Posts made in February, 2016

#AlvarezMustGO Race for Cook County State’s Attorney

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

#AlvarezMustGO   Race for Cook County State’s Attorney David Szydloski, Stop Police Crimes, CAARPR       Last week, both of Chicago’s major newspapers, the Tribune and the Sun-Times, endorsed Kim Foxx, former chief of staff to Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, in her race to unseat incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, in the upcoming March 15th primary. These endorsements are welcome additions to the campaign to unseat Alvarez—even if they came from the same conservative-leaning editorial boards that, just a year earlier, endorsed both Rahm Emanuel for mayor and Bruce Rauner for governor. The Tribune editorial board’s criticism of Alvarez in their endorsement of Foxx provides a clear view of why the political leadership in Chicago continues to block real democratic reforms of the city’s government. The Tribune article begins by assuring readers that it doesn’t regret its previous two endorsements of Alvarez, “[n]or have we joined the more recent chorus arguing that Alvarez’s handling of the Laquan McDonald case disqualifies her from office.” Rather, the article makes clear that they see Alvarez’s chief failure to be a lack of critical self-reflection: “Yes, it’s easy for her critics to pounce now, knowing the things we all know. But Alvarez has the benefit of that hindsight, too, and she isn’t using this campaign to demand the fixes. She sounds to us as if, presented with the same facts, she might make the same judgments again.” There is no mention here of the Dixmoor 5, the city’s fight to keep a lid on the Laquan McDonald murder video, the intentional undercharging of Detective Dante Servin with involuntary manslaughter, and the refusal to charge the killer cop Gildardo Sierra who murdered Flint Farmer and Darius Pinex. There are countless other police killing, torture, wrongful conviction and sexual abuse cases that Alvarez has covered up, refused to prosecute–in our current racist system of police impunity, police crimes are supported and nurtured by Alvarez. Anita Alvarez’s problem, this city’s problem, is that real accountability cannot exist within undemocratic institutions. Although having someone besides Alvarez in the State’s Attorney’s Office could be a step forward, only an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council can give the people of Chicago the justice they deserve. For daily updates and more great graphics about why #Anita Alvarez must go, check out FB AlvarezMustGO: Political Education...

Read More

A Breakthrough Month in our Campaign for CPAC, Community Control of the Police March 2016

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  A Breakthrough Month in our Campaign for CPAC, Community Control of the Police Gerrit Hatcher, Stop Police Crimes, CAARPR       Although the CAARPR and the campaign for CPAC have always had deep and broad support from activist and community organizations in Chicago and nationally, the past few weeks have seen an uptick in political endorsements essential to our legislative campaign. We have received offers of sponsorship for the CPAC ordinance from Chicago Aldermen Ricardo Muñoz of the 22nd ward, Proco Joe Moreno of the 1st ward and Toni Foulkes of the 16th,  as well endorsements from State’s Attorney candidate Kim Foxx, and Illinois State Representative candidate Teresa Mah.  Alderman Muñoz, Moreno and Folks have offered to involve themselves in the campaign as we plan ahead to build a larger coalition for CPAC’s official introduction. Kim Foxx is mobilizing Chicagoans to remove Anita Alvarez from office this year, which naturally puts her views on police accountability front and center in the eyes of voters and all Chicago residents who are committed to stopping police crimes. Her public endorsement of CPAC has made our campaign a voting issue in the State’s Attorney race, and is a step in the direction of systemic change in Chicago. Teresa Mah is a candidate for state representative in Chicago’s second district, and her official endorsement of the CPAC ordinance brings us closer to broad progressive support on the state level....

