Tag Archives: Illinois

Not held responsible: Murder charges dropped against Chicago teens in shooting

Chicago teens getting away with murder…

Seems the criminals always get a pass…Their crimes are dropped down and their records will not accurately reflect their criminal past.

Good thing we have those super strict gun control laws in Illinois to help prevent future murders!

From MyFoxChicago: Lake County prosecutors have dropped murder charges that were filed against five Chicago teenagers last month after a member of their group was fatally shot by a homeowner in the north suburbs while they allegedly tried to break into a vehicle.

Diamond Davis, 18; Kendrick Cooper, 17; Stacy Davis, 17; Steven Davis, 17; and Curtis Dawson, 16, will no longer be charged with murder for the death of 14-year-old Jaquan Swopes, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim wrote in a statement.

“The circumstances and facts outlined in my statement support the charge of Felony Murder,” Nerheim wrote. “However, after full consideration of all the evidence, mitigation presented by defense counsel as well as the wishes of the victim’s family, my office has entered into an agreement with defense counsel for the five offenders. This agreement ensures all offenders will be held responsible and face appropriate sentences.”

Davis, 18 (center, top row of the photo), will be charged with a felony count of conspiracy to commit burglary and a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass to a vehicle, the state’s attorney’s office said. She is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing in Lake County court on Thursday afternoon and plead guilty to the new charges next week.

The cases against the younger defendants will be moved to juvenile court, prosecutors said. “However, due to strict laws governing juvenile courtroom proceedings, my office is unable to give details regarding the charges involving the juveniles going forward,” Nerheim wrote.

The fatal encounter began about 1:15 a.m. Aug. 13 when the teens allegedly tried to break into a car in the 17600 block of West Edwards Road in Old Mill Creek, Lake County sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Christopher Covelli said at a news conference the morning of the shooting.

A 75-year-old man told investigators he saw a black Lexus SUV in his driveway and group of people trying to break into or steal his vehicle, Covelli said.

Two of the teens — including Swopes, who held something in his hand — allegedly approached the man as he was standing on his porch, authorities said. The man fired at least three rounds from a revolver, one of which hit Swopes in the head. He was pronounced dead at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

The gunman, who had a valid FOID card and concealed-carry permit, called 911 to report the shooting and request an ambulance, Covelli said. Investigators found a knife at the scene, which they believe one of the suspects had with him.

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Illinois woman being forced to remove 9/11 memorial on her property that officials say is “obsolete”

Bureaucrats gonna do their thing…

From Daily Mail: An Illinois woman says authorities are trying to force her to remove a September 11 memorial on her property that they claim is ‘obsolete’.

Leigh Gardella-Wood lives with her family on the site of the former Spring Bluff Elementary School in Winthrop Harbor about 50 miles north of Chicago. They have lived there since they bought the property in 2011 when the school shut down.

Gardella-Wood received a letter from the Winthrop Harbor Village last week ordering her to remove ‘all obsolete signage’ related to the elementary school and a 9/11 memorial currently on their property. She has 14 days to remove the signage or risk a fine of up to $500 a day.

Gardella-Wood told NBC5 that the memorial rock was already on the property when they purchased it and that they asked officials to remove it within a year. She claims said officials did not make any attempt to remove the boulder.

A local girl scout raised enough money in June 2012 for a plaque to be placed on the boulder that reads ‘We Shall Never Forget’ in dedication to those who died in the 9/11 attacks.

When officials tried to remove the memorial a few months later, Gardella-Wood said they faced uproar from local veterans and they decided to leave the memorial.

She received the letter from officials last week describing the memorial and signage related to the school as ‘obsolete’.

‘I have never heard of a plaque being an issue. There are people who have plaques in their yard all over the place – it is not gawdy, it is not hurting anybody,’ Gardella-Wood said.

‘I don’t know what to think because I don’t understand what they are thinking. I don’t understand how a community that is so close, that they would find a plaque or memorial obsolete.

‘People worked really hard to have that put there. People died on 9/11. It’s not something we can just forget. It is coming up – how do you forget that?

