Thursday, March 05, 2015

A Tale of Two Lawsuits

One ending:
  • A federal jury Wednesday sided with two Chicago police officers in the 2011 fatal shooting of a motorist in spite of a dispatch recording that suddenly surfaced in the middle of the trial that appeared to cast doubt on the officers' version of events.

    Attorneys had sought up to $10 million in damages on behalf of the estate of Darius Pinex, 27, who was killed by Officers Raoul Mosqueda and Gildardo Sierra after they pulled his car over on Chicago's South Side more than four years ago.

    The eight-member panel, which deliberated about seven hours over two days, also declined to award any damages to a passenger in the car, Matthew Colyer, who was wounded in the shooting.

    While the jury's verdict was a clear vindication for the officers, the case may be far from over. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang, who has ripped city attorneys for not producing the dispatch recording before the trial, has given the go-ahead for a full investigation into how the rules breach occurred and whether any sanctions should be imposed.
And one beginning:
  • The family of a 19-year-old man who was shot dead by Chicago Police in August filed a federal lawsuit against the city Wednesday, saying it’s the only way they’ll be able to find out the truth about how Roshad McIntosh died.

    McIntosh was killed by police in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Aug. 24, after police say he pointed a gun at officers who were responding to a call of armed men.

    But McIntosh’s mother, Cynthia Lane, says neither police nor the Independent Police Review Authority have told her anything about her son’s death in the nearly seven months since he was killed. She has consistently disputed authorities’ version of events, previously led a march on City Hall and has become a face of protests against police brutality.
So if cops respond to a call of an armed man, find an armed man, shoot and kill an armed man with an extensive background of gun crimes and recover a weapon, well, that's just not good enough for Mom.


Shouldn't We Be Doing This?

Oh wait, the Department brass said something about how it didn't make sense to train every officer in terrorism response. Good to see some people learn from the past:
  • The NYPD has quietly spent the last six months making preparations for a potential ISIS assault in Manhattan, which police fear could be similar to the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, India, sources told The Post.

    Cops have been trained to deal with coordinated bombings and shootings, as in the four-day terror assault that killed more than 160 people in Mumbai, the sources said.

    Police trainers have even placed a map of Manhattan over a map of Mumbai to show the geographical similarities, one source said.

    Several hundred cops have been reassigned to counterterrorism duties, and some have been trained to use high-powered rifles to take out potential terrorist snipers.
Has anyone reading ever sat down an had an actual discussion about something like this? Over beers, over lunch, at roll call? It's an interesting exercise if you treat it seriously. We've done it a couple times with co-workers, some with military experience, some with specialized training, some with a lot of years, some not so many.

Mumbai was 10 shooters with basic-to-advanced military-type training, dropped off via inflatable speedboats, supplied with enough ammo and explosives to kill 164 people and wound over 300 over the course of 4 days. New York's (and Chicago's) waterfronts, subways, downtown, shopping destinations, etc are inviting targets. We're sure SWAT has a plan, but SWAT isn't the first responder in most cases. In a multi-shooter scenario with a motivated, well-supplied force, SWAT is only in one or two places at once. Six-to-ten two-man teams here might end with a body count to rival India's.

Is CPD working on this? Maybe a clue for the boys and girls who are going to be mobilized as Incident Teams with no training, no weapons, no information? We don't even have a minimum number of riflemen assigned to each District with functional rifles for each.


LAPD Shooting Twists

shooLAPD shot an "unarmed man" a few days ago. The usual protests started up, despite the presence of a cell phone video that shows the offender fighting the police and the audio of one of the coppers stating quite clearly, "He's got my gun!" at least twice before five shots are fired.

The usual suspects started up with the one-hour t-shirts and the "black lives matter" - the message being that police lives don't matter. Then the fingerprints came back:
  • When a black homeless man was shot dead by police on Skid Row on Sunday, the shooting was seen as yet another example of white policemen in the United States being too quick to reach for their guns. But the full story behind the man's death – and his remarkable life – has emerged as something far more complex.

    The 39-year-old identified by police after his death as Charley Saturmin Robinet was actually using a fake identity, stolen from a Frenchman, to try and make a career in Hollywood.

    The man known to his Skid Row friends as "Africa" or "Cameroon" had stolen Mr Robinet's identity, and in the late 1990s used it to acquire a French passport to come to the United States. He moved to Los Angeles, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, began taking acting classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse – a drama school whose alumni include George Clooney, Michelle Pfeiffer and Alec Baldwin.

    But he struggled to pay the fees, and in 2000 was arrested after holding up a bank in the LA suburb of Thousand Oaks.
15 years in prison, violent interactions with others, mental illness, etc. The laundry list is long and once again, the cops did nothing wrong. But that rush to judgement sure is strong in the minds of those who have no idea what policing entails.

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No Charges in Ferguson, But...

  • The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it will not prosecute former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old, while also releasing a report faulting the city and its law enforcement for racial bias.

    In the criminal investigation, federal officials concluded Wilson's actions "do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal rights statute."

    Specifically, the DOJ said there was "no evidence" to disprove Wilson's testimony that he feared for his safety, nor was there reliable evidence that Michael Brown had his hands up when he was shot.
  • Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says one police department employee was fired and two others are on administrative leave over racist emails uncovered in a Justice Department investigation into the city's law enforcement practices.

    Knowles' comments at a press conference Wednesday were the first response from city leaders to the federal investigation that found systemic racial bias in law enforcement in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Knowles read a brief statement but did not take questions. Police Chief Tom Jackson did not attend.

