Author Archives: DCG

The Chicago Way: Too many dead & shot, and father of 7-year-old victim is notorious gang member who won’t cooperate with law enforcement

Welcome to Chicago sign

CBS Chicago: Fourth of July weekend shootings have left seven people dead — including a 7-year-old boy — and at least 38 others injured since Thursday evening.

Amari Brown

Amari Brown

Seven-year-old Amari Brown* was killed in a shooting that also left a 26-year-old woman wounded late Saturday in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Amari, who lived in the 500 block of North Drake, was taken to Stroger Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:56 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police said the boy and a 26-year-old woman were not the intended targets when they were shot while standing in the 1100 block of North Harding just before midnight. The woman was also shot in the chest and taken to Stroger, where her condition stabilized.

“It’s crazy. Like who would shoot a 7-year-old? He got shot in the chest. Who would do that? To a baby?” Amari’s grandmother, 52-year-old Vida Hailey asked as she waited for news outside Stroger. “All the kids that are getting killed out here – it’s crazy. When is it going to stop?”

When is the mayor going to do something?

When is the mayor going to do something?

Early Sunday, a 23-year-old man was killed in a shooting that also left two others wounded in the Northwest Side Albany Park neighborhood. The three were sitting inside a van in an alley near Sunnyside and Kimball about 2:30 a.m. when a male walked up and fired shots, police said. The 23-year-old was shot multiple times and taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he later died, police said.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the right leg and taken to Masonic, where his condition was stabilized. A 26-year-old woman was shot in the right finger and was being treated at Swedish Covenant Hospital. A police source said all the victims are documented gang members.

About an hour and a half earlier, a man was shot to death in the South Shore neighborhood. The 26-year-old man was sitting in his car in the 7700 block of South South Shore Drive about 1 a.m. when someone walked up and fired shots into the car, police said. He was taken to South Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Police said the shooting is possibly gang-related.

A 17-year-old boy was shot to death Friday afternoon in a Bronzeville neighborhood park named after slain King College Prep student Hadiya Pendleton. The teen — identified by authorities as Vonzell Banks of the 4500 block of South Prairie — and a 19-year-old man were standing outside Hadiya Pendleton Park in the 4300 block of South King about 4:45 p.m., when a vehicle approached and someone inside opened fire, police said.

Banks, a Dunbar Vocational High School junior, was playing basketball with his older brother, Vinny, and some friends when he was shot, his aunt, LaShanda Childs, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He was a loving child, getting ready to be a senior at high school,” Childs said. “He was going to start a summer job on Monday. He was very excited about it.”

Like Pendleton — in whose honor the park was renamed just two months ago — Banks was shot in the back. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:31 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The man was shot in the right foot and was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized. Police said Banks and the 19-year-old were likely not the intended targets of the shooting.

Earlier Friday, a man was killed and a woman was wounded in a South Side Washington Heights neighborhood drive-by shooting on the South Side. The two were walking in the alley in the 9100 block of South Ashland about 1:20 a.m. when someone in a passing white van opened fire, police said.

Grover Tate, 47, of the 1500 block of West 95th Street, was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The woman, 43, was shot in the abdomen and buttocks and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where her condition had stabilized, police said.

A 26-year-old man was killed in the same block he lived in just after midnight Friday in the South Side Back of the Yards neighborhood. The man, identified as Jose Hernandez, was sitting on a porch at 12:05 a.m. in the 4800 block of South Justine when another male walked up and shot him in the back, authorities said. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later, the medical examiner’s office said.

An officer at the scene said the shooting — the second on that block in about nine hours — may have stemmed from a conflict involving the La Raza street gang. Neighbors said they heard about four to six gunshots.

“We were all in the kitchen you know, having bonding, family time, and this happens,” said 15-year-old Jocelyn Avila, who lives on the block and also heard gunshots from the other shooting at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The weekend’s first homicide happened Thursday evening in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side. About 6:25 p.m., Joseph Gutierrez was riding a bicycle in the 2700 block of South Karlov when a gunman ran up and shot him repeatedly in the upper body, authorities said.

Gutierrez, of the 6200 block of South Kenneth, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:06 p.m., the medical examiner’s office said. Police said the shooting may have been gang-related.

