He was tasered again and taken into custody. A search of the house located his girlfriend, strangled to death with an extension cord under RD# HY-321511. Chalk up a completely preventable homicide to the fine doctors at Stroger who can't be bothered to obey the law that mandates a 72-hour hold and treat the mentally ill we deal with on a daily basis!
It appears the cops did everything correctly, but County hospital doctors released this offender in under 48 hours and a woman previously threatened paid for their negligence with her life. Of course, taxpayers are going to foot the bill due to these incompetent doctors who probably won't even get a slap on the wrist, let alone the surrender of their licenses that ought to be in the offing.

Any capable reporters want to FOIA these reports? The police actually look good and the County doctors look bad, so probably not.

UPDATE: Under 40 hours if the times are correct.

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CAPS is Dead??

  • The Chicago Police Department program known as CAPS is over in the Shakespeare District, according to the district’s new commander.

    “CAPS is dead. We need to drive a stake right through its heart,” Police Cmdr. Marc Buslik told a group of Logan Square residents at Haas Park Monday night — at what was formerly known as a CAPS meeting.

    The Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy has become an obsolete term since the program began in 1992, Buslik said. Now, more than 20 years later, the strategy has become a philosophy, and “there’s nothing alternative about it.”
He not only pronounces the corpse, he sets it on fire:
  • “We need to reinvent ourselves,” the district’s top officer said, noting that a renewed commitment to “community policing” is the new priority for the Shakespeare District.

    So what, exactly, is the difference?

    According to Buslik, an academic at heart who's working on a doctorate in criminology, the end of CAPS and the start of community policing lies in redirecting police from the role of a “warrior” to that of a “guardian” in the communities they serve.

    “We need to get back to the root of community policing and talk about it as such,” Buslik said, laying out what he called a “co-production of public safety.”
So pretty much everything we used to do back in the day before the CAPS disease arrived and pretty much stifled actual policing. Now how about putting the dozens of CAPS officers back on the street and disbanding the downtown Bureau headed by a Deputy Chief and hiding dozens more Officers whose time would be better spent in the districts. And that CAPS money....redirect some of that funding, too.

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Tax the Air You Breathe

  • The past five years have seen a huge shift in the way we consume media, as brick-and-mortar stores shift to digital subscriptions. It's been a valuable tradeoff for some, building billion-dollar companies and unlocking huge libraries of music and video for relatively paltry subscription fees, but it's also been a challenge for cities that rely on those businesses for revenue. Now, Chicago wants to take back those missing taxes, and the way it's retaking them has some lawyers up in arms.

    Today, a new "cloud tax" takes effect in the city of Chicago, targeting online databases and streaming entertainment services. It's a puzzling tax, cutting against many of the basic assumptions of the web, but the broader implications could be even more unsettling. Cloud services are built to be universal: Netflix works the same anywhere in the US, and except for rights constraints, you could extend that to the entire world. But many taxes are local — and as streaming services swallow up more and more of the world's entertainment, that could be a serious problem.

    Chicago's new tax is actually composed of two recent rulings made by the city's Department of Finance: one covering "electronically delivered amusements" and another covering "nonpossessory computer leases." Each one takes an existing tax law and extends it to levy an extra 9 percent tax on certain types of online services. The first ruling presumably covers streaming media services like Netflix and Spotify, while the second would cover remote database or computing platforms like Amazon Web Services or Lexis Nexis. Under the new law, what passes as $100 of server time in Springfield would cost $109 if you're conducting it from an office in Chicago.
So, the city puts nothing into the effort - no wiring, no towers, no inspections, no infrastructure of any sort - but by golly, they want a slice of the pie, just because you live here. We shop for the best deals whenever possible, but now, for transmitting electrons from a satellite through the air, we're shafted with another 9% tax to support an overgrown, ravenous behemoth of government that we despise.

Retirement can't come soon enough.

