Thursday, May 22, 2008

Four Hours After Murder

This was the scene four hours after a few young men decided two others shouldn't be allowed to live. Not a very glamorous way to leave this life.

The suds are presumably from the CFD hosing down the sidewalks after the police finished their investigation, and after one victim was taken to the hospital, the other to the morgue.

How can we put a stop to the senseless, unrelenting violence taking place in the heart of our community? Teenagers are murdering each other on our main streets. Preschoolers on the way to the playground are finding weapons on the sidewalks. The CTA is having to stop the trains because teenagers are rioting at the Wilson el station. This is intolerable.


  1. One would think that our alderman would be a logical place to start. She could rally community leaders, religious leaders and city resources to address the problem and do other things that might bring together people and heal this community. Instead, she and her supporters stand on the sidelines pointing fingers at the police and local property owners saying that they are to blame for this outcome. When the police and the residents say, "and what have you done?" they shrug their shoulders and say that "this neighborhood is safer than ever and only heaven is perfect."

    The situation here is outrageous.

  2. I think it's safe to point out that none of these gang bangers voted for Helen Shiller, let alone are registered to vote.

    It's also a pretty safe bet that none of them believes in getting a school (vs. "street") education, and that most of them are under 35 years old. By the time they reach that age (if they do), most will have done prison time and have even worse prospects for getting a job and improving the lives of the children they've sired during their time as gangbangers. So the cycle will continue.

    Perhaps a Barack Obama presidency can inspire them to something better than this unhealthy and ultimately doomed testosterone-fueled lifestyle. But the stereotypes and fears perpetuated by their behavior (and race) are also the reason many Americans fear electing a biracial or black man as chief exec, or allowing their law-abiding relatives from moving into their neighborhoods.

  3. The Sun-Times is reporting another shooting at Lawrence and Winthop around 2:30 AM this morning. Person hit in the hand and isn't cooperating with police.

  4. Police probe two Uptown shootings

    May 22, 2008Recommend (1)

    A man killed near Truman College may have been an “innocent bystander,’’ after an attack near Truman College that critically wounded another man in the North Side’s Uptown neighborhood Wednesday.

    The incident was the second of two shootings Wednesday.

    Killed was Francis Oduro, 22, of the 9800 block of South Marquette Ave., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Oduro, who was pronounced dead at the Stein Institute at 1:30 a.m., was shot at the 4500 block of North Broadway, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    Two unidentified black males in dark clothing approached two black men walking and shot them at 4500 block of North Broadway, according to Town Hall police Capt. William Wallace. Police News Affairs Officer David Banks said the shooting happened about 9:15 p.m. near Broadway and Wilson Avenue. Truman College is at 1145 W. Wilson Ave.

    “Gunfire erupts and the two victims fall the ground,” Wallace said. “One was DOA on the scene and the other is in critical but stable condition at Illinois Masonic.”

    The man who was critically injured is allegedly a gang member.

    It is “possible” that the man who was killed, who was African, may have been an “innocent bystander,’’ according to the captain. “We don’t know for sure,’’ according to the captain.

    Police are investigating that possibility because of the clothing and shoes the man was wearing -- his leather sandals, in particular, according to the captain.

    Police are seeking a white Subaru Forester -- a small sport-utility vehicle -- the two suspects fled in, Wallace said.

    At 12:30 a.m., the CTA's Broadway bus was being rerouted near Wilson Avenue, according to a witness.

    At 1:20 a.m. Thursday, no one was in custody, according to the captain, who said a motive has not been determined.

    In a separate Uptown shooting, an 18-year-old man was shot in the left hand in a possibly gang-related drive-by near West Lawrence and North Winthrop avenues about 2:35 a.m., police said.

    Someone inside a dark-colored 1996 Buick Park Avenue fired shots at the man while he was outside, police said.

    The man was taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital in good condition with a gunshot wound to the left hand, Wallace said.

    In the Winthrop Avenue shooting, Wallace said police received conflicting reports and neither the victim nor a witness were cooperating with police.

    No one is in custody Thursday morning for either shooting.

    Belmont Area detectives are investigating both shootings.

  5. "Perhaps a Barack Obama presidency can inspire them to something better than this unhealthy and ultimately doomed testosterone-fueled lifestyle."

    Oh man... I hope you're kidding. MLK himself could come back from the dead and be elected president and it wouldn't change a thing these criminals are doing. It's a nice thought to think that Obama can "inspire" our problems away, but it ain't gonna happen.

  6. There are too many people with a lot of animosity toward Shiller that at this point, she would probably get criticized for any way she responds. She's in a tough spot but she set up the dynamics for it to be this way, so she's reaping what she sowed.

    The alleged innocent victim is from the south side and this neighborhood has had a long standing history of people from the south side coming up here for drug dealing. No one is a guilty victim, but it's doubtful this guy was up to much good especially hanging around a high crime area at this time of night. It's still terrible he was shot. No one deserves that.

  7. What they didnt tell you is both crapheads who where shot where ARMED with guns of their own! Innocent victim? Neither one of them are. GOOD RIDANCE!

  8. See earlier previous post about gang violence earlier that evening (3 hours before the shooting) a few blocks away at Malden and Leland....and the rude 911 dispatcher who wanted to grill the caller instead of just sending the police and perhaps ... just perhaps ... one of the gangbangers at Malden/Leland was involved in the fatal shooting a few hours later ... had the 911 dispatcher done his job and sent the police immediately maybe a different outcome would have happened (though probably not). Does anyone know how to make a complaint about the 911 dispatcher--is there an agency or person in charge to make a complaint? I have had this happen as well and have asked for a name or badge number and have been told they can't give out that information...

  9. Where are you getting this information that the victims were armed? Are you making this stuff up?

    I suspect this guy's a troll...

  10. How would a Barack Obama presidency have ANYTHING to do with something like this?

    We're all angry but pointing fingers isn't a good way to react to I think. I blame the people who think it's okay to fire off guns in the street where there are innocent people around. Pure and simple.

    We must continue to raise awareness among people in this city, people who live elsewhere in the city and who have no idea, what it is like to have shootings in your community.