On Saturday night, a man was shot in Streeterville shortly after the Navy Pier fireworks show. The 19-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen at 10:06 p.m. in the 200 block of East Ohio, according to police and fire officials. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, fire officials said. A possible shooter was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered at the scene.

At least 32 others have been injured in shootings since 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

No where to be seen in Chicago...

No where to be seen in Chicago…

See also:

*As reported by the Chicago Sun Times last night (via Twitchy):

The bullet that fatally wounded 7-year-old Amari Brown on the Fourth of July was meant for his father, Chicago’s top cop said Sunday. Antonio Brown, a ranking gang member with 45 previous arrests, was not cooperating with police as of Sunday afternoon as they tried to find his son’s killer, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.”


Nothing says “badass” like a feminist coloring book!

Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo

Huffington Post: Feminists of the world, you know how tiring it can get dealing with the oppression, discrimination and hate that’s all too rampant in our everyday lives. Sometimes you just want to scream, or cry, or rip out all the pages of your favorite feminist manifesto and cover your body in them like a paper fort. Well, here’s another idea. In times of stress, why not whip out your handy feminist coloring book?

coloring book1

“You’re never too old for coloring books & you’re never too young for feminism,” is the motto behind Ijeoma Oluo‘s incredible project, aptly titled Badass Feminist Coloring Book. The radical book combines the meditative lull of coloring with the revolutionary spirit of feminism, a combination that will please just about any creative lady.

coloring book

“I’m a feminist writer and a woman of color, so I spend a lot of time neck-deep in misogyny and racism,” Oluo explained to The Huffington Post. “To be honest, it can really start to wear you down. I’ve always loved drawing, and picked up drawing again as an adult primarily as stress relief. Nothing is more calming and strengthening to me than focusing on the amazing feminists fighting to make the world a better place. I realized that I could make coloring pages for myself and was very excited. I started sharing them with friends and the response was overwhelmingly positive.”

coloring book2

The book features outlined images of feminists of all ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations, races, body types, gender identities, etc. They range from well-known names like Jezebel’s Lindy West to Oluo’s own sister. There are mothers, daughters, sex workers, comedians and writers. There are empowering quotes, feminist mantras to live by and many opportunities for doodling.

coloring book3

I wanted to make something that was inspirational, interactive, and conversational. I wanted to make a book that you could pick up for a bit, interact with it, and then set it back own -– not something that is read through once and then never looked at again. Drawing these amazing feminists has really helped me feel connected to them and their ideals, and I want other people to have that. We can celebrate and enjoy feminism. It’s a very serious topic, but it’s also beautiful, fun, creative and inspiring.”

Needless to say, we love everything about this project. Oluo is currently raising funds for the book on Kickstarter and, although her campaign ends on July 14, she’s already well above her goal of $4,000. Still, check out the page to see how you can help this truly glorious cause and potentially score some gifts in return, from neat stickers to an hour of one-on-one media consulting with journalist and critic Jennifer L. Pozner, founding director of Women In Media.

“I really want to communicate how diverse feminism is and must be in order to create lasting and effective positive change,” Oluo concluded. “I wanted to shine a light on feminists that you may never have heard of –- who don’t always fit the middle-class liberal cis heterosexual white woman image we usually see. I want people to see the beauty in feminism, not a conventional beauty that often hurts women, but a beauty that comes from strength, resilience, kindness and empathy. Also, I really just want to give this to my feminist friends, as a celebration of community and solidarity.

Ms. Oluo does spend time neck-deep in racism. When George Takei went on a racist rant saying Clarence Thomas is a ‘Clown in Black Face’, Ms. Oluo whole-heartedly approved.  She tweeted: “There has never been a better description of Clarence Thomas than “A clown in blackface” I’m just mad I didn’t think of it. “. How inspirational!

coloring book4


P.S. Her Twitter timeline gives you an insight into who she really is (in addition to a racist.)

