Monday, May 16, 2011

Well, That Didn't Take Long

Lots of reports of shots fired on Leland, somewhere between Winthrop and Sheridan, about 3:40pm. One of the members of Team UU actually heard them, but they were so fast and so close together that he convinced himself they couldn't be gunshots.

Now we're hearing a helicopter circling. Various locations are being given for the shots, from Leland and Sheridan, to the alley behind 4675 Winthrop, to the parking lot for Christopher House at Leland and Winthrop.

A reader writes: "Looked out window and saw maybe 8 kids wearing black and/or red, one in a black winter hat, running and screaming from Leland and Sheridan toward Broadway, and across the parking lot from the daycare school, some split off in different directions.  They were young black teenagers, either almost in high school or actually in high school.  Immediately saw 3 cop vehicles enter the scene to investigate.  They were there fast. 
I was worried that something was going to happen today as a heated and very loud extremely profane argument was going on near Broadway and Leland about 10 minutes prior to the shots fired.  Some people also mentioned they saw a group of about 12 black high school kids walking east on Leland towards Sheridan, and then soon heard the shots fired.  It is possible that this may correlate to the loud profane argument 10min before the gunshots as well."

Damn, these kids and their damn guns. If CeaseFire is having an effect, we're not seeing it. Welcome to your first afternoon on the job, Ald. Cappleman.

Update:  And it's still going on.  Police are being dispatched to Lawrence and Sheridan for a "gang disturbance."

Update 2:  A reader reports that "There are two police officers searching the alley and backyards just north of Leland on the east side of Sheridan, guns out."


  1. Honestly - It sounds like a warzone over there as we speak. Police seem to literally be chasing a whole lot of these fools up and down the street.

    If you have no business in the known hotspots, suggest you stay away.

  2. I too was in the middle of it.. and am really frustrated at the police right now... I saw them pull kids out of .fights, etc... and then just sent them on their way..and ARRESTED NO ONE! Of course this is going to continue.. there seems to be NO repercussions...if there are no arrests, then what the hell do the kids care.. they were literally LAUGHING... I would really like to hear from our friends in Blue to understand exactly why they had no arrests....

  3. I heard this ordeal from my apt in Buena Park. First, a lot of shots fired, maybe SIX police vehicles raced north on Sheridan, heard two more shots. I don't know why I was surprised when I heard the helicopter above (still up there).

    I've been listening to the police scanner, and I'm not sure where the original incident occurred, but I've heard the 7-Eleven on Wilson mentioned, alley behind 4675 (5 shots there), 4759 N. Sheridan, gang members with a baseball bat chasing a man at Sheridan and Lawrence, and police looking for a suspect (late teen male, black, white hoodie, 5'7", braids in ahir, dark jeans) at Kenmore/Leland/Sheridan.

    Then another report of "gang disturbance" at Lawrence and Sheridan.

    Now I just saw one more paddy wagon w/sirens zooming north on Sheridan.

  4. @ sir - I was afraid I would hear about that happening...again....


    Just kidding. I actually did hear the chopper and lots of sirens. I thought it was all part of the inauguration celebration!

  6. @ Sir, the cops cornered several of the black teens on three occasions, and each time let them go. Then a few minutes later (after the teens went N from Wilson and Kenmore) there were gun shots. I was thinking why are the police not arresting any of these scumb bag gang banging #$@#$#@'s

    There is one common element in the past month or so. Each brawl starts just as Uplift High School gets out. The only times when there have been no fights (or gun shots) was when there were 3 police cars waiting for the "students" to get out of "school."

    Has any of this been broached in CAPS meetings?

  7. Every Spring the shootings get more frequent after school. As the school year ends, there's lots of maneuvering for positions as the school year ends. Another horrifying fact of life in the city.

  8. Just heard on scanner: wilson and lakeshore dr 16 year old white male threatening to burn down skate park. WTF?

  9. Many reports at 5:45 of large disturbance along Lawrence between Sheridan and the El station. Use your own judgement and be aware.

    I am staying at work until this cools down. Hopefully the police can get things settled down enough so I can get home safely and shake Alderman Cappleman's hand.

    I am redoubling my commitment to being part of the solution.

  10. Yay Stash :) Maybe we need the Uptown Crime Blotter reincarnate?

  11. BrianH

    You can't blame PD, look at all their effort during Operation Sugar Magnolia....they cleaned house over on Magnolia. They did their job and arrested them and some liberal Crook-county judge already released half of them and things are starting to deteriorate over by Wilson/Malden and Magnolia/Sunnyside once again. Not PD's fault. Here in Crook County offenders get probation on top of probation on top of suspended sentence etc. etc. etc. it's a Great place to be a career criminal or just a dumb-ass in general.

