Ad: [ ? ]
TODAY

Friday, December 19

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


The Mechanics

Police Wed Nov 26 2014

Chicago to Ferguson: City Hall Sit-in Turns to Evening March Through the Loop

Chi2Ferguson1.jpg

Chay, an organizer with BYP 100 Chicago, speaks out against police militarization and brutality at a Tuesday evening rally in downtown Chicago. Photo by Emily Brosious.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in downtown Chicago Tuesday evening to protest a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

The march began around 6:30 p.m., after police ordered protesters off City Hall's fifth-floor, where they had been staging a planned 28-hour sit-in outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

Continue reading this entry »

Emily Brosious / Comments (0)

Op-Ed Wed Oct 02 2013

Chicago's Forgotten End Up at Cook County Jail

Cook County Jail has drawn attention to itself lately for collecting large amounts of Chicago's mentally ill, so much so that it has become the largest mental health facility in Illinois.

The story is particularly inflammatory given Gov. Pat Quinn's corresponding funding cuts to Illinois mental health facilities, and the closing of six Chicago mental health clinics last year.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has been vocal in condemning the incarceration of Chicago's mentally ill, who he says are regularly falling through the cracks of an at-capacity (and underfunded) prison system despite his best efforts to provide therapy and medication to those in need.

"This is a population that people don't care about and so as a result of that there are not the resources out there to care for them," Dart said in an interview on CBS 60 Minutes Sunday night.

In saying this, Dart touches on an even larger issue with the U.S. criminal justice system -- it has become a place for unwanted members of society to collect. Of course, those suffering from mental illnesses are but one group who, as we regretfully phrase it, "fall through the cracks." One could easily add to this list the poor, those with drug or alcohol addictions and a heartily disproportionate number of African-Americans and Hispanics.

Continue reading this entry »

Taylor Long / Comments (0)

Police Fri Sep 20 2013

Charges Dropped for Anti-ALEC Activists

As you may recall from an earlier Mechanics post, on August 8th Chicago police officers violently cracked down on activists protesting the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC) outside the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago.

Those who witnessed the incident said they saw officers rush a group of protesters and aggressively arrest targeted individuals in the crowd. They said the attack came without warning and did not appear provoked. Six protesters were arrested and charged with various offenses.

Continue reading this entry »

Emily Brosious / Comments (2)

Police Tue Aug 13 2013

Why Did Chicago Police Attack ALEC Protesters?

Untitled
Photo by Justin Carlson, via The Anti-Media

Thousands of activists, union and faith group members, and concerned citizens rallied outside the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago this past Thursday to protest the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose 40th anniversary conference was being held inside the hotel.

Demonstrators picketed around the block for about an hour, then gathered at a soundstage to hear speakers including Rev. Jesse Jackson address the crowd. Closing remarks from a Chicago Federation of Labor representative thanked the Fraternal Order of Police for protecting the crowd and asked everyone to leave. A majority of union members, many from out-of-town, did leave at the CFL's request. However, a smaller group of anti-ALEC activists and citizens stayed put to continue on with the protest.

Continue reading this entry »

Emily Brosious / Comments (0)

Police Tue May 07 2013

South Suburban Chronicles

The tarnished legacy of indicted community officials no longer lies in Chicago ranks but has indeed spread to the south suburban areas of Cook County. Three villages are now victim of the all too familiar spirit of greed and exploitation that infests those in leadership. After the embarrassing episode of Jesse Jackson, Jr. that shattered the 2nd congressional district, three south suburban towns face again the deception and humiliation from community officials.

Most recently, former Crestwood Police Chief Theresa Neubauer was found guilty of 11 counts of purposely reciting false claims to environmental regulators. As Crestwood water head, she repeatedly lied to state regulators about the quality of the village's water that was chemically altered. She claims two other individuals including former longtime Mayor Chester Stanczek are guilty of the tainted water scheme that possibly harmed the 11,000 residents. Neubauer also implies both were well-aware of vinyl chloride remnants in water that was used for 22 years until 2007. Neubauer possibly faces that maximum of five years in prison and $250,000 fine for each count. Even after nearly seven hours of deliberation, the mother of four still proclaims her innocence. "I suppose today I have to say I am the unfortunate person that the village of Crestwood hired when I was an 18-year-old girl," said Neubauer. She resigned from her post May 2.