    The Justice Department report said police work was focused on generating revenue from black residents from fines and fees, rather than protecting the community.
Well, based on that, shouldn't there be a full investigation of Rahm and Daley? Get a load of these lines from the article:
  • Officials announced 26 recommendations, including training officers in how to de-escalate confrontations [verbal judo? "Roadhouse" training? Legitimacy training?]
  • banning the use of ticketing and arrest quotas, for the police force and municipal court. [quotas? Not in my town, not in my department, but if you want that time off, you better print up a copy of your activity officer....why are your Contact Cards down?]
  • While the federal government declined to prosecute Wilson, it found the shooting occurred in an environment of systematic mistreatment of blacks, in which officials swapped racist emails and jokes without punishment... [one of whom was fired and two who are suspended - none of whom seem to be police officers though?]
  • ...and black residents were disproportionately stopped and searched without good reason, fined for petty offenses and subjected to excessive police force. [Um...proportionally which part of the population? Proportionally committing what percentage of crimes? Proportionally charged with fighting or resisting lawful arrests? Let's see all the numbers please]
  • The report on the department found its lack of racial diversity — only four of 54 commissioned officers are black — undermined community trust. [We want the most qualified police officers available! Oh, well now we want it "reflective" of the community.]
  • It also said the city relied heavily on fines for raise revenue and issued arrest warrants for minor infractions including jaywalking and late fees. [um....ANOV warrants anyone?]
More of the report reads like many IPRA complaints - one individual making allegations not substantiated by evidence, witnesses or pretty much anything, and a section of tortured statistics. The section regarding seven (that's right...7) racist e-mails is pretty solid, and as the mayor said, one employee has been fired and two others suspended, but none seem to be sworn police officers. But it's Eric Holder's last hurrah. After running guns to Mexican drug lords, railroading an entire police department with one-sided statistics is a walk in the park.


"Not Weed"

  • A 21-year-old Lincoln man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana after deputies found a 16-ounce container labeled "Not Weed" under the front passenger's seat.

    Lancaster County Sheriff's deputies stopped the driver near Eighth and K streets about 9 p.m. Saturday.

    During a search, the sheriff's office found the plastic sour cream container with 11.4 grams of marijuana. The driver said it belonged to him and was cited.
Here's a pic:

Lucky guess by the copper? Or years of police knowledge and intuition?


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Nice Work

  • The burglaries started with gang members using crowbars to smash the windows of stores on tony North Michigan Avenue and elsewhere in the city.

    But when businesses boosted their security on the advice of the police, the burglars crashed stolen cars through their doors. The thieves would seize all the loot they could carry and flee in minutes, police say.

    On Tuesday, the Chicago Police Department announced charges against four men in connection with the two-year spree. They and other suspects allegedly stole more than $2 million in merchandise and caused more than $500,000 in damage to businesses in Chicago, the suburbs and other cities in the Midwest, police said.
Around 40 heists across the Midwest over two years might be cleared by these arrests. Nice long term investigation there boys and girls.


Almost a Darwin (UPDATE)

  • A 14-year-old walked into a Northwest Side hospital with a gunshot wound to her knee Tuesday evening.

    The girl — who police said was “highly uncooperative” — walked into Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center about 6:30 p.m., police said.

    She told investigators that she was shot in the late afternoon last Sunday in the 5200 block of West Fullerton, police said.

    Investigators learned that the girl was in a park with some of her friends playing with a handgun in a park when it accidentally went off, striking her in the knee, police said.

    Her condition was not immediately available.
Condition? How about "almost terminally stupid"?

"playing with a handgun..." Another rite of passage no doubt. But law abiding gun owners will be taken to task for this dumbass.

UPDATE: She was wounded for two or three days and no one noticed?


Big Surprise Here

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel has deep ties to a lobbyist for a government relations firm that represents Xerox State and Local Solutions Traffic Solutions, the city’s new red-light camera operator, according to a report published Tuesday by International Business Times.

    IBT reviewed city records and connected the dots between Emanuel’s former congressional aide, John Borovicka, the mayor and the red-light camera program.
    According to city records, Borovicka was hired in October 2013 by John C. Corrigan & Associates as a subcontractor to lobby on the firm’s behalf. Those records show Corrigan had been hired by Xerox in February of the same year. Just 18 days after Borovicka was hired by Corrigan, the Emanuel administration gave the $44 million red-light contract to Xerox.
    IBT reports that the city documents filed by Xerox showed Borovicka was paid to lobby for the contract in October 2013. However, the connection between Borovicka and Emanuel was not part of city lobbying disclosures Borovicka filed.
Certainly seems like business as usual - everyone gets paid off one way or the other while actual city obligations like services, public safety, potholes, pensions, all wither and die.


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Captain Counseled

Can they send a captain to callback? Because they should seriously consider it:
  • SCC, good news!

    The Captain that everyone loves to hate got officially Counseled this weekend. If you recall, he flipped his shit on the midnight crew, screaming at the radio people. belittling sergeants, ripping the lieutenants. Real professional type behavior. Well, someone called FOP and even though there were numerous witnesses, Barb West refused to do anything about it and Management and Labor Affairs was called directly, a proceedings were underway shortly afterward. FOP showed up at the midnight roll call and told everyone that the Department was taking action, although minor at this point. So this ass who counsels everybody else now has a counseling form in his personnel folder. Rumor is he was pissed about being named in yet another EEOC beef, so he took it out on the watch.
A Counseling Form. It's a good start, but...

This guy has at least one, maybe more EEOC beefs against him. We've pointed out numerous times that the outflow of personnel from 011 (and other Districts where the bosses suck) should have triggered some sort of interest by downtown that something was up. Now they've taken action, albeit a minor action, against him due to his behavior.