  12. @ UptownPits,

    If things are that bad over here how come only four or five people showed up for the last CAPS meeting? Normally after a bad rash of crime the attendance shoots up.

    There was a representative from the new Alderman's office among those few neighbors.

    The loitering at Wilson and Magnolia is seems to be down. Still some hanging out over at the store in the strip-mall.
    Of course that can change pretty quick, as fast as Chicago weather can change.

    I am not so sure about the Sugar Magnolia members being let out...not saying your wrong, just doubt it. Any facts to substantiate this claim? Thanks.

  13. Ok, neighbors....remember when we had the "Operation Sugar Magnolia" rodeo roundup in January of this year and they arrested 10 people?

    Well, LORDY BE! *insert sarcasm RIGHT HERE* Guess who I saw on the corner this evening JUST as the streetlights of spring were coming on? Our good friend, Marcus Davis! Now, isn't that special? (in my Dana Carvey, SNL Church Lady voice) How much you wanna bet his "reocurrence" has a WHOLE kit and kaboodle bunch to do with our recent rounds of neighborhood fireworks? (And, YES, I meant reoccurence NOT reappearance. People like him REOCCUR, you know, like psoriasis, shingles, syphilis or gout or better yet, why don't we just call him what him and the likes of him are: a TERMINAL disease?)

    Note: Even though I am being sarcastic, I swear to you, I wanted to flat out cry when I saw him!! I was like, "Here we go again." When I heard the gunshots on May 12th, I should have known this "crew" was somewhere lurking in the background. *sigh* Seeing him just confirmed it. Somebody PUHLEASE tell me WHY is he out of jail? I AM SOOOOO FLIPPING FLAPPING TIRED OF THIS.

  14. @ Littleton Arts Uptown....NO!! Uptown Pits is not joking...they ARE right there RIGHT NOW on the corner of Wilson/Malden.

  15. The Uptown Crime Blotter most certainly could come back. It is still there waiting for a caring neighbor to take it over. Email uptown update for more info.

  16. why do most of you seem dumbfounded and confused? dont you know this is about the government trying to remove our rights as citizens and using gang violence as an excuse? you are all being manipulated, like sheep, LOOK FOR THE BIG PICTURE...WAKE UP UPTOWNERS!

  17. @ Mama,

    Our CAPS meeting is the 1st Tuesday of the month at Truman.

    Bring your friends and neighbors....more the merrier!

  18. @Mama - my understanding is he is out on bond pending trial. Gangs have lots of $$ to pay bond. Could be wrong though.

  19. Like others, I share the sentiment that it's nice to see the alderman acknowledge a problem exists. The gang issue is raging pretty hard right now and will continue until Uptown stops being such a profitable place to set up shop. Reducing the concentration of SROs, clinics, etc is the only viable option, until that happens Uptown will remain too attractive to low lifes from near and far.

  20. I spoke to one of the cops recently about Sugar Magnolia and the return of the A-holes. He expressed how frustrated the cops are because each of these kids has 20+ arrests, multiple convictions, yet the only time they spend in jail is between arrest and trial.

    We need to have Cappleman start working with the prosecutors and judges to stop handling these punks with kid gloves and start throwing in the slammer for long periods of time.

  21. Sir, the answer to your question is this. If those who paricipated in a fight that is merely a fistfight and does not involve anything more than fisticuffs, there is no reason to arrest them. Why you ask? Because nothing will be done to them. Nothing. Here's how it works. When an officer arrests one of these little darlings, he takes them into the Police station and calls the youth division. Now keep in mind that the Youth division is at Area Three, not 020,023 o 024. So while that Officer is waiting for the Youth division investigator to respond to the district (which could take some time), he completes the required reports. He also attempts to notify the parents of the child. When the youth division finally DOES respond, the investigator looks over the reports and then turns lil Johnny over to his parents IF they even bother to show up.So what has this Officer accomplished over the time span of a couple of hours besides sitting around? Not much. Lil Johnny goes home now aware that there are no repercussions for his anti-social behavior and that tomorrows another day when he can act the fool again. BTW, many of these kids attending high school are over the age of 17 which USED to change everything because we USED to be able to charge a 17 year old as a adult. Not anymore thanks to those that felt we were "ruining" the lives of these "children" by arresting them and charging them as aadults. Now that age is 18 which severely limits any action that we were or are able to take. Now factor in the point system in regards to who the Juvenille Court system will take and you can see why those Officers did not make an arrest. You may not like it, I may not like it but that's the way it is.