Continue reading this entry »

Sydney Corryn / Comments (1)

Federal Government Wed May 01 2013

What Were Once Vices

The summer of 1974 is memorable not only for the release of a Doobie Brothers' LP that with its hit "Black Water" would form a soundtrack for much of the coming year, but also for the resignation of Richard Nixon. As Mechanics' attorney-in-residence, and possibly the only writer here who remembers dancing to either of the aforesaid, and as a nod to Law Day, I agreed to cover the forum last night at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics in Hyde Park featuring current and past U.S. Attorneys General Eric Holder and John Ashcroft. Moderated by former Chicago law school dean Geoffrey Stone, the event highlighted the publication of Restoring Justice: The Speeches of Attorney General Edward Levi, by Jack Fuller. Fuller, former Chicago Tribune editor and publisher, interrupted his long journalism career to serve as an assistant to Edward H. Levi during Levi's stint as the country's top lawyer during the Ford Administration.

That 1975 appointment, of course, plucking Levi from the presidency of the University of Chicago, was a direct response to a national crisis in confidence in the Justice Department specifically, and in government generally. Watergate and related scandals saw lawyer-President Nixon impeached and resign, two of Levi's predecessors as Attorney General convicted of perjury, and the White House counsel plead guilty to obstruction of justice. Fuller's book debuts amidst the 40th anniversary of the scandals, cover-ups, shocking revelations, and legal-political drama that overshadowed much else in the nation in 1972-74. Since some of the same themes that then gripped the U.S. reverberate today -- electronic surveillance of Americans, bombings abroad ordered by the executive branch, and the power of the Presidency itself -- the forum held promise of potential fireworks and relevancy. The Institute did a pro job at logistics and presentation, and, let's be clear, is not required to offer all points of view. Unfortunately, what could have been more provocative ended up, by virtue of lack of balance, as a soft promo for continued perpetual war and expanded executive branch power, with only nods of concern to clampdown on civil liberties and ever-eroding privacy. I have to wonder if that's what Edward Levi would have wanted.

Continue reading this entry »

Jeff Smith / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Fri Dec 07 2012

Intervention Allowed in Bar Beating Case

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Two lawyers who handle cases of police misconduct were given the go ahead by a federal judge on Friday to intervene on behalf of the public good to stop the City of Chicago's attempt to have the "code of silence" judgment of the notorious videotaped assault on a bartender by an off-duty Chicago police officer vacated.

The City of Chicago argued that the case as it stands would be detrimental to the public, taxpayers and the city, because it would open the floodgates of litigation against the City and the police department. City attorney Scott Jebson argued that the "risks of misusing the judgement in future cases" could be costly.

"We don't want the judgment improperly used," Jebson said.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Wed Nov 14 2012

The Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial: And This Verdict Means What Now?

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

When a federal jury on Tuesday found in favor of Karolina Obrycka and found the City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr. responsible, and awarded her $850,000 in compensatory damages, Obrycka said she was glad that justice had been served.

Her plans now are to get on with her life and put the incident behind her, her lawyer Gustavo Munoz said. Munoz added that she's still terrified of Abbate, even though she hasn't had any contact with him except during legal proceedings. In fact, she's terrified of the police and of men she doesn't know, Munoz said.

"She'll only deal with cops in a public setting with other people around," Munoz added.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Wed Nov 07 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial: Summation of the Summations

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Holding up a DVD of the infamous bar beat-down as a reference, the plaintiff's attorney, Pat Provenzale, stated that the city "came this close to walking away from getting one of the biggest black eyes in its history."

During the next two very long hours, Provenzale discussed the case at length against both the City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr., reiterating how there is allegedly a code of silence ensconced within the police department and how that code was enacted immediately following the attack on Karolina Obrycka by then-police officer Abbate in February 2007. The second part of the suit claims that Obrycka's First Amendment rights were violated when Abbate and his friends allegedly attempted to block her from releasing the video of her attack, which, if released, could damage the reputations of both the police department and Abbate.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Mon Nov 05 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial Roundup

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

During the past two weeks, the Anthony Abbate, Jr. civil trial has kept an audience of three to 15 people riveted with sparkling testimony peppered with more answers of "I don't recall" and more sidebars than seemed humanly possible. What was presented that wasn't dull was mounds and mounds of evidence — or not — depending on which side you're on.