  • Who Are You Really? Let me know. I’ll tell you who I am.” (which lead to her following tweets.)
  • I’m highly intelligent. I try not to forget that this is a privilege, not an accomplishment.”
  • “I’m obsessed with honesty & authenticity – tho I likely lie as often as anybody else. But I try to be honest & consistent with my lies.
  • I have the same imagination I had as a child. My imagination has a soundtrack.”
  • I often surround myself with people I don’t like so I’m never surprised by how horrible it is. But then I forget I don’t like them.”
  • I’m a good mother. In a lazy and impatient mother, but I’m consistent and loving and I let my kids be who they are. They never fear me.”

And, lastly:

I’ve never had a long term relationship. I think I’d like one – but maybe just to prove I’m capable.”

Grad student threatens abortion unless she raises $1M

messed up

Campus Reform: An anonymous pregnant graduate student is threatening to abort her baby next month if she cannot raise 1 million dollars in the 72 hours before the scheduled abortion.

The threat comes from her website The student claims to be a graduate student who is currently seven weeks pregnant. Due to what she says are newly restrictive abortion laws in her school’s state, she is promising to return to her home state for the abortion.

She writes on her website:

On July 7th I will start accepting donations on this page. I will accept donations for 72 hours, the same amount of time this state currently requires a woman to wait after a consultation with a doctor until she can have an abortion. If one million dollars is raised in those 72 hours then I’ll have the baby, give it up for adoption and every cent of that one million dollars will be put in a trust fund for the child, which he or she will have access to when they turn 21.”

The student explains that she believes the pro-life movement is hiding the religious right. She suggests that the movement actually cares very little about saving lives and more about “controlling women by minimizing their choices. . . [including] readily available reproductive health care.”

The twenty-six-year-old female suggests that if all of the 157 million supporters of life in the country gave less than a few cents, then it would more than meet the deadline. Last year’s Gallup poll suggested that 47% of Americans identified as pro-life.

Many in the pro-life movement are speaking out about the student’s actions. “It’s like a political Kickstarter—or a ransom note, depending on where you stand on the issue of abortion” says Adriana Velez of The Stir.

The student states that since her actions are about making a point and not her, she will remain anonymous.

More from this woman’s web site:

The backward direction this country is headed in terms of its treatment of women I feel is due in large part to the influence of the religious right disguised as the pro-life movement. The pro-life movement cares very little about saving lives and far more about controlling women by minimizing their choices in a wide variety of ways not the least of which is readily available reproductive health care.”

Last time I check, extortion was a crime. This woman needs some mental health services…and so will the child if her demands are met.


Connecticut mom balks when son’s kindergarten application gets personal

nosy people

Fox News: A Connecticut mom wanted to snap her No. 2 pencil in half when she sat down to fill out her son’s kindergarten application and came across personal questions about his birth that left her demanding answers instead of filling them out.

The application, which West Hartford School District officials say have been standard for decades, sought information such as whether Cara Paiuk’s delivery was by C-section or not, whether there were other complications and even if her newborn son had gone home with his parents without delay. Paiuk said she talked to other Aiken Elementary moms, and they also were taken aback by the intrusive questioning.

“Most parents I have spoken to are outraged, and then they are almost outraged at themselves, like, ‘Did I fill that out? Did I not even question it?‘” Paiuk said.

Tom Moore

Tom Moore

The school was apparently seeking any information that might indicate children could have developmental problems. Tom Moore, superintendent of West Hartford public schools, said this is the first time the birth-related questions have raised objections. He said he spoke to doctors in attempt to figure out why the question were on the form and whether they had any merit.

“I think that question may have [been included] because C-section births had a higher rate of trauma, years ago, partially due to the nature of the birth,” he said. “I do not think that is necessarily true today.”

Dr. Manny Alvarez, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center, in New Jersey, said the questions about the mother’s birth experience should definitely be crossed out.

“What you are implying in those questions is that you’re going to be able to make some sort of diagnosis and maybe alter or amend the curriculum of the child,” said Alvarez, who also is senior managing editor for health at Fox News Channel. “What is the implication of that question? If you are implying that a vaginal birth child is going to be smarter or more proactive in class than a C-section child, that is not the case.” If anything, the information gathering could result in a bias against certain children, according to Alvarez.

