Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gang Fight Caught On Video At Sheridan & Lakeside

This video was taken yesterday afternoon just about a block north from Joe Gray's infamous video at Sheridan and Leland. Excellent response from the police, within 30 seconds we are told.

Update: This is probably the incident someone wrote in about here. Bike thrown in street - check. Lots of swearing - check. At least one person with bat in hand - check.


  1. I'm really getting tired of this violence just 3 blocks from my home. Looks like LEN won't be posting my most recent response to Shiller, so I'll post it here:

    Dear Alderman Shiller and her staff,

    I would like to begin by saying thank you! I really appreciate you taking the time to address the incident that happened on Sheridan and Leland on August 12, 2009 by posting a statement on your website. You stated that your office "spends more time and resource fighting crime and violence than dealing with any other issue." My only response is:

    How can I help?

    Honestly, I am really feeling left out as a resident in your ward. You state that you spend a lot of time communicating with the police regarding crime. I would like you to communicate with me directly, as well! I sent the message below regarding crime over a week ago and I have not yet received a response. I kept an eye on your website hoping for some communication and found this statement today.

    After carefully reviewing your statement regarding the recent increase in crime and violence in Uptown, I found 4 general actionable items under the Solutions section of your statement - 1) continuing to work with the police, 2) continuing to review the minutes from CAPS meetings, 3) continuing to improve parks and 4) continuing to support the schools. All of these items are very general and a continuation of current efforts. You also state that “it is still necessary for us each to be vigilant.” I think that in order for us to remain vigilant, we should not just continue our current efforts. We should try to implement new efforts and improvements to current efforts to prevent crime and violence. Will you be making any new efforts to help fight crime and violence in the ward? I still have many specific questions and suggestions:

    1. You stated that you communicate with the police regularly, but I am still left wondering what suggestions the police have made and what actionable items are you taking based on their suggestions? Please be as specific as possible.

    2. Thank you for communicating with your ward via the statement posted on your website. Do you plan on continuing to communicate with the ward regarding crime and violence? If so, what specifically is your communication plan going forward?

    3. At the CAPS meeting on August 18, 2009, we talked about positive loitering as an option for residents to try to help reduce crime in the area. Will your office participate or help coordinate this type of activity? Do you have other suggestions for us, as residents, to help try to prevent crime in the area?

    4. In your statement, you say that "There have been a number of positive suggestions, and we are going to work on all of them." What specifically are they? When will they be implemented?

    5. I really appreciated you sending representatives to the CAPS meeting for beat 2312 on August 18, 2009. You mention in your statement that your staff will continue to review the minutes, but I think it would go a long, long way with your residents if you and/or your representatives actually attend and participate in the CAPS meetings.

  2. (rest of the letter)

    You state that the media coverage and protest was the strategy of your opposition to attack you by saying that affordable housing equates to crime. First of all, I did not attend the protest, I am not your opposition and I am not trying to polarize the community. I am a concerned resident of your ward who would like to see an improvement in safety in his neighborhood. You are my elected representative in city council and I would like you to listen and respond to my specific concerns. Secondly, I honestly do not believe all affordable housing equates to crime. I believe that low incoming housing can benefit everyone in the community with proper planning and cost-effective funding from the multiple government sources (local, state and federal).

    Recently, the only direct communication that I have received from the City of Chicago and your office has been regarding the Wilson Yard TIF Amendment. All the residents in my building received multiple copies (3-7 copies per unit) of the "Form of Notice by Mail to Taxpayers" via regular or certified mail. I honestly think that all of these copies are not a prudent use of taxpayer funds. Especially given the fact that the notification does not give any specific information about the Amendment to the Wilson Yard TIF and it simply directs me to your website.

    Upon reviewing the "Wilson Yard TIF Statement" posted on your website on August 21, 2009, I am left with more questions. I now find myself in a predicament. You have not responded to my previous requests for information regarding crime and now you are asking for my support, as a property tax-paying resident of the Wilson Yard TIF district. Based on the information provided on your website, I am left with the following questions:

    1. You outline 7 different cost centers in your statement. Specifically, what percentage of the TIF money will go to each cost center?