  11. Altheperson says:

    I heard about six shots at around 9:15 near my house on winthrop coming from the dirction of the Wilson L...then I heard sirens....

    It didn't sound like firecrackers because of the rhythm of the shots and they were uneven and extremely loud and the volume of each shot was different making me think different guns were used.

    I've been here 10's getting worse...not better and I think this will be a violent summer all over the country for a lot of reasons...ecomomic and of course the candidacy of Obama will be used by right wing interests to foment more violence for the purpose of destroying his candidacy...

    It doesn't take much in tuff ecomomic times and a security state mentality to light a match that explodes

  12. hey at least they washed down the sidewalks this time thats a start.

  13. wow. the victim is from quite a distance away...9800 s. marquette. about 22 miles from my approximation.

    not that it matters...this violence needs to end. even if it doesn't happen right in front of where we live, the bad reputation hurts us all in so many ways.

    i don't know exactly what i can do besides call if i see something weird, but i'm ready to help.

  14. Why don't we have a positive loitering event in front of the alderbeast's office? We need to demand that she acknowledge these violent events. No more hiding. She needs to address the neighborhood on her plan of how to make this a safe community. I'm sure she is too busy networking and searching because she is NOT going to get reelected in 2011.

  15. ---- anonymous said...
    I think it's safe to point out that none of these gang bangers voted for Helen Shiller, let alone are registered to vote.-----

    I wish this was the case. Two of Uptown's most violent drug dealers are registered voters at 920 W Lakeside although they have been banned from the building for years. Raheim voted in the last election. Hmmm...I wonder who he voted for?

  16. "ecomomic and of course the candidacy of Obama will be used by right wing interests to foment more violence for the purpose of destroying his candidacy..."

    Gotcha, the "right wing" will just flip on the Violence Switch to stop Obama from getting elected. I didn't realize Karl Rove ran the Gangster Disciples... hahaha

  17. I hate to bring Ron Huberman into all this but doesn't he live right in the heart of all this? Doesn't he have any pull in the police department let alone city hall? I find it baffling that someone so high up on the ladder has nothing to say about the crime in his own backyard.

  18. Uptown Jen- I feel the same way. What can we do? I feel very helpless and scared to live in my own neighborhood. It's very sad!

  19. guys, i am shaking right now, reading all of this. i cannot believe the state of things in our neighborhood, and i'm livid at the alderman, the mayor, anyone who creates a "safe place" for gang activity, and anyone who obstructs efforts to create safe neighborhoods. it just makes me say, what the hell is going on here? how many more people have to die from gun violence until positive changes occur? how many more have to die before the next alderman election?

    i was riding my bike to lakeview tonight a couple of hours before the shooting. all of this makes me want to get a car for safety reasons, just so there's at least metal between me and a bullet.

  20. and what about the people who get shot in the arm, hand, or whatever and refuse to cooperate with police. Shouldn't they be held for obstructing justice?

  21. yes, the person who says the 2 people killed were ARMED. is that true? where is your source from. it can't be true if they "think" this guy may be an innocent bystander (which is highly doubtful given he is not from around here, but whatever).

  22. When is the last time you heard of a Bad Apple shooting someone. Yet we ( I own a condo) are more evil than people who kill people.

  23. Several points...
    1. The three documents every homeless, mental and gangbanger have, drivers license/id card, Link Card and Voter registration card. Thanks to the Hon. Helen Shiller.

    2. Barack Hussein Obama is NOT the answer!

    3. If you think Uptown is getting worse, you either didn't live in Uptown 10 years ago or you never left your house. It's a million times better than 1998/1988/1978 etc.

  24. Man. I was out last night at 2:00 (had to run to 7-11 on Montrose to get cat food) and there was a heavy, heavy police presence everywhere I went. I was "shined" by police flashlight at least three times, and trust me, I only look like I belong to the dumpy middle-aged cat lover gang.

    So for there to be more shooting just a half hour later amazes me. Seriously, there were at least one or two squad cars on every block.

    These stupid boys and their retaliation credos...

  25. Solution is let honest citizens that are trained how to use a gun carry a gun.

    The gangbanger will always have weapons even if they are felons so I say let Condo Owners and honest citizens carry.

  26. Everyone armed would not be a good idea. Normal citizens can make stupid decisions when provoked or drinking.

    Having a zero tolerance policy and going to one court system instead of one for juveniles and one for adults with the same consequences for the same acts, might be the direction to go.

  27. It would be great if they built the new police district building on Wilson Yard instead of tearing down a huge apartment building at Halsted and Addision in order to build the new building. I, for one, would love a police station on Broadway rather than a Target and the controversial housing. That might make these idiots think twice about shooting people on our streets.

  28. Anyone notice that when the Trib covers stories like this one and allows readers to comment, the "discussion" quickly becomes a longwinded, never-ending argument between pro-gun owners and those who want them banned?

    The Democrats, who typically represent handgun ban proponents, don't even bother to address this issue much anymore.

    In short, US society, with its love-hate relationship regarding guns, is screwed if it thinks this type of violence is going to end anytime soon.

    Case(s) in point: Please note the large numbers of movie ads featuring their stars brandishing trick weaponry--not to mention the huge fanfare Johnny Depp's "Dillinger" movie recieved from many Uptown residents. Im sure there'll be little or no gun violence in that flick.

  29. I got off the Wilson L just after the police had shut down that stretch of Broadway. Ended up talking to a few people who'd seen what went down, but do you know what happened? As soon as the officers and detectives came over to ask if anyone had seen anything, the witnesses scatter.

    Now, I understand not wanting to get involved in a gang-on-gang/dealer-on-dealer incident. Hell, I'rather just let those guys just kill each other and get it overwith.

    But the guy killed in front of the Payless WASN'T INVOLVED WITH THAT. He was a bystander, wrong place at the wrong time. If that's not worth standing up for, I don't know what is.

  30. So let's not let this thread get hijacked by the usual suspects into a debate over whether or not citizens should carry.

  31. "Perhaps a Barack Obama presidency can inspire them to something better than this unhealthy and ultimately doomed testosterone-fueled lifestyle."

    I'll take my chances with Barack. Beats being influenced by 50 cent.