The focus of this trial is whether or not a code of silence was at play immediately following the incident at Jesse's Shortstop Inn in February 2007.

We've heard the testimony of both the main people in this trial: Anthony Abbate, Jr. and Karolina Obrycka. Also, we've heard the testimony of friends and former coworkers of Abbate, which caused a few watching to ponder why the former Chicago police officer had such lousy friends.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (1)

Police Mon Nov 05 2012

The Latest Crime-Fighting Strategy: Stop CAPS

The Chicago Police Department is ending CAPS.

Also known as the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. The Chicago Reader reports the city will be slowly zeroing out the budget for CAPS over the next year according to the recent city budget testimony from Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. This announcement came shortly before Chicago hit another grim milestone in a particularly bloody year of violence in the city. The homicide total for this year, with two more months to go, has just passed the total for all of 2011. Though homicide has been down for October, it's too early to tell if Chicago has finally found the right formula to reduce the murder epidemic. All year we've been told by Mayor Emanuel, McCarthy and other city officials that new policing strategies and policies are working in spite of the yearlong violence. With a constant media cycle reporting on daily shootings, it's difficult to say if we are in fact, making progress.

Continue reading this entry »

Christopher Jones / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Mon Oct 29 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial, Day 6: Police Expert & the Plaintiff Take the Stand

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Former Los Angeles Police Officer/Sergeant/Lieutenant/Commander and finally Deputy Chief of Police and now police misconduct expert, Lou Reiter, testified today in the Obrycka vs. The City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr. civil trial. Reiter has worked all over Los Angeles in the LAPD and at one point oversaw roughly 1,500 officers. Also during his long career with the LAPD, he investigated employee misconduct within the force. He made disciplinary recommendations, aided in setting up a standards and practices guideline for the force that was eventually a model for all police departments in the US. Reiter was employed by the LAPD from 1961 to 1981, and then he moved to Tallahassee, FL in 1983 to become a police consultant.

In other words, it's safe to say that Reiter knows the police business. So far, he's the plaintiff's most important witness since he's a big believer that code of silence exists within the Chicago Police Department. What about this case stuck in Reiter's craw? Well, he wasn't too fond of the time not long after the attack when two investigators showed up at Obrycka's house with a blank misdemeanor battery arrest report for her to sign. Oh and the cops leaving Jesse's Shortstop Inn the night of the incident without even looking at the video tape bugged Reiter, too. The 22 days when none of Abbate's bosses had a clue as to where he was wasn't a good thing either, according to Reiter.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Fri Oct 26 2012

Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial, Day 4, Part 2 and Day 5: Searching for Jack McCoy

anthony abbate jr civil trialby Julia Gray

Thursday, Day 4 Continued

Turns out that Anthony Abbate's childhood friend, city truck driver Gary Ortiz, is a self-proclaimed "phone-aholic." He's also friends with Patti Chiriboga and Abbate's girlfriend Linda Burnickas, and he used to dig on hanging out at Jesse's Shortstop Inn. In fact, he liked Jesse's so much, he ended up there the night of the incident right after it happened. No, he wasn't summoned by either Abbate or Chiriboga, he heard it on his police scanner that the cops were at the bar doing a "license check."

That makes me want a scanner too, but I hear they're tough to come by these days.

A "license check" you ask? Yes, according to Ortiz who heard the term from his pal Abbate, whenever cops are called to a bar for whatever reason, it's protocol to make sure the establishment's liquor license is up to date because if it isn't, it could spell a whole lot of ick for the owners. I mean, they'd then have to figure out which palms to grease in order to update the license, see. (Fortunately for Jesse's, the license was good to go.)

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Thu Oct 25 2012

Anthony Abbate Civil Trial, Day 4 Part 1: That's What She Said ...Maybe

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

Today is one of those days where it's best to work backwards and break it up into two stories because, yes, this particular part of the tale of woe is a definite two-parter.

