Monday, May 21, 2012

Shots Fired Saturday and Sunday

It's been a trip back to the bad old days this weekend in Uptown.  Don't know if the gangs are starting a new (senseless) chapter in their ongoing quest to annihilate each other, or if they've got spring fever, or if they think the police response will be reduced due to NATO being in town.  In any case, not fun for the rest of us.

Saturday night, several readers reported hearing gunshots in front of St. Thomas of Canterbury Church on the 4800 block of Kenmore.  A reader sent in this photo, taken Sunday morning, with shell casings clearly visible on the sidewalk.  He says:  "Guessing the shooters were aiming at the 7 or 8 AA guys and 6 or 7 AA girls drinking and smoking on the church steps. They all bolted South to Lawrence and then when all the cops showed up, maybe talked to them from inside the cop cars?, they walked West." 

Then Sunday evening, many readers reported hearing quite a few shots fired, again near the 4800 block of Kenmore or Sheridan, possibly near the JJ Pepper's strip mall.  There is an unconfirmed -- stress, unconfirmed -- report that a bullet went through the window of a second-floor apartment at 4827 N Sheridan (the high-rise south of Gunnison).  We're getting no confirmations on whether or not anyone is in custody, but police were on the scene quickly.

Please be sure to stay safe and report any suspicious activity to 911.


  1. Intervention by the alderman with a few of the businesses here is essential. With just the minimal amount of surveillance that I've done its clear as day who the players are and how their game works. They love Papa Rays, the strip mall and convenience store at Lawrence/Sheridan. One of the "shot callers" I call scowl face b/c of a time I was in Papa Rays eyeballing him. He scowled back the entire time I was there, was humorous if nothing else. Anyway, he was at a table with a maybe 14 y/o girl on his cell obviously calling orders over to the crew at J.J. Peppers. He's a tiny little scrub usually in a hoodie and has a rat patch of scruff on his chin. I could very easily pick out the remaining terrorists in a lineup but well, they NEVER get arrested!! These 3 businesses continue to serve them, the police camera is nothing more than a year-round blinking Christmas ornament, and the Police do little more than drive through the area once an hour or so at best. Every GREAT so often you'll actually see them out of their car hassling the terrorists.

    Fan of the Police and Papa Rays but with such a lack of action on their part they are huge players in enabling this to continue.

  2. That church is also a school. It's too bad the cops aren't very interested in apprehending the offenders. Conviction would come with a heightened sentence.

  3. On Saturday I was in a taxi coming home from a dinner with friends at 1:00 am, and the neighborhood was alive with excitement; visitors coming and going to the Aragon Ballroom for a concert, tourists in line outside of the Green Mill to soak in the classic atmosphere and great music, and all of the bars in the area completely full. I remember thinking to myself how happy I was to see this, as it truly seemed like Uptown was in fact a great “entertainment district”.

    As I my cab up to Kenmore travelling east on Lawrence we came to a stop sign. Just then, directly to my left, several gunshots rang out and everyone started running to take cover. I immediately fell to the seat of the cab and told the driver to do the same (he was quite afraid, as was I). The gang members who were trying to kill each other that evening ran through the streets shouting and I remained on the seat until the noise passed and then told the driver to go, while I called the police.

    This is totally out of control .There were tons of people outside of the Aragon just down the block and the possibility of a visitor to the Uptown Entertainment District being shot by a stray bullet was very real. That would really put a damper on the plan.

    Seems to me that the Lawrence and Sheridan area are really hot right now for the bangers. I have called the cops 5 times in the last week as they brazenly sell drugs on Lawrence against the JJ Peppers wall. It is not hard to figure out who it is. They also seem to have a nest above the Uptown Pantry where they have a cop lookout.

    If I know this as a civilian, I would hope and assume the cops do too. Why cant we just a squad car camped out on that corner? I honestly do not understand.

  4. I live near Lawrence and Sheridan, and agree that it is very frustrating to see little policing done around the JJ Peppers corner. My boyfriend and I were trying to catch a cab Saturday evening near Papa Rays around 5:30 pm and some cops told us we shouldn't be there because the area was "very hot" the gangs were "agitated" and it wasn't safe. At the time the area didn't look unusual at all. I think the police know what goes on, but I think for some reason they don't seem to be able to do anything. Maybe they wouldn't have enough evidence for a conviction and therefore can't arrest? What can we do?