    By the way. Here's the number for Helen Shiller's office
    If you have something to say, this would be a good place to start.

  32. I agree with Pissed 8:43 AM, Enough is enough! After repeated emails to the aldermans office and no response back regarding the uptick in violence I am convinced that she does not care. We need to organize a "gang" of or our own to take back this community. I vote for a little march to the aldermans office in large #'s to express our concerns in person can we get any media behind us?

  33. If an unarmed innocent bystander was killed in front of the Payless, we should have a vigil and invite leaders from his southside community to join us. He lived on the 9800 block of Marquette Ave.

  34. How long till we get one of those tacky ghetto shrines that inevitably pop up after a gang murder. Where is this kids minister telling everyone that he was an honor student, where is his parents saying that he was on his way home from helping old ladies with their groceries?

    I must point something out here the kid got shot at 9:20 approximately and was about 165 blocks from home which is roughly 22 miles. The curfew that is supposed to stop this type of incident is 10 pm on weeknights. How could this kid have possibly made it home by 10 and what responsability do his parents share in his demise for not having him closer to home on a school night?

  35. Forget the vigil all that will do is bring in tacky stuffed animals and litter to clutter up the sidewalk.

  36. Do we know anything about the other victim? Was he local?

  37. This is ridiculous. Aldermen Smith and Alderman Shiller will be delivering up key votes for Daley on the Children's Museum issue. We should be marching down to his office and demanding that he cut the bull**** (oh, it is so much better than 15 years ago...oh, your DISTRICT is the safest in the City you crazy people) and demand that our poor minority children should stop being murdered. Why is he expending so much energy on their need to have the most centrally located museum when there is clear evidence that if nothing is done teenagers will continue dying and younger children are in the line of fire?

  38. There's a brief report on this incident up on the Tribune Web site, but it will likely be gone and forgotten by sometime this afternoon. There'll likely be similar incidents in a day or so, whose Web presences will come and go just as quickly.

    That's the sad truth in all of this. It's viewed as routine behavior in Uptown and other Chicago neighborhoods.

  39. The kid who died was 19 according to the newspaper reports. What makes you think it was "a school night"? Doesn't the curfew end at 18?

  40. I must point something out here the kid got shot at 9:20 approximately and was about 165 blocks from home which is roughly 22 miles. The curfew that is supposed to stop this type of incident is 10 pm on weeknights. How could this kid have possibly made it home by 10 and what responsability do his parents share in his demise for not having him closer to home on a school night?

    The victim was 22 years old. Far beyond the reach of a curfew and his parents' responsibility.

  41. Still I would like to know what he was doing here. I know that Broadway from Wilson to Montrose is known for its fine dining and retail. Or maybe he came to cash a check at the finest Currency Exchange in the four county area.

    I suspect this kid was not an innocent bystander. This was a planned hit pure and simple.

  42. Ha ha. I think Uptown has a lot more important issues than having our streets overrun by "tackiness"!!

  43. Candlelight vigils, silly as they are, would be much more effective for getting the TV crews out to cover Uptown residents "outrage" over this and other gun violence incidents in their area. The TV folks like visual stuff like that.

  44. Question from a new visitor to this site. Just were does Shiller live?

  45. Funny when you compare the Aldermans office to the witnesses at the crime scene. Neither seem to know anything.

  46. If the guy was 22 years old, as the news report states, the curfew would not matter.

  47. If you're going to have a vigil, have it for the "death" of the neighborhood, not for the death of a gangbanger. Let the alderperson see that if this keeps up, those with money and influence (always popular topics for aldermen) will leave, and take with them the new condos, the new shops, etc. Hit 'em where it hurts.

  48. Face it Target is not coming. We will be lucky to get a dollar store and a big lots. This Wilson Yards debacle will be a strip mall with the projects on top. Possible tenants in the retail section will be comprised of a Spin Cycle, Little Ceasars, Dollar Store, A Weave ad Braid shop, Nail salon, Head shop, Hooks fish and Chicken, or Harolds.

  49. She would love it if the people with money, new condos, new shops, etc... left. Don't give her what she wants! If you do, she would know that she would be in office for life!

  50. I agree with an earlier poster - let's have a POSITIVE LOITERING EVENT IN FRONT OF THE ALDERMAN'S OFFICE.

  51. Imagine how much worse this is going to get if/when Wilson Yard becomes a reality, and more unscreened criminals are given access to subsidized housing - or more teens and young adults who move into WY, and are not yet criminals, are recruited into the various gangs aound the 'hood.

  52. Shiller, I send Target Police blog reports all the time. I know someone from your office reads this. I do what I can to keep them up to date on the way you run a ward. I think the people of Chicago should also send news of Curruption to the Olympic Games Folks. That might wake up Richie. Shiller rep, you can forward that one on to Richie. Who I and many other people of Uptown will not be voting for in the next election

  53. Let the alderperson see that if this keeps up, those with money and influence will leave, and take with them the new condos, the new shops, etc. Hit 'em where it hurts.

    I know it is counterintuitive to some but this is exactly what Alderman Shiller would like---a reversal of so-called "gentrification" that has overrun her ward,her designated space for the poor and society's maligned where she and others can "be their voice" and fight the good fight. In my view, however, what we have is simply a peculiar kind of ideological fascism ("we know what is good for you")that takes newcomers a long time to understand and has done very little to substantively change the lives of Chicagoans.

  54. I agree... positive loitering in front of the alderman's office.

  55. anon 10:29 - sorry but people in uptown are "too respectful" to call richie and helen what they are - scum bags - remember in feb 07 richie stood w/ hs and stated how there is no crime/gangs in uptown - - i would join in march on daley's office - ignore helen, she isn't worth used toilet paper
    - this is the kind of behavior she believes is good for a community,
    look at her staff - box cutter barton, there ain't crime denise
    etc etc -

  56. If a vigil is held about the death of the neighborhood, hold it after June 1st when the Wilson Yard is suppose to "start construction".

