Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fight At Wilson And Broadway Injures Officer

From Today's
Chicago Sun-Times:

A teenager was charged with aggravated battery after allegedly pushing a Chicago Police officer to the ground as the officer was trying to break up a fight involving several teenagers at a North Side fast-food restaurant Monday afternoon.

The male teen was charged with aggravated battery, according to a Town Hall police District captain early Tuesday. The teen charged is apparently a senior at a South Side high school.

A Town Hall police officer was injured while responding to a fight involving some kids about 4:15 p.m., according to a Town Hall District lieutenant. The incident started at Uplift Community High School, located at 900 West Wilson Avenue, and moved down the street to the Popeyes restaurant located at the 4600 block of North Broadway.

A group of students from the school got into an altercation and one teen sprayed pepper spray at another teen. An officer who was responding to the large fight at a restaurant was breaking it up when a male teen grabbed the officer’s vest and pushed him to the ground, the lieutenant said.

Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said the officer was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center from the incident with a possible broken hand. The lieutenant said "he [the officer] is OK, it is just a sprain."

Paramedics also responded to reports of someone suffering an asthma attack at the time of the incident, but Langford did not know if the asthma victim was involved in the fight.

Another fight broke out involving some kids on Noth Broadway at the CTA station, according to the lieutenant. Police are investigating if the two fights are related.

CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said about 4:15 p.m. power was shut off to all the tracks between Wilson Avenue and Addison Street for an unauthorized person on the tracks at the request of Chicago Police. The power was restored after about 9 minutes.

Updated: More info from the Chi-Town Daily News:

A melee at the Wilson CTA Red Line in Uptown this afternoon ended with at least two people injured and one person arrested, police said.

Officers responded to a report at 4:20 p.m. of a disturbance outside the Popeye's Chicken at the corner of Wilson and Broadway.

At least 50 teenagers were fighting, according to Lt. Michael O' Brien.

After police dispersed the teenagers, a group proceeded to the El platform at 4620 N. Broadway, where they resumed fighting.

At that point, at least 20 back-up units arrived to subdue the crowd.

One police officer and one girl were transported to hospitals. There is no word on their condition.
One 18-year-old was arrested as a result of the disturbance, said O' Brien.

A northbound El train was delayed due to the incident.


  1. This is really concerning. What was a south side teenager doing at this stop at this time in the day?

    A teenager pushed a cop to the floor?

  2. I hope the school will feel it necessary to issue a press release or statement. We need to keep the discussion and the dialog going with regard to what is happening in our local schools and with our kids.

    If there is more to this story then the people who know more about these kids have a duty to discuss it openly.

  3. funny how the article never mentions Uptown...

  4. The south side teenager was probably a gang member. At our CAPS meetings for Clarendon Park the police have told us that many of the gang member we see hanging out in Uptown are actually from other neighborhoods.

    I feel like there's been a lot of problems in Clarendon Park, that didn't exist prior to Uplift opening up. A lot more loitering and violence. Are the two related? I really don't know.

  5. I would buy that bit about gang members coming here from elsewhere. When my car was stolen, we found it trashed and parked on a street in south shore.

    One must as the question, then, what is this community doing (or not doing) that makes this a hospitable location for gang members from across the city to gather?

  6. Welcome to the District, new Commander.

  7. Once again the officers was taken to Illinois Masonic not Weiss. Why is that? We have to be transported by 911 to Weiss,our nearest hospital, even though it is ranked the worst hospital in the city. Isn't that good enough for our police officers if it is good enough for us?

  8. Is it me, or is violent crime on the upswing in Uptown? Shooting on Sunnyside at CHA building two weeks ago, gunfire on Malden and Leland, more shootings and fights and the temperate of violence is heating up this community even with snow still on the ground.

    Remember there are 5 gangs in Uptown, spring recruiting is going on right now and one of Uptown's top business categories, after social service agencies.

    What can we do to reduce the violent crime?

  9. Going back to the first post, my car was vandalized last summer and it turned out to be a teenager from Mayfair. I thought at the time we have enough issues in Uptown and we don't need teenagers from other parts of Chicago adding to it. This is a troubling phenomenon, but not surprising giving the culture our wonderful alderwoman has created in our ward.