The local Veterans of Foreign Wars have already pledged to host the memorial on their property if Gardella-Wood is forced to remove the memorial.

The mayor and village board have not yet commented on the memorial but are expected to discuss it at a town hall meeting on Tuesday night.

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#LoveTrumpsHate: A simulated assassination of President Trump at fundraiser for Illinois demorat state senator

Reporter Mark Maxwell tweeted this yesterday:

“A political fundraiser for @SenatorSandoval simulates an assassination attempt against a mock @realDonaldTrump decked out in Mexican garb. Looks like a man pointed a fake assault weapon at the fake President to pose for a picture.

State Senator Martin Sandoval and @DemsforIllinois have condemned the photos.

The “party of tolerance” and advocates against gun violence should take a hard look in the mirror.

See also:

Sean Penn’s debut novel calls for the assassination of president identical to Trump
Johnny Depp: It’s time for an actor to assassinate President Trump
Magnatone CEO Tells People ‘Rest Easy,’ Predicts Trump Assassination Within 100 Days
Actor Robert De Niro threatens violence against Trump

h/t Twitchy

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Illinois police department tells criminals to stay inside during heat wave

This is not from The Onion.

From MyFoxChicago: Criminal activity has been officially canceled in one suburban Chicago town due to the extreme heat that’s cooking most of the country.

“It is just too hot to be outside committing crimes,” the Park Forest Police Department said on Facebook Friday. “We’re asking all aspiring criminals, seasoned veterans, and those who find themselves committing crimes out of boredom, to please stay indoors.”

The department proposed that Friday would be a perfect day “to Netflix and chill, literally, with the air conditioner set to 68 degrees.”

At the same time, a Massachusetts police department implemented a similar heat wave-related crime-fighting strategy.

The Braintree Police Department took to Facebook Friday night to ask anyone thinking of conducting criminal activity “to hold off until Monday.”

“It is straight hot as soccer balls out there,” the department said before suggesting that potential criminals stay home and binge-watch season 3 of “Stranger Things” instead, according to Masslive.com.“We will meet again when its cooler,” the department said.

In a follow-up post late Friday, Park Forest PD said that one of its officers, Justin Malachowski, was appreciative of everyone who canceled their planned crimes and stayed indoors. “Because of you, he got to enjoy a cold and delicious afternoon Slurpee from 7-Eleven without interruption,” the department said.

The entire Chicago area was under an excessive heat warning Friday and Saturday as heat index values could rise as high as 115 degrees in some places.

Windy City temps hit the 99-degree mark Friday. On Saturday the Park Forest Police was still advising would-be wrongdoers to stay indoors.

“The crime cancellation is still in effect until tomorrow, so please no ‘criminaling,’” the department said.

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Illinois demorat governor cancels band from fair lineup over Confederate flag

From MyFoxChicago: Country rock band Confederate Railroad has been barred from performing at an Illinois state fair because of its use of the Confederate flag, setting off a firestorm by southern Illinois fans who believe they’re under Chicago liberals’ thumb of political correctness.

The band was scheduled to appear Aug. 27 at the DuQuoin State Fair, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration canceled the appearance last week.

“This administration’s guiding principle is that the state of Illinois will not use state resources to promote symbols of racism,” Pritzker spokeswoman Emily Bittner said. “Symbols of hate cannot and will not represent the values of the Land of Lincoln.”

The logo for the Grammy-nominated band, known for acoustic ballads such as “Jesus and Mama” as well as its raucous anthem, “Trashy Women,” features a steam engine from which waves dual Confederate Navy Jacks, whose stars and bars are the most widely recognized symbol of the Confederacy.

The banner has been attacked in recent years as a racist emblem of slavery and segregation. Supporters say it represents history and southern heritage.

The flare-up in DuQuoin, 87 miles southeast of St. Louis, rekindles a centuries-old rift in Illinois, whose southern tip reaches far into the confines of the old Confederacy and is home to a more traditional and conservative culture than that represented by Chicago Democrat Pritzker. Routinely, the region spawns legislation to make Chicago a separate state.