  57. Filing OPS Complaints for Dummy's

    Here is the bullet point list of things to do:

    1. Get the copy of the 911 call on CD. You get it by filing a signed, written FOIA request by mail or fax to the Office of Emergency Mgt that is labeled:
    Attn: 911
    FOIA Officer
    1411 W. Madison
    Chicago, Illinois 60607

    Last time I checked the Office of Emergency FOIA Officer is Mary Thompson, 312-746-9403
    Fax: 312-746-9202

    Try to request is ASAP because the current tapes get deleted on the 30th day after the incident. After that there is a backup tape retrieval process that is more cumbersome and expensive.

    2. File that a Complaint online with the Independent Police Review Authority (former OPS)

    Why online you ask? You can file an OPS complaint with a Supervisor at the 23rd District Station House or at home by having 911 send a Supervisor to you. Don't let the police write up that complaint if you are capable of doing it yourself in your own words (though it's a correctable mistake that can be corrected later with more work on your part, if you haved erred in this way.)

    Due to the F##ked-Up nature of this police procedure you are not allowed to have a copy of your own sworn complaint if the 23rd District Supervisor writes it up on your behalf. Word to the wise: Sgt Haggerty ususally can be trusted to write them straight up. Sgt Padillo is a amazing fiction writer.

    For example, you can find that if you complain to the 23rd District police supervisor that no officer responded for hours to multiple 911 calls, they will write up that a community "beefer" was dissatisfied that an officer used his discretion to issue a warning rather than make an arrest. Sad but very true under the "Thin Blue Line" self-protection system.

    So, go online to write your own complaint.

    3. Within 14 days you will get a letter saying the case isn't an Internal Affairs Complaint and it is being transferred. That is normal; that just means that in the first sort the case did not involve police physically hurting someone so the case goes on to OPS for investigation.

    4. Did you know that your case is automatically assigned back to the 23rd District Supervisors for investigation and that the officer gets the copy of your signed complaint that you, yourself, still cannot see it? Strange, but true.

    Here is where you need to make your moves. Unless you don't mind - and you probably should care very much- you should call OPS and ask for the case to be investigated by the OPS investigators instead of your own District. Why? Come on, you know. The Thin-Blue-Line and the Protect the Troops and Commander Military Organization mentality kicks in. You are the enemy. You will get shot down in your own District.

    How? You will come armed with your videos, your 911 CD, your photos, your copies of the Uptown Update postings, you months of correspondence with CAPS, Neighborhoods Relations, City Department Heads, and the Commander. The 23rd District Supervisor will refuse to collect your packet of evidence saying that he must perform his own investigation.

    You will remind him that on the date of the infraction, you wisely call 911 to send a Supervisor to the scene. No record of that Supervisor scene visit will be found in the investigation. You will offer up witnesses, who will never be contacted.

    You see, the 23rd District Thin-Blue-Line is made of Teflon. Nothing sticks, particularly where you are fighting a district-wide policy of not responding to certain types of problems on certain streets in Uptown.

    Thus, call OPS and ask to have your case transferred away from the 23rd District. And, if it is already closed by the 23rd District ask to have it reinvestigated by and OPS investigator.

  58. Legal Beagle said: yada yada yada

    Legal Beagle: The cops don't care chiefly because they are overwhelmed by the constant, nonstop violence, plus they all live in nice areas on the southwest and northwest sides of the city. They can talk all they want about the need to be vigilant and report crime and attend CAPS meetings, but in reality they think middle class people are nuts for choosing to live in sketchy 'hoods like Uptown and Rogers Park.

  59. anon 10:42

    That is not true. I know of an Uptown cop that lives in our neighborhood. He is a great guy who cares about what happens here.

  60. It's going to get worse before it gets better in Chicago in my opinion Daley made a huge mistake by hiring JFed and the whole moral of the CPD is really low.

    I hear them saying it's easier to look the other way than not get support from the high ups in the department.

    One reason is they are so worried about their image and lawsuits.

    Frankly, these gangbangers deserve a little force when they are caught or questioned.

    When the honest citizen has had enough and the police start shooting these losers they will think twice about killing.

  61. BTW, you will often get sad, puppy-dog eyes from the Police Supervisor as he asks you why you would want to wreck the career of fine police officers by filing a complaint. You will be asked, "Are you really sure, you would want to do such a thing?"

    Think about this. The Police Union Contract negotiated with the City of Chicago requires that almost all complaints sustained against an officer must be wiped off the officer's record in 1 to 5 years.

    Don't you wish you had a personnel policy like that at your job?

    Copied from 2007 Lietenant's Agreement

    Section 8.4 Use and Destruction of File Material
    Disciplinary Investigation Files, Disciplinary History Card Entries, OPS disciplinary records, and any other disciplinary record or summary of such record other than Police Board cases, will be purged from the online file system five (5) years after the date of the incident or the date upon which the violation is discovered, whichever is longer and, therefore, will not be used against the Lieutenant in any future disciplinary proceedings, unless the investigation relates to a matter which has been subject to either civil or criminal court litigation or arbitration prior to the expiration of the five-year period. In such instances, the Complaint Register case files will be purged from the online file system five (5) years after the date of the final arbitration award or the final court adjudication, unless a pattern of sustained infractions exists.

    Any information of an adverse employment nature which may be contained in any unfounded or exonerated file, shall not be used against the Lieutenant for any reason.A “not sustained” finding shall not be used against the Lieutenant in any disciplinary proceeding.

    A finding of “Sustained - Violation Noted, No Disciplinary Action” entered upon a member’s disciplinary record or any record of summary punishment may be used for a period of time not to exceed one (1) year and shall thereafter be removed from the Lieutenant’s
    disciplinary record and not used for disciplinary action.

    The Department’s finding of 281061.116 “Sustained - Violation Noted, No Disciplinary Action” is not subject to the grievance procedure.

  62. Response to Legal Begal: The cops don't care chiefly because they are overwhelmed by the constant, nonstop violence, plus they all live in nice areas on the southwest and northwest sides of the city.....but in reality they think middle class people are nuts for choosing to live in sketchy 'hoods like Uptown and Rogers Park.

    Legal Beagle Responds: Take a look at any shelter or low income housing map and you will see that that the cops live in neighborhoods that take on 0% of the city's Fair Housing committment while Uptown is innundated. That relates to why gang crime coming out of low income houing buildings is concentrated into this police district and this police beat.

