Tag Archives: Crime

Angels on the job in Oak Park

Oak Leaves star Bill Dwyer has this about Guardian Angels in Oak Park:

The Guardian Angels have begun citizen patrols along the CTA Green Line after five women have been choked or beaten and robbed in Oak Park.

Oak Park police are warning women to use caution when out alone following two more violent robberies on April 19. One victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of facial injuries.

Five robbery attacks have targeted lone women since March 30. Police increased area patrols following the third attack, and they are circulating a sketch of the assailant based on the third victim’s detailed description.

Had it four days ago, in fact, but nothing yet from Wednesday Journal, which has been otherwise keeping up with the one-man crime wave.

I just passed two of them, by the way, walking north on Grove having turned off Washington. Looked up as I strolled 8:15 or so in the gloaming and saw them coming in white sweat shirts and red berets. Good for them.

Citizen comments on the latest Journal story include call for citizen night patrols by which to “take back Oak Park.” There’s also a computer-generated composite picture of the attacker based on a description given by the third victim. He was described as black, about 5-foot 9 inches tall, 200 pounds, medium build.

Comments also inevitably included complaints about police inability so far to do anything about this. One commenter, “Brad from Oak Park” called it

Very interesting – last night I saw a guy walking on the East Side of Oak Park Avenue, northbound, just sound of the Green Line. He passed the Green Line entrance and continued under the viaduct. His facial features resembled this composite sketch, but he had dred-locked hair, about chin length. I guess I’m profiling now, but he looked out of place and like he had a menacing/up-to-no-good look about him. Bottom line, this guy is not going to get caught unless the police start to profile.

Notice the semi-apology for “profiling” followed by his “bottom line” assessment that the guy won’t be caught unless the police “start to profile.” Like for getting terrorists. There’s dumb profiling and smart profiling, as in any human endeavor.  Why not do it the smart way with black muggers?

You know, like with serial killers on the TV shows.


Shot at in Oak Park

The Arthur Heurtley House on Forest Avenue (de...

A few blocks away

Boy shot at near Holmes School in Oak Park, 8:30 last night — you pass it on Chi Ave., lovely red brick building across Chi Ave. from a block of blocks with houses to grace any coffee table book about elegant living. School playground is half a city block extending west of the school, lots of state-of-art play equipment.

He was running from two in late teens. Shooter black, we may presume so are the other two but maybe not — Oak Park kids mingle a lot. The perps banged him on the head, he got treated at West Sub Hospital.

From comments:

* This is very disturbing. There are always children, families, tourists, people walking dogs at/near Holmes. It’s not a very well-lit area. In the past, I’ve also found used condoms and drug paraphrenalia under the playground equipment. Perhaps improving the lights would help deter such things. And I echo Ms. Schnierow’s comments [bemoaning recent Supreme Court “misinterpretation of the 2nd

* How fortunate this teen wasn’t killed. If he had had a gun, he probably would be dead.

* Ms. Schnierow, Your point assumes that the offender purchased his gun legally. You should acknowledge that crimes such as this are committed not by law abiding gun owners, but those without licenses and whose guns are probably stolen.

* Hard to rationalize this one away–8:30 at night is not late to be out. The Oak Park boy, or an uninvolved bystander (someone walking a dog, or sitting in the window of a nearby house), could have been killed. I hope the police find the guys, quickly, and that they make a good case against them. Doing so is the best deterrence.

* This is simply unacceptable. Who were these kids? Where were they from? What were they doing there? What’s next, drive-bys?

* Ben [Meyerson], good reporting. And, it is refreshing to read in a crime report a FULL description (race) of the suspect, for the public to be aware & informed. Crime will only increase & it’s . . . becoming possible for crimes to occur in other areas besides the east side [abutting the city] & south side of Oak Park. This village needs to support the police dept. w/funds, and reduce other programs in order to do so, otherwise our quality of life & property values all go downhill.

* It was barely a month ago when the Tribune featured this neighborhood as “one of the 10 best neighborhoods in the nation”.

When it comes to crime, you find diversity of opinion here.  But one thing I don’t get: it was a fight, the story says.  But whose idea was it to fight, the two older guys, one of them armed, or the boy?  I’ve seen that goading, here in recent years and here 70 years ago, but 70 years ago the gun was unthinkable.


Later: The above is from OakPark.com.  From Triblocal is this, about a guy in his back yard a mile or so almost directly south of Holmes School (a few blocks east, one east of Oak Park Ave.):

An Oak Park man was punched and robbed by two teenagers who robbed him of $12, Oak Park police report.

The man was in his back yard on the 800 block of South Euclid Avenue at 5:33 p.m. Tuesday when two male teens approached him. One of the teens drew a handgun and demanded money, while the second punched the man in the mouth, police said.

The victim reached into his pockets and dropped the cash to the ground, where it was picked up by one of the teens. They fled the scene through an alley, according to police reports.

I like the part about his throwing the money on the ground, if he threw it but didn’t just drop it, but the rest of it I don’t like at all.  This block is just east of Oak Park Ave., a fairly bustling commercial strip, with a good-sized grocery store and several eateries and a bank.  Just north of the Eisenhower, where there’s a Blue Line stop.

’09 good for guns, bad for violence

Snapshot from unknown bystander of Barrow Gang...

Bonnie & Clyde guns, May '34

More guns, less crime.

Sad about crime in Chicago

The alderman in whose ward the policeman was shot and killed with his own gun yesterday feels “sad” about it.

