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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!"

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    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.

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    Friday, February 27, 2015

    Chuy Questions CompStat




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

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    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 clearstreets.org 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 clearstreets.org’s Derek Eder found.

      The busy four-lane stretch of Pulaski near the Burkes’ home was clogged with brown slush. According to clearstreets.org, 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.

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    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.

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    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.

      Farfetched?

      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.

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    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?

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    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 [um...you 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    Monday, February 23, 2015

    Delayed Comments

    Sorry about missing this morning's comments. We'll be getting to that shortly.

    Sometimes, even the crew at SCC has Court. And training. And Corp Counsel.

    Open post for now.

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    The Walgreen's Hero

    • With two Chicago police officers beaten and on the verge of getting shot by a shoplifting suspect, Ray Robinson knew he needed to join the fray.

      Undeterred by the sound of a single gunshot that missed its mark, the short and slender Walgreens employee rolled on the ground with the officers and the 6-foot-3, 250-pound customer he had just helped moments before, forcing the man's fingers off the trigger as the man was about to fire a second time.

      The mere seconds before he was finally subdued seemed like an eternity to Robinson. He later noticed that his work uniform was covered in the blood of one of the officers, who according to charges was punched by Thomas Thompson.

      "They need help. They don't have this. And I knew the one cop was hurt," a soft-spoken Robinson, who is about 5 foot 6 and 130 pounds, said in an interview Sunday. "I just knew they needed help."
    Just over half the weight of the bruiser and he jumped in. And thank god he did.

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    Police Limit

    In regard to the post a few down from this one:


    And this one just because we find it amusing:


    Let us know when they find that answer to that one.

    Read more Police Limit at this link.

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    More Cold = Less Crime

    • The deep freeze gripping the eastern half of the country has become a sort of test case for a popular notion about the relationship between weather and crime: Law-breaking slows when it's cold, and picks up as the temperature rises.

      Reports from many of the places hit hardest by record-shattering cold, including those that rarely see ice or snow, seem to support the theory. Police calls are down in Memphis. Major crimes have plunged in Boston. Rural Medina County, Ohio is enjoying a near-stoppage in property crime. New York just celebrated 12 consecutive days without a murder — the longest such stretch since the NYPD began collecting data in 1994.

      "You don't have people out and about in normal activity," said Brian Cheek, a deputy chief in Greensboro, North Carolina, where calls for larcenies, shoplifting, assaults, and domestic disputes have plummeted in recent days. "If people aren't out, they won't be potential victims for criminals to choose from."
    Of course, Garry might have a point, seeing as how homicides are still up six from last year.

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    Ambush in Minnesota

    • Minneapolis police arrested a 43-year-old man Saturday after the early morning wounding of an officer who investigators believe was shot because he was a member of the police force.

      The man was arrested on suspicion of violating his probation, burglary and aggravated domestic assault, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Any connection to the shooting early Saturday is still under investigation, assistant police chief Matt Clark said at an afternoon news conference.

      According to police, the officer and his partner had just handled a burglary and domestic assault call and were standing by their squad car at around 5 a.m. when someone shot the officer. His partner drove him to a hospital, where he was in fair condition Saturday afternoon, Clark said.
    Not much you can do against an ambush like that, but a plan to get a wounded partner to a hospital if the situation permits it is probably wise.

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    Sunday, February 22, 2015

    Wow

    • Longtime Chicago police Detective Richard Zuley was on special assignment at Guantanamo Bay in 2003 aiding the interrogation of a key terrorism suspect when he allegedly sent a memo describing a ramped-up plan to disorient the detainee to try to get him to talk.

      The plan was to have military police in riot gear take a blindfolded Mohamedou Ould Slahi from his cell and drive him around on a boat to make him think he had been taken off the island, according to a scathing 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee report on the treatment of U.S-held prisoners around the world.

      In reality, Slahi would be taken to another part of the notorious base, where the interrogation was to continue.

      [...] The Chicago cop's little-known role as a Guantanamo interrogator — called into duty as a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve — received wide attention last week in a two-part series in The Guardian. The British newspaper interviewed several former military investigators and culled details from the Senate report as well as Slahi's recently released memoir, "Guantanamo Diary," to paint a portrait of Zuley as a brutal and ineffective interrogator.

      Slahi, arrested in 2002 as a suspected al-Qaida recruiter, remains at the prison but has never been charged. He claims in his book he was beaten and subjected to a mock execution and death threats.
    Boo-fucking-hoo. A terrorist was allegedly mistreated. And he wrote a book about it. We're pretty sure The Guardian doesn't really have any sort of legal standing to investigate US Armed Forces, but now Anita is going through a 30-year career looking for the next Jon Burge.