    What is nuts is that the cops can live the white, middle-class good life at our neighborhood's expense and that the Federal Govt continues to allow Chicago to be the most segregated city in the nation.

    You must realize that the City is required to file housing reports to the Feds every few years showing it's Fair Housing accomplishments. Chicago reports by dividing the city into quadrants but it doesn't reveal that the entire diversity factor for the entire north quadrant of Chicago is satisfied by a 20 block section of Uptown.

    Chicago's Dept of Housing is manipulating its housing stock to create this concentration in one tiny area of the North Side. Don't blame the residents of Uptown. They are the victims of the effects of the City's racial and leper colony housing policies.

  63. Amen, legal beagle.

  64. What all of you do not know is this has happened more this week than you know.

    I was out walking my dog at 3:45 AM (I know its early, but what can you do) this past Tuesday. We were walking down Leland at the corner of Dover when I heard about 7 gunshots down Leland a few blocks away. Later that morning on the way to work I drove down Leland to see if anything was going on. I saw a few police cars, but I do not think they were doing anything for the shooting I heard earlier.

    I have paid too much money to live in the "hood". Something needs to get done NOW!!!!!!!!! It is only going to get worse with the warmer weather.

  65. Let's vote. What does everyone think of a positive loitering event in front of Shiller's office? Maybe that would force some sort of response from our public officials.

  66. To people that think it's gotten worse in Uptown recently, you are truly clueless. It's the same every year when the weather warms up. This is just run-of-the-mill Uptown behavior, and it needs to be shut down. Viva La Gentrification!

  67. Legal Beagle hit the nail on the head. Uptown has the heaviest concentration of subsidized housing on the entire north side of Chicago.

    Uptown has almost 6,000 units of subsidized housing. Cabrini Green had 3,500 units in its heyday. You do the math on how this concentrated low income housing infects a neighborhood.

    So what does Shiller decide Uptown needs? More subsidized housing. And Daley supports her while Holsten gets another revenue stream by building the segregated housing he's getting paid to tear down at Cabrini Green.

    Insane but true.

  68. Tribune is now reporting that the individual who was killed was a Truman College student, and has been enrolled since Spring 2007.,0,2242453.story


  70. Positive loitering in front of the alderman's office is a great idea, I think. However, I think that it should be planned carefully and the media should be notified so they can be there. I think we would have to be creative in finding a way to ensure that they would even be interested enough. It is beyond annoying how Helen Shiller refuses to address the incidents that occur regularly in this neighborhood. Maybe that is because with the way things have been in Uptown historically, it is considered the norm and people who actually buy here, well, the joke's on us fools. Having bought a condo up here, I am feeling like a pawn in the Daley machine really. Our purpose as homeowners in nothing more than to be taxed so that Daley and Shiller can set up TIF districts to generate revenue so they can line their pockets while laughing all the way to the bank. If anything, maybe they can try to focus on cutting down on the crime for no other reason than to ensure that their cash cows remain alive. The whole social and political dynamic is infuriating.

  71. when talking about gang violence and drug activity, i think everyone should realize that both of these things have always stemmed from poverty in this country. if we really hope to get to the root of this problem, we can't just put more cops on the street or cameras at intersections, or reduce subsidized housing in Uptown. we have to seriously address our economic system and ensure that everyone has access to the basic necessities of life. some kids who grow up in poverty are going to sell drugs and be involved in gang activity if it is going to supply them and their firends and family with much needed money. also, violence is taught to youth in this country from a very young age. it is part of the culture of the u.s.a.
    there is not much difference between the mentality of a gang member willing to kill someone to protect drug selling turf and u.s. government and corporate officials willing to start a war, or topple a democratic government or pollute the environment in pursuit of economic profit. that's what this country is founded on - the genocide of native americans. it's easy for mostly white middle class people to stigmatize gang members but it's a little more difficult to look at the role we all play in a violent economic, political and social system. we all have to work on changing the way we live and the systems we function in to stop violence like this in Uptown and all over the world.

  72. I'd be all for a positive loitering initiative.

    I'd be even more for it if the plan involved starting off at her office and then marching (CIVILLY) to the street in front of her house.

    If we don't want violence in front of our homes, Helen shouldn't want a (CIVIL) community action in front of her's.

    Anon 12:55 has great points, and I'll add to that by saying that the only way to get a response from our elected officials, historically, has been to embarrass them, publicly.

    Additionally, we should invite Steans and Shackowsky to attend. What happens here affects them, too (whether they want to do anything about it, or not).

  73. Anon 12:59,

    You're just another one of the problems because you don't hold these gang bangers to any standards because they are poor. Don't blame the middle class, and don't just say white middle class, because there's plenty of middle class people from other races who feel that this is out of control.

    Clearly the problem is not us, it's them and the lack of a parental influence. When I was the age of these kids I was doing homework, going to sports paractice, anything besides hanging out. And my parents always kept track of me.

    The problem isn't us, it's them and in their heads they don't see a problem with their culture(gang life). To them it's all about fast money, the thought of anything remotely close to hard work is a foreign concept.

  74. As many of you have eloquently pointed out, the problem is a very high concentration of subsidized housing, which attracts certain types of illegal vendors who use firearms to enforce their own "laws" and territories.

    The key is to focus on reducing the concentration of poverty. We must force the city to implement its scattered housing program, not by merely evicting tenants from valuable real estate close to downtown, but also by truly scattering these sites. There are huge swaths of the city without a single subsidized building.

    I know that just on the corners of Leland & Malden, there are three buildings on three corners. Up to a few years ago, there were four. What would happen if there was only one? I suspect a better quality of life for all of the residents. As it is now, those corners of Leland & Malden are frequent scenes of violence, drug dealing and arrests.

    Is it possible to explore a lawsuit again the municipal authorities for unnecessarily subjecting their citizens to extreme, life-threatening violence with their inconsistent housing policies?