“I don’t know what to say. It just makes me sad,” said Ald. JoAnn Thompson, 16th, whose ward covers the area around the station. “That one individual does not speak for this whole ward. And I know there’s a lot of crime, but there’s still a lot of good people here, too.”

Not as sad as when a relative — father of her granddaughter’s children — was found in a van (not in her ward) 11 months ago:

Police discovered [Wilfredo] Gines’ body in the back of his Ford Expedition on Saturday night in a college neighborhood in Hammond, Ind., three days after he left his home in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

Family said Gines, 31, a relative of Chicago Ald. JoAnn Thompson (16th), was going to confront two men he suspected of stealing a car engine he had rebuilt in an auto garage in Chicago Heights.

She has a right to feel sad, but she also has a right to be pissed off — and dying for something that might reduce even a little the rampant antisocial behavior of her constituents.

If nobody sent them, who wants them?

What works in East Orange is one thing, Chicago another.  It can’t happen here:

The NYPD Diaspora: Former New York cops bring cutting-edge, effective policing to beleaguered communities.

Is the super sharp Heather Mac Donald’s story about scientific policing New York-style.  In Chicago we have headlines that scold and demonstrations calling for new gun laws.  Nothing to really upset things, you know.

It’s still news when one gets caught

It looks bad for this Chicago cop, caught taking money from a tow truck driver to whom he gave business:

The tow truck driver was a cooperating witness in the federal investigation and secretly taped phone conversations with [Officer Michael ] Ciancio. During one such phone conversation, Ciancio agrees to meet the driver on his way home in the Walgreen’s parking lot at Oak Park and Belmont avenues. “Beautiful,” Ciancio reportedly says when allegedly handed $600 cash. At that point the informant said, “Let’s get out of here. There’s too many eyeballs.”

In another phone call between the two in October, 2007, Ciancio, reportedly concerned he hadn’t received a weekly payment, said, “I didn’t hear from you, I say what the f*** happened, you know. I thought it was like, Christmas and I looked under the tree, there was no gift, know what I mean?”

But when the Trinity High School principal, Sister Michelle Germanson, heard about his indictment, she wanted “to go into our chapel and cry,” she considered him such “an absolutely great guy.”

He’s a Trinity basketball coach and also coaches girls’ basketball in River Forest and has so for years.  He is also the second Chicago cop caught in a 16-month investigation by the FBI, Chicago Police and the Internal Revenue Service,

charged with soliciting bribes of between $600 and $800 per week over a two year period from a tow truck driver in return for allowing that driver to work towing away cars involved in traffic accidents [he] handled.

He has to be proven guilty, but the pattern is Chicago, even to the point of the supposed offender being otherwise upstanding.  Public morality is one thing, personal another.  Many Chicagoans know or are related to someone in the same alleged boat.

Weis grilled

John Kass has the Supt. Weis questioning as politics as usual in Chi, W. having shaken up things that were just fine as far as aldermen are concerned — why did he have to go and do that? they wonder as K. sees it, probably with unerring accuracy.

Just a few years ago, even the Chicago mob had a big say in who worked where in the top echelons of the department.

William Hanhardt, the heroic chief of detectives, was once the guy to see in the department about promotions and transfers and so on, even though he wasn’t technically the superintendent, and the Hanhardt culture shaped the detective division. When he was later convicted of running an Outfit-backed jewelry-heist ring, using top cops to glean information about his targets from police computers, the aldermen neglected something.

They neglected to hold a hearing to get to the bottom of things. They didn’t ask any questions. Not one. Not even the mayor would condemn him, which is the Chicago Way.

In addition, an op-ed from an ex-FBI black guy living in Texas who grew up in Chi and got shot for his trouble by a ‘hood resident whom he tackled while fleeing with a snatched purse, says about the aldermanic grilling:

Chicago’s public officials are looking through the wrong end of the telescope when they indulge in second-guessing Supt. Weis’ shuffling of his command structure. And it’s not handguns that need to be controlled, it’s the hands holding the guns.

But the formidable Heather Mac Donald in WashPost has substance to beat all in the matter, pushing for the sort of police procedures that saved New York from itself in the 90s — “the single most effective urban policy of the last decade: accountable, data-driven policing.”

[I]n New York City in the 1990s, Police Commissioner William Bratton and a group of hard-charging reformers embraced the iconoclastic idea that policing could in fact radically lower crime.

Iconoclastic in view of “[t]he received wisdom of the Great Society . . . that crime could be lowered only by eliminating its “root causes”: poverty and racism.”

The N.Y.P.D. pioneered an array of techniques to provide precinct commanders with the most up-to-date information on crime patterns and to constantly evaluate which crime-fighting strategies actually worked. Most important, commanders were held ruthlessly accountable for crime in their jurisdictions.

Sans aldermanic or city council member input, it goes without saying.

The results were startling: From 1993 to 1997, major felonies in New York City dropped 41 percent and homicides 60 percent — a record unmatched anywhere else at the time.

New York “roared back to life”:

Not only the central business districts of Manhattan experienced this rebirth; businesses poured into predominantly minority areas in Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The residents of these once-troubled neighborhoods experienced freedom of movement and economic opportunities that had been deemed permanently lost.

Yes.  Next time you hear about City Hall neglecting neighborhoods, do not think job training or subsidies.  Think law and order.  And if it’s not too heretical for you, look towards New York in the 90s.

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