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More "Fire Garry" Calls

  • The calls to relieve Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy of his duties, including from Crain's editorial board, are right on time. His tactics haven't been the miracle cure for the city's violence we all desperately wished them to be. So our response is to fire the superintendent so we can live in denial for another four years about the possible impact any policing tactics will have on Chicago's endemic problems with violence.

    We are stuck in a cycle in which we love the new superintendent until we realize that his new idea is not really new, nor effective, at stemming the social ills that cause the violence in Chicago. It is not surprising, because the idea is designed only to lower violence numbers just enough that everyone is happy with the results.

    I am far from a McCarthy supporter. I do think we need to replace him. But my assessment is based on real-world expectations. I understand that the real impact of policing tactics on the violence in Chicago is small. Chicago's police are an important part of the solution, but our continued practice of throwing all of our eggs in that basket always will end in failure.
Crain's is really getting into this push. Perhaps the long weekend is going to be the make-or-break of McCompStat's tenure? He's a convenient lightning rod for Rahm - as long as everyone is blaming Garry's efforts, they aren't blaming Rahm's gutting of the Department and the wholesale efforts to drive morale into the gutter.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Officer in Trouble?

This appeared in the comment section yesterday. We've combined the separate comments into a single post from Densey Cole's mother:
  • SCC: [...] I am the proud mother of P.O. Densey J.Cole II who was responding to a call in the 022 Dist. on May27,2009 which resulted in him becoming a quadrapalegic. He owned his own home in Bevelry. In the 1st three years after his accident and living in an apartment, the city was having contractors look over his home in order to make it a home to accomadate his needs. During all that time he was making the monthly payment on the home. The city then tells him they won't put the money into the home, that he needs to sell it. As we all know the year that P.O.Cole bought his home the market was at an all time high. When it came time to sell it, the home got sold for exactly what was owned and real estate fee to the agent and broker. He also then had to put all of his furniture into storage where it still remains for nearly 3 years at the rate of $200.00 per month.

    Never was the home being forclosed on nor was it a short sale. For as long as I live I will never forget Chairman Edward Burke coming to Christ Hospital the day of the accident. After discussing Densey's condition he told me that he built Jim Mullen's house and would do the same for Densey so I should not worry. The city takes care of their own. Well heres the bomb shell. My son is being evicted July 8th,2015 Wed because the city has not paid the utilities and the apt. complex has been fighting with them for the past 2 years. The city was signing 6 month leases, but apparently not reading them. Densey since this past May 20, 2015 has had 2 surgeries and now has 8 days to pack, find a place to live. I retired from this job with 22 years, his Dad retired with 29 years. My son went to work just like you guys and gals do, God forbid if it happens to you. I have contacted the FOP,

    The Committee of Finance, The Police Memorial Foundation, Alderman Burke to no avail.I am begging each and every one of you for help for my son. He unfortunately will not be the only officer that this will happen to because of the type of job we did/do. He nor his family are not asking for anything more than what anyone should get in this situation and that is a right to live his life with dignity. The clock is ticking. I am asking you all to step forward and do the right thing and be a strong voice for my son and any future officers who may need this help. This is a disgrace that we cannot allow to happen, a 44 quadrapalegic CPD officer who had 17 years on the job. He woke up, got dressed, went to roll call, took a job and has never know a day of peace yet. My e-mail is Respond to this call, blessings to all of you. Louise
Has anyone been in recent contact with Officer Cole? It certainly sounds like he's been getting the short end of the stick from the city. Dignity shouldn't have this high a price.


Magic Money Appears!

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel directed Chicago Public Schools to meet Tuesday's deadline for a $634 million contribution to Chicago's teachers retirement fund but warned making the state-mandated payment would lead the cash-strapped district to make classroom cuts ahead of the new school year.

    In the days leading up to Tuesday's deadline, Emanuel had sought to delay the payment until August while calling for broader changes to how Chicago teacher pensions are funded. But with Springfield mired in a wide-ranging struggle between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and ruling Democratic lawmakers, there was little momentum to grant Chicago relief.