  75. To 12:59 and Pablo: there certainly is a larger context in which all of this is happening. Whereever Uptown residents fall on the spectrum of "reasons why violent crime exists" doesn't change the fact that Helen Shiller is inept at addressing the issue in any responsible way and the end result is what we have now: ignoring the violence, the perpetuation of divisions and shifting the blame off of any of the people or institutions who could be part of any solution at all. Getting state representatives involved may be our only hope now.

  76. A lawsuit against the City and HUD for not enforcing their own policies might be appropriate. I am not a lawyer. Are there any lawyers who have something to say about that?

  77. We need Charles Bronson!

  78. Pablo 1:16,

    well, when i was a kid (10-15 yrs ago) i got into some trouble and wasn't supervised 24/7. my mom raised me as a single parent and had to work to pay for me to go to a private school to keep me away from some of my friends who were causing trouble in public school. i got into trouble off and on but if i hadn't had the opportunity to go to private school and escape some of the street crime i was involved in i could easily have been involved in more violejce behavior. and not everyone gets the chance to avoid unsavory circumstances like that. we shouldn't automatically blame parents, which is not to say that they should always be praised.

    i do hold kids who act violently accountable. i've worked with kids in Chicago involved in gangs and it's clear that killing each other does not help them improve themselves individually or improve our society. what i'm saying is that their actions are indicactive of a culture of violence in this country. that does not mean that they cannot be held accountable for what they do. but i can understand why they would act the way they do, like i can understand why george bush and dick cheney do what they do. i'm not saying it's right but it's a larger issue than just misguided people or parents.

    do you ever think that those of us who are complicit with war in Iraq (by paying taxes to the federal government to pay for the war), those of us who are complicit with the Chicago Police torturing 100-200 African American men and women with no legal repercussions (by not protesting to demand justice) are part of problems in the world? i've travelled and lived in latin america extensively and there is no reason for the people in many latin american countries to view people in the u.s. differently then you view young people in gangs. yet, most people i've met in latin america can go beyond that and recognize that culture and economic systems play significantly into why people act a certain way. it seems like on this blog, there is a quickness to condemn young black men in gangs, without taking any look at the wider social forces that lead to violence. that's what i'm trying to say. people involved in violent activity, whether on the street, in the boardroom or in contributing to gentrification and the displacement of poor people from their homes should be held accountable for what they do. Yet we must also be aware of the culture and systems that lead to these violent acts and attempt to change it.

    and i get your point about "mostly white middle class people" but i think my assumption is a safe one that most (not all) of the people who post on this blog are white and middle or upper class. that's why i used that wording.

  79. Those who blame all of white, middle class America for poverty and crime never go to all of white, middle class America and say it. They just berate those of us who live in Uptown.

    Go tell your story to the rest of the masses because we are damned sick and tired of being the designated social whipping boys.

  80. anon 1:58,

    read what i wrote again, i'm putting more emphasis on a culture of violence and the economic system we have then i am on individuals. in many ways individuals are taught to act in a way that is violent (and there are different types of violence that people in different social classes are prone to). we need to start analyzing and questioning the ways we live to see what changes we need to make. we all need to do this, gang members who shoot people, gang members who don't shoot people, poor people, middle class people, rich people, all people.

  81. I encourage everyone to take a few moments to send a letter to your new state senator Heather Steans urging her to get involved at:

    Perhaps if she is inundated with letters she might care enough to be concerned about being re-elected in November if SOMEBODY in political office doesn't take responsibility.

    Here is a copy of mine:

    Dear Ms. Stearns,

    As my state senator, I am writing to you to urge you to come back to Chicago and set up an investigative task force with authority to do something about the rampant gang violence in your district. I would write to my alderman Helen Shiller, but her office has made it clear that she has no interest in doing anything to address the problem, refusing to even admit it is a problem. The mayor refuses to get involved with an alderman's ward, unless apparently he wants to move the Children's Museum there.

    At the very least you should be aware of what is happening in the Uptown area of Chicago that you represent. Last night at the corner of Malden and Leland a gang fight of 20 or more gangbangers were chasing someone with bats and sticks and guns at 6:15 pm! I was walking my dogs and talking to a neighbor who was walking his 2-year old daughter when they swept down upon us, forcing all of us to flee and call 911. Later that night (3 hours later) a Truman College student was gunned down a few blocks away and another sent to the hospital critically wounded. 5 hours later there was another shooting a few blocks away at Winthrop and Lawrence ... injured person taken to hospital and not cooperating with police. This is the third night in a row that there have shots fired up and down Wilson, Leland, Magnolia and Malden as the gangs battle over turf and terrorize our neighborhoods. And summer and warm weather has not even started yet. These are but a very few of recent examples of what is happening here on a daily and nightly basis. We as a community band together to share information as the alderman's office has told those who have requested updates that they have no information to share.

    If you care to stay informed about your district I highly recommend that you visit and you will see the various information threads and sense the real fear, frustration and anger at what is happening and the lack of response by anyone in authority.

    I live in a progressively liberal comunity. I guess you'd be pretty safe to say it is Democrat territory. You would be wise to stay in tune with your community ... there is just as much anger right now with the Chicago Democrat machine as there is with the Bush presidency in my neighborhood. In fact it is very difficult to see any differences. I write to you as a newly elected person in hopes that you would have the integrity to make a real difference to those you represent.

  82. i understand that people are scared and upset but it doesn't help to just label certain people as "trash." i've fallen into that trap before (mainly about people like bush or reagan) but if we look at the circumstances they arise from and the values they're taught we can understand why they act the way they do. this applies to people in gangs too. we can do this and still hold them accountable for their actions. the struggle is to move beyond name calling and understand what cultural, economic, political, educational, and social circumstances contribute to violent behavior. this might not solve all problems but i'd bet it's better than saying some people are no-good trash and that what we need is more cops.

  83. " . . . the struggle is to move beyond name calling and understand what cultural, economic, political, educational, and social circumstances contribute to violent behavior."

    So what year did America end slavery?

  84. Note on Steans:

    She voted against putting the recall amendment on the November ballot. IE - she disagreed with giving the people of Illinois a say in whether they should be able to recall elected officials (as did Barak's political mentor: Emil "I'm going to make me a US Senator" Jones).

    She also voted in favor of an amendment to install a progressive income tax in the state.