  5. Things were so quiet for most the winter and mild spring, but the past week of so have really heated up again. The NE corner of Ainslie and Kenmore has the dealers hanging out again. They go back and forth down Kenmore to Lawrence and openly deliver to the people gathered outside the church morning and evening. Is there someone at the church we can speak to about monitoring their property?
    Sheridan and Lawrence has been chaotic too, those gunshots last night came from the direction of Sheridan between Ainslie and Lawrence.

  6. The way the laws are made today you won`t do much against these punks unless the police see it with their own eyes so at least they drive around and and make their presence known in hot-spot areas. My advice is if there are any residents that will call the police and go with them, face to face. Point and show the ones you see doing it and press charges. Go to court. I doubt there are many residents to do it. The cops can do only so much.

  7. Wiseguy, I call 911 frequently, always leave my name, and I never receive any follow-up. I see drug deals go down RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CONDO, I describe the offenders with painstaking detail, down to the color of their shoes, and hear nary a peep from the cops. I don't give up on calling 911, but I also don't give it much hope that the cops give a damn about drug deals.

  8. Nugatory, thanks for calling 911. It helps to address an issue that needs immediate attention.

    If the problem is a chronic one, bring it up at CAPS. You have to do both to make it really work.

  9. Funny thing. I do attend CAPS meetings, (I've been to four so far) but when I raise these issues, I get the "we know about the problems" brushoff. I never hear what they're actually DOING about the problems. Also, CAPS meetings are a pain in the a** for working people to get to because of the when they're scheduled. I work a regular job so that I can pay for my condo and the outrageous tax hikes that go with it and it's pretty difficult to leave work by 6pm in order to make the 7pm meeting. When I go through the trouble of hauling myself back in time to hit the meeting, I certainly don't appreciate the wasted effort of telling them about problems they already know about without hearing about any corresponding action items on their part. Just saying.

    Given how much I pay in taxes, I'd like to know what the bleep the cops are doing. I've watched them. They seem more interested in nabbing stop sign violators than addressing the drug deals that are going down on the same damn corner.

  10. The cops might be trying to build a case against individuals who are supplying the drugs and guns to the people on the streets. Watching their patterns and movements without making arrests every time something happens might be part of their plan. This is coming from someone who has probably watched too much television and has a glorified view of the Chicago police. If I were in their position I wouldn't say anything at CAPS meetings either. Any information they provide will finds its way to the street gangs.

  11. I've never seen a police officer just blatantly look the other way at gang/drug activity. That said, we all know the blocks where it's impossible to walk down without seeing at least some minor dealing. I'm sure part of the problem is the difficulty stopping and legally searching suspects and the other part is the futility of it all as long as the market is thriving. The sooner a dozen or so problem buildings/shelters housing all the demand are shutdown the better.

  12. Sounds like the customer base for drugs in that area is WAY TOO HIGH.

  13. Alek, hang out around Lawrence House and you'll see what I'm talking about. The cops sit tucked away at the intersection and come out for stop sign runners on Lawrence. All the while, the customers and the dealers make their merry way to the alcove of the Lawrence House that is on Kenmore. That's where they do their exchange. It's very frustrating. Maybe they're just watching out for the wrong kind of misdeed. Maybe it's an evidence thing. I don't know why they do it, but it's all very frustrating. Nonetheless, I will continue to do my part, but I feel like I'm tilting at windmills.

  14. I was out walking my dog last night and eventually noticed an individual tucked along the south wall out in front of St. Thomas of Canterbury. He kept yelling some work (I couldn't make it out) occasionally. I watched 2 younger ladies walk in his direction, disappear, then re-emerge a minute later, both lighting up a cigarette. A few minutes after that, another guy was walking south on Kenmore and was called up by the guy along the fence. He also left smoking a cigarette. I figured the guy at the church probably wasn't there to give away free smokes, so I called 311 (which I recommend for non-emergency situations). The police arrived within 2 minutes, questioned him and sent him on his way. That's really all I wanted. I don't "know" he was causing trouble, although it appeared that way to me. I don't want the police harassing everyone, but I'm glad they're at least willing to stop by and get people out of the area that don't have a reason to be there.

  15. Dave K I highly doubt the police responded to anything told to them via 311 unless you were transferred to 911. I would chalk that up to coincidence otherwise.

    311 for non emergency problems
    (like potholes, graffiti).