"Where there's smoke, there's fire." Sound familiar? It has been the predominant driving force behind numerous disciplinary cases, job actions and personnel concern programs. People have been sent to callback for conduct like this with citizens, yet this guy is left supervising a District?

How about certain people take some concrete action instead of exposing taxpayers to yet another damaging monetary judgement based on knowing what this guy was up to, AND LEAVING HIM IN PLACE!

Garry McCarthy, Al Wysinger, Wayne Gulliford, Barb West - you have numerous witnesses to this incident, you have an EEOC beef working its way through the system, you have begun a paper trail that may or may not culminate in discipline, yet there he is, supervising people he belittles, disrespects and bullies. As a taxpayer, we have to ask, "What the fuck?"


Shut Up Kirk

  • Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has given his tacit endorsement of Mayor Rahm Emanuel for re-election, reports WBBM [...].

    He refused to call it an endorsement, but Senator Mark Kirk made clear he feels Chicago would risk dire financial straits like Detroit has seen if Mayor Emanuel is not re-elected.

    “I think the people running against Rahm don’t have the gravitas with the bond market,” Kirk said. “I would worry about the value of a Chicago debt if Rahm was not re-elected.”
Hey Kirk? Rahm majored in Dance. At Sarah Lawrence. He doesn't have any "gravitas" with the bond market any more than we do. He doesn't have an MBA or banking experience aside from the spots that Clinton and Rauner handed to him. And he couldn't even win an election against 4 nobodies - at least two of which were Machine plants to split the vote.


Willie and Bobby Wafflehouse

  • Willie Wilson continues to be a potential kingmaker in the Chicago mayoral race.

    The African-American businessman, who was knocked out of the contest in the Feb. 24 primary, says he had private meetings over the weekend with the two candidates who will be on the April 7 ballot: incumbent Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

    Wilson tells CBS 2’s [...] he’s already decided he’ll vote for Garcia. That’s based in part, he says, on his dissatisfaction with public school closings under Emanuel’s administration and also the city’s continued use of red-light cameras.

    “My personal vote is for anybody except for this mayor,” Wilson said Sunday.

    Still, he said, he could end up publicly endorsing Emanuel, depending on what members of his own community tell him. Wilson insisted his personal vote is separate from who might be best for the city as a whole.
So Willie is going to mislead his entire constituency by voting his dissatisfaction (Chuy) but encourage the unwashed masses to vote for Willie's economic interests (Rahm). So much for that "untied front" thing against Rahm, eh?

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  • Add Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to those who say they're publicly withholding endorsement in Chicago's mayoral race.

    In advance of a Casimir Pulaski Day event, Preckwinkle told reporters she was "staying out of it."

    Her silence is notable, given that she has what can be described as a tepid relationship with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The incumbent's challenger in the April 7 runoff is Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner last week declined to publicly support either candidate. He and Emanuel are friends and worked together during Emanuel's time as an investment banker.
Again, Rahm is an asshole. And people are loath to be associated with an asshole...even if they belong to the same Machine or wine tasting club. And if Rahm can't win an election on his own ("own" being endorsed by unions, supported by $30 million from Hollywood, and a presidential endorsement), then he doesn't get to hang with Bruce and Toni.


Monday, March 02, 2015

Dead Heat

  • A Chicago polling firm is calling the city’s runoff campaign between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia a “dead heat.”

    New numbers from Ogden and Fry show Garcia, a member of the Cook County board of commissioners, within reach of the one-term Emanuel. And the firm warned that the Hispanic population under-polls, meaning that population is underrepresented in the data.

    “They’re likely dead even,” pollster Tom Swiss said Sunday night.
We're just going to come right out and cheer for Chewie. We'd rather see him founder for four years with a hostile City Council than have Rahm surgically destroy what we've paid into without fail for decades. Plus, if Rahm isn't here, Rauner is hamstrung on a lot of his big plans without his buddy. And on a national level, Chicago can make defeating Rahm a small gesture of contrition for helping screw the country with Obama.


An Idea Whose Time Has Come

cBS Channel 2 has already found "racism©" in the marijuana dispensary system due to the so-called "deserts" in certain lower income neighborhoods. Someone suggested this in the comment section and it came up at the semi-regular blog "beer, darts and hot wings meeting" the other night.
  • Marijuana Vending Machines
Those Red Box machines popped up everywhere seemingly overnight. You can't stop at a grocery story or Home Depot without running into one or more. Weed machines could be the next wave.
  • make them heavy enough so you'd need like 5 guys to move it;
  • embed it into the concrete a foot down or so to negate dragging it away or turning it over.
This should eliminate 80% of the thefts where the entire machine goes missing. When was the last time you saw a pothead move anything heavy?
  • camera and siren security features
  • as a last ditch measure, if the machine is breached, spoil the product via acid or bleach or something - no fire, because then the offenders will just stand around and inhale
  • limited product in the machine - 100 or so doses, tops
  • no cash sales
 No cash? Then how to vend the product to the underserved glaucoma suffering masses?
  • LINK, EBT, Debit or pre-paid credit cards only
  • with valid State ID or DL
 Illinois is about to revamp the entire Driver License to comply with Federal rules regarding air-travel and stuff in a post-9/11 world. No reason they can't program in something about those who need their medical weed. The weed companies are even producing jobs for the armored truck that'll have to restock the machines.

One final suggestion:
  • Put it in the lobbies of police stations next to the ATM.
It's almost fool proof.


The Ferguson Effect

This has been noted in other places at other times, but this is the most recent and better documented as far as we can tell:
  • Numbers provided by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department show a downward trend, last year, in the numbers of self-initiated activity (S.I.A.)

