Posts made in March, 2015

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Stop Police Crimes | 0 comments

                   

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Critical Review of the DOJ’s “Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department”.

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  CRITICAL NOTES ON U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S “INVESTIGATION OF THE FERGUSON POLICE DEPARTMENT” By Frank Chapman, Field Organizer, Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression   DOWNLOAD PDF The DOJ interviewed city officials in every department and branch of Ferguson’s government from Finance Director to the Mayor and half of the FPD’s sworn officers. DOJ reviewed 35,000 pages of police records, thousands of emails and other electronic materials of the FPD. Experts were employed to analyze data on stops, searches, citations and arrests. Ferguson municipal court practices were examined along with dozens of people charged with local offenses. DOJ investigations involved conducting hundreds of in-person and telephone interviews of residents as well as several community groups and advocacy organizations. Throughout the investigation the DOJ, according to the report, “relied on two police chiefs,” who accompanied them and “who themselves interviewed City and police officials, spoke with community members, reviewed FPD policies and incident reports.” Based on the Report Summary of the investigation we can safely conclude that the DOJ was thorough in their investigation based on the sources provided by Ferguson officials and community members. Now let us highlight some of the findings, conclusions and policy proposals. Revenue Not Public Safety Needs Is Ferguson’s Focus The DOJ investigation reveals that Ferguson’s focus is on generating revenue through municipal fines and fees. It is this particular focus that, in the words of the DOJ, compromises “…the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing and has also shaped it’s municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the community….” In other words the police and the courts are exhorted by the City to generate revenue through law enforcement. The data clearly establishes that ticketing and overall enforcement of the municipal code is driven by racial bias. This practice is a constant source of revenue for the City and has increased tension and sown deep mistrust between the African American community and the FPD. There is tension, according to the DOJ, because law enforcement in Ferguson is more concerned with revenue generation than with public safety. In other words the FPD, as a matter of policy, sees the African American community not as “constituents to be protected but as potential offenders and sources of revenue.” Corruption as a Source of Unlawful Policing This corruption of law enforcement in Ferguson goes beyond ticketing and is, in fact, the basis of a police culture that habitually overrides and violates the constitutional and human rights of African Americans. The DOJ is unwittingly exposing the looting of the Black community under the guise of ticketing and enforcing municipal codes. In forcing compliance even when there is no legal authority to do so police officers interpret free speech as unlawful disobedience, innocent movements as physical threats, and mental and physical illness as belligerence. Once constitutional rights are suspended in this manner human rights violations are imminent. Police repression, though illegal and unconstitutional, is a matter of unwritten policy. Unconstitutional Municipal Court Practices The municipal court in Ferguson is not a neutral arbiter but a leveler of fines and penalties compelling their payment for the City’s coffers. Again, these are blatant violations of the U.S. Constitution, and the evidence offered up in this report is overwhelming. In 2013 the court issued 9,000 warrants on cases arising out of minor violations of traffic and housing codes. An African American woman was interviewed who has a still-pending case from 2007 “when on a single occasion she parked her car illegally.” She has paid $550 and still owes $541....

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HoodHope – Struggle and the Power of the People, An interview with Real Deep