Joe McKinney, who has contacted Confederate Railroad about performing at his family’s banquet facility in DeSoto because of the group’s popularity, said the band has never used the flag to fan racial strife. “It’s just their logo. It’s just their southern pride,” McKinney said. But McKinney’s attempt to land the band goes beyond symbolism.

“In the southern part of this state, we suffer from a lot of decisions made from Chicago …,” McKinney said. “In addition to trying to bring the people what they want, we’re also trying to prove a point to northern Illinois: You don’t own everything.”

Confederate Railroad frontman Danny Shirley said in a statement Tuesday that the news “was very disappointing as we have played this fair before and enjoyed it.” He thanked supportive fans but dissuaded them from asking Restless Heart and Shenandoah, who are still scheduled for Aug. 27, to be no-shows.

Shenandoah released a statement saying it would appear, but added, “This ‘political correctness’ has to stop. It’s tearing our country apart.”

Rep. Terri Bryant, a Republican from Murphysboro, said a Facebook campaign to boycott the fair is ill-advised. A private festival for 70 years before the state purchased it in 1985, the DuQuoin fair is struggling to recover. So is the larger state fair in Springfield earlier in August, from a two-year budget stalemate and a boycott would hinder nonprofits who have substantial fundraisers there, Bryant said.

Bryant met with top Pritzker aides Monday in Chicago about the issue. Among other things, she pointed out that Snoop Dogg, who’s appearing at the state fair in Springfield, is promoting his latest album, “Make America Crip Again,” whose cover features the rapper standing over a corpse toe-tagged with Republican President Donald Trump’s name.

Bryant said she doesn’t support the Confederate flag, but is trying to limit government censorship.
“If you’re going to censor Confederate Railroad because it’s offensive to people, then censor the other entertainer with the depiction of a dead president that many people here love.”

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This is Chiraq: 45 shot – 4 fatally – during weekend violence

New Chiraq Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Expect the numbers to go up since I scheduled this early Sunday afternoon.

Given the level of violence this city has seen since Mayor Lori Lightfoot assumed office (see here, here and here), Monday’s “Accountability Meeting” should be a blast.

From MyFoxChicago: Citywide gun violence since 5 p.m. Friday left at least four people dead and 41 others hurt.

The weekend’s latest fatal shooting happened Saturday in West Lawn. A witness reported that an 18-year-old man was arguing with a male in an alley about 11:13 p.m. in the 6000 block of South Komensky Avenue, Chicago police said. The male pulled out a gun and fired several rounds before running off. The man was struck multiple times, and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he later died, police said.

A few hours earlier, a man was shot to death in Gresham on the South Side. Andre Lyons, 32, was on a street about 2:05 p.m. in the 7600 block of South Aberdeen Street when an unknown person unleashed gunfire, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. He was struck in the head and once in the back. He was taken to Christ Medical Center where he died, authorities said. He lived in the same block where he was shot.

Near dawn, a man was found shot to death in East Garfield Park. About 5:33 a.m., residents in the 3200 block of West Huron Street heard gunfire and then found Tavaris Trimble, 26, unresponsive in a gangway, authorities said. The man had three gunshot wounds and officers recovered a weapon near the body, authorities said. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

On Friday, another man was killed in the same neighborhood. Henry Daniels, 52, was shot multiple times in the abdomen, leg and back and was taken to Norwegian American Hospital, where he died, police and the medical examiner’s office said.

The shooting happened about 7:20 p.m. in the 3200 block of West Walnut Street, authorities said.
Area North detectives are conducting a homicide investigation.

In non-fatal gun violence, five people were wounded Saturday on the Near West Side. The group was on the street about 2:32 a.m. in the 2400 block of West Jackson Boulevard when someone unleashed gunfire, police said. They all took themselves to area hospitals.

A 22-year-old woman went to the University of Illinois Medical Center with a gunshot wound to her leg, police said. Her condition was stabilized.