  10. "What is this community doing or not doing to create this problem"

    Well for starters one arrest out of a melee with 50 involved. thes 50 kids should all have been arrested for nothing more than the fact that there disturbance inconvenianced tax payers. Turning off the electric on the CTA can't be cheap. 20 squad cars to a scene can't be cheap either. Bill the parents attach their wages or garnish their ADC payments.

  11. That is an interesting idea, 3:59. I'd like to hear from either law enforcement officers or people heavily involved in CAPS about what can be done to serve as an effective warning to these kids. Should more of them have been arrested? Or, is it better to go back to the school and have the teachers they know and trust do something to reinforce how unacceptable this kind of behavior is? What can the larger community do?

  12. It's the chicken.

  13. Here it is March 25. Still cold and a riot breaks out at 4 PM on a weekday, 50 kids out of control, this deserves a full blown investigation. This is very scary.

    I don't suppose there is any chance of the alderman and new commander hosting a community meeting.

  14. Community meeting: *CAPS Beat 2311 Meeting/ Tuesday, April 1, 7pm @ Truman College

    Tell all your neighbors!

  15. I'm all for people going to their beat meetings, but is Broadway in beat 11? I think the border is right at Broadway, so unsure what that means.

  16. Here's what you can do to help reduce the Uptown crime.. feel free to add on to these ideas if you have something else that works ...

    1) call 911 when you see something and tell your neighbors to as well. Unfortunately, we do NOT have enough people calling 911 and half the people I talk to at CAPS tell me they actually "stopped" calling 911 b/c they did not get a police response in a "timely fashion" at one point or another. That's just CR*P. KEEP CALLING IT. (DUH) And if the police really don't come, call back! Ask for a supervisor. Your call WAS answered, there are just other calls at the time that are a higher "priority" - if you think they aren't making it a high enough priority - call back. (Plus, see phone tree section below) We (unfortunately) don't have "enough" crime in our area to warrant a larger police presence. This is partially b/c we dont have enough 911 calls. CALL THAT NUMBER IF YOU SEE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS OR YOU WITNESS A CRIME. EITHER ONE.

    2) Start a phone tree with your neighbors. This way, if there is a crime going on, you call the phone tree and all your neighbors are now calling the police. This gets your problem at the top of the 911 priority list and the officers are more quickly dispatched. And KEEP calling 911... these officers get SICK AND TIRED of going to the same place and fixing the same problems. They will work harder to get it fixed if you keep making them go back to fixing that area.

    At our caps meetings, every month we tell people we need to start phone trees around these troubled spots. Again, It's the multiple calls that get the police to these areas having problem quickly - it puts the problem at a higher priority. Unfortunately, nobody does this and frankly, as the caps facilitator I can't mobilize peole in all areas to do this. I don't know YOUR neighbors. You do. Or should if you dont.

    The people around these problem areas need to take responsibility, meet with their condo associations, meet with their neighbors, meet with their block clubs and do this. In my experience, many do not take this extra step. (Although SOME DO).

    Yes, I recognize this is work. But it's also work to keep worrying and keep B!tching on this board. If this energy was channeled elsewhere, it would help.

    3) Join your block club and get involved with it - the block clubs are working on ways to make things better -each one a little differently

    4) Stop just complaining on this board and Attend your caps meeting and volunteer to take on a project to get things fixed.

    5) Identify the problem buildings and fill out a gang, drug and housing form to let the police know about what is going on in your area (email capsbeat2311@gmail.com if you want one emailed to you that you can send to the 23rd district)

    6) With CAPS put pressure on these problem buildings to deter crime. This may mean working with them to help their lighting, or fix a broken fence. ...or identify problem tenants and tell the housing management companies about these people. This is NOT easy and isn't an easy fix and really only marginally improves things. But marginal is the way we need to go in Uptown. Doing this is hopefully a back and forth upward spiral to get things fixed up. KEEP putting the pressure on. Again, This is not a one time fix. This is a constant watching of a building and a constant putting on pressure to not give in to letting things go...