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Articles | 0 comments

  HoodHope: Struggle and the Power of the People   An interview with Real Deep, Founder and Director of HoodHope in Chicago By Steve Craig, CAARPR Member   We’re speaking today with Real Deep, the founder and director of HoodHope, a storefront community center in the Woodlawn neighborhood.  Real has become a strong ally of CAARPR and our Stop Police Crimes campaign. Hood Hope has been graciously hosting weekly Stop Police Crimes community meetings at the center.  Hood Hope also serves as an organizing hub in the drive for an all elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Q: Could you describe the origins of HoodHope and your vision of its mission in the community? Real Deep: HoodHope Movement’s headquarters used to be  located on 61st and Saint Lawrence. Due to gentrification efforts by the University of Chicago, and the current alderman, Willie Cochran, as well as budgetary constraints, we were forced to vacate. Presently HoopHope meetings are being hosted at Farrell’s Barbershop located at 6426 South Cottage Grove. HoodHope was founded by me, on October 10, 2010, as I sat in Illinois Department of Correction. At that time I had already been incarcerated for 11 years. HoodHope was created to unite all organizations for the common cause of Justice for All. Our target market is the Hood, a people lost and forgotten.   Q: What activities are you currently working on? Any up-coming events? Real Deep: We are currently planning a fundraiser with Redline Movement, The Chicago Alliance [CAARPR], and the Chicago Hip Hop Legends to raise funds for a new community center. We also have a march approaching with the P.O.P.S Movement to celebrate their anniversary and bring awareness to the cause We are also in the production process with regard to products such as clothing, music, toilet paper, body oils and various other products and services which will be utilized to generate revenue to maintain the Movement.   These items will be promoting a positive message concerning justice.   Q: How has the community responded to your efforts? Are community members becoming actively involved? Real Deep: The community is welcoming HoodHope with open arms. We have partnered with several organizations and recruited a lot of youth for the Movement.   Q: What kind of challenges have you had to face? Real Deep: Two that come to mind  are dealing with sellout preachers/pastors and puppet politicians. My only other obstacle is monetary concerns.   Q: How can people contribute if they’re interested? Real Deep: Donations can be mailed to HoodHope Movement 650 West Englewood Ave, Chicago, IL, 60621, and electronic donation can be made at Rally.org at HoodHope Movement. These contributions will be used to open a new community center.   Q: You have recently become a staunch ally of CAARPR’s Stop Police Crimes campaign and the struggle for a Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) how did this evolve? Real Deep: :   I saw the CAARPR people on the street passing out CPAC literature and buttons, being the voice for the voiceless.  I offered to share the spot I had with them for meetings.  Our cooperative connection was immediate and Divine.  My passion for justice and relationship to the community fuel a genuine dislike for tax-paid officials who are assigned to uphold the law but who actually break it.  I find that despicable and absolutely unacceptable. Q: Young African Americans from across the United States; from Ferguson to New York to Chicago and so on, are courageously and creatively leading the upraising against our racist system of police violence and terror, what have the young folks that you work with...

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RALLY – Justice not Homan, Shut the Torture House Down!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

                                                      RALLY – Justice not Homan, Shut the Torture House Down WHERE: 3379 W Fillmore St. Chicago, IL WHEN: Thursday March 5th., 2105 Noon – 1pm Contact: Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression.For more info about this event call (312) 513-3795 contact@naarpr.org We are outraged by the existence of the notorious Homan Square facility, where Chicago police illegally hold civilians, torture, intimidate and deny them their rights! We clearly understand that the Homan Square facility would not exist without the complicity and protection of Mayor Emanuel and Anita Alvarez, Illinois Cook Co District Attorney. We demand Homan be shut down now! We cannot emphasize enough that this warehouse of police terror is not the only site where police violence and denial of due process take place. This is ‘business as usual’ in every Chicago Police Station, where it is predominantly members of African American and Latino communities who are tortured, abused, who never get access to a phone or legal representation. Just incase we all need reminding… the right to counsel is triggered the moment a person is under arrest or not free to leave a police interaction. We well know that this right is most often denied* emphasizing yet again the urgent need for community control of the police through an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. (CPAC) Our demands are: Mayor Rahm Emanuel… 1. Close down Homan Square Warehouse immediately 2. Fire Chicago Police Superintendent, Gary McCarthy 3. Pass the Torture Reparations Ordinance 4. Order the permanent display in ALL Chicago Police Stations, accessible to ALL detainees upon arrest, the services & PH# 1-800-LAW-REP4 for First Defense Legal Aid, who offer free legal representation for anyone, in the first 48hrs from the moment of arrest. Cook County would save “between $12.7 and $43.9 million annually if arrestees had access to a defense attorney within 24 hours after arrest”* Funds that could be used towards Torture Reparations. …Then issue an apology to the people of Chicago and all those who have been abused & tortured by CPD and for allowing Homan Square Police Warehouse to be used as a Chicago police torture chamber We also demand: The immediate resignation of Illinois State Cook County District Anita Alvarez. The new US Attorney General Loretta Lynch must immediately launch a full scale federal civil rights investigation of the Homan facility, AND of the Chicago Alliance’s 2013 complaint to her predecessor, Eric Holder, that documented murder, torture, abuse by Chicago/Chicagoland police officers.** *http://first-defense.org/images/photos/Cost_savings_optimized.pdf ** http://naarpr.org/complaint-to-eric-holder-us-dept-of-justice/ ____________________________ CPD’s common denial of the right to a phone call means that many individuals detained by CPD never get access to free legal presentation by FDLA. However ANYONE can call the hotline number 1-800-LAW-REP4 for someone they who know has been arrested—call as soon as you can, give their name and if possible DOB—we all can learn to can look out for each other against this racist police injustice system. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING HELD IN CUSTODY BY THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT CALL 1-800-LAW-REP-4 FOR A FREE LAWYER, 24 HOURS A DAY. Learn more about an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) at StopPoliceCrimes.com Sign the CPAC petition http://naarpr.org/petition-elected-civilian-police-accountability-council/...

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