    The numbers show a high last year of more than 21,000 S.I.A. in March, now down by more than half to about 7,000 in December.

    Chief Sam Dotson told Fox 2 News, "Police officers have an intuition. That intuition helps them to determine when to do self-initiated activity. It does reduce crime."

    Though Dotson warns that the drop in S.I.A. doesn`t tell the whole story. During a period in 2013, he said crime also dropped along with S.I.A. He added, "That means police officers` activities were paying dividends. They were stopping the right people. They were in the neighborhoods experiencing crime. They were doing their jobs and doing it well."

    One of the steepest drops in S.I.A. occurred after the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in a St. Louis suburb. Another steep drop in S.I.A. occurred after the Grand Jury decision on Nov. 24. Dotson said criminals felt empowered, while officers felt hampered by what he calls the "Ferguson Effect."

    S.I.A. numbers are climbing again, Dotson said.
The fourth paragraph is an interesting conundrum.
  • During a period in 2013, he said crime also dropped along with S.I.A. He added, "That means police officers` activities were paying dividends. They were stopping the right people. They were in the neighborhoods experiencing crime. They were doing their jobs and doing it well."
It doesn't really mean that at all. We've heard and participated in the argument, "If you have less police, you have less crime." We take that to mean that unless the police are there to make an arrest or generate a report, society is willing to tolerate certain levels of misbehavior. You can see that in the CPD today. Rahm/McCarthy (and Daley/assorted superintendent) have made it inconvenient to report crime.
  • 3-1-1? Hour long wait times and more. 
  • Garage burglary? We'll just downgrade that to a Theft. 
  • Evidence Technician? They'll be there when they get there, and even when they arrive, there's nothing retrievable many times. Detectives move the "X" and suspend the case. 
  • Dead body tied to a chair?  Burned beyond recognition? Hole in the head and no gun around? Death Investigation.
Of course, this is a double-edged sword. People want government to solve their problems - individual problems, family problems, community problems. Then they bitch about how you work at it. So coppers learn to temper their responses and in the event of a Ferguson-type event, they learn to back off the throttle completely. Survival mode. Of course, then the old saw gets played, "Why didn't you do something back when blah blah blah? You racist police!"

The Chief is alleging that self-initiated stops dropped and so did crime because they were stopping the right people - that's pure CompStat bullshit right there. Crime dropped because people put up with it and most likely didn't report it. Then criminals get bolder and crime goes from little things like dope dealing and thefts to home invasions, rapes, murders, and it gets that much harder to shove the genie back in the bottle.

We feel we're in that sort of downward spiral right now. Discuss.


Dick Does it Again

  • During remarks on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared President Obama’s executive orders on immigration to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and said that the president’s “courage” to take executive action was an important moment in righting the wrongs of the “fatally flawed” Constitution.

    Durbin began by saying how “seriously” he and his colleagues in the Senate took their commitment to defending the Constitution—a document he said, however, was “fatally flawed from the start.”
    Before any of us can serve in the United States Senate, we stand in the well of the Senate chamber and publicly take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. I know we all take that seriously, as we should. This is not just another government document. It is really the inspiration of this government and it still governs our actions to this day.

    Yet, if we view this document with honesty, we know that it was fatally flawed from the start. It got the issue of slavery wrong, in addition to some other issues. It got the issue of race wrong. And since the days when the document was drafted and signed, we have struggled as a nation to right that wrong. It has taken a long, long time.
Wow. So you sworn an Oath to a document that you have no faith in, fail to follow on a regular basis and believe that is "fatally flawed" and in need of correction?

Newsflash Dick, there's a process in place to amend the document. Maybe you've heard of it? The document delineates specific powers to each of three co-equal branches of government. Checks-and-Balances....any of this ringing a bell in your tiny little pea brain?


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Massive Protests!

Massive we tell you - the people, united, will never blah blah blah:
  • Protesters gathered Saturday outside a Chicago Police Department facility on the West Side, calling for it to be shut down following reports in the British newspaper The Guardian that described it as a “black site” where officers violate suspects’ rights.

    About 200 people stood outside the Homan Square building in frigid temperatures Saturday, as police officers guarded the road to the facility.
From a few coppers on the scene, the number "200" is actually twice what they counted. And a few points were brought up readers:
  • The guy who died? Heroin. It's in the toxicology report;
  • Guess what Homan Square doesn't have? A basement;
  • The Sun Times of all media, states there have been exactly ZERO lawsuits filed over practices at Homan Square;
  • WBEZ for pete's sake, dismantles much of the protestors allegations in this piece; pointing out the numerous press conferences, tours, media briefings held at the building;
  • Danny Davis, no friend of the police, has an office right behind the Homan Square building (on Arthington) and states this is the first time he's head anything alleged about the facility - how believable is that? Danny regularly makes up imaginary scenarios and holds press conferences about them, and he's never heared a peep from the west side about "disappearances?"
Here's a good piece about the entire thing by a cop. Read it all and see how the media is loathe to give the Guardian any credence in light of how their credibility is shot as of late.


Pay Cut

An astute reader pointed out the following in regard to Friday's promotions:
  • The last boss in charge of CAPS...wasn't that Helm? Wasn't she a Chief before she left and went to work for Luberman or someone at City Hall?  And didn't she retire under a cloud where a whole bunch of people almost got indicted?
Looks like the latest CAPS Deputy Chief missed out on a pay grade step.


Rahm Lies

Elected on a platform of lies, along with a "wedding dress residency," is anyone actually surprised?
  • In the wake of revelations about abuses in the city of Chicago’s fire and police disability programs, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised reforms.