    2. What is the cost, per unit, of building the 180 units of low-income housing at Wilson Yard?

    3. Has Target made a financial commitment or provided a letter of intent to open a retail store in the location? I haven’t found any information regarding Wilson Yard on their website.

    4. Who will maintain the low-income housing? What will be the annualized cost to taxpayers?

    5. Why are we building such a high density of low-income housing? Have you evaluated other urban planning models or considered making Wilson Yard a mixed-income housing development?

    6. What is being done about the potential for crime in the 180 units of low incoming housing that will be placed in Wilson Yard? History has shown that such a high concentration of low-income housing leads to an increase in crime (i.e. Cabrini Green).

    7. Will residents be required to complete a background check, drug test, etc. prior to receiving the benefits of low-income housing?

    8. What other proactive steps are being taken to prevent crime at WY? Will there be a meeting to discuss the concerns and suggestions of the current residents in the ward?

    9. Is this housing approved for HUD or any other type of government assistance to defray some of the cost?

    10. Will this be temporary or permanent assistance for those that receive it, i.e. will there be a limit to the amount of time a resident can receive assistance?

  3. How lovely....really.

    Way to use the FLIP! I bought one and will carry it with me as I walk through our neighborhood.

  4. (okay, this was a long letter, but had to get all my points across)

    I will not give my support to the Wilson Yard TIF Amendment until after you or your staff communicates with me directly regarding crime and safety in the 46th Ward, as well as the questions outlined above regarding the specific amendment.

    As I said in my previous e-mail, I know there are some people out there that would like to see you fail or leave office. That's not what I am trying to accomplish here. I genuinely would like to see you succeed and help all of the residents in your ward. Even if we don't see eye to eye on any of these suggestions or questions, I am simply asking you to address them and not ignore them.

    It would be really great if we could meet and talk in person in more detail about my concerns about the current and future state of the 46th Ward.

    I will not be able to attend the Wilson Yard TIF Amendment meeting on September 8, 2009 because I will not be able to miss work that day. I have copied members of the city council on this e-mail to show where I stand on these issues. Hopefully, they also will be able to address Alderman Shiller with the questions outlined above, in my absence.

    If I receive a response from Alderman Shiller and she answers my questions prior to the meeting, I will update all of you with my decision regarding the Wilson Yard TIF Amendment.

    Feel free to contact me anytime.

  5. What is Alternatives doing to help our community? I often notice these gangbangers running in and out of there and hanging out in front of the building. Why isn't a representative of this agency at CAPS meetings?

  6. Do we know to where these poor misguided youths are scattering? Perhaps Ron and Marc could meet them there with a Scrabble board and lemonade. I'm sure they could explain to them how we, "evil condo owners", are misinterpreting their playfulness and could direct them to other competitive endeavours.

  7. "What is it about this particular video that caused such great fear in so many people?"

    Maybe Helen should speak to the poor family caught in the middle, the cabby who couldn't drive down the street, or the business owners here - I'm sure this is great for business!

  8. Uh oh comes another one. Not going to look good once the local media follows up. You had better just hope no one gets seriously hurt in the coming days or EVERYONE will be calling your head.

    Buh-bye Helen.

    To whomever posted this...please contact ALLlocal media outlets and let them know what you have. I am sure they are salivating at the chance to show another instance.

  9. WOW!! STILL FIGHTING?!!! THIS IS freakin SAD!! In 2 weeks this is about the FIFTH fight i seen, involving the SAME two gangs, SAME 18 and under guys in the SAME neighborhood. When will it end? only so many times you can have a screaming match and throw under 5 punches each encounter before someone decided to start shooting or something drastic.

    I love uptown but these guys are really making me feel embarrassed for my neighborhood.

    Cops came pretty fast, but really....what can they do to stop the madness? Most of them probably have no records...yet, so its not easy to look them up in any database if you recognize their face. You cant catch them when you get to the scene because one or two squad cars arrive and the gangs disperse quickly at full speed when the police actually pull over. so.....whats next?