The day ended with the testimony of fellow bartender and Linda Tripp look-a-like for the aughts, Patti Chiriboga. Or rather, both Mr. Ekl and Ms. Rubens, attorneys for the plaintiff and the City respectively, read her March 2007 grand jury testimony back to Chiriboga to which today's responses varied from "If you say so, yes" to "I don't recall" to "Yes" to "I guess so."

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Tue Oct 23 2012

Anthony Abbate Civil Trial, Day 2: Code of Silence -- Fact or Fiction?

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

The crux of the Karolina Obrycka's case against the City of Chicago and Anthony Abbate, Jr. revolves around the "code of silence" that allegedly permeates the Chicago Police Department.

Sounds like the stuff great fictional crime novels are made of, right?

According to experts, this code does exist — but it is not unique to law enforcement. It's common in all professions, says Dennis Waller, a police practices consultant and expert witness from Brookfield, WI.

"There is academic research that supports this contention as well as judicial research. There is a tendency within professions to take care of your own," Waller says. Waller, a former police officer, has been a consultant since 1988.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (2)

Anthony Abbate Jr. Mon Oct 22 2012

Court Report: Anthony Abbate, Jr. Civil Trial, Day 1

anthony abbate jr civil trialBy Julia Gray

"He was a man, in a bar, getting drunk."

Anthony Abbate Jr. said he felt threatened by Karolina Obrycka when he pummeled and threw her around Jesse's Shortstop Inn in Chicago on February 19, 2007. But, as City attorney Matthew Hurd explained at the beginning of Abbate's civil trial today, he doesn't remember because he was drunk.

But, on the same night roughly around the time Obrycka was about to get her beat-down, Abbate does remember moving a barstool from one side of the bar to the other because it was more comfortable than the stools on that side of the bar. But he doesn't remember punching his friend three times, according to Abbate's testimony today.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (0)

Police Tue May 29 2012

Mayor and Police Chief Roll Out Gang-Reduction Strategy

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy detailed a gang-reduction strategy at a press conference Tuesday.

"Very clearly, we have a gang problem in the city of Chicago," said McCarthy. He then went on to detail a strategy that involves the mapping of gang intelligence, which will be available to police officers in their patrol cars.

"It includes the monitoring of social media," McCarthy said, stating that gangs often communicate using Twitter and Facebook.

Using police intelligence on gangs, officers can look into a gang-related violent incident, predict where retaliation might occur and respond appropriately.

Mayor Emanuel referred to the success of the recent crackdown on liquor stores that attract gang violence, which he refers to as a "cancer on the community."

Four liquor stores have already been shut down, and there are 30 more that could have their license revoked.

"All of us have to be on the frontline of this issue," said Emanuel.

Tyler Davis / Comments (5)

Police Fri Nov 04 2011

Residents Rally to Save 13th District Police Station

In an attempt to close the Chicago's budget gap, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced that three district stations are being considered for closure. Among these stations is the 13th district station at 937 N. Wood St. and the proposed closure of that particular station has prompted residents who live in the district to join together to save the station.

In response to the proposed closing, a group of residents led by Anne Shaw have joined together to create Save the Wood Street Station.

"We have the second lowest number of beat officers in all of the 25 districts and we have a higher crime rate than the 12th district," Shaw said, referring to the district the 13th district would hypothetically be merged with.

Continue reading this entry »

Monica Reida / Comments (0)

Police Wed May 11 2011

Reserve Judgment On New CPD Super

Mayor-Elect Rahm Emanuel announced his selection of Newark's Garry McCarthy for the top post in the Chicago Police Department a week ago, and only a few days later, the Department of Justice announced it would be investigating structural and on-going violations of civil and human rights by the Newark Police Department. The investigation is the result of a comprehensive petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey. (For copies of the ACLU's cover letter and petition, see below the jump).

After Emanuel's selection of embattled Rochester schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, this revelation could prompt some reasonable speculation as to whether McCarthy was the best choice to lead a department that has regularly been accused of insensitivity to human and civil rights. But while the fact of the investigation warrants scrutiny, judgment of McCarthy himself should be withheld until the nature of the ACLU's allegations are better understood.