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    Jury Gets it (Partly) Correct

    It won't stop the civil suit from going forward, but it's nice to see this:
    • A South Side man who led Chicago Police on a high-speed chase after he burglarized a high school classmate’s apartment was convicted of the murder of woman who was killed when an officer crashed into her during the frenetic pursuit.

      Cook County jurors were sequestered late Friday night after they couldn’t decide whether Timothy Jones was responsible for Jacqueline Reynolds’ death.

      But after roughly two more hours of deliberation Saturday, the jury convicted 22-year-old Jones for the murder as well as the May 8, 2013 burglary that prosecutors said that kick-started the deadly chain reaction.
    Unbelievably, this asshole was acquitted of the underlying Armed Robbery and Home Invasion charges that sparked the chase in the first place. How that happened, we have no idea.

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    Both Papers in the Bag for Rahm

    Days after the Slum Times endorses Rahm, the Trib does the same:
    • Two weeks ago in this space, we laid out the case for re-electing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. We're back now to remind you why.

      We're also here to urge voters to support a strong batch of aldermanic candidates. Some of them will align with Emanuel, some of them will give him fits. Some of them will give us fits from time to time, too. We're backing them because we think they'll build their communities and challenge their colleagues. Chicago will be better for it.

      Credit Emanuel for his willingness to say and do what needs to be said and done. You don't score many points with voters by closing underperforming neighborhood schools, passing pension reform bills in Springfield, cutting jobs at City Hall or scrapping tradition-bound, ward-based garbage collection for a more efficient system. But those changes were long overdue, Emanuel did them and more, and he has taken the heat.
    That would be the completely unplanned and uncoordinated school closings that led to neighborhoods complaining about kids crossing gang boundaries, giving birth to the ridiculous "Safe Passage" movement paying parents $10-an-hour to watch their own kids. That would also be the pension "reform" bill that got shit-canned at the Illinois Supreme Court. Cutting jobs at City Hall? The Hall seems to be the only place operating at full strength, while police Districts go undermanned, Fire Companies and Paramedics operate shorthanded, potholes go unrepaired, streetlights remain burned out for months, etc. Rahm is tryintoot run the city on the cheap.

    Rahm has taken well deserved heat for all of this. But the Trib goes even further:
    • But there has been precious little talk from the challengers about how they would honestly deal with the massive financial problems that face the city and its schools. Where will they find $550 million for police and fire pension funds? Why aren't they screaming that the teachers pension fund and four city worker funds are closing in on $30 billion in unfunded obligations? And what would they do about that?
    And Rahm has said.....what exactly? Oh yeah, that he won't put one dime into the pensions until his idea of "reform" is passed in Springfield and survives lord knows how many court challenges. That isn't helping, that's exacerbating the situation. But hey, he isn't touching Trib and Sun Times retirements, so what do they care, even though they endorsed the same people who drove us into bankruptcy for years.

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    Saturday, February 21, 2015

    Apply Today!

    Can anyone explain why they're putting out citywide notices to fill opening on Tact and Gun Teams? Last week, someone pointed out that there were notices for 002, 005, 008, 019, Area North among others.

    But you had to be assigned there to apply. There weren't any openings this past month and only two last month, so even if you wanted to try, you couldn't.

    We're just curious what devilment the Department is up to now.

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    In Case You Were Wondering...

    ...the "merit" detectives:


    Thanks to FOIA.

    Hey, how come a demoted commander gets a pick from a command he hasn't held in a year?

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    No Time Due for You!

    • A New York City police officer accidentally shot his sergeant when he tried to shoot a dog that ran out of a unit in a Brooklyn apartment building.

      Officers were responding to reports of an assault at a Brooklyn apartment Tuesday night when a woman opened her door and the pit bull came rushing out.

      The sergeant was taken to the hospital in stable condition. The dog should survive.
    Of course, it was all the fault of the police:
    • ABC interviewed the dog owner, who said, “The dog didn’t bite the cop or anything, I don’t know why he bust a shot. My friend’s thinking it’s the person she just had the altercation with so she just flies the door open, it was the cops you know? Like [friend] look through the peephole! You don’t just open the door. The dog ran out and I heard a gunshot.
    Yeah! Take that English language!

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    Liens on City Property?

    Is this something? Or is this another crazy conspiracy?

    We're voting for crazy conspiracy.

    That and we're bored. Everyone seems to be hibernating.

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    Friday, February 20, 2015

    Government as the Extortionist

    • The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over allegations of racially discriminatory practices unless the police force agrees to make changes, CNN reported on Wednesday.

      The network, citing sources, said the Justice Department would not charge the white Ferguson police officer involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August but was expected to outline allegations of discriminatory Ferguson police tactics.