    That left Emanuel with a choice: Skip the required pension payment and risk being sued by teachers and having the school district's woeful credit rating sink further or make the payment and face a cash crunch that could lead to deep classroom cuts.
Or maybe some management cuts? Maybe evaluate requisition procedures? Standardize purchasing, look at connected contracts? Maybe cut out the ever increasing food bill for breakfast and lunches that end up thrown away - feeding kids is a PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY, not the schools.

Remember, it's a spending problem, not a revenue problem. How come no one in an position of responsibility (and time on their hands) ever goes through the budgets with a fine-toothed comb and points out the tremendous waste, layers of bureaucracy and redundant management positions that might save countless tens of millions?


Hater of a Judge

Anyone from the media actually go sit in a courtroom any more?
  • Today in the courtroom of judge Clarence Burch, room 303, branch 46, the police lost a case where the defendant battered and resisted officers and lied repeatedly, under oath, was impeached, and found not guilty.

    The defendant arrived 45 minutes late to court and had a 'witness' with him that was not even on the scene and also lied, in fact, according to the state, the lies didn't even match up. The entire story told by both was false. The judge conducted a bench trial that lasted for over an hour and then immediately came to the shocking conclusion of NOT guilty. The judge would not answer any questions and immediately left the court room.

    Officers were told by States Attorneys that the judge, due to the current political climate, referencing Ferguson and Baltimore, will NOT find in favor of the police in assault, battery or resisting cases. Good luck out there, as if the deck wasn't already stacked against us...
Makes you just want to go out and fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way, doesn't it?

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More Clues

Still no word on weekend deployment from downtown. You'd think that they didn't want coppers to know what their schedule is going to be, nor what equipment they should have on hand, nor what the potential threats might be. Good thing we have the media to keep us informed!
  • Federal authorities have warned local law enforcement officials across the country about an increased concern involving possible terror attacks targeting the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend.

    Kristin Fisher reported that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued an intelligence bulletin warning of a chance that an ISIS-inspired terror attack could occur in the U.S.

    She said no specific or credible threat has been confirmed by officials.

    However, a former Pentagon official told Fox News that ISIS views Independence Day as a key target, Fisher stated.
So at least we know we're looking for the Religion of Pieces to pull some headline grabbing event, probably involving actual heads.

The whole plan will probably be released on the morning of third at this rate.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Time to Move This Parade, Too

  • Two people were stabbed and at least two others were robbed during post-Pride Parade mayhem in the Boystown area Sunday night and early Monday morning.
    CWB estimates that 17 people were arrested while the parade was in progress and at least 20 more were arrested in the hours following the event. (Late Monday,  Chicago police announced that they made 52 arrests in connection with the Pride Parade,  a 20‰ increase over last year,  according to the Windy City Times. )
So now, Crime is Down!

Except murders, which are in fact up.

And shootings, which are up.

And parade violence, which is up....mostly on the northside it seems.

The CrimeInBoystown blog has a play-by-play of the mayhem, running well into Monday morning. Time to move it downtown, put it on the clock, and start charging the parade organizers for security, police, TMA's and clean-up...if they aren't already.


Shots Fired at Police

  • A 16-year-old boy was charged with trying to kill a cop after the teen allegedly fired at a police officer in the Uptown neighborhood Sunday afternoon, officials said Monday.

    The boy, who is from Chicago but whose name was not available, was charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of possessing a gun with a defaced serial number, said [...] a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

    The charges stem from an incident that happened about 3 p.m. Sunday on the 4600 block of North Kenmore Avenue, police said.

    According to police, the teen was running away from police when the boy turned and fired his weapon at the officer.
Amazing how the assailant got a hold of a gun, what with all the laws and rules against it. Good thing no one was injured.


Tourist Stabbed

  • Chicago police are holding a man for stabbing a tourist outside a downtown hotel.

    Police say the victim got into an altercation with a man who’d been drinking, early Monday morning outside the Wyndham Grand Hotel, 71 E. Upper Wacker Drive.

