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RJ Publisher on “Chicago Newsroom”

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

This week, I was honored to appear on “Chicago Newsroom,” hosted by veteran broadcaster Ken Davis, along with fellow guests Art Golab, Database Editor with the Chicago Sun-Times, and Charlie Meyerson, a regular voice on Chicago radio. We discussed the progress of new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the ouster of Chicago Housing Authority CEO Lewis Jordan, the future of the Taste of Chicago and other issues.

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Nuf Said: Will Violence Finally Stop?

by Cornelius Jordan 

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

The young journalists at an event for the youth media project Nuf Said on Oct. 27 talked about violence and how they could get shot any day. In a video screened at the event in Pilsen, a girl named Cookie told her story: how people get killed in our communities, and how they can’t build new houses without the windows getting blown out or busted. In the video, “Cookie’s Story,” produced by Community TV Network, she tells us how she saw someone die when she was only seven years old. At the end of the video, her friend started rapping about violence to teach people about violence and that they should stop the killing.

Youth from Community TV Network led the discussion after the video, and asked the participants if they have had similar experiences to Cookie’s story. Everyone agreed that they had, describing different problems in the communities, including violence, disrespect from police and politicians, poor schools and even litter.

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Residents’ Journal Editor-in-Chief Discussing Chicago Mayoral Election and CPD Protest

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the ninth episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on September 20, 2010.

Watch Residents’ Journal‘s Editor-in-chief Mary C. Johns, talking about the Chicago police union’s recent protest to oust Supt. Jody Weis, and the 2011 Mayoral election.

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Cong. Danny Davis proposes anti-police torture legislation

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Even as he declared in a statement that “The Jon Burge trial has ended with a verdict of guilty to the charge of perjury and obstruction of justice, which to me and countless others is simply not enough,” U.S. Cong. Danny Davis (D-IL) has submitted proposed legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for the crime of torture.

He describes the legislation as “designed to provide a criminal penalty for torture committed by law enforcement officers and others acting under color of law.”

You can read his full statement on the introduction of his Anti-Torture Bill at: http://davis.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=192&Itemid=56

Davis is a board member of We The People Media.

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Lawsuit Underway after Guilty Verdict in Burge Trial

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Former death-roll inmate Mark Clements and his attorneys are filing a civil suit next Tuesday against the city of Chicago in the aftermath of the guilty verdict of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.

Mark Clements consoles the mother of incarcerated allege torture victim Marcus Wiggins, during a rally to jail former Chicago Police chief Jon Burge outside City Hall on May 24. Wiggins was allegedly tortured while in police custody at the age of 13. Photo by Mary C. Johns

“We are currently suing [for] an unspecified amount. We will most likely be filing a civil lawsuit in the federal U.S. District Court this Tuesday,” Clements told Residents’ Journal on June 29, the day after a federal jury found Burge guilty of all three counts of obstruction of justice and perjury for lying in a civil lawsuit about the torture of murder and robbery suspects in his custody in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

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Burge Victims’ Attorneys Fight Transfers

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Civil Rights attorney Locke Bowman recently accused Attorney General Lisa Madigan of trying to “dump” 5 cases connected to former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. Bowman, a lawyer with the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center who represents the torture victims as well as advocates opposing the transfers, said the cases were transferred to Madigan’s office by a court order six years ago.

Interviewed in February, Bowman said the cases involve men were convicted with evidence generated by Burge and officers under his command. Burge, who was fired in 1991 and is currently under federal indictment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, is accused of having directed torture of numerous suspects in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
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Cops Fight Their Own Over Burge

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Some Chicago police officers in early January 2009 denounced their own union’s efforts to fund former police Commander Jon Burge’s legal defense.

In December 2008, the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) union board voted to fund the 60-year-old Burge’s defense on federal perjury and obstruction of justice charges for which he was indicted in October 2008.
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The Times They Are A’Changing

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

The indictment and arrest of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge on October 21 is yet another indication that a complete transformation of American life is underway. Along with the presidential election, the indictment of Burge, who has long been suspected of torturing and abusing suspects in the 1980s, shows that the way politics have been conducted in this country for the past 30 years is over. Or to put it in other words, a new generation is stepping up, kicking tail and taking names.

US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (at podium) speaks about the indictment of former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge on Oct. 21 while Robert Brent (from left), special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago office; Mark Templehof, chief of the criminal section of the civil rights division of the Department of Justice; and Jeffery Cramer, assistant US attorney, look on.
Photo by Anjuli Maniam

Saying that Burge “shamed his uniform and his badge,” Fitzgerald explained that he was charging Burge for lying in court in a 2003 civil case:
“For his lies about torture and abuse, we intend to hold him accountable.”
“Police are sworn to uphold the law when others break it,” Fitzgerald added. “Burge broke the law when he was supposed to uphold it.”
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Harold L. Ickes Homes News

by Jacqueline Thompson 

The lives of Harold Ickes’ residents were disrupted when three buildings out of the remaining 11 were ordered to be vacated of their tenants.

The remaining residents of a building in the Harold L. Ickes Homes move, leaving the three buildings of the 2400 South State St block vacant.
Photo by Jacqueline Thompson

Families moved daily for three months. In the final days, pressure was put on the few remaining families to go, and eventually, no one lived in the three buildings in the 2400 block of South State Street.
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Are CPD Contact Cards Unconstitutional?

by Beauty Turner Assistant Editor

Many public housing residents from the Dearborn Homes on the South Side are upset at the Chicago Police Department because they are being forced to give out personal information about themselves and their guests’ lives.

They want to know if the police department’s current requirement that they provide the information to put on contact cards as a method of deterring crime is unconstitutional and an infringement of their civil rights.

Five months ago, police officers began collecting these ‘contact cards’ from the residents of Dearborn Homes as well as their guests, according to Carol Wallace, a long-time resident of the public housing complex.
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