Monday, March 30, 2009

Is This Needed In Uptown?

Check out the CTA Tattler for a post discussing the "Guardian Angels" and whether or not they crossed the line when they "detained" taggers who were allegedly vandalizing a CTA train at the Western Blue Line station. With all of the vandalism and crime in Uptown, are the Guardian Angels needed here? Discuss.


  1. I've seen a few Guardian Angels on the Wilson stop. You can't miss them in their red berets.

    They're a lot easier to like when they're protecting innocent people from assault. Detaining a tagger? I don't know. I want taggers arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced. However, if you catch one in the act it's very unlikely any law enforcement can arrive in time to actually capture the tagger.

  2. Vigilantes exist where proper police protection does not and are born by either the inadequacies or incompetence of local law enforcement.

    Daley has outsourced parking meter enforcement and is weighing the option of allowing private security firms to ticket minor violations.

    Based on that, I can't see how Daley can make a viable argument against the GA's - especially since he won't need to fund them.

    On the Helen front, she's hand in glove with COURAJ/Cop Watch so I'd assume that she would dismiss the idea of GA's simply out of reflex.

    Personally, I've got no issues seeing a tagger roughed up. Comments at CTA Tattler incorrectly state that taggers do no physical harm. They tend to overlook that taggers are normally gang bangers and as few issues as I have with taggers getting roughed up, I have even fewer issues seeing gang bangers roughed up.

    Also - while Helen may be able to put the clamps on the Police with regards to her seemingly protectionist agenda towards her voting base (which seems an odd, yet recurring theme with aldermen, of late), she would hold no such sway over the GA's.

    I'm no true fan of vigilantism, but I'm less happy with out of control gang activity. Gang activity which has indirect support from the alderman.

    Granted, I have noticed more police cars on patrol,but strangely enough, only within a few block radius of Little Caracas.

    I'd welcome some more red berets at the Wilson and Lawrence L stops; as well as some wandering groups in the well known gang hang-outs, if only to see what affect they might have.

    If the cops can't/won't walk the beat, someone should.

  3. I have no problem with the work the GA's do. The only thing I'm curious about is if they hurt someone would that person be able to sue the GA's just as people sue the CPD for use of excessive force?

  4. My initial reaction was "yes!" but then I calmed down... do we really want amatuers going around and doing this? I love the GAs being around and I wish there were some on every street corner.

    But, they cross the line in this case (misdemeanor crime of tagging).

    What happens when they incorrectly detain someone or injure someone in a struggle?

    We need more cops.

  5. I don't know that I would characterize the GA's as vigilantes. Vigilantes take the law into their own hands to mete out justice as they see it. The GA's here worked within the confines of the law to make a citizen's arrest, something we are all entitled to do within the law, and did not mete out a punishment as a vigilante would, only used enough force as was needed to subdue the punk tagger. I applaud the GA's. Don't want to get roughed up a bit by the GA's? Then don't commit crimes. Its very simple.

  6. Can we do the same thing with the Walsh Construction guys that start working at 5 a.m.? Like, hand cuff them to the fence until the cops arrive to arrest them for violating the work permit? That would be so sweet. Maybe we should consider it; we can get plenty of handcuffs at Clark and Belmont, maybe even over here on Broadway at the Army/Navy store.

  7. I saw some Guardian Angels last Summer on Wilson near Magnolia as well as around the Wilson Broadway Intersection and I remember saying yeah, good hope they stay.

    It was short lived I saw them all in a span of a couple of days. Most recently I have seen them at the North and Clybourne stop on the Redline after a sexual assault videotaping people on the platform and handing out flyers. The videotaping was an attempt to have some footage to show the victim so sh could pick out her assailant. Apparently the security cameras were not very good.

    Just another question for the bunch have you ever walked to the far North point of the Wilson Redline platform? If not do it look up when you get there facing north are two security monitors. Who exactly are the security monitors for? Have you ever noticed anyone watching them? Would they not be better located in the station attendants box at the turnstiles? Just wondering?

  8. Those security cameras are tied back to CTA HQ. They are not monitored 100% of the time, but everything is recorded.

  9. The problem is liability. If Daley endorses GAs, the city becomes financially responsible when something goes wrong, without the opportunity to train the GAs on how to handle situations with legal force.

    I do have to question the motives of people who would use such force on a tagger...

  10. More power to them. Criminals are less likely to commit illegal acts when the chance of getting caught and punished are greater. With all due respect to the fine officers of Chicago, the crooks seem to be getting more arrogant and dangerous.

    How many American kids have been busted tagging cars in Singapore since that one got caned? My guess is zero.

  11. I welcome the Guardian Angels. In a neighborhood where bullets fly all summer long in broad daylight, it's them or the National Guard.

  12. There is a pretty clear issue of proportional response here, and obviously the GA's have no clue how to handle this situation.

    The GA's even say "someone could have died if we didn't use this amount of force." Well, guess what, if someone might die during a citizen's arrest of a vandal, then you don't need to be making that citizen's arrest.

  13. Please allow me to share my thoughts. YES< THIS IS A GREAT IDEA. Some idiot tagger with nothing better to do went up and down Sheridan between Wilson and Argyle last summer, tagging pretty much every building he saw until he was tackled, the police called, and he was arrested and prosecuted.

    He did thousands of dollars of damage to our building alone. And it was not something the city could fix, so it came out of our pockets...This is not an innocent crime. Aside from having to pay to have this punks actions, taggers more often than note are delineating gang territories here in Uptown. Do we really want to give one inch up to them?

    So yes, ask the GA for help, hold em until the police come, and make sure you go to court and have them prosecuted like we did.

    Being in a poor neighborhood does NOT mean you have to give up on having a decent quality of life and safety...

  14. Good grief, at this point I would welcome a pink-suited 'Power Ranger' patrolling the streets up here.

    Like most, I'm so sick of walking out my door, and morphing into 'defense mode'.

    It was just 2 months ago (?) that Malden Street was plagued by the 'late night pizza delivery robberies'.

    We JUST want to walk out our front doors, and not have our blood pressures rise!

  15. I see nothing wrong the behavior of the G/A's other than the fact that they didn't throw the little a-hole under the train.

  16. Why doesn't somebody tell them to patrol around JPUSA? Plenty of potential for stopping crime there.