    But two and a half years later, little has come of those promises, a Chicago Sun-Times examination has found.

    Some injured cops, firefighters and paramedics have returned to duty or retired since Emanuel vowed to crack down on abuses in the wake of a Sun-Times investigation that found some of them were collecting tax-free disability checks even as they had gotten other jobs.
Everyone has a story about this, and it's abuses that may cost us down the road. One has to wonder if Rahm continues to permit the abuses in order to have a club to beat the membership with somewhere in the future. If we aren't policing our own house, you can bet Rahm will attempt to.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Protests Today at Homan Square

Plaintiff attorneys are amazed at the Homan Square story - they don't believe a lot of it:
  • Allegations that the Chicago Police Department abuses the rights of people that police detain for questioning have been a central element of the notorious police misconduct issues in this city for decades.

    [...] So when a British newspaper published a series of articles last week alleging that the Police Department uses its Homan Square facility on the West Side as a "CIA-style interrogation black site" where detainees disappear for hours on end, the claim left many experienced criminal defense and civil rights attorneys scratching their heads.

  • Richard Dvorak, a veteran criminal defense attorney, said the problem was widespread, but he was unaware of any issue unique to Homan Square.

    [...] Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor who has spent years researching — and litigating — police misconduct cases in Chicago, said the "black site" rhetoric may be an exaggeration that obscures the broader problem.

    He echoed the claim by Dvorak that police routinely play cat-and-mouse games with detainees and their right to legal representation at district stations and detective area headquarters all over the city.

    Robert Loeb, a criminal defense attorney who teaches at DePaul University College of Law, said Homan Square may actually be less likely than detective area headquarters to have long-standing problems with improper detention and interrogation techniques. Many of the arrests handled through Homan Square are narcotics-related, cases that tend to rely less on the need for witness or suspect statements that often prompt prolonged detentions.

    The typical Homan Square cases are "not the kinds of cases where they're holding people for so long," Loeb said. "If it was huge numbers (of complaints, lawyers) would be hearing it all the time."
Really, when you have to take Craig Futterman's word over protestors, that's kind of sad. But that isn't stopping the drama-queens.
    They've got all sorts of protests planned for 1500 hours today with 800-to-1,000 people saying they're going to show up and shut it down. Hopefully, someone tipped off downtown.


    CAPS Lives Again!!!

    • Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday created a new position — deputy chief of community policing — to “further cement” a program that his challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia claims has suffered from Emanuel’s failure to honor his campaign promise to hire 1,000 additional police officers.

      Emanuel announced the new position during a news conference with Police Supt. Garry McCarthy called to showcase the promotion of four new deputy chiefs, one commander and five captains.

      The new deputy chief will “further cement the expanded role community policing and neighborhood partnerships have taken” under Emanuel and work with the Patrol Division and CAPS personnel to better coordinate community policing initiatives, the mayor’s office said.

      The statement claimed Emanuel has strengthened community policing by moving hundreds of officers from desk jobs to street duty, expanding neighborhood foot patrols and bike patrols, creating CAPS offices in each of the 22 police districts, and implementing new community organizing training programs for officers.
    That's FIVE mentions of Emanuel in just four paragraphs, so you know he's running scared. There was also a distinct "bent" to the promotions, but we can't imagine that Rahm would be so base as to pander to the black community by promoting a whole bunch of black folks. Chewie's people brushed it off as a stunt:
    • Garcia’s campaign manager Andrew Sharp dismissed the new deputy chief as window dressing.

      “What’s missing from the mayor’s crime strategy is not one police officer. It’s 1,000 police officers. Where are the 1,000 police officers he promised? I don’t think adding one is going to stop the shootings,” Sharp said.

      “The mayor has had four years now to implement effective policing strategies and stop the shootings. Instead, he’s cut the number of police and failed to fully fund community policing. We’ve had 10,000 shotings under his watch. The question voters are deciding now is, do we want to have another 10,000 shootings over the next four years. Because the one thing this mayor has told people repeatedly is that he doesn’t change.”

      Emanuel campaigned on a promise to hire 1,000 additional police officers, then revised the pledge after taking office by adding 1,000 more “cops on the beat,” more than half of them by disbanding special units. The other half were primarily officers working desk jobs reassigned to street duty.

      The mayor also balanced his first budget by eliminating more than 1,400 police vacancies, declaring an end to what he called the annual “shell game” of budgeting for police jobs the city had no intention of filling.
    Wow, it's almost like he's channeling the last four years of postings here at the blog. Of course it's "window dressing." Everything about Rahm and Garry and CompStat is sleight-of-hand, smoke-and-mirrors, right-hand-left-hand subterfuge.

    The promoted are as follows:
    • Deputy Chief Eric Washington, Fred Waller, Steven Caluris, Jonathan Lewin
    • Commander Dwayne Betts
    • Captains Fabian Saldana, Mark Harmon, Robert Lejewski, Paul Kusinski, Daniel O'Shea
    Once again, we're getting top-heavy as the Eastland.


    Two More Steps to "Junk" Status

    • Chicago’s plummeting bond rating took center stage in the race for mayor Friday after a Wall Street rating agency dropped it another notch — to two levels above junk status — citing Chicago’s $20 billion pension crisis.

      The decision by Moody’s Investors Service to drop Chicago’s rating for a fifth time under Mayor Rahm Emanuel — from Baa1 to Baa2 — may cost the City of Chicago tens of millions of dollars.

      As a result of the downgrade, the city is on the hook to pony up $58 million under agreements covering existing debt, according to Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation. While city officials can try to renegotiate those agreements, a City Hall spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the matter Friday night.
    But hey, $100 million for DePaul, $400 million for a fantasy train station, tens of millions for a park, and lord knows what else. All while a few billion sits in TIF funds, skimmed away from the general fund and $500 million in red light and speed fines get tossed around like so much confetti.


