Police: Group of burglars targeting high-end clothing stores in Wicker Park

9 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chicago has tried police reform before. How it can do better this time..

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called a special City Council meeting to discuss the police department that’s now at the center of the biggest crisis of his administration. Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what’s going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield. The Wednesday speech comes as Emanuel tries to restore the trust and confidence of residents in both the police force and his own leadership amid fallout over the release of a video showing the killing of a black teen by a white officer. Officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who appeared in the video to be walking away from Van Dyke as he was shot. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a Justice Department civil rights investigation to determine if there are patterns of racial disparity in the police department’s use of force.

At the news conference Monday, the mayor acknowledged IPRA had failed to “measure up.” In a telephone interview Monday night, Ando defended his efforts, saying Chicago’s system for disciplining cops isn’t a failure but could use some changes. The footage — ordered released by a judge and made public hours after Van Dyke was charged — set off a chain of events that captured the attention of the country. He also insisted on the office’s independence, a fact many have questioned. “It was and remains incredibly difficult to convince people that we are independent in spite of the fact that that’s the first word of the agency’s name,” the former U.S. Days of protests and marches followed the video’s release, including one that on the busiest shopping day of the year partially shut down the city’s most famous shopping district, Michigan Avenue.

Since then, Emanuel has forced the police superintendent to resign, brought in a new head of an agency that investigates police shootings and fended off calls for his own resignation. A few days later, Emanuel announced that he had demanded and received the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, created a new task force for police accountability and expanded the use of body cameras. On Monday, the state attorney for Cook County criticized IPRA for taking more than seven months to give her evidence she requested for her investigation of the shooting of Ronald Johnson III. When asked if any officers were ever disciplined for not having operating audio, Ando said he was not aware of any and could not explain why that was so. “There should be the most serious discipline for any infractions as to disabling the mic, or not wearing the mic, or not turning the mic on or turning the mic off when it turns on automatically,” he told the Tribune. In turn, Emanuel parted ways with his choice to run the Independent Police Review Authority, the departure coming amid the McDonald scandal and serious questions about how Chicago handles reviews of police shootings.

Emanuel turned to Sharon Fairley, the first deputy and general counsel of the city’s inspector general office and a former federal prosecutor for eight years. Garry McCarthy, launching an accountability task force, welcoming a Dept. of Justice probe a day after saying it was “misguided” — the public slaps it back as too little, too late. He was in the middle of an unexpectedly difficult reelection bid, and the issue of police violence had bubbled up to the fore of the national consciousness in recent months.

Just days after this killing, the decision by a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury not to indict the officer responsible for the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown resulted in that city being put to the torch. He’s accused of shoving a gun into a suspect’s throat and threatening to kill him. *Mayor Emanuel will talk about the federal police probe and Police Department problems at a 3 p.m. But for deeper change, more tough decisions will need to be made this time around, observers say, though there is hope that the persistence of the Black Lives Matter movement and a federal investigation could keep the issue in the spotlight. “IPRA is a serious problem,” says Craig Futterman, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School who in 2007 testified at City Hall about the need to create an agency like IPRA. “I used to think it was ineffective, but I think that’s really wrong,” he adds. City Hall news conference with his interim police superintendent and new IPRA chief. *Radogno says CPS bailout has opposition: Illinois Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno wrote an op-ed in the Tribune warning that suburban and Downstate GOP lawmakers aren’t likely to help Chicago Public Schools’ budget woes, contending city schools get more than their fair share of funding.

CPS’ budget counts on $480 million in pension-relief help from Springfield, which has had its own problems in trying to reach a state budget agreement since May. “Instead of supporting Gov. To expose Emanuel to greater scrutiny is to subject the party’s highest echelons to withering criticism from its most loyal constituencies – self-described liberals and black voters. Of 409 shootings investigated by IPRA since its formation in September 2007 — an average of roughly one a week —only two shootings were found to be unjustified, according to IPRA’s own statistics.

Bruce Rauner’s efforts to pass sorely needed reforms for all schools in Illinois, reforms that would save CPS hundreds of millions annually, (Mayor Rahm) Emanuel and (CPS chief Forrest) Claypool want Downstate and suburban taxpayers to pick up CPS pension costs,” Radogno wrote. “City leaders disingenuously claim it is unfair that Chicago residents pay for their own teachers (pensions), as well as teachers (pensions) everywhere else. That video was released Monday during a presentation in which Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said her office would not charge the officer. A longtime congressman, the former head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Barack Obama’s first White House chief of staff, Emanuel is inexorably linked to the Democratic Party in the Obama-era. A loyal Clinton ally, Emanuel played a critical role in supporting Bill Clinton’s tough-on-crime legislation, a series of achievements Hillary Clinton now denounces as the catalyst for what she calls the “era of mass incarceration.” In a spasm of damage control, Emanuel fired his police superintendent, Gary F.