    Ald. Shiller is being useless right now, you all have a GOOD point though for the neighborhood, if only Helen would listen to us little people......

    I lost faith in politics COMPLETELY after Mayor Daley's bamboozle on us people of Chicago in order to raise Olympics money. We're getting LESS police protection, LESS parking privileges, MORE crime seems to be occurring and tickets and fees have INCREASED. Im back home for the weekend, i have my camcorder everywhere i go now, if i see ANYTHING, i am recording it, posting it on here THEN sending it to the news and radio stations, how do you want Olympics to be in a city when it seems the crime rate is going up due to all the cuts Daley has made? This city needs to be exposed fr the truth and not the 30 min long videos Daley creates to show the Olympic committee how "nice" and safe Chicago is!!

  10. The loiterers are back at Magnolia and Sunnyside, a gaggle of 8 or so, most well beyond high school age. They were gone all summer. Is this grounds for calling the police?

  11. Will there be one arrest from this event?

    Crime Statistics can only carry you for so long.

  12. RP, sometimes I call 911 and report that I see suspicious activity and let them choose whether or not to come out as they work out their other priorities.

    Nothing wrong with hanging out, but Magnolia/Sunnyside has been declared a hot spot for gang activity so it wouldn't hurt to at least alert the police.

  13. "There were no guns or knives used..."

    nothing to see here, move along

    no guns or knives shown in the video

    just boyz being boyz

  14. Robert,

    At CAPS, police tell participants to report suspicious activity if you see it. If you consider a group of people loitering in a gang and drug hot spot suspicous, report it. 911 operators will prioritize the call.

    Most of the time the cops will drive by to make their presence known. They know who the true gang members are and will will take the appropriate action, if any.

    Be as specific as possible with your description. If they're loitering around a car or making cat calls to a car(s) driving by, provide a description of the car and license plate number.

  15. These fights are your basic fights that happen in high schools and neighborhoods all over the country. I can't get over all the hysteria.

  16. addy,

    Maybe that's why high schools all over the country are failing. If gang riots are considered a normal everyday occurrence, its hard for me to believe the kids are actually going to be able to learn.

    And you must be one big man if people throwing bottles at each other and screaming "send that n__er to the hospital" doesn't scare you.

  17. This sort of thing took place fairly often in my neighborhood in the summer and I grew up in Beverly on the south side. They had chains and the occasional knives. I knew to leave or step away and always chalked it up to male testosterone gone awry. And I'm a woman, not a big guy.

  18. Sometimes it's just plain Southside mentality.

  19. Addy,

    This type of stupidity doesn't happen with any regularity in Beverly. Now or ever.

    So you obviously have some other agenda here.

    Now east of Beverly yeah it happens. Which sucks for the people of those neighborhoods.

    The people who live in Beverly whether black, white, or increasingly hispanic wouldn't put up with it.

    This doesn't happen at the Agriculture School. I doubt it would happen at Morgan Park High School with any regularity and it would be overly generous to call 111th and Vincennes, Beverly. The location of MPHS.

    If it did the people in that area would be screaming LOUDLY.

    Trying to downplay this is wrong.

    Now kids do stupid stuff, but they must be held accountable and punished when they do stupid stuff.

    This type of "basic" activity is may be common in various places in the country, but that shouldn't mean we accept it.

    Now kids could engage in this type of fighting 50 times with no major damage, but at some point a gun or a knife will come out. Perhaps later someone would retaliate in a drive by. Maybe some innocent walk or bikes into the middle of this and gets seriously hurt.

    This crap about having to accept this because it may be worse elsewhere is just that, CRAP.

    Helen Shiller complaining about this being some "there out to get me" conspiracy and downplaying it is also CRAP.

    "Hell, IrishPirate compared to the Lockerbie bombing this is nothing. Remember the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland? This is nothing". "Hell, even Richard Speck did more damage than this in a night. Of course this isn't nearly as bad as Jeffrey Dahmer."