    7) Come up with your own idea and get others to help it too. There are a (relative) few very committed people helping uptown and the majority just post insults on this board. GET INVOLVED with withever group you can. YOU CAN make a difference and help.

    2311 caps beat facilitator

  17. Jami, I am in the 48th ward but I appreciate the time you took to write this response.

    I rarely call 911 because I don't want to lock up the system in case (G-d forbid) someone is getting assaulted somewhere and can't get thru.

    I am changing my ways and I will drag my neighbors along with me.

  18. I'm in Beat 2312 and Uplift is within our beat. It was mentioned that there were some minor problems when school let out, but nothing very serious, and it was much better than last year.

    When I taught school in a tough neighborhood in Houston, the teachers would take turns monitoring the surrounding area off campus when school let out. It gave a not-so-subtle message to the students that we expected them to behave outside the school campus.

    I'm wondering if a representative from Uplift could attend Beat 2311's CAPS meeting and help the residents come up with a plan to make the area safer. I don't know the answer, but a good one usually surfaces when people work together for a common outcome.

  19. One interesting tid bit of info I am gleaning from listening to the police scanner is the lack of L checks at Wilson by the police. They seem to check the station at Sheridan about every ten minutes or so. They never stop to check Wilson. I wonder if CTA hired a smoking hot attendant if this would improve the amount and frequency of Wilson L checks.

  20. I'm home during the day and see a car parked on the East side of the Wilson El all the time. It has a car code that I presumed was a special detail to the CTA. I'm sure there is a regular presence there. Just look at the police stats for the beat for the "theft of service" related to that address.

    But hey, correct me if I am wrong. I ride the bus.

  21. James, you don't know much about the history of Uplift, do yoĆ¼? Let's see. The principle, a former Joan Arai gym teacher used to spend the night at Helen's home. We all know because the jerk left his black SUV parked right in the middle of the road every night, until the rookie cop grabbed him and arrested him when the joint rolled out of Taylor's car. Shiller was in her bathrobe in the street screaming. It was hard for the neighbors to miss.

    The joint got smaller when Taylor went to the station - small to the size where there was no longer enough weed in it to support any charges. (I don't make this stuff up, Uptown is weird enough.)

    After running Joan Arai and its test scores into the acedemic graveyard, an Uptown teacher's group - led by Karen Zacor, amazed those in the school industry by forming their own charter school.

    A Shillerista dominated transitional advisory council chose this teacher group instead of one of the two prominate charter school operators with successful track records to take over the troubled school. Arnie Duncan stupidly allowed this as their Renaissance 2010 makeover plan

    The incestuous crew who formed the advisory coucil and teacher council and Uplift School and new Dean David Taylor are all Shiller's patronage croanies who bled the former school dry of funds. They always do. It's in the Slim Coleman playbook for community domination. New school, old game.

    Reagarding community safety, it's not their thing. Community safety just brings in more gentrifying yuppies, which is a threat to their total domination. They are willing to sacrifice the children of those dominated to keep control.

    You think I'm exagerating? You don't know your Uptown history of kids killed.

    You could ask why Child Sex Predator Joseph Escalera lived in a home adjacent to the Uplift school for over a year while this group did nothing.

  22. Shiller had an 'overnight guest' who drives an SUV? In the middle of this unjust war for oil? Surely you've got your facts wrong.

    You clearly have a perspective on how Arai became Uplift. That's fine. But, how are the test scores doing? Teen pregnancy rates? Have they had a graduating class yet? Have they gone on to college or vocational school?

    It is clear that we need to take some risks and try new things in CPS. I also am a strong supporter of local solutions to community problems. (Does that theme ring a bell, anyone??) But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. How are we doing at Uplift?

    It also seems to me that the recent event at Popeyes affords an excellent learning opportunity for the students. I wonder how the teachers and the administration might be approaching it?

  23. I doubt they are doing anything about it. According to the law, once the kids are off school property, they're not the school's problem anymore. And I have no doubt that the previous post about the "founding" of the charter school is true; the charters have much looser rules and their teachers aren't even allowed to be part of the teachers' union - a great way for the powers that be to reduce the power of the union.