  22. @Sneki, aren't they pending trial right now? Isn't that why they are out? I believe their cases are still pending.

  23. Just a reminder that the CAPS meeting for the area where the shots were fired is tonight, at the Sheridan Plaza, in the lobby at 7pm.

    If you want to know more about court advocacy and what you can to do try to affect the sentencing of people like the Sugar Magnolias, the 23rd District Court Advocates meet on the last Tuesday of every month, in the new police building in the CAPS offices, at 6pm.

    I was driving down Montrose the other day and nearly ran over one of them who was jaywalking. Glad to see he's home safely (not).

  24. everyone is so thankful for the aldermans fast response. what did he actually do was he the first to call the cops? was he the first one on the streets?@ the ones mad cause no little blacks kids was arrested for fighting come on their kids they was fighting each other who went to a high school where no kids was fighting. if the alderman wants to make a change stop the loser from hanging on the corner during the day if your not in school or at work than your up to no good. i must say i did miss the caps meeting at the school but there are no posting of signs to let the community know about the meetings i wouldnt have know if i wouldnt have went looking for when the next one will be every black guy on the street is not the bad guy. why are the guys arrested back on the streets who cares if there waiting for trail what happen to the three strikes your out some of those guys have a whole lot. the new alderman has a lot to prove and postings alerts on uptown updates is not changing anything its just the new way to pass the word

  25. Jesus, Natasha, defensive much? James managed to accomplish in his first six hours in office what Helen didn't in the past ten years: He acknowledged violence on our streets, updated the community what had happened, and said what he would do about it.

    If you think he has a lot to prove, that says more about you than it does about James.

    Are we bitter that no one got arrested? Well, two people did get arrested. If you had had a child in that daycare, right across the street from where five to eight gunshots were fired, you might want someone arrested, too.

    For the first time in 24 years, we have an alderman who is willing to work WITH the police and CAPS to clear up the gunfire on our streets. The previous alderman's son made a living suing the cops and her bestie, Marc Kaplan, tried to catch the cops on video doing things wrong so he could sue them. Finally we have an alderman who wants to work with the cops and all of Uptown except the bad guys will be better for it.

    Sorry if bullets being fired across from a daycare; gang activity on our retail corridors; and people being chased with baseball bats is okay with you --all within an hour of each other. For the other 99% of the community, it's NOT okay. For this alderman, it's NOT okay.

    If James had anything to prove, his response to the community a mere hour after all the violence happened went a long way toward proving it.

  26. no not at all definsive and no i dont have a child at that daycare and yes i just like you want the guys who shooting out there arrested but when you say you saw kids fighting and your mad they wasnt arrested. really they were fist fighting not shooting. in his first six hours he posted that there was a shooting how was the community updated because i live in the communty and i didnt receive that notice from him hey never said i didnt like the guy i voted for the guy not saying that our last alderman was the greatest just saying he just became alderman and you posting an update does not make you the now working with the whole communtiy not just business owners and condo owners to make the community better is what im looking for i lived in this community all my life i went from cha housing to owning a condo and having childern and i would like the communty to change for the best where we still have a little of everything not a lot of one thing. working with the cops is a good thing but work with the people as well. who catres what she or her son has done in the past that is not my concern my concern is for my furture. you know what it says about me it says i like where i live and knows there need to be a changed and is willing to my part in that but dont single out the little black kids cause its a few little white kids in this community that is just as bad

  27. I'm not sure we should be so ready to give a 17 year old a criminal record that will haunt him for the rest of his life over a silly fist fight. Brawling might offend our bourgeois sensibilities, but they aren't all that big of a deal.

    Also, when you consider the justice of punishing a 17 year old for the failures of the school system, his parents and the community, it doesn't seem fair. The teenager might go to jail, but until the larger issues are addressed, there will be another to take his place.

  28. Rob, you sound just like Helen!

    Here's a way for kids not to get arrested: Don't break the law. Don't brawl in the streets.

    Personally, I don't give a crap what hardships they've suffered in the past. I don't want them fighting in front of my home and business. I'm sick of it.

  29. Rob, spoken like a true,wide eyed liberal who doesn't have a clue.

  30. Silly personal attacks aside, i think we all know the difference between a typical after school brawl over a stolen girlfriend or something like that and the chronic gang conflicts that plague the area. And only one, is the tip of a much larger iceberg.

  31. didn't anyone go to james's inauguration party last night?? he was definitely RIGHT THERE (!!!!) at and after the shooting.