    Luckily, she was in the minority and the measure flopped (at least the downstate Democrats aren't a bunch of know-nothing, mentally and morally deficient yahoos).

    Point being: She's as much a part of the wallet-sniffing, nepotistic, corrupted Democratic Machine as anyone, and I'd recommend people look closer at her before giving her any support.

    Having said that, she could gain big points with me if she were to show a little spine by responding to emails like the one TJM sent and actually doing something productive in her district.

    Should we not hear from her on this issue, I say that she hear from all of us in November.

  85. If even half of the people who have commented here bothered to show up next Thursday at the Housing Court hearing for the Wilson Club Hotel, maybe we'd accomplish something more than mere anonymmous web ranting.

    I went to the GWNA block club meeting on Tuesday. With all the stuff that's happened this year and all the activity on this and other blogs, I expected that there'd be like 50 plus people.

    16 people showed up.

    Too many of the residents in this area are all talk and no action...

    This blog is a great resource, but remember, anonymous web comments do not count as "activism"!!

  86. anon 2:26,

    given the diproportionate number of African-Americans in jail for nonviolent drug possession offenses (whites and blacks use drugs at roughly the same rate), many people would argue that a form of slavery still exists. afterall, a handful of people do make a lot of money from the growth of the prison industry and the use of labor by inmates.

  87. Bravo anon 2:36

    We need to move from arguing over a blog to real action. That is the only way to make a change.

  88. The #1 thing I look at is who is buying the drugs? Why is Uptown so profitable for drug dealers?

    The war on drugs is one of the most failed efforts of law enforcement in the history of the US. Nothing is going to change on that front.

    What we do need to look at is how to curb the open drug markets in Uptown and deal with the actual customers. If you cut down on the amount of people buying the drugs, the gangs have no choice but to set up shop somewhere else. Not an easy task by any means.

    I wonder just how many people from outside of Uptown are buying drugs like Crack, Coke, Heroin, and yeah even weed. I then wonder how many people from Uptown are the customers. Who are these people, homeless, low income residents, yuppies, Truman students, condo owners?


  89. cheap rent, to begin with...

  90. Anon 1:46,

    If your going to simplify things and tell us poor young men must just accept joining a gang as a way of life. Then I'll say they must also accept the gentrification you speak so negatively about. Maybe it's the fact that they are so willing to adhear to a life of violence that would make the so-called "evil property owners" want to push them out. Did you ever think for a second if they were good neighbors a message board like this would even need to exist? Quit blaming the people who live the right way for everything that is wrong.

  91. Since Sen. Obama's name has come up several times, I have to point out that you are doing exactly what he would encourage you to. Get involved. Organize at the community level. Make your voice be heard.

    If someone wants to throw some dates out there for a rally sounds like there will be a great turn out!

  92. of course slavery still exists in this country - if you don't realize that, you're completely blind or in denial... we are not a democracy, we do not have freedom of speech, we do not have freedom of media, and slavery is alive and well in the United States of America.

  93. Anon 2:44:

    Your comment insinuates that Uptown is the source of the problem because we are drug users. BS. The problem happens here because, unlike in Lincoln Park or the Gold Coast, aggressive action against gangs by police and leadership doesn't happen in this neighborhood. Look at a major gang map for the whole north side. It is shocking how little presence there is but for in Uptown.

  94. email our state Rep, Greg Harris. The address is Let's see if he will stand up for us or his vote machine- "The Alderbeast." I suspect we all know the answer


  96. I hope those of you who said something along these lines feel really bad now.

    "The alleged innocent victim is from the south side and this neighborhood has had a long standing history of people from the south side coming up here for drug dealing. No one is a guilty victim, but it's doubtful this guy was up to much good especially hanging around a high crime area at this time of night."

    The poor guy was a working student who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you have him pegged as a gangbanging drug dealer because he lives on the south side. To me, that's no better than saying that we deserve the violence because we chose to live in Uptown.,0,2242453.story

  97. Jan Schakowsky and her husband Bob Creamer will show up here on election day with their Evanston legal troops to help Shiller win re-election but she's not going to attach her reputation to this mess.

    Just like she takes no action against the dysfuntional Federal Social Security office in her district - known by disability attorneys's as one of the worst in the region - that mishandles Uptown's many indigent/ disabled cases and allows misuse of SSI checks for drug use instead of housing and food.

    She's already publically stated she wants Obama's seat in the Senate - even before he's had a chance to vacate it.

  98. Isn't our 23rd District Tactical Lt. Stasch supposed to be one of the city's top gang guys who runs his own consulting firm on these things?

    I don't understand how a new gang was able to get a foothold in this neighborhood to kick off this turf war.

    On the other hand, at least it isn't like the old Commander Delopez days when each gang was given its own turf. Then, the police just patrolled the borders and you could sit in a car in front of Ford Towers (Shaun Derrig's place now) and watch a patrol car park right next to Fat Boy, and act as a guard car while he was dealing at the Burger King (now Pollo Loco) at Wilson and Sheridan.

    You'd ask Fat Boy to show a little respect and get away from the Uptown Baptist Church and school kids and he'd just tell you that after his jail stint, the 20th District told him he couldn't deal in his own neighborhood any more and that was his new Uptown corner. And, apparantly it really was.

    At least the dealing isn't so openingly blatant on the street corners anymore.

  99. To Butternut: You hit the nail on the head. Gotta eliminate the customer and the base of operation. Despite the fact that one of the guys who was shot was from the far south side, a lot of those guys live in the area. How much are landlords held accountable for who they rent to? Where are these guys residing? Don't you have to have a regular job, a bank account, decent credit reports to rent an apartment? And even if they are living with someone who does have all that, it's it the landlord's duty to maintain a decent living environment for ALL tenants, which includes no drugs or drug dealing on the property? who's holding the landlords accountable? Force them to do their job and the drug dealers and gang bangers will have no base of operations in uptown. and you don't need Schiller to do that.

    to Keekee:
    As a person who's lived around the area since '87, Uptown was NEVER "safe".