    Marijuana Deserts?

    • Black patients seeking medical marijuana won’t find it in their own backyard, despite a recent law making it legal.

      Chicago’s black communities were shunned by groups applying for dispensaries. CBS 2 [...] looks at whether race was a factor.

      Lewis Hoy suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition that allows him to buy marijuana legally from a dispensary instead of on the street.

      “Half the time you don’t know what you’re getting,” he says of cannabis bought illegally.

      But Hoy and scores of black patients will not be able to buy it in their neighborhoods because no one applied to open a dispensary in Chicago’s predominantly black South and West side communities.

      In fact, potential vendors didn’t even try.
    Maybe the vendors were a bit leery of taking business away from the established street corner pharmacists?

    Or maybe the vendors looked at why there are food deserts on the south and west sides and realized, "Hey, these neighborhoods can't support legit multi-national, multi-billion dollar businesses without armed guards and locked display cases and a curb high enough to deter smash-and-grabs with stolen trucks. Why the hell would we want to deal with that headache?"

    Just maybe?

    Nah, better scream "racism!"


    Fantastic Ending

    Some stories make you cry, some make you laugh. This is a bit of both:
    • A man driving a stolen vehicle was killed when he collided with a large car carrier on the city's South Side, police said.

      Charlesteen Davis, 75, was clearing snow off her car while it was running when a man jumped inside and drove away. Chicago police say that driver hit several cars before sliding underneath a semi at the intersection of 87th Street and Western Avenue Friday afternoon.

      The car burst into flames. Three good Samaritans tried to save him, but he died at the scene. His identity has not been released.
    Sorry about your car Ms. Davis, but damn, we are highly amused.

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    From the "Duh" File

    Something we've broached for years - to the dismay of many readers:
    • Gov. Bruce Rauner, a close friend of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has suggested mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s relationship with the Chicago Teachers Union ought to be against the law.

      Rauner told reporters the Chicago Teachers Union’s support of Garcia’s bid for mayor in the upcoming runoff election in Chicago is an example of an unhealthy relationship between labor and politicians.

      “When a government union leader can give significant campaign cash to a politician, and then after they get elected, then negotiate whether it’s their salary or their pensions or the healthcare, it’s a conflict,” Rauner said.

      The governor wasn’t exactly singling out Garcia.

      “I see that from any politician. I don’t care who they are. If they take government union money, I believe it should be illegal for anyone in elected office to take money from the people that they then contract with, and negotiate pay from. It’s a conflict of interest for the taxpayers,” he said.
    Politics is a dirty business. In Chicago, Illinois, it's overly dirty. If you look at it honestly, it's a big problem here, in New York, California, and throughout the Rust Belt.


    Friday, February 27, 2015

    Chuy Questions CompStat

    Don't be surprised if you don't see Garry much over the next six weeks.


    Um...Dumb Dumb?

    • Just hours before the election, mayoral challenger Bob Fioretti — the outgoing alderman of the 2nd Ward — was assuring reporters he wanted to see the “anybody but Rahm” movement stick, regardless of which candidate ended up in a runoff with the mayor.

      “All of us that were challenging this administration had one goal: to replace the mayor,” he said. “I hope we can all come together, sit down right after the election, and then make a united front against this administration, and the way this city’s been going.”

      After it was clear Garcia would be the one facing Emanuel in a runoff, Fioretti issued a nebulous statement about any possible endorsement.

      “I will not make a decision until I think about which candidate will help move Chicago forward,” he said. “We need someone that can make tough choices in the next months and years.”
    There's so much waffle in that statement that Fioretti ought to think about opening up a breakfast joint and start slinging hash-n-eggs to go with it.

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    Wait....How Many Plow Passes?

    What did Harold call hubris? "Arrogance gone wild:"
    • City Hall’s inspector general is investigating why city plows gave preferential treatment to the block of powerful Ald. Edward Burke during the blizzard that hit Chicago earlier this month.

      The development came to light Thursday — just hours after Burke’s block once again got plowed much sooner than neighboring side streets after the overnight snowfall.

      A Chicago Sun-Times reporter visited the 14th Ward block Thursday morning where Burke and his wife, Illinois State Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, live in a 5,600-square-foot, three-story home and found Burke’s street completely clean and salted by 9 a.m.
    • City “Plow Tracker” data collected by showed Streets and Sanitation crews visited Burke’s lightly trafficked, two-lane street 14 times between 4:46 pm. Wednesday and 7:19 a.m. Thursday. The plows left most nearby side streets untouched, an analysis by’s Derek Eder found.

      The busy four-lane stretch of Pulaski near the Burkes’ home was clogged with brown slush. According to, plows hit Pulaski there only two more times than the Burkes’ block of 51st Street.
    Fourteen passes? And nearby Pulaski, arguably one of the top traveled streets in Chicago got sixteen? What the hell is so important over there by Burke's house on 51st Street? Someone dropping off unmarked envelopes or untaxed cases of booze and Ed's afraid they'll get stuck? He has to know people are watching, reporters are looking, and even the Inspector General is involved due to last month's blizzard.

    "Hubris" is a good definition.


    Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Craziness in 011

    The hits just keep on coming. Last year, they get a nut-job who (allegedly) likes to stick his pistol in peoples (and folks) mouths while threatening them with a Taser to the balls....and he's dumb enough not to clean the DNA off his gun. He brings along an XO whose entire career is littered with the wreckage of Districts and Units, buried in a blizzard of PAR forms of people leaving his crap-tacular management style. A sergeant attempts to inject some humor into the situation and manages to catch a three day suspension.