Those two shootings occurred in 2011 and 2012 and both took years for the agency to complete its investigations. “The city is at a crossroads today, and there can be no doubt that change is in the air, is on the horizon,” she said. “Yet the mission of IPRA will remain the same: thorough, fair and timely investigation of police officer misconduct. City officials have long complained that city property taxpayers pay teacher pensions while city residents pay state income taxes that finance pensions for teachers outside Chicago. While a police review board previously found the officers’ actions justified, Emanuel said he did not see how the treatment of the man — who later died following a reaction to an antipsychotics drug — could “possibly be acceptable” and said he did not consider the investigation closed. All of that is critical to restoring the trust that is essential to providing the level of public safety that all of our communities deserve.” Fairley was a federal prosecutor in the U.S.

Cory Booker’s (D-N.J.) head of police and who played a leading role in the critically-acclaimed documentary canonizing New Jersey’s junior senator, Brick City. Rauner has proposed a property-tax freeze for local cities and school districts, but also wants provisions that weaken collective bargaining rights for union workers as a cost-saving move. The Department of Justice’s decision to investigate Chicago’s police and not its mayor is testament to the political impulse to insulate Emanuel from this crisis.

To meet this moment, we need to conduct a painful but honest reckoning of what went wrong — not just in one instance, but over decades … What happened last October 2014 on South Pulaski Road should never have happened. That effort, along with a number of other items on Rauner’s legislative wish list, has held up action on a budget for state government since the new financial year began July 1. The same could be said of the city of Baltimore, where Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) was forced to give up on the future in higher office to which she was being groomed after she presided over a riot inspired by another police brutality case. Rather than preserve her city, her local police cordoned off a violent protest and allowed a predominantly African-American section of Charm City to burn.

Alvarez concluded that no charges were warranted, meaning Fairley will now oversee IPRA’s review of the officer’s conduct and whether any disciplinary action should be taken against him. The pattern is clear: Ferguson, Chicago, Baltimore; Democrat-led cities, with African-American interests taking a backseat to the self-preservation instincts of their leaders. Kirk said he often asks employers why they operate businesses in Illinois, given the state’s reputation for “high costs and unions and corruption.” Kirk said one employer explained that in the states south of Illinois, it was hard to keep a business open, “because everybody was huntin’ on that day.” The first-term senator, who is up for re-election next year, put on a southern accent as he cracked the joke, drawing a bit of laughter from the crowd. State Attorney Alvarez “relied on the IPRA investigation, when 12 to 14 hours ago the head of IPRA resigned and or was fired because of the shoddy investigations that IPRA does,” Mr. Illinois employees, Kirk said, “they just show up, they work all day.” “My reason for this is our inherent Polish character,” Kirk continued. “The 2 million Poles that, you know, Poles just work all day long and don’t ask for recess. … We’ve got to make sure that we sell that.

We sell the Illinois worker who is just going to work like crazy.” (Kim Geiger) *AFSCME rally: State workers rallied Saturday in Chicago to turn up the pressure on Gov. Chicago might look to the Office of the Inspector General at the New York City Police Department as an alternative to IPRA, says criminologist Samuel Walker. Again, anyone truly concerned by urban gun crime must confront the inescapable realty that theirs are not the concerns of the nation’s liberal elite.

More rallies are planned for the coming week in Collinsville, Joliet, Marion, Rock Island, Rockford and Springfield. (Kim Geiger) *The Sunday Spin podcasts: State Rep. As murder rates in urban centers spike, law enforcement officials have blamed the availability of firearms, an increase in the amount of drugs on the streets, and a rise in organized gang activity for the violence.

Ron Sandack of Downers Grove, the House GOP floor leader, said an agreement to end the Springfield stalemate may not come until April, after the March 15 primary elections. But they have also reportedly lamented “a growing willingness among disenchanted young men in poor neighborhoods to use violence to settle ordinary disputes.” Liberal partisans routinely dismiss conservatives who warn that poverty rates, unemployment and underemployment, and median incomes for African-Americans are disproportionate to those of their white counterparts, and that these are the results of failed policy rather than some omnipresent but intangible bigotry.

But GOP complicity is a slender reed on which to rest Democratic hopes that African-Americans won’t one day soon begin to ask what precisely it is they’ve been voting for. The electrical workers gave $53,900, the D.C.-based Teamsters fund gave $50,000, the Illinois Federation of Teachers $48,900 and AFSCME Council 31 gave $33,900.

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