    Need I go on?

    Now Shiller talked about "paths" in her extremely well written letter. It seems to me some of the kids involved in this "dance" have chosen the wrong path. Now either society tries to help them find the right path or they may end up dead or in prison.

    That's truly one of the sad things here.

  20. Saturday 9:30 pm. Just coming home from Wilson 'L' stop. Group of youth, males and females, loitering in front of residence just north of Magnolia and Sunnyside on west side of Magnolia. Just as I was walking by, two CPD cars showed up to break up the group. Glad to see they are paying attention.

  21. Irish Pirate,
    This did happen with regularity in my neighborhood and I was around for several of the altercations so you can't tell me it didn't happen. The "gangs" were parishes which sounds non-threatening but they would fight one another if they couldn't find who they were looking for. This was Beverly and Morgan Park and there were racial confrontations as well. My point was that these videos don't deserve CNN coverage, not that they don't need to be addressed. They're fights. The fact that you think I have some hidden agenda is testament to the crazed way of thinking on this site. If someone isn't in hysterics or offers any other point of view they must work for Schiller.

  22. addy-

    I grew up in Beverly. I guess we hung out in different crowds. Regardless, I can say without a doubt, that the residents of Beverly would never have put up with this type of behavior. I could spend hours arguing with you about this issue, but it is not worth it.

    REGARDLESS, who gives a s-it what is happening in other parts of the city or the country? This is where I live and this is not acceptable to me. Clearly there are many other people in the neighborhood who feel the same way. I have heard many times over that I should move to Lincoln Park if I do not like it. Perhaps if you do like gun fire, drug dealers and violence in the streets YOU should move back to Beverly or any of the other neighborhoods where this type of behavior is allegedly acceptable. Please let me know how violence in the street benefits ANYONE.

  23. Addy,

    You're lying. Plain and simple.

    Thanks for misspelling it as "schiller". Nicely played, but I don't buy it.

    Right now your playing minor league ball. If you want to play with a "political operative" like me and a child of the South Side Irish you better step up your game. After all the world famous FGFM is sure I'm an "operative".

    As for racial fights in Beverly/Morgan Park that would be true. Although, in fairness that crap largely ended around 1975 at least in the sense of anything similar to this video.

    If anything happened like this in Beverly or most of Morgan Park today the blogs would be going crazy and the media would cover it.

    Hell the local blogs in Beverly go crazy over single car break ins and go ballistic when a mugging occurs.

    I'm not one of the folks who claim many people here have a hidden agenda, but "Addy" is an exception.

    What's your agenda? Clearly that's a rhetorical question.

    I'm not sure. Perhaps you're just a troll. Perhaps you're a Shillerista who wants to downplay the seriousness of crime in Uptown.

    This reminds me of the video of the paid Shiller worker at the recent Truman meeting. "Things are 80 percent better".

    Keep working hard to downplay the seriousness of these events.

    It only brings closer the day when "Schiller" is no longer the alderman.

    So endeth the lesson.


    What's that knock at the door? Could it be the political grim reaper looking for your patron?

    Alas, poor "schiller" I knew her well".

  24. Addy, you are part of the problem! Your appathetic outlook is why people get away with such behavior and it only escalates. If we as a community do not show our outrage over the fighting and demand something be done then it sends a signal that it is acceptable and to continue to do it. I hope to God you are not a parent! If so, you are probably one of those parents that teaches their children that it is ok to fight to solve problems. Your attitude sickens me. You are no better than the thugs on the streets fighting!

    BTW, I teach high school in the North Lawndale community and yes I do see fights in the school and guess what happens if we just say "Oh that's kids for you. They're going to fight sometimes", the fighting gets worse and worse and people begin getting hurt (students and staff alike). At my school the students in most cases are arrested as they should be. I actually beleive that more needs to be done to students who fight. I believe that they should be expelled from school immediately. Their behavior only serves to disrupt students that want to learn and to have a safe place to get an education. The students who are not the gang bangers and general all around thugs even say that those who fight need to be expelled.