    Now this:
    • What's up with the XO in 011 screaming at people Saturday night?
    And this:
    • 4 officers on second watch in 011 were officially counseled today by their sgts for NOT taking lunch. None of the 4 put in OT slips for not taking their lunch. The order for the official, documented counseling sessions came from none other than XO Lemmer. This is NOT a joke. It actually happened. God save 011.
    There's an order mandating lunches be taken? That's a first.

    And an answer to the initial question:
    • Rules and Regulations pertaining to professionalism, conduct and demeanor pertain to all sworn members of this department. General Orders too...

      Document document document... This isn't supervision, it's creating a hostile and oppressive work environment in the guise of being a so called supervisor. The affected officers should be strong, pool their resources and retain joint counsel outside of FOP.

      [...] Yelling at and demeaning subordinates indicates a crisis in supervisory confidence and a dangerous loss of discipline and self control.

      it is unfortunate that the top of the supervisory echelon in 011 is only seeking to punish and inconvenience the rank and file to protect their unearned positions at any and all costs.
    This certainly sounds like a hostile workplace environment lawsuit waiting to happen. We're pretty sure that you aren't allowed to yell, belittle, harass subordinates. There are rules of professional conduct and all that. Certainly a Commander who used to work in IAD and run illegal First Amendment investigations is aware of that?

    But don't cry too hard for 011 - they're fighting back. We got this from a reader:

    This statue appeared outside the XO's office window shortly before the snow flew. It's the close-up that is amusing:

    No word if anyone caught discipline for this, but when the statue was removed, these appeared all over the District:

    Combine that with the rumored EEOC beef that has already been filed against the XO and you've got an issue that maybe McCarthy ought to address before taxpayers end up on the hook for some serious money.


    There's 75% of the Pension Money

    • Imagine a scenario where you bury a lot of your hard earned money in the yard, and never see it again. Better yet, imagine giving that money to someone else, who buries it with promises of big returns which never happen.


      You’ve already done it.

      The site is deep below Chicago’s famous Block 37 between State and Dearborn at Randolph. A decade ago, the Chicago Transit Authority wanted to launch non-stop train service from the Loop to O’Hare and Midway airports. But the closest the service came to reality was the shell of a mass transit "superstation" below Block 37 between the Red and Blue subway lines. The project was shelved, amid mounting costs and questions about funding and the very feasibility of the concept.
    Not only that, the city refinanced the original 12-year bonds for another 12 years. The city ain't broke by a long shot if they can float these sorts of deals for their friends and bankers.


    More NYPD Crazy?

    Just when you think they've hit bottom, someone finds a basement:
    • The NYPD has turned to Patrick Swayze to teach city cops how to behave.

      Police bosses are using a scene from the 1989 action flick “Road House” as part of the mandatory, three-day retraining course for 22,000 cops, The Post has learned.

      “You have to have a thick skin,” an instructor told cops forced to take part in the $35 million program before hitting play on the two-minute clip from the cult classic, sources said.

      In the scene, Swayze — playing a tough-guy bouncer, Dalton — teaches his goons at the rowdy bar Double Deuce how to handle unruly customers.

      First, he spells out three rules, with the third being simply, “Be nice.”
    We don't know if NYPD returned to bringing in the nonsense numbers that Bratton was demanding, but we wouldn't blame them a bit if they still hadn't resumed working for these morons. They are going to get cops killed with this nonsense.

    Roadhouse? Seriously?


    Amnesty International?

    • The Chicago Police Department in a statement Tuesday night denied accusations in a story by a British newspaper that alleged people have been illegally detained, beaten and denied access to counsel in a Homan Square facility.

      The Police Department issued a statement in response to the Tuesday story in The Guardian. The department said violence does not happen as a part of interviews with suspects or anyone else and that lawyers have access to any clients at the West Side facility. The site also houses the department's Bureau of Organized Crime, SWAT unit evidence technicians and the CPD ballistics lab, the department said.
    • Amnesty International USA urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Chicago police in a West Side facility that were raised by The Guardian, a British newspaper.

      A news release issued by Amnesty International called on Emanuel to allow "full, unrestricted access" to the Homan Square facility, where the Police Department houses gang and other specialized units.
    Um.....why? Lots of sensitive equipment there. Undercover vehicles, undercover officers, specialized stuff for HBT incidents, etc. Lots of confiscated drugs, weapons, personal property of citizens in custody. Nothing that Amnesty and their ilk, nongovernmental agencies infiltrated by spies and subversives, have any right to see.

    As a side note, if you thought the Guardian article was entertaining, check out this one by a bunch of Grade-A genuine loons. Among their accusations and demands:
    • "American detainees as young as 15 were beat, denied access to attorneys, kept out of booking databases so families couldn’t locate them"  [that allegation was settled years ago - including the databases]
    • arrestees "were shackled for extended periods of time in uncomfortable positions."  [the benches at Homan Square are the same ones in police stations across the world - steel bolted to the wall with restraint rings. They aren't built for comfort]
    • the facility " apparently houses the vehicles obtained from the Department of Defense’s 1033" program [ mean SWAT vehicles?]
    • "Other citizens called for cutting off funding to the Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police." [we were unaware that the FOP received any public funding whatsoever....Deano, you holding out on us?]
    • "the building itself should certainly be destroyed by civil authorities after every officer that ever brought someone to the facility is incarcerated."  [well someone better tell Tom Dart that he's going to need to build another wing on the jail.]
    The whole thing is amusing as people with no concept of police procedure, criminal behavior, and legal processes attempt to be relevant.