  24. Well, educator, their school theme is "social justice." They organize the curriculum around it. For example, they held mock community forums to replicate the planning process for Wilson Yards, with different students taking on the various roles.

    It seems to me that this Popeye's incident would provide a similar instance for self-reflection, "taking the role of the other" and problem solving through discussion. I can image an essay assignment in which the students write letters to the police and the community explaining what happened, why, and how they feel about.

  25. If you log onto www.isbe.state.il.us and then on the left click "report card", you can see for yourself how well Uplift is doing. From what I see, it is actually doing better than most other schools within CPS and their Illinois State Achievement Test results were close to the state's average.

    Around 60% of the students test at or above grade level performance, which sad to say, is about the average for Chicago. Around 99% of the children going to Uplift live in poverty, per the website.

    What I don't like is that the school teaches graffiti (per the CPS website). That is a clear message to middle class parents that their kids are not welcomed. I hear from another CPS teacher that the teachers at Uplift are known for being very dedicated to the kids there. That's a bit of good news.

    I want Uplift to work but I am also a little leery about their social justice approach that also leads to more polarization. I've heard from one police officer that the school has not been open to having the police strengthen their rapport with the students there either.

  26. "...I am also a little leery about their social justice approach that also leads to more polarization."

    Part of the reason why the test scores are improving may be this focus on social justice and the sense that the teachers are their mentors. To me, what seems to be missing then is how they pedagogically tie in social history with the modern day context in which the students live. If the teachers found a way to open up the school to the context in which these kids are living more broadly...through positive exchanges with the police, governmental officials and EVERYONE that makes up the Uptown community...these kids will have gotten a great foundation for the future adult lives. I say, let the kids ask questions about racial profiling and what police procedure is. Ask business owners what kinds of regulations they need to follow to open up a business. Whatever.

    It would be great if these kinds of things would happen there. I am, however, a little skeptical that the group of people behind this school are willing to promote such inclusivity.

  27. Do you really know if the individual from the south side was a gang member? I believe the article said he was a "high school student" from the south side. High school students are known to fight at times and not all black students who fight are in gangs. If you did any kind of check into the kid's background, you would discover he has no criminal background.


    Informed resident

  28. Well he has a criminal background now doesn't he?


    Informed Pirate.

  29. It is interesting that "Informed Resident" assumed that UU and all of the posters assumed that the student was African American. However, neither the article nor any of the posters discussed this student's race so it is hard to tell what any of these people were thinking.

    Informed resident does point out that people assumed that the student was a gang member. That was clearly an assumption with no immediate facts to back it up. If Informed resident has more information about the student or about the school, etc. I would welcome some new information. When posters discuss things among the same people there is a tendency for assumptions to just stick---as Informed Resident does point out.

  30. Has anyone on this blog ever gone into the school to talk to the administration or teachers? Has anyone visited or asked to take a tour?

    I have and will share opinions once others do so as well.

  31. No offense, but if I was a teacher and someone off the street came into my school because he just wanted to talk to some teachers, I would be afraid. No one should be walking into any public school unless they are specifically invited or they are attending some event open to the public or they have a child enrolled there.

  32. Anonymous 10:47 what stereotypes are you playing off of? I have two friends that teach there, our former Commander taught there, our CAPS meetings have been there, I've been an election judge there, I've taken classes there.

    As for talking to the administration, I'm still waiting, waiting, waiting, for them to respond to my inquiries.

  33. Check the South West Corner of Winthrop and Lawrence and see how Shiller's last private school turned out. Her son ran that one. Can't find it? Oh yes, of course, it failed.

  34. *sigh* Remember those old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movies where all the kids got together to put on a show??

    It feels a lot like that around here. Here comes Helen and the gang trying out their little "save the world" projects...each time hoping to get it right.

    I know the voters gave them the power to do this stuff...but who has given them the RIGHT to pursue hairbrained schemes that may or may not help anyone and usually waste money?

    Hellooooo....Does anyone remember the good stuff that came out of the 1960s? We have had a whole crop of pro-social justice solutions produced in this country. Some of them homegrown here in Chicago and in Uptown. While we can debate how much needs to be going on in Uptown, there shouldn't be any debate that everyone deserves well-thought out/designed solutions !!!