    911 for people problems (drug dealing and suspicious activity and any other antisocial behavior)

  16. The police are too busy downtown silencing those 'violent' demonstrators!

  17. Phil babee,

    glad you're out of lockup man. You escaped from the crossbar hotel!

    Take a few days off before you go back to getting repressed by the man. I'm sure you're tired from the Sun and marching during the NATO summit.

    By the way methinks Monty Python speaks to Phil in this clip.

    You did get arrested during the summit, right? I can't imagine you keeping your street cred among your fellow travelers without at least one arrest during the summit.

  18. Phil,

    this is for you.

    Learn from the wisdom of Tony Fitzpatrick.

  19. IP, your endless attempts at insulting humor are getting old. Grow up.

    I agree with everything in that article (except the part where he eats up the police line given to media about those 'terrorists', which are actually just really stupid kids that were set-up. Literally, set-up, entrapped, and arrested.) Maybe you do too? Which begs the question, if you agree with the cause(s) with which I fight for with all of my heart, why do you find it necessary to incessently attack me or insult me?

    Why don't you focus your crosshairs on someone who isn't trying to better this community, city and country?

  20. You talkin' to me?

    You're telling me to grow up?

    Have you got the bandanna you wore around your face during the protests dry cleaned yet?

    Fitzpatrick was being sarcastic regarding the NATO Three Stooge "terrorists". In my view they're likely to have been mopes who bullshitted themselves into terrorism charges. Now they very well may have broken some windows during the protests if they could have, but beyond that I doubt they were dangerous to anyone, but themselves.

    That female undercover, Gloves or Socks or whatever her name was, was about as close as those mopes got to an attractive woman in years.

    Here's a video from Channel Seven of the big bad cops repressing some people at Cermak and Michigan.

    Rather telling isn't it? Your black bloc comrades aren't anything more than wannabee thugs with anarchist tattoos and a love for a larger version of a mosh pit.

  21. I'm with Jeffo- the neighborhood has a very big drug customer base, so big that three gangs have been at war over it for quite a few years past.

    Every now and then, the narcs will garner big headlines for making a major bust that results in 100 or so arrests and the confiscation of a major stash of contraband, weapons, and cash. Everyone thinks, ahhhh, that's the end of the drug-dealing in Uptown, or Rogers Park, or Logan Square; arrest those guys and get them off the streets.

    But the cops know that these busts are nothing but publicity stunts and are not only essays in futility, but actually increase the violence as hundreds more gangbangers awaiting their chance at career advancement step forward to replace those arrested, and go to war over the recently-vacated turf. That's why these big busts are usually followed by major outbursts of gang-related violence, worse than if the arrests hadn't taken place.

    The only "solution" is to ride herd on bad buildings and landlords in your neighborhood, and drive out the people who generate the problems. Yes, they will just take their turf wars and shootings and criminal ways to another hapless neighborhood, but what more can you do? The War on Drugs was lost a long time ago- as long as this stuff is so profitable it will be dealt and sold, and our job is to get it out of our neighborhoods.

  22. Hey IP, don't you dare trivialize the patriots, the workers, the veterans and countless others, including many of those 'punks' in all black, that stood up for what is right, and excercised our rights in a peaceful manner. There was no destruction and rioting, that is what the police were there to do. The media is there to provide the narrative that you lap up like a blind thirsty dog. What you see in abc, fox and cnn, is not even close to the realities on the ground. And unless you were willing to get your lazy ass off the computer and in the streets, or talk to somebody that WAS there, then don't start throwing around wild accusations and implicating people in things that didn't happen.

    Am I 'immature' for covering my face during a protest? Or am I smart for trying to protect myself from the retribution that is doled out by police and possibly employers? Those three 'terrorists' are the same three that one week prior recorded police threatening them with violence at the NATO summit.

    Stop soaking up the "NATO is a peace keeper" bullshit. They convince you that NATO is the peaceful body, helping spread 'democracy' around the world, and we need thousands of police to protect this peace machine from these violent protesters hellbent on destruction! Oh wait, I have that mixed up. NATO is a war machine, and we could have used some police of our own to protect us from the police, who were there to protect the global 1% that was busy doling out our tax money for war inside the mccormick place.

    Again, if you'd like to talk, do it offline. These conversations can not go anywhere of use on a message board. GET IN THE GAME! CHANGE MINDS!