    It is time as a society the we say enough is enough and take our streets and schools back. I don't care that it happens other places and it may be worse. I live here and I demand that my community be family friendly and violence free. Yes, I do realize that every community has some crime, but that does not mean I just have to roll over and say "Oh well, that's just the way it goes."

    CNN and other news outlets are covering it because it demonstrates how violence in our society begins and escalates. They are covering it because citizens have become outraged by the violence and the blanant disregard by elected officials to properly respond. If Ald. Shiller had responded properly and in a timely manner and shown concern for her community and constituents safety it would not have been covered by the media.

  25. 'Addy' seems to think there is some 'crazed thinking on this site'.
    Gee, I don't know, but maybe people get to be a tad 'crazed' when when gangs play out their criminal dance on a busy street at 9 o'clock on a weekday, and the Alderman's office has no response?

    Oops....I guess it's just harmless "Fisticuffs".

  26. Addy,

    As a lifelong Beverly resident I have NEVER encountered "gangs" from different parishes wielding knives and chains. Surprisingly enough, I also attended chains and knives there either; however, there certainly were occasional fights -- welcome to CPS.

    As Irish Pirate said, residents of Beverly wouldn't put up with that sort of thing happening in the ward...and while I'm no fan of her, Ginger Rugai wouldn't either.

  27. As an update to my comment -- that isn't too say that Uptown residents are taking what is going on in Uptown lightly...more of a comment to Addy about Beverly.

  28. Addy:

    What happens when one of the gangs in the video approaches a 10 or 12 year old kid and tells them they have to join their gang for "protection"? Bang. They have another recruit.

    Multiply that over and over again and you have bigger and stronger gangs.

    I too could say to bad for the neighbors that are inconvenienced by these fights. But no neighbors got hurt.

    But what I'm really bothered the most by is that impressionable children get recruited into these gangs because the seek protection from within the gang. Before you know it, tragic things happen.

    I've read her letter. It was weak on support of her constitutents and watery on details on how to deal with this. This woman has been an alderman for almost 20 years and she says, "I do not have a solution for urban crime and violence."

    How many "magic bullets" will it take and how many innocent people will be cut down before Shiller wakes up and starts listening to the people?

    Sad. Absolutely sad.

    Someone I know is tracking all the deaths of innocent children gunned down in gang crossfire in Chicago. I liken your attitude to when Hitler began his attack on the Jews. Many Americans knew full well what was happening in Europe. Some people called it hysteria. Looking back we now call it a Holocaust.

    Isn't it funny how we tollerate these gangs? They indescrimately kill and maim. They rob. They cheat innocent children of their childhood.

    How sad Shiller isn't directing her anger at the gangs.

  29. Addy:

    I pay taxes that pay for police and law enforcement so stuff like this doesn't happen.

    So whether I live in Galesburg or Chicago I am not putting up with it.

    You are part of the problem.

    And it does deserve CNN coverage it's about time the World sees what is happening Chicago with the lack of leadership we have.

  30. Addy I don't know but CNN is in the news business, and last I checked were more profitable than any of the local news outlets so I think I would leave it to them to decide what types of stories and videos to run on their station.

  31. I would suggest the Beverly/Morgan Park aspect of this conversation come to an end.

    The commentator "BULLSHIT" has just taken the conversation to a whole "nother" planet.

    NO gangs, gentrified south and west sides, five people murdered in a Caddy outside a high school and no media coverage...........oh yeah.........this is bizarro alternative universe stuff.

    I have three words "off his meds".

    Now if you will excuse me I have a glass of "medicine" in front of me.

  32. Please forward this video (or links) to the media sources that did such a great job covering the previous situation.

    This makes for great follow-up stories - highlighting that Shiller still has done nothing.

    I saw a story on the news on Friday night of a shooting on the South Side. The Alderman from the Ward was out AT THE CRIMESCENE TALKING TO THE POLICE AND THEN WALKING AND TALKING WITH THE MEDIA ON THE SPOT!!