The petition is enormous, coming with a supplement (also included below). The ACLU alleges that the problems are structural, and go back decades; McCarthy has been leading the NPD since 2006, so the relevant inquiry is not whether there were problems under his supervision, but rather whether those problems decreased, or whether there were affirmative steps to address those problems during his time leading the department.

This is an important distinction between Brizard and McCarthy: Brizard's tenure in Rochester was characterized not only by an apparent unwillingness to work with important stakeholders, but also little to no evidence of improvement of results. This overall picture raises serious questions about what exactly endorses Brizard for his promotion to head of one of the largest school districts in the country (CPS has twice as many students as Rochester has residents). The DOJ investigation says nothing about the potential improvement under McCarthy.

Continue reading this entry »

Ramsin Canon / Comments (0)

Police Wed Mar 23 2011

Humboldt Park Residents React to WBEZ Video of "Questionable" CPD Actions

WBEZ broke a big story yesterday, releasing a video that appears to show two Chicago Police Department officers engaging in what the station describes as "questionable" behavior. Standing outside a squad car, the officers allow a large group of men to gather closely around the open back door to hurl insults as well as apparent gang signs and slogans at another man, who is visibly shaken, in the back of the cruiser.

The radio station posted the story yesterday, showing the tape along with some words by staffers Steve Edwards and Robert Wildeboer and the station's Pritzker Fellow Samuel Vega, who first found the clip. (Watch the video at WBEZ's site.)

Vega says he first came across the video on Facebook. Assuming it would be quickly pulled, he ripped the video, downloading it to his computer. As he predicted, the video and the user account did disappear within a few days--leaving Vega the only one known to have a copy of the tape besides its original owner.

The CPD responded to WBEZ's request for comment late last night:

Continue reading this entry »

Micah Uetricht / Comments (4)

Police Tue Nov 23 2010

On Police Redeployment

Progress Illinois provides your must-read for today heading into the early skirmishing stages of policy debate this election season:

This is a subject Chicago has long avoided; redeploying police officers away from safer to more dangerous areas is a political Rubix cube. Tax-paying residents of quiet blocks are skeptical about seeing resources taken from their neighborhoods, Dumke found. "I can see a car or two being pulled to help for a special event -- let's say if the Cubs win the World Series and they need some extra police over at Wrigley Field," Ald. Pat Levar, who represents the far Northwest Side's 45th Ward, said in the News Cooperative piece. "But our community pays taxes, and they deserve police protection, too." Northwest Side Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th Ward) expressed a similar sentiment.

Weis apparently sees things a bit differently. Some police districts, he told aldermen at the October 19 budget hearing, "have an additional number of police officers above and beyond what analysis has proven they actually need. So we can move some of those officers to a district where analysis has shown they need some more." Here he is describing his ideas for redeployment on a Fox Chicago news program about a month ago:

Go read the whole thing.

Ramsin Canon / Comments (0)

Media Mon Sep 20 2010

Around the City Reads

Some good stuff to catch up on this morning:

CBS 2: Daley Mentored Others as He Shaped Chicago: But he's still "absolutely the best mayor in the country," Berry said. "Nationally there's no question he's been probably one of the most successful and important big-city mayors in the last couple decades."

Progress Illinois: Shift Expected at CAPS: The ground continues to shift at the Chicago Police Department. On Thursday, outgoing Mayor Richard Daley said he wanted civilians rather than uniformed police officers to run the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) program. Ron Holt, the CAPS director, told the Tribune that too many of the 200 to 300 officers assigned to CAPS were doing administrative and civilian tasks. Many are expected to be reassigned to patrol work.

In These Times Working Blog: Hotel Quickie Strikes Build Union, Workers' Determination for Contract Battles: Workers in Chicago, like most of these cities, are responding with overwhelming strike authorization votes, protest rallies, sit-ins and civil disobedience, campaigns to persuade organizations and individuals to boycott certain hotels, and-last week-a planned one-day strike against hotel union UNITE HERE's national target, Hyatt, in four cities.