Four others went to Stroger Hospital, police said. Two 28-year-old men shot in the leg and back and a 54-year-old man hit in the back had their conditions stabilized. A 49-year-old woman who was shot in the chin is in serious condition.

Neither witnesses nor victims saw who did the shooting or know where the rounds came from, police said. Area North detectives are investigating.

A bullet struck the side of an apartment building on the street, but the man who was sleeping in one of units said he didn’t hear any gunfire. “I was woken up by the police lights,” Giovanni said. He only gave his first name for fear of getting recognized by the large group of people he said gather on the corner nearly every weekend.

At least 36 others were hurt in gun violence incidents over the weekend.

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Shovel ready: Demorat Illinois governor signs massive tax/infrastructure bill

Fun fact about this demorat governor:

“He is a private business owner based in Chicago and a managing partner and co-founder of the Pritzker Group and a member of the Pritzker family who own the Hyatt hotel chain; he has an estimated personal net worth of $3.2 billion.

Pritzker was the Democratic nominee for governor of Illinois in the 2018 gubernatorial election. He defeated Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in the general election on November 6, 2018. As governor, he holds more private wealth than any other governor in U.S. history and is the second-wealthiest U.S. politician to have ever held office, after Michael Bloomberg.

From MyFoxChicago: Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday signed into law a plan that will pour $45 billion into state construction projects to build and upgrade roads, bridges, parks and schools – and will require drivers, smokers and gamblers to pick up the tab.

Pritzker called it the “most comprehensive reconstruction effort” in the state’s history.

“Together we passed the largest, most robust capital plan in this state’s history,” said Pritzker, whose office says the plan will create 540,000 jobs. “We’re investing $45 billion over 6 years to fix what’s broken and repair what’s needed.”

Illinois’ first statewide capital plan in 10 years will include spending on everything from an expansion of high-speed broadband internet to sewage system development. The bulk of the money – $33.2 billion – will be spent on transportation projects. An additional $4.3 billion will be spent on state facilities, $3.5 billion on education projects and $1.2 billion on environmental projects.

To pay for it all, the Democratic-controlled Legislature approved the expansion of gambling around the state, including new casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County and a yet-to-be-decided site in a Cook County suburb south of Chicago. Supporters say the state’s share of gambling revenue will be $2 billion in one-time licensing fees and an additional $400 million a year when all the casinos are up and running.

“We’re responsibly expanding gaming at the request of cities that want to make sure that they have the resources to pay for police and firefighter pensions, and to fund vital services,” Pritzker said.

Lawmakers also have signed off on doubling the state’s gasoline tax from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents a gallon, as well as bumping the price of cigarettes by $1 a pack, and adding a 15% tax on e-cigarettes.

The cost to register electric vehicles will climb by $250; the cost to register all other vehicles will be increased by $50. The plan also calls for an increase on the real estate transfer on commercial properties and the removal of a sales tax exemption on property valued at more than $10,000.

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Police warn against using gun-shaped cellphone cases

I kinda agree with this. Someone who spots you with this could call the cops on you as an “armed” person and next thing you know, the police are coming after you with guns drawn.

Plus I would never advertise the fact that I was carrying (whether it be via a cell phone case or a real firearm).

From Daily Mail: Police are asking the public to not carry plastic cellphone cases shaped like guns.

The plea comes after Illinois Conservation Police officers discovered one particular cell phone charging case during a traffic stop at Illinois Beach State Park in Zion that was so realistic-looking, police made an arrest.

The suspect was carrying it in his waistband just similar to how a real firearm might be positioned leading the officer to mistake it for a real gun. The officer did not know it was actually a phone case until after the suspect was arrested according to the Chicago Tribune.

During one traffic stop, officers held up the drivers of a stolen vehicle. One of the occupants had the cell phone case tucked into his front waistband with only the ‘pistol handle’ portion exposed above the waist line.

The man ended up having to be placed in handcuffs before it could be removed. Only then did it become apparent it was a cell phone case and not a real firearm.

Because the gun phone case is not illegal to carry in Illinois, outside of Chicago, police did not seize it.