Paiuk hopes that the school will recognize her concerns and make changes to the application. “I think they [the forms] need to be reviewed and updated because everything changes, the world changes, children change, and education changes,” she said.

Moore told Paiuk “makes a very good point.” “I would bet heavily that when kindergarten parents in West Hartford register their kids [next year], that question will not be on there,” Moore said.


Man with 7 felons and deported 5 times kills woman in San Francisco

Kate Steinle

Kate Steinle

SF Gate: The suspect arrested on suspicion of murder in the shooting death of Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s Pier 14 Wednesday had a rap sheet of seven felonies, was deported five times, and in March was released from San Francisco Jail despite immigration authorities asking that he be held, officials said Friday.

The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, though, has said it will no longer comply with requested immigration holds in many cases, including those based solely on allegations a person is in the country illegally.

Illegal and perpetual criminal Sanchez

Illegal and professional criminal Sanchez

On March 26, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers turned 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez over to San Francisco police on an outstanding drug warrant and requested that they be notified before his release, so federal officers could take him into custody.

Sheriff’s deputies, though, released Sanchez without notifying immigration authorities, and Sanchez was released, said Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On Wednesday morning, Sanchez was arrested about a mile south of Pier 14 in the shooting death of Steinle, 32, a San Francisco woman who was walking with her father and a family friend.

The killing, police said, appeared to be random. Steinle’s father only said “there was a pop” before his daughter collapsed in front of him. He and others immediately began rendering aid to the woman before she was rushed to San Francisco General Hospital where she later died.

From the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department web page:

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

“As Sheriff, Ross remains committed to enhancing public safety in the jails, and in the communities to which ex-offenders return by developing and delivering programs designed to tackle the high recidivism rates. Sheriff Mirkarimi believes in evidence-based reentry programming that addresses stubborn barriers like unemployment, lack of housing, chronic substance abuse, and acute mental illness. “

One would think that the sheriff’s priority would be protecting the public. I guess with five previous deportations and seven felonies, the good sheriff needed more evidence to hold this monster, which could have prevented this tragedy.


Happy Fourth of July!

May you all have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July!

And say a prayer for our soldiers abroad who cannot be with their families at this time.

Convoy duty


#LoveWins: Same-sex divorce filings follow historic U.S. marriage ruling

gay divorce

Houston Chronicle: Houston-area couples are taking quick advantage of their newly granted access to same-sex divorce. Two couples filed Monday at the Harris County District Clerk’s office, a spokesman said, and a La  Marque same-sex couple filed the same day at the Galveston County District Clerk’s office, according to the Galveston County Daily News.

The filings came in the wake of Friday’s historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court making it legal for same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the United States. The La Marque couple had been awaiting the ruling since their separation in February 2014, The Daily News reported.

Houston attorney Debra Hunt, whose firm of Moore and Hunt specializes in same-sex family law, said her associate Joshua Myers has been working on several divorce cases and is expected to file them by the end of the week.

While same-sex couples face essentially the same issues as straight couples who divorce, some things are more complicated, such as community property for couples who were together for a long time before their marriage was recognized in Texas, Hunt said.

“It’s too simplistic to say, ‘When is the date of marriage?’ ” she said. “There will be some that are fairly straightforward with little property accumulation, but I suspect that as we start dealing with cases, the complexities will start jumping out immediately.”

Another issue is the concept of common-law marriage. Same-sex couples who have been together for years can consider themselves married under common law, but only if they present themselves as married to the wider community, said Houston lawyer Mitchell Katine.

“I’m getting calls from people saying, ‘Look, my partner and have been together for 20 years. Are we common-law married?’ My question is, ‘Have you ever told anybody you were married?’ ” Katine said. If they say, “No, because we weren’t allowed to,” then common-law marriage doesn’t apply, he said.

Gay couples who have been together a very long time might think they were considered to be married, but they’re not because they never represented themselves that way,” said Katine, who represented two men in a case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision striking down sodomy laws.

A week prior to the national ruling on same-sex marriage, the Texas Supreme Court upheld a 2009 same-sex divorce in Travis County.  In a 5-3 ruling, the state’s high court sided against then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, saying the state had no standing to intervene and had waited t0o long in any case.