  32. @ Rob Ross- I hear you. You make a good point. These idiot gang bangers are a product of a bigger system that dies not see or treat everyone as equal. BUT having said that, I still believe that individuals have choices whether they can see them or not. People who endanger the health, safety or well-being of others deserve to what they have coming to them both in the eyes if the law and karmically. Just my 2 cents.

  33. @ Rob Ross,

    What are you smoking? These after school fights are outta control, how do you think an elderly person or a mother with small children feels when caught in the middle of the melee? They feel pure FEAR and for good reason.
    Not everybody is a rugby player ready to take a hit, or even able to dash for cover.
    A lady died recently at Fullerton El station by being run-over by a fleeing thief, no guns, no bats, etc.
    It can happen from one of these "brawls" as well, but lets hope not.

    Unfortunately the problem is bigger then Uptown, the juvenile justice system in Illinois is broken and dysfunctional.

    So what can we do locally to keep the peace in that hour after school lets out? Tough question, the police can only do so much.

    We need the police and the police need us as a community to improve this situation...please attend your CAPS meetings. One hour...once a month...until we find a solution.

  34. Alek, point taken. System violence is different.

    Big Daddy, perhaps you haven't heard of my blog, Uptown Libertarian. I am certainly not a "wide eyed liberal."

    And Truman Sqr, yes, you can avoid getting arrested by not breaking the law. But that isn't my point. My point is that statute is not an adequate guide for what is and is not moral. In this case, it may be legal to arrest and convict a 17 year old of assault for an after school brawl, but it may not be just. See Pat Tillman for an example.

    Do you have kids? Age? Just wait until one of them gets into trouble, and you'll be arguing for clemency, as you should. We should use compassion first, condemnation second.

  35. No, Rob, I don't have kids, but I would be the first to tell them to expect consequences if they screw up badly enough to get arrested for assault. Perhaps we should just wait until we have a Derrion Albert in Uptown, at Sheridan and Leland, to object to "attempted fisticuffs"?

    You know who I have compassion for? The businesses like Fresh Harvest that planned to open a sidewalk cafe, but couldn't because of repeated brawls in our streets. Someone took all the money they had to open a store here, and these stupid kids helped kill that dream. I have compassion for the recovering addicts and ex-cons who are making a new life for themselves at Cafe Too who saw their patio furniture used as weapons by the brawling idiots on Sheridan. I feel sorry for the cops who have to deal with this day after day with no support from the school. I have compassion for the kids at Alternatives who are doing something constructive with themselves after school, who get put on lockdown and can't go home because of the brawls in front of their building. I feel sorry for the people who live on Sheridan who have to put up with this in front of their homes. I have compassion for the families who seek shelter at Chicago Uptown Ministry and can't go outside because of the "misunderstood" 17 year old fools who brawl in front of their sanctuary.

    I'm sick and tired of living in what Stash described yesterday, when it was all going down, as "a warzone over there."

    I'm a compassionate person, but I also believe in there being consequences for actions.

    Let's say there are two 17-year-old kids, cousins. One stays out of trouble, gets good grades, and wants to attend Truman next year. The other brawls in the streets with no regard for others who are affected by his actions.

    So we should treat each of them equally, no different? What's the reward for choosing the higher path if there are no consequences for illegal activities?

    We're gonna have to disagree on this one. I would be ashamed and embarrassed if a kid of mine acted out by brawling on Sheridan. I would absolutely not argue for clemency for him or scoff "he's just a kid."

  36. @Truman Square Nbr....I have to agree with you. This is coming from a mother whose 9 yr. old stole some press-on nails and cotton balls from Walgreens. The manager called me because she knew my family from the neighborhood. I told her to take my daughter to juvie. She started laughing and said, "Oh, you are just trying to scare her." I said, "NO, I am not JUST trying to scare her. I am NOT coming to get her. Let her go to juvie. If I have to come get her at 9, I will have to come get her at 19, at 29 at 39, FOREVER. And, I am NOT gonna do it." Now, my best friend did go get her, because I absolutely refused to. But bless my little one's heart, when he did pick her up, she got it!! To THIS VERY DAY she is 21 and has NEVER stolen another thing in her life and is a GOOD KID in college. She is the love of my life, but I believe "life is life" and you are never too young or too old to learn it. That was my parents' motto and it is mine.

    However, I do empathize with Rob Ross' point too. We should at least try to rehabilitate SOME of these kids, instead of just throwing them in "the system" which will screw them up even worse than they already are...and this is assuming that they CARE about being thrown into it in the first place. Most don't because they have been "hardened world travelers" since they were pre-schoolers because they have just seen and experienced too much in their young years. However, we unfortunately don't have a crystal ball to determine which ones deserve the rehabilitation and which ones who don't.