People of Color Organize!: Solidarity With Whittier School Occupation: The Whittier Parents' Committee has been organizing for seven years to push Pilsen alderman Daniel Solis to allocate some of the estimated $1 billion in Mayor Daley's TIF coffers to their school for a school expansion - he finally agreed to give $1.4million of TIF funds for school renovation. Cynically, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has earmarked a part of this money for the destruction of the school's field house, which has been used for years as a center for community organizing and services. This would directly undermine the ability of the Whittier community to organize and struggle for educational rights. Parents are demanding to be part of the decision-making process.

Austin Talks: March against violence challenges community to fight back: Graham urged residents to take a stand against gun, gang and domestic violence. Rev. Jennie Jones of Pleasant Ridge Missionary Baptist Church led the group in prayer and pleaded for strength in the fight against violence plaguing Austin.

Chicago Union News: Adjunct faculty at Chicago college cries foul while trying to organize: With only a few weeks until fall classes begin, some part-time instructors at East-West University in Chicago's South Loop are still waiting to see if they will be hired back to teach after what has been a "messy" summer-long conflict involving efforts to unionize.

Ramsin Canon / Comments (0)

City Council Wed Apr 14 2010

Anthony Beale (9th) Named to Head Police Committee

Ninth Ward Alderman Anthony Beale has been named to head the important Police and Fire, a post left vacant when 29th Ward Alderman Ike Carothers resigned after pleading guilty to accepting bribes for zoning changes.

Beale is an ally of the Jackson family political organization and a generally loyal Daley vote. Beale is hotly pursuing a certain big box store in his ward.

Interestingly, Beale's scant Wikipedia entry contains this line,

Beale voted himself and his fellow 49 Alderman a 6% pay raise, yet denies the police a pay raise. Beale in a media interview requested that some benefits be stripped from police.

added by a an anonymous user on 07 August of last year. This doesn't seem to appear in the "Aldermanic careers" of any other Chicago aldermen.

The Chair of the Police and Fire Committee has responsibility for civilian oversight of the Police Department, and can exert extraordinary pressure on the Department through specification of spending priorities and periodic hearings of Department leadership. Of course, traditionally the Chair of that Committee defers to the Mayor on big picture Department issues.

Ramsin Canon / Comments (0)

Police Wed Mar 31 2010

Marvin Reeves is Free

There are very few injustices worse than the wrongful imprisonment of an innocent person--and the loss of decades of their life in incarceration. Reading the brutal story of Marvin Reeves, tortured by Jon Burge and friends into a false confession and stuffed in prison for nearly 25 years, the moral certitude of the maxim that it is better to let a hundred guilty men go free than to punish one innocent man is plainly self-evident.

MARVIN TELLS me to pull into an alley, and we get out of the car. He points to a boarded-up window of another large brick apartment complex. "This was where the bedroom was," he says. "It was my sister Sonya's apartment, and I stayed there sometimes. I worked just around the block at a mechanic's shop, and I would come here and park my car right here, outside the bedroom window, so I could see the car."

He goes back in time to the day--August 26, 1988:

It was 4 o'clock in the morning when the cops knocked on the door, and my sister Sonya went to answer it. She unlocked the door, but before she could open it, they busted the door in and broke her toe.

She started screaming--that's what woke me up. The next thing I knew, there were two cops at my bedroom door, guns drawn and pointing at me, yelling, "Nigger, if you move, I'll blow your fucking brains out." I had no idea what was going on.

Continue reading this entry »

Ramsin Canon / Comments (0)

Feature

Cuts to Social Safety Net, School Resources Leave CPS Bleeding Students

By Rachel Anspach / 0 Comments

For the first time since 1970, CPS enrollment has fallen below 400,000. This loss of students stems from failures by the Emanuel and Daley administrations that go beyond education policy alone. More...

Civics

The Impossible Case of the Courts and Police Reform

By Ramsin Canon / 1 Comments

A vulnerable population and common violations of Constitutional rights. It is precisely the type of scenario where courts should be able to intervene to stop abuses. Yet because of legislative inaction and Supreme Court case law, courts are paradoxically unable... More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project



About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Monica Reida, mr@gapersblock.com
Mechanics staff inbox: mechanics@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15

Newsletter

Sign up for our free email newsletter I Star Chi and get a weekly round-up of the best of Gapers Block, plus our picks for must-do events each weekend!

istarchi

Preferred format    Preferred format