  100. BTW: Although I new race would eventually play into it, PLEASE stop bring it up. It has NOTHING to do with this situation. The buys are of all races and some of the sellers are of all races. If you haven't noticed that, you haven't been looking around.

  101. What is the problem? Why can't there be more of a police force in the areas we are having problems? Why can't we put an end to this loitering? In certain "high crime" areas, there should be "no loitering laws". Pathetic, I know, but these people are so extremely bored they have nothing else to do.

  102. You think OBAMA will make anything any better? You sure have another thing coming. He has made ALL of his money off of everything that Uptowns social service agencys are about. People are so clueless they have no idea!!!!!!

    He has made millions off JPUSA,Cornerstone and many more along all of the same lines.

    The crap on him hasnt even hit the fan yet. Chris Kelly, Levine, Rezko and all of the other players.

    I for one have know him for almost 20 years and will leave this country if he becomes President.

    You watch how strong all of the Not-4-profits get with him as President. Remember this post, these are words that are facts!!!

  103. I don't know what you people are talking about. There is very little crime in this area. They quoted Police District stats.

    The Mayor and Helen Shiller stood together in Joan Arai school during their joint reelection campaigns and told us that themselves.

    What do you expect me to do? Believe my own eyes when I have heard the Word from on high from these esteemed politicians?

  104. I don't know whether this is good or bad, but I often read that crime in Uptown is always buried or not reported in the news. This killing certainly has changed that; it is on the main page of both the Tribune and Sun-Times web sites today.

    There has to be acceptance that the problem exists before anything can be done to change it.

  105. I highly doubt that middle to higher class individuals of ANY race that recreationally use drugs are buying them from gang members. These guys are catering to our crack and heroin addicts that line our public ways, and waste our tax dollars misusing social services.

  106. "I highly doubt that middle to higher class individuals of ANY race that recreationally use drugs are buying them from gang members. These guys are catering to our crack and heroin addicts that line our public ways, and waste our tax dollars misusing social services."

    YOu're kidding, right? That perception that it's only scummy crackheads who purchase their goodies from guys on the street is a dangerous misconception. There are many "functioning" crackheads and heroin users with jobs, etc. out there and sad to say, I know a few. Didn't the testimony of Stuart Levine in the Rezko trial teach you anything? The guy was using METH and he wasn't buying it from the desk clerk at the Ritz Carlton.

  107. Here is the response that I received from my letter to Heather Steans about doing something about the gang violence:

    I will want to look into this before responding. Definitely I want to attend the next appropriate beat meeting as well. We'll talk before we prep a response. Thanks,

  108. Dear Tim,

    Thanks for the email. I've read the news stories about some of these occurrences while I've been in Springfield, and Brian Curtin from my office has been actively reading the blogs and telling me about the other things going on. When I'm back in Chicago this morning, the first thing I'm going to do is talk to Ald. Shiller and Commander Boehmer about the seriousness of this situation, and what the response is going to be to this violence. Some of your neighbors have asked that I come to the CAPS meeting on June 3 to hear what the plan is to deal with these issues. I'll definitely be there, and will work with you and other community members to be sure that we're getting an adequate response and decide what our next steps should be. Its just not acceptable that we should live in fear in our own neighborhood.

    Rep. Greg Harris
    13th District

  109. Yeah, Heather and Greg! Reasonable responses from elected officials!

  110. Anon 1:16...

    You know what? I'm SO sick and tired of every social ill of society being blamed on white middle class society. I know it may come as a shock to some of the posters here, but not all white folk grow up with a silver spoon in their mouth and a money tree growing out of their butt. I have worked since I was 12 years old. I put myself through college, and I have worked hard for everything I own now.

    I also grew up in a violent household with drugs, violence, etc. and yet I somehow managed to NOT grow up to be some sort of thug who thinks its ok to break the law and destroy other people's lives just because I had a bad childhood. Wah, wah wah!

    THIS is why our society has these issues. Our society has become soft on crime, and we are more sympathetic to the perps than the victims. Enough is enough. I don't give a crap what your background is. Everyone knows right from wrong unless you are a certified sociopath. I'm sorry that some people have it hard growing up, and that means that they will have to work even harder than the average Joe just to survive... but therein lies the problem. Too many of them decide that they don't want to work that hard, they would rather sell drugs, rob stores, rob houses and make the fast money.

    I for one, am sick of it. I have scrubbed toilets, worked in bars, restaurants, grocery stores, walked dogs, temped, you name it, to put myself through school, and I've been working hard ever since. No one gave me a handout and I didn't expect one.

    Now I am finally able to own a home, my first ever, as I grew up in apartments my whole life. And instead of enjoying it, I learn I am the scourge of Uptown and am some sort of white devil and get blamed by people like anonymous 1:16 for being resonsible for gang violence because of gentrification, and because I happen to be white, middle class. I'm sorry, but my upbringing was no different, and probably WORSE than many of these gangbangers claim to of had. Yet I managed to make the right choices in life and managed to follow the laws in getting where I'm at today.

    I chose to live in Uptown because I like the diversity of the neighborhood and I like the history of it in terms of its artistic heritage. If I wanted the blandness of Lincold Park I would of bought there. And God forbid I expect a return on my investment! How DARE I? I am sick of being blamed for gentrification here. It was not my choice that Alderman Shiller is determined to make the 46th Ward her own little Cabrini Green so she can feel like she's making such a big difference in the world. The gangs, drugs and violence in this neighborhood is not my fault either. It's not the fault of the 'white, condo-owning devils' that are constantly blamed for everything in this neighborhood. I shouldn't have to move to Lincoln Park as Shiller once told those of us complaining about the crime, in order to feel safe.

    As long as we keep accepting this behavior as 'normal' because Uptown has always been violent, nothing will change. The fingers need to be pointed at the real problem here. The gangs and the dealers that are using this community as their playpen. And the Aldermen, Mayor and CAPS officers that told us at a meeting last summer that our ward has the lowest crime in the city. As long as people continue to elect idiots... nothing will ever be accomplished. We reap what we sow.

  111. this is what happens when law abiding citizens aren't allowed to protect themselves with handguns.

    only the criminals have them and have no hesitation to use them.

    a sad situation the people of chicago have put themselves into.