    His arm was cut with a glass bottle. He needed stitches at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Any bets as to how this tourist is going to rate his visit to town?

"Hey, that Emergency Room was fantastic! 5-Stars!!!"


Monday, June 29, 2015

Another Piece of the Puzzle

It seems the Department has re-opened the TO-SPOT overtime initiative, in both 4 and 8 hour increments.

The program only seems to re-open when Federal money becomes available, usually when a specific threat or threat profile is detected.

Expect some announcements shortly.


Fight This Pardon Application

This isn't a Parole Hearing, but an application for a pardon. And it's right here in town, so a decent showing shouldn't be difficult:
  • I have written to you about this before and I hate to have to do so again. As you may recall, Pat Quinn commuted the sentence of Howard Morgan. A jury convicted Morgan of four counts of Attempt Murder of four uniformed police officers. After exhausting his appeals, he engineered the commutation of his sentence. He is now seeking a full pardon based on innocence. This will allow him to get a FOID card and try to revive his now dismissed civil suit against the officers. [...] I am asking for your help in one of several ways. You can send a letter of protest to the board at:

    Illinois Prisoner Review Board
    Craig Findley, Chairman
    319 East Madison Street, Suite A
    Springfield, Illinois 62701
    Phone (217) 782-7273
    Fax (217) 524-0012

    Another way to help would be to show up in support of the victims at the State of Illinois Building 100 W. Randolph, Chicago, Illinois on July 8, 2015, at 9:00 a.m., or send representatives from your departments. The petitioner usually has several uninformed supporters at all of his court dates. It would be helpful to have officers and civilians who are familiar with all the facts to support the officers.

    The final way would be to let other people know about this.
Quinn commuted this jagoff's sentence on the way out the door, ignoring facts in evidence and testimony elicited at court - it was pretty much a "fuck you" to law enforcement as Quinn had just lost reelection. Morgan was a piece of shit years ago that never seemed to get flushed and nearly cost four officers their lives. A full pardon would be another bad joke in this crooked state.


Slow Weekend (UPDATE - Not So Slow?)

  • Three people have been killed and at least 13 others injured in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening.
We happened to be relaxing in the pool with a frosty beverage (root beer floats if you must ask) and we plan on more of the same shortly.

UPDATE: The Tribune has updated its shot-o-meter:
  • Three people were killed and at least 21 were wounded in shootings across the city over the weekend.

    That pushed the city homicide total for 2015 to at least 213 and the shooting total to at least 1,255, according to a Chicago Tribune database of city shootings. Both of those surpass yearly totals for similar timespans in 2013 and 2014, according to an analysis of that database.
And wait until this weekend.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Life Sentence

  • Timothy Herring, a man found guilty of the 2010 murders of Chicago Police Officer Michael Flisk and former Chicago Housing Authority Officer Stephen Peters, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

    Herring listened to his sentence without emotion inside a packed Cook County courtroom Friday.

    "There are some cases that stand out among the rest, this is one of those cases. You have earned each and every day of this sentence," Judge Mary Margaret Brosnahan said.
God bless the family and the families of all the fallen.


This Explains Part of It

  • The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were warning law enforcement Friday about the possibility of terrorist threats around the Fourth of July, unnamed authorities told CNN Friday. Officials circulated a joint intelligence bulletin that does not discuss "any known active threats," but does sound the alert about the potential for "heightened threats," CNN reported.
It's okay now Garry - you can release "the plan." We've had a copy for days, but kept it under wraps.


Untouchable Government

  • Choose Chicago, the city’s taxpayer-subsidized tourism bureau, secretly gave its chief marketing officer a six-figure payout when he left after just two and a half years on the job, newly released records show.