    Four Hours, Five Shootings (3 Dead)

    • Three men were killed and two other people were wounded in three shootings on the South and West sides in a four-hour span starting Wednesday afternoon.
    Still up homicides from last year?

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    Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Runoff Rahm

    • For Rahm Emanuel, Tuesday’s mayoral election was the political equivalent of Groundhog Day: six more weeks of campaigning.

      With 97 percent of the precincts counted, Emanuel had 45.3 percent to 33.9 percent for his top challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. That’s 4.5 percent short of the 50 percent-plus-one vote that the mayor needs to avoid an April 7 runoff against Garcia. Millionaire businessman Willie Wilson was running third with 10.5 percent, followed by Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) with 7.4 percent and William “Dock” Walls with 2.7 percent.
    All the media in the bag, a $30 million campaign chest, businesses and unions behind him...and they couldn't deliver him an election. They couldn't overcome one simple fact - Rahm is an asshole. His whole demeanor screams, "I'm an asshole!" And people don't like assholes.

    Of course, now he's running against a commie prick with all sorts of gang ties. Should be fun.


    The Disappeared...Hahahaha

    We think you can pretty much write off any credibility The Guardian has about the retired detective torturing prisoners at Guantanamo. This article is hilarious:
    • The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

      The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

      Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:
      • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
      • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
      • Shackling for prolonged periods.
      • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
      • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
    The entire article goes downhill from there. The so-called "NATO Three" spent some time there...because that's where the Intelligence Unit is at. The paper complains about the high fences and barbed wire, completely missing that the building is in one of the most crime ridden parts of the city, and if there weren't fences, there would be equipment missing, cars destroyed, vandalism of all sorts. Really, the article is a laugh riot.

    You know what Homan Square is good for? Hiding nearly 1,000 coppers from actual uniformed street duty.


    Aldermanic Runoffs

    • The grandson of Chicago’s first Mayor Daley fell short of an outright victory Tuesday in his bid to represent the family stronghold on the City Council, on a night when more than a third of the aldermanic races appeared headed for runoff elections in six weeks.

      A dozen sitting aldermen backed by a political action committee aligned with Mayor Rahm Emanuel couldn’t get the majority vote they needed to avoid April 7 head-to-head contests, with more than 90 percent of the vote counted in all races, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

      And one alderman backed by Chicago Forward, the Emanuel-aligned super PAC, was headed to outright defeat. Ald. Rey Colon, 35th, had 33 percent to 67 percent for challenger Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, with 100 percent of precincts reporting unofficial results.
    Call it what you like, but this is a body blow to Rahm's mini-machine. Might it affect national aspirations? He's a money raiser, but his abrasive personality is a huge liability.

    Colon's outright defeat is amusing as hell.


    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Did You Vote?

    Get with it people - Rahm isn't there yet.

    Any vote against him reduces his shot at 50%-plus-1.


    Off Duty Rescue

    • Two Good Samaritans came to the rescue of a teenage driver who had lost control of his vehicle and crashed on Lake Shore Drive Saturday morning.

      The 17-year-old boy was traveling southbound on 2100 block of south Lake Shore Drive at about 10:15 a.m. when his vehicle hit a tree and caught fire, police said.

      The teen was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in guarded condition with a head injury and leg lacerations, police said.

      CBS 2 [...] reports two men got the teenager out of Saturn SUV moments before it exploded.

      “He was unresponsive when we pulled him out the car. The fire and the smoke had gotten to him. It got to us, pulling him out,” said John Poulos, the off-duty police officer.
    The ended up charging the kid with a number of offenses, but that doesn't take away from the actions of the off duty's (or the citizens) who risked serious injury to save someone from stupid choices. Good job.


    New York Posting

    A bunch of stories about the NYPD and New York City

    Twelve days without a murder....and then:
    • The murder-free streak is a distant memory.

      Nine people were slain last week following a record setting 12-day long stretch without a homicide, the latest police statistics show.

      The week ending Sunday had eight more murders than the same stretch in 2014.

      The NYPD also reports a 100 percent increase in murder arrests for the same week, from four to eight.
    100% increase in murder arrests? Must be CompStat!

    Then you have this stupidity:
    • Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered sweeping reforms for the NYPD after the Eric Garner death — but his demands were handled by a goofball police bigwig whose ideas included arming cops with breath mints and spraying protesters with baby oil, sources revealed Thursday.

      Michael Julian, who was appointed deputy commissioner of training in November, lasted just two months on the job before his ridiculed proposals got him transferred out, the sources said.

      “He would come up with these wacky ideas. We would roll our eyes and move on,” a police source said.

      The last straw came in late January — less than a week before Julian was reassigned — when a box of 10,000 individually wrapped breath mints arrived at headquarters.
    There's a Keesing Bandit joke in here somewhere....we can just feel it.

    And finally, just when things couldn't get any worse:
    • Cops should “take a deep breath’’ — and close their eyes — when dealing with angry people, according to the NYPD’s new “retraining’’ program.

      The potentially dangerous advice is part of a $35 million “smart policing’’ primer by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton that most of the cops who have gone through it say is completely useless.

      One cop who sat through two full-day programs called them “not realistic’’ and “pretty silly.”

      At one point during the lectures, the cop said, those in attendance were given breathing exercises to learn how to calm down — even when facing someone who could pose a threat to their safety.
    Bratton is a fucking moron for going along with any of this. He's there to burnish de Blassio's crime fighting credentials which (as a left-wing radical and supporter of various Central American commies) are really non-existent. It's kind of sad that he's fallen so low as to support something that tells Officers to "close their eyes" in any situation where their life is in danger.


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