      The department would file suit if Ferguson police did not agree to review and change those tactics, CNN reported.

      The shooting of Brown last August by officer Darren Wilson led to months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and galvanized critics of the treatment by police and the U.S. criminal justice system of blacks and other minority groups.
    So, "If you don't agree to all these unspecified corrections, we'll sue you." And as most every municipality in the nation doesn't run itself as a "for-profit" business (this is different from the Chicago way of "enrich your buddies"), few if any could afford to go toe-to-toe with the feds on something like this. All over something that was completely preventable if only a "gentle giant" had in fact been (A) gentle and (B) law abiding. Oh yeah, and (C) everyone else looked at the facts instead of listening to the race-baiters.

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    Move Away? Financial Picture Bright?

    • Chicago's world-famous skyline is lit up and looking good Thursday night. But an unidentified critic put Chicago right next to Detroit at the top of a list of "Cities You Should Move Away From."

      Most residents would say that being stuck in the middle of a winter that just won't quit is a good reason to take a break from Chicago. But moving out altogether? That's another thing entirely.

      After it ignited a fiery debate on social media, FOX 32 Political Editor Mike Flannery took a look at whether The Windy City deserves that ranking.

      CitiesJournal.com cited "long commutes, foreclosures, a lagging housing market, high dropout rates, even higher gas prices, and a serious gun violence program" as reasons to relocate. List-makers said Chicago is a great place to visit, but maybe not the best place to live.

      The unidentified author of this strange list failed to explain why Chicago's ranked as worse-off than Milwaukee, St. Louis, or even the notoriously-troubled Camden, New Jersey. But ranking The City of Big Shoulders right next to Detroit rings false on a day when Standard and Poor's credit rating agency issued a new report comparing the financial health of Chicago and Detroit.

      The Wall Street experts concluded the two cities "respective credit characteristics...ultimately underscore Chicago's long-term viability against the backdrop of Detroit's bankruptcy and default. Our 'A+' rating on Chicago's...debt reflects our view of its overall solid credit quality, with support from a strong local economy."
    So Chicago sucks for any number of reasons, including gun crime being out of control (Garry? You want to speak up here?). And to make Chicago look good, you have to compare it to the failure that is Detroit?

    But then the argument goes, Chicago isn't Detroit and has "long-term viability" and a "strong local economy," even while Rahm continues to raise fees, fines and water rates while his hand-picked School Board raises taxes the limit year after year.

    All this during an election week.

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    About that Ebola Thing....

    All the assurances the Obama people and the CDC were pushing?  Pretty much lies:
    • A team of prominent researchers suggested Thursday that limited airborne transmission of the Ebola virus is "very likely," a hypothesis that could reignite the debate that started last fall after one of the scientists offered the same opinion.

      "It is very likely that at least some degree of Ebola virus transmission currently occurs via infectious aerosols generated from the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, or medical procedures, although this has been difficult to definitively demonstrate or rule out, since those exposed to infectious aerosols also are most likely to be in close proximity to, and in direct contact with, an infected case," the scientists wrote. Their peer-reviewed analysis was published in mBio, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

      The paper's lead author, Michael T. Osterholm, an epidemiologist at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, touched off a small furor and was condemned by some experts last Sept. 11 when he raised the same possibility in an op-ed piece in the New York Times as concern over the spread of the deadly disease was increasing rapidly.

      Less than a month later, Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian infected with Ebola in his home country, died in a Dallas hospital, but not before two nurses who treated him became infected, sparking fears about how prepared U.S. hospitals were to handle the disease. Public health authorities reassured Americans they were in no danger of contracting the hemorrhagic disease from casual contact with others. Ebola is transmitted by contact with infected body fluids -- mainly blood, feces and vomit -- experts around the world have said. This is why health care workers and people who had contact with victims were most likely to become infected in the current epidemic, they said.
    So....the science wasn't "settled?" And the public was at risk the entire time?

    Next up, the "settled" science of climate change.

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    Yeah, It's Cold

    Look at this:


    • The Siberian Express that’s imported northern Russia’s weather into North America is leading to a second year of fast-growing ice cover on the Great Lakes, setting up the Chicago area for the possibility of another cool spring.

      By Wednesday, the Great Lakes were 85.4 percent ice-covered, just above the 85.2 percent on Feb. 18 last year, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. With below-average temperatures predicted for at least the next week, the lakes could approach last year’s levels of 92.5 percent ice cover, the second-highest level since records began in the early 1970s.

      It’s far from the only factor in spring weather, but a heavy and late ice season can lead to a cooler spring—and even a cooler summer, forecasters say.
    Cooler Spring and cooler Summer? Count us in. This global warming shit ain't half bad.

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