    In the old days, the worst thing that could EVER happen to us was to have our parents called because we had done something wrong. Shoot, I feared my little 5 foot tall mommy more than the police chief. lol! We used to have the "luxury" of childish pranks, fisticuffs and "young people tomfoolery." Sadly, we just don't have that luxury anymore. These kids are playing for KEEPS. They don't know how to fight, lose/win, and LIVE to fight another day. And, we just cannot afford to let ONE MORE criminal back on the street. The best point made and very, very, sadly IS Derrion Albert. A few kids street fighting turned into a child being beaten to death. That was a horrible, horrible way to die for anyone, but especially for a child. It just broke my heart and it still does to even think about it. And he was a good kid who had nothing to do with the fight. Do you think if maybe we had locked up his murderers (who were ALL under 21, mind you) when they were younger, maybe he would still be alive? Who knows? Maybe so...

    The point of all of this: These KIDS are killing us, our babies and each other. Life and living in Chicago is entirely too crucial right now. They need to understand this and the fact that we WILL NOT take ANY chances any more because of it. If they don't, tough! I am sorry, I have had it! Let them face the consequences, too friggin bad, so be it. I feel like if you pick up a gun or understand how to maim, hurt, harm or take the life of another human being, you doggone sure had better KNOW you can go to jail PERIOD. I don't give a hoot how old you are! Does that mean some kids may get lost in the shuffle? Yes, but as parents, you need to do WHATEVER it takes to be there (NOW MORE THAN EVER!) in their formative years to make sure they DON'T.

  37. @ Mama

    Your example is asinine. Your 9 year old stole $1.79 worth of beauty products, and you let her stew a little to teach her a lesson. That is worlds away from a kid who behaves violently because he has a rough home life and few, if any positive role models or opportunities.

    We, the voters and citizens of Chicago, support a broken school system, an onerous government that impedes economic growth, federal and state drug prohibition that fuels gang wars, a police state, and a general culture of selfishness and insensitivity towards others' misfortunes. And we wonder why children are angry? We wonder at the lack of respect for "law and order?"

    The solution is not "arrest them." That just leads to overcrowded prisons, angry adults, police records and more crime. Those who live by the sword, die by it - this goes for societies as well.

  38. @Rob Ross...I am not exactly sure if you understand the point I am trying to get across nor I you. However, I did understand you wanting to rehabilitate those that CAN be rehabilitated. I do too.

    But, Rob, you have to face the fact that more often than not, these kids ARE already too far gone, especially by 17, 18 and 19. However, I just want you to be clear on what I meant: TEACH, RAISE, and NURTURE these kids FIRST BEFORE they get to an "arrestable" age.

    You said me teaching my daughter a lesson was, "worlds away from a kid who behaves violently because he has a rough home life and few, if any positive role models or opportunities." It was not that far of a jump to me. Think about if I had not taken my approach and gone to get her and took it as just "kids being kids." Where do you think she might be? Pregnant, locked up, drugged out, all of the above? Sometimes acceptance brings acquiescence. With our current times, I was not going to take that chance. I will concur that the biggest reason these kids are so troubled is because of their homelives and/or environment. Unfortunately, that has spilled over into our society and more directly into our neighborhoods.

    These kids come home from jail like they are coming home from college or the military!! Like they are returning from "honor" and you are supposed to be happy to see them!! There is NO honor in coming from being locked up and treated like an animal!! Maybe if someone had said to these young people, "You cannot come back in my house after hanging out on the corners all night" or "If you go to jail, I am not raising one dime to get you out", maybe Chicago and other high crime cities would not be in the boat we are in. My grandmother locked her doors faithfully at 9 p.m. and whosoever was not in her house by then was NOT getting in. We knew not to even bother to call. And you know the best part about this? The neighborhood and the other parents knew about it too and wasn't going to let you in EITHER if you got locked out. So you were crap outta luck. Do you know how many times I have read about children, boys and girls, under 16 being shot, hurt or killed after 10 p.m.? My first thought is, "What in tarnation were they doing out at that time of night?!! Where are their parents?!! We used to have be in when the street lights came on."

    All I am saying is: BE A ROLE MODEL. And, by all means intervene if you see a child in trouble and think you can help him/her. Is it not better to put preventative measures into place instead of always scrambling around doing damage we are now? BUT, since sadly we have let things go too far to the point that now we HAVE to do damage control because we have NO OTHER CHOICE, is it wrong and not our responsibility to want and act appropriately in getting these CRIMINALS and "harmful individuals" off our streets before they hurt us, our children or themselves, no matter what their ages? Sadly, Mr. Ross, it is not is just the way it is.