    Warren R. Wilkinson abruptly left the organization in July 2013. That was less than two months after Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed President Barack Obama’s former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers as chairman of the Choose Chicago board, replacing Bruce Rauner, who stepped down to run for governor.
"Taxpayer funded?" That means it has to answer questions brought by the taxpayers, right? Or at least, their elected representatives, right?
  • Choose Chicago officials won’t disclose the amount of Wilkinson’s severance. They say that as a private, not-for-profit organization, Choose Chicago doesn’t have to explain how it spends its $32 million budget, even though 87 percent of its money comes from taxpayers.
Oh, well pardon us for asking then. At least there is some oversight? Someone watching how the money is spent?
  • Like some other not-for-profit Chicago agencies funded by taxpayers, Choose Chicago won’t divulge how it spends its money — a position that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has upheld.
Oh really?
  • Choose Chicago is overseen by an unpaid board that includes  Desiree Rogers, chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing Co; Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts; Gibson’s restaurants partner John Colletti; Teamsters Local 727 boss John T. Coli; Chicago Federation of Labor president Jorge Ramirez, and former Emanuel chief of staff Theresa Mintle, a cousin of former Mayor Richard M. Daley. Mintle is president and chief executive officer of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

    The Chicago Sun-Times reported last fall that Choose Chicago’s contractors included a consultant who’s a friend of Emanuel, as well as lobbying firms with ties to Daley and House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
And suddenly, all becomes clear. Now we just need a list the political contributions made by individuals connected to this "tourism bureau" and to whom the contributions landed and we'll all have a much clearer picture of what's going on here.

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Again With the Prison Mel?

  • Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds stood in front of the cameras three years ago with signs that read “redemption.”

    “It’s what you do after the mistakes,” Reynolds said in 2012 while announcing a run for a congressional vacancy left by U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

    But redemption appears to be elusive for Reynolds.

    Some 20 years after his first criminal conviction, Reynolds was just named in a federal indictment alleging he failed to file federal tax returns for four consecutive years, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
Not just, "I forgot one year." No, Mel has failed to file for four years. That doesn't qualify as an accident. And remember, this guy was a Rhodes Scholar, which means he's supposed to be intelligent...or connected.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

More Excuses for Cop Killer

  • Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin understands why police officers are angry the Illinois Prisoner Review Board has ordered the release of the killer of a Chicago cop.

    The board voted 8-6 Thursday to free Joseph Bigsby, who was serving a sentence of 100 to 200 years in prison for the 1973 murder of Chicago Police Officer Edward L. Barron.

    Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called the decision a “travesty.” The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation said the decision was “disappointing.”

    “I appreciate their strong feelings,” Suffredin said Friday. “But he served 42-plus years. That’s not a slap on the hand.”
You know what Officer Edward L. Barron is missing right now Larry? His retirement. His golden years. Bouncing his grandchildren on his knee and regaling them with humorous or heroic stories about when he was a young man growing up in Chicago. Looking over the holiday decorations and a family table laden with good food and better company, marveling at how a copper ever had it so good after 30 or 35 years of a job like his. He missed a Superbowl, a World Series, six basketball championships, three Stanley Cups and forty-two more years of futility on the north side. All of that taken away by a shithead, high on dope, sticking up people for his next fix that netted a whopping $2.05.

And that's not all:
  • Suffredin has a personal stake in Bigsby’s case: He was the lead public defender at his trial in 1975. The other public defender was John Cullerton, now the president of the Illinois Senate.
Really? This was news to us. Can someone tell us how many FOP endorsements or campaign contributions went to Cullerton, dating back to 1973? We're curious.

And another stomach turner:
  • Illinois Prisoner Review Board member Edith Crigler, herself the widow of a police officer, was among those voting Thursday to release Bigsby.

    “We, as a society, must show compassion,” Crigler said.
Only when compassion is warranted you dumb fuck. Bigsby attacked the very foundations of society, the most approachable and visible arm of government (and therefore the most vulnerable). By negating Officer Barron's sacrifice for a $2.05 robbery, you diminish the legitimacy of the police to enforce the laws of a supposedly civilized society, the legal and rightfully just verdict rendered by jury, and the appropriate sentence enacted by the legislature and handed down by a judge.