However, law enforcement are now requesting people not to carry such lookalikes saying the cases could end up being dangerous for both civilians and police.

In a Facebook post, the Department of Natural Resources said, ‘DO NOT carry products like this around!! It is dangerous and places all citizens and officers in unnecessary risk of harm.’

‘This incident serves as a reminder how quickly situations unfold for Officers under high-stress conditions, often leaving fractions of a second to make critical decisions,’ the post continued.

Gun-shaped cell phone cases are illegal in Chicago and in some other cities but they are not banned outside of the city. They are easily available to purchase on eBay and from stores that ship them from overseas. It is not clear who manufactures the case.

‘Win the Darwin award of the year by carrying your phone around in this gun shaped iPhone case. If you’re dumb enough to actually buy this case you are asking for problems with law enforcement,’ wrote one person online.

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Illinois demorats advance bill declaring a “fundamental right” to an abortion

From Daily Mail: House Democrats in Illinois have advanced a measure to replace the state’s abortion law with less restrictive language that gives people ‘a fundamental right’ to make decisions about their reproductive health.

The State Journal-Register reports a House committee approved the legislation late Sunday on a party-line vote, sending it to the House floor. All committee Republicans voted no.

Among other provisions, the bill requires private health insurance companies that cover pregnancy-related benefits to cover abortion.

Supporters say the measure is necessary to counter other states’ action to restrict abortion procedures and the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion.

Republicans criticized Democrats, who control the Legislature and the governor’s office, for holding the hearing on the Sunday night of a holiday weekend and posting notice just one hour before the hearing.

Under the measure, reproductive health would be declared a ‘fundamental right.’

Women would have the right to ‘use or refuse reproductive health care’ during their pregnancy.

The action in Democratic-leaning Illinois follows actions in a series of Republican states to limit access to abortion.

A woman would gain additional routes to sue if she believes her rights are violated, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. And local governments would be barred from limiting access to contraception and health procedures, although they could pass rules that increase access to care.

A new Alabama law would make it a felony to perform most abortions, and doctors who carry them out could face sentences of up to 99 years in prison.

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Thousands in Illinois may still have firearms despite having FOIDs revoked

From MyFoxChicago: (AP) – Tens of thousands of Illinois residents whose gun licenses have been revoked could still be in possession of firearms, according to an analysis of state records by the Chicago Tribune.

The failure of the system was underscored in February when a man killed five former colleagues and wounded five police officers in Aurora, Illinois, using a gun he kept despite the revocation of his Firearm Owner’s Identification card in 2014.

Local police departments are supposed to ensure that those whose licenses have been revoked surrender their permits within 48 hours and fill out a form stating their guns have been passed to a legal gun owner or the police.

But since 2015, nearly 27,000 Illinois residents whose FOID cards have been revoked haven’t updated authorities on what they have done with their firearms, the Tribune reported. That means authorities do not know whether 78% of those revoked cardholders still own guns.

“I will say the depth and breadth of the problem did take me back just a bit,” said acting Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly, who has made FOID revocation compliance a priority since he took office this year. “The only way we are going to be able to take a bite out of this problem is just laying it all out there: the good, the bad and the ugly.”

FOID cards can be revoked for a number of reasons: felony convictions or indictments; convictions involving domestic abuse; being subject to an order of protection; being deemed a mental health risk; dishonorable discharge from the military; or being found to be in the country illegally.

Local police departments are informed by state police when a card has been rescinded, but most don’t prioritize checking on the status of remaining weapons due to a lack of resources, officers or background information.

Failure to ensure compliance over so many years has created a substantial backlog that will require a coordinated, costly effort to resolve.

A bill pending in Springfield would raise cardholder fee from $10 for 10 years to subsidize a task force to follow up on revocations. The legislation would also mandate fingerprinting to obtain a FOID card, a step supporters say would significantly increase the chance of identifying an applicant’s criminal background.

Gun rights advocates say the measure would be an unconstitutional encroachment on Second Amendment rights and have vowed to challenge it in court if it passes into law.

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