Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Court Reporter

We heard from one of the court advocates who went to Belmont & Western on the Warren Poole/Sheridan gang riots case today:

"It was the world's longest morning in court. Nearly three hours! Compared to yesterday, when it was all over by 9:05.

In his first court appearance in August, Mr. Poole refused the services of a public defender and said he would hire a private attorney. On Tuesday, he made the judge angry because he showed up without any attorney. A typical delaying tactic. That's why he was back in court again today. Surprise surprise, he showed up without an attorney again. This kid was trying real hard to be a tough guy. So the judge made him hire the private attorney who's there in court for just these kinds of cases.

He was up on two misdemeanor charges of Aggravated Assault and Resisting Arrest. When he finally got the attorney-hiring situation satisfied, he pled guilty and his lawyer and the States Attorney had a private 402 conference to determine his sentence.

What they agreed on was 18 months of probation and five days SWAP (community service---I myself would love to see him on graffiti-removal duty). The States Attorney wanted him to serve 30 days jail time, but his attorney said because his previous arrests were non-violent ("just" drug charges), he would give him this opportunity to straighten himself out and avoid hard time.

He's a Gangster Disciple. He's already got a rap sheet at the wise old age of 19 including three arrests so far this year. I have my suspicions whether he'll be able to avoid being arrested until March 2011. He also said he was unemployed and asked for a $30 charge to be waived. Guess he spends his time rioting in Uptown rather than job hunting.

There were seven court advocates and a court advocate officer. The judge thanked us for coming. A long morning, but I feel pretty good about it."


  1. For everyone who went to court this neighbor thanks you for your time away from work and family this morning!

  2. I heard it was 9 not 7. Very good turnout.

  3. This is exactly what is wrong with this country if I was in court I would have got 30 days.

    And a hefty fine.

  4. R - unlikely. I'll assume you have no priors so you would have gotten the same, or even less punishment.

  5. This kid is not gonna straighten himself out. He is just gonna keep on gang banging and committing crimes. The judicial system needs to come up with a new way of dealing with gang bangers and chronic offenders. Even 30 days in jail would have done nothing to change this kids trajectory.

  6. Thanks to everyone who attended.

  7. Is it too crass to want to see photos of these indivuduals on the blogs so we can make educated decisions on who to avoid when walking in our neighborhood? Is that illegal?

  8. I came across this on-line today. Kind of sounded good...

    -Taking back the Community. Block by Block. Stopping the Violence-

    "I have seen so much recently like others involving our youth and violence in the news. Chicago has become known on the national level for a Governor thrown out of office. Now, the youth violence on the increase involving children who have no involvement with the streets.

    A call has come from everyone for something to get done. While many officials are holding prayer vigils and media blitz asking for the violence to cease. I had the pleasure to see something amazing while working last night. A group of youth decided to start a stand off with a homeowner, who asked them to move away from his house with their noise. After a slight confrontation, one of the youth found out the hard way. Old school against New school is no competition.

    These young men were told they are no longer allowed to hang on the corners with portable basketball rims in the street. All ball playing will be done in their backyards or the basketball courts. No hanging on any corners will be allowed at anytime. Everyone will be required to carry state issued identification cards to be checked at random times. I informed this group, ZERO TOLERANCE for anything is now in force.

    One young man started to complain, "Why we can't hang out here anymore?" I asked him, "What is so hard to understand"? "You are not going to do what you want to do." You will do what I tell you to do now." I reminded the young man. "You are going to be the first I deal with, stay on your own block now". Dealing with the recent breakout of violence for over 6 months and deaths of innocent young people in the streets. We have heard the famous questions. What can we do to take back our neighborhoods?

    Well, I saw a great start on last night in the Sunnyfield section of Ford Heights. A group of homeowners, Men homeowners at that. Came out and defended one of their neighbors and supported his stand against a group of youths. I informed the young men, we will support the homeowners over thuggish acts in this community. After the "rules" were explained to this young group. The block was quiet and had remained that way for the remainder of the night. Police cannot take back a community or neighborhood alone. But from what I saw on last night. Citizens are getting tired of the violence, and one homeowner told me last night. "We never had any problems with break ins of our homes or problems on our blocks till these thugs started to hang out". I can attest to that personally and will support the homeowners.

    Taking by the communities step by step is a goal. Who else is ready to sign on."

    -Marc Wiley

  9. Thank you very much to the court advocates! I'm very grateful to live in a community where people give of their time so generously, in support of causes that benefit us all.

  10. I GUARANTEE you that this kid will be arrested sooner than later. And the judge in that case will probably be just as lenient as this one was. And that's the problem. There is no accountability in this society for your actions, especially when it comes to juveniles. Oh, BTW, the age in which we can arrest a person and charge him as an adult is going to be raised to eighteen soon which removes a very important tool from our toolbox.

  11. Wouldn't it be nice to have "creative sentencing" such as cleaning the streets and/or parks?

  12. Part of the sentence was 5 days SWAP...Sherriff's Work Alternative Program. Basically, five days of community service.

  13. I mean in gang colors in front of everyone like a chain gang. Clean up the neighborhood as if it were your full time job for say 90 days.What happened to a judge offering the military or a prison sentence? My brother got death threats from these punks and Chicago politics forced him from the St. Atty's. Ofc. His offense? He ran as a Republican for judge in Dupage Co. It's time to shatter gangs who threaten the quality of life for all.