Society has an obligation to remove from its midst, animals that conscientiously disregard the rule of law. Bigsby should have died in the electric chair, age restrictions not withstanding. Failing that, he should have died on a prison hospital gurney, old, alone, and still restricted by the bars he earned of his own actions.

Officer Barron died on a Chicago sidewalk for daring to live up to the ideals of society, and today, society spit upon him.

This is, quite simply, a perversion of justice.


Who Wants $250K?

  • Looking for some (semi) easy cash?

    Greek billionaire bsp;Alki David might have a job for you — but there’s some risk involved.

    According to TimeOut Chicago, David told the audience listening in to the Mancow Morning Show that he is willing to shell out a whopping $250,000 to anyone that is willing to streak in front of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

    That’s a lot of cheddar, but there’s the price you might pay for doing such a thing. In Chicago, indecent exposure is a Class A misdemeanor, and comes with up to one year in the slammer and a possible $2,500 fine.
We give this thing 48 hours before at least one attempt is made.

Maybe the FOP could arrange for the Board to parade naked in exchange for fully funding the pension?


Lost in the Shuffle

All of today's headlines were about some Supreme Court decision, relegating to the lower reaches of the media websites was this:
  • A suspected Islamist pinned the severed head of his boss to the gates of a US-owned gas factory in France Friday in what President Francois Hollande called a "terrorist" attack.

    The alleged assailant, identified as 35-year-old married father-of-three Yassin Salhi, also smashed his vehicle into the Air Products factory, causing an explosion.

    The grisly attack near France's second city of Lyon came on an especially bloody day worldwide, with at least 37 gunned down at a beach resort in Tunisia and 25 killed in a suicide bombing in Kuwait claimed by Islamic State extremists.
Just asking, but might this be a prelude to something brewing over the Fourth of July weekend? Something that might explain the palpable panic down at HQ lately? There is a rumor of a "redeployment" of certain personnel, but that is standard for big holiday weekends and has been for over ten years now.


Again, Never Ever Chase

  • A Cook County jury has awarded $2.1 million in damages to the family of a 78-year-old woman killed when her vehicle was struck by a sport-utility vehicle the family's attorneys said was fleeing Chicago police in 2008, according to a news release and court records.

    Tommye Ruth Freeman was driving east at the 7600 block of South State Street on July 3, 2008, when her vehicle was struck by a white SUV that ran a red light, according to a statement from attorneys representing Freeman’s family. She died of injuries suffered during the crash hours later. On Thursday, a jury awarded her family $2.1 million in damages in a lawsuit filed in 2009.

    Freeman’s family’s attorneys said police investigating a nonviolent residential burglary in the 7700 block of South Langley Avenue were chasing the SUV when it collided with Freeman’s vehicle.
The driver was another one of those altar boys we hear so much about:
  • Byron Brown, 30, who was driving the SUV, was convicted of murder in Freeman’s death in 2012, and is serving a 25-year prison sentence in that case, according to court and state records. He also pleaded guilty in 2014 in a separate federal murder-conspiracy case, admitting that he committed three murders and was present at two others while a member of the Hobo street gang.
But the police are to blame, regardless:
  • Attorneys representing Freeman’s family argued they were “willful and wanton” and violated police procedures in speeding behind the SUV against the flow of traffic on a one-way street in a residential area.
So, let us get this straight:
  • The deceased was struck by the offender's car, which blew a red light;
  • the plaintiff's attorney claims police were "willful and wanton" speeding behind the SUV against the flow of traffic on a one-way street - which means the officers were following a law breaker;
  • again, the striking SUV "blew a red light." Most intersections with a one way street don't have a red light facing the on-coming traffic because...get's the WRONG WAY;
  • again, the police vehicle never touched the deceased's vehicle. All of the lawbreaking was done by the now guilty offender - guilty of murder....and a number of other murders besides.
So when burglary offenders decide to burgle, and then break all sorts of traffic laws and endanger the public in their efforts to continue their badly chosen lives of crime, will cost the city over $2 million at a time.

We hear you loud and clear Cook County Juries.


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