  33. I think not only do these kids need to be held accountable for their actions, their parents should too. Maybe then some parents may wake up and realize they really should care who their kids are hanging out with and what they are doing...I really believe it starts with parents - the socioeconomic factors is a poor excuse for poor parenting. I get it's a cycle that is hard to break but perhaps parenting courses for those that want to break the cycle in their lives would be beneficial. I can't tell you how often I see a "parent" who is practically a child himself or herself yanking around their young kid/s throwing the f-bomb all over and worse. What does all that teach the kids?? How do you think they'll act when they get older and when they have kids?

  34. How about the family standing on the street in the middle of this fight. I know that I would be scared for my safety and the safety of my child if I were in the middle of this. Guns or no guns inflicting this type of fear into people is just plain WRONG. The reason that crime has increased and overall morals and behavior have worsened is because of the lack of community. People seeing people doing bad things but being afraid to say anything or becoming complacent with the bad behavior is what perpetuates this type of activity. We MUST start communicating that this behavior is unacceptable. Thanks for posting the video!

  35. Apparently the commenter who called himself "Bullshit" has been deleted.

    It was dere. I swear it.

    It's not like I had too much wiskey or sumtin.

  36. the police use this so if you film please zoom in on some faces so we can ID the gang bangers.

  37. UH OH HELEN! Here is another one! Your community is stepping up and bringing these violent crimes to your doorstep. Do something about it! Of course you will probably only post another hastily written, misguided letter belittling these crimes marking them as "normal".

    Well done Helen. Well done.

  38. These fights are your basic fights that happen in high schools and neighborhoods all over the country.

    So what? Are you telling people to just accept it and do nothing? What, if any, is your point? I grew up for a while on the south side as well, and went to school in the Beverly area and NEVER saw mass fighting in the street, so I don't know where you got that info.

    If you can sit in your window and observe this activity and just shrug your shoulders, then you're a more tolerant person than me and I'm pretty tolerant most of the time. I don't want to have to fight through thugs with nothing better to do that fight in the street in broad daylight. I couldn't blame anyone for moving from the area now because they can't get in or out of their front door because a bunch of idiots decided to fight in the street over...something. Who the hell knows. Even if you're point that "this happens all over the country" was true, wouldn't you like to see it stop. There comes a time when the disregard for everyone else in a community has to come to an end. That time is now.

  39. First of all, IP, you seem to fancy yourself a detective but, unfortunately, you're wrong about my lying. In fact, it seem ridiculous to argue with any of you who want to dispute my experiences. I lived in Bev./MP from the 60-80's so good for you if you had a different experience.
    My point is that I've witnessed this a lot and, no, I never said we should sit around or shrug our shoulders or not be concerned. I've worked with a lot of groups around the city for various causes and I just happen to think you can get more done with a cooler, calmer head. It's not addressed to everyone and I'm sure you don't care who I'm addressing it to. I think there's hysteria and I'm entitled to think that and to add that just like you're entitled to be hysterical or to think I have some other agenda.

  40. Addy,

    I'm too busy SHRIEKING right now while "detecting" to answer your response objectively.

    You're entitled to the opinion that the activity on these videos "is basic".

    You're not entitled to "facts".

    Parishes fighting one another. PLEASE.

    Try harder next time.

    Go back to whatever history of Chicago you are reading and see if you can distort something else.

  41. This type of gang-crap happening in the middle of the day on Sheridan Road means that these guys feel empowered to do so. If there was a strong voice coming out of Alderman Shiller's office saying "GANG VIOLENCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED." and she speaks with one voice with the police, they will go elsewhere. This is what happens when you have a hippie in office who makes excuses for such anti-social behavior, and yes, this is unbelievebly ironic that this crap is happening in front of Alternatives. Thank you gangs for helping us not get the olympics..I guess there's one bright spot!

  42. They showed this video on CBS news at 5 today.

  43. Did the police even get out of their cars?