Read More

Taken to Task by Steve Craig March 2016

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  TAKEN TO TASK  Steve Craig, Stop Police Crimes, CAARPR March 2016          The ‘very serious’ and very appointed Mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force just limped away from their final community forum, held at Sullivan High School in Rogers Park. Their listening tour (anyone remember the school closings ‘listening tour’?) began three weeks earlier at a lightly attended meeting on the Westside, proceeded to South Shore, then Pilsen, before wobbling to a stop under a chorus of “We don’t need no task force!” chants. The task force welcomed community input and promised to ‘seriously’ consider community ‘suggestions’. These tailors of the emperor’s new clothes promised it would be different this time. They meant to deliver a serious report with ‘pragmatic’ suggestions to repair the ‘relationship’ between the community and the Chicago police and ‘rejuvenate’ the public trust in the CPD. Seriously? The Westside forum began under a watchful police presence. Besides chairperson Lori Lightfoot, who also chairs the Police Board, three other members of the Police Board were introduced as ‘dignitaries’ and accorded their own side table, stage right. The meeting dragged dryly into the night like an overblown CAPS meeting. A mild buzz was generated by the Westside NAACP criticism of the FOP and their criminally enabling contract. The biggest applause from the audience was reserved for the speaker who accused the task force of fraud and the ex-gangbanger who wished his felony conviction didn’t prevent him from arming himself to defend his community from the police. The largest of the forums was held at the South Shore Cultural Center. Mainstream and community press were gathered around. Gone was the Police Board side table. Chicago Alliance and community members showed up in force to speak out and expose the façade of the task force and call for community control of the police rather than community suggestions delivered by an advisory task force to a whimsical mayor. Calls for CPAC were met with slack-jawed looks by the task force from their riser. Police SUV’s remained parked in front as the knot of white cops joked with park security. The Pilsen meeting was dominated by calls for CPAC and community control. Nine separate speakers stepped to the mic to audaciously suggest a democratic solution to empower the people to determine how their communities are policed. The task force wouldn’t respond to our comments, as if the words community control had never been uttered. They only rambled on about ‘pragmatic’ suggestions on police sensitivity training or whether it’s best to withhold video evidence of police crimes for 60 or 90 days. The task force began the Northside meeting on a defensive note. Ms. Lightfoot wearily repeated that, though technically powerless, the task force intended to issue their fact-finding (who knew?) report by the end of March and suggest sweeping changes to remedy the tarnished image of CPD. And it’s always been about image and PR spin, not substantive or institutional change. Again, audience remarks focused on the insincerity of the task force and the need for community control. Accusations were leveled at the police, including a passionate indictment by a representative of the Bettie Jones family. Eloquent prepared remarks were read by members of BYP100. Finally, a sea of Rekia Boyd Yellow rose in call and response and surged to the stage, first among their demands: a Civilian Police Accountability Council. More community members waited to speak, but the task force had stopped listening many forums ago. A stern row of cops stared down from the stage as the task force slipped into the night.  ...

Read More

Anita Alvarez Is Leading in the Polls? Is Anybody Paying Attention?

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Anita Alvarez Is Leading in the Polls? Is Anybody Paying Attention Steve Craig, Neighborhood Coordinator, CAARPR PDF Anita Alvarez is leading in the race for Cook County State’s Attorney, according to the recently released Tribune poll. This news is both shocking and incredible in light of the fact that she has been exposed over and over again as a charlatan and an enemy of the people. How can she possibly still be in the race? How can she even possibly still be in office? The answer is out there in black and white. Her complicity in the cover-up of police crime was revealed to the world with the release of the video of Laquan McDonald’s murder, a release she and co-conspirator Rahm Emanuel vehemently resisted. Everyone, both in and out of government, pointed the finger at the CPD, IPRA, the Mayor’s office and the State’s Attorney’s office. More police shooting videos miraculously followed, in spite of Alvarez’s best efforts to keep them hidden, including the video of the police killing of Ronald Johnson. Alvarez even provided narration to accompany the Ronnieman video at a dog and pony show where she identified a shadow as proof that he had a gun, thereby justifying his murder. The Empress also has new clothes? She was playing to an audience already assuming he was armed and dangerous. Aren’t all black people? Anita Alvarez is counting on this racist fear mongering to carry her to reelection. Anita Alvarez’s decades-long career as a prosecutor and State’s Attorney has been characterized by the zealous persecution of African American and Latino suspects and victims of police crimes and frame-ups. The goals of her office are prosecution, incarceration, and “winning” the case, justice be damned. When the injustice of trumped-up charges is exposed in case after case she fights, tooth and claw, to keep innocents in prison. There is no place for exoneration in her model of justice. In a 2012 Sixty Minutes interview she notoriously refused to admit that the Dixmoor 5 had been wrongfully imprisoned on false confessions, even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence. The five black teens spent a collective 80 years behind bars for a crime they did not commit. In the same interview, Alvarez concocted a bizarre necrophilia theory in the Nina Glover rape and murder case and objected to the ordered release of the men who were also victimized by the same Chicago-style forced confessions. The interview was a public relations nightmare but, alas, not a career ender. The Alvarez style of justice is not, however, equally applied. When it comes to investigating or prosecuting police crimes, she falls over herself to kowtow to the official police story. Cops are literally getting away with murder and torture while their victims and witnesses suffer the consequences. Alvarez did not investigate or prosecute the infamous Burge midnight crew or look into the torture allegations of the Death Row 10 in the 90’s even though she was empowered to do so as the supervisor of the Public Integrity Unit. Even today her office has been resisting reopening the cases of many police torture victims who continue to languish in prison. When she reluctantly went after Dante Servin, Rekia Boyd’s killer, and only under intense public pressure from activists, her office conveniently botched the case. The judge admonished the prosecution, saying Servin had been undercharged, and let him walk. The families of victims and survivors of police crimes are wise to Alvarez. Ask the families of Flint Farmer, Cedrick Chatman, Quintonio LeGrier, Jamal Moore, Calvin Cross, Ricky Childs and countless others. Ask the arrestees...

Read More