Monday, January 11, 2021

Our Police Are Under Attack--Please Act Right Now to Stop This Legislation

Opinion
By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Since I co-founded the Southwest Chicago Post in 2012, this online
neighborhood news service has been a consistent and solid supporter of law enforcement--just like the large majority of men and women here on the Southwest Side are supporters of law enforcement and safe neighborhoods.

With that in mind, I want to add the SWCP's voice in sounding the alarm about legislation currently before the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation, in my opinion, is dangerous and is a direct threat to law enforcement agencies across the state--including and perhaps especially the Chicago Police Department. And as such, it is an indirect threat to the well-being of law abiding men and women everywhere in this state--including and perhaps especially Chicago.

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police recently posted this about the legislation:

Stop HB163 SA2, HB3653 SA1, HB 841 & Associated Defund the Police Legislation

The Illinois General Assembly filed a bill that eliminates law enforcement as we know it from every community in the state.

Senate Amendment number one to House Bill HB 3653 SA1 radically changes law enforcement, victim services, criminal proceedings and the protections of every law enforcement officer in the State, regardless of employment as a peace officer, deputy, trooper, university police officer, corrections officer, court security officer or other law enforcement. This information was drawn up without even considering the input of the actual police.

HB 3653 SA1 & Associated Defund the Police Legislation eliminates all protections from law enforcement officers. It eliminates officer’s ability to pursue their job without civil liability, it eliminates the ability of officers to pursue collective bargaining agreements, it invalidates the constitutionally protected due process of officers and it substantially increases the costs for employers of law enforcement officers. Specifically, HB 3653 SA1 does the following:

• Eliminates Qualified Immunity for police officers, making them civilly liable to siren chasing trial lawyers.

• Eliminates Officer’s rights to Collectively Bargain, creating a “special class” of public employee who does not have these rights in Illinois.

• Eliminates impartial arbitration over burdensome residency requirements.

• Allows for unrestricted and ungoverned disciplinary policies of law enforcement officers.

• Prohibits departments from taking advantage of cost saving federal surplus programs.

• Allows officers to be punished or fired based on anonymous and unsubstantiated or unverifiable complaints.

• Mandates that those unsubstantiated and unverified complaints be kept to be used against officers forever, with no destruction and no limits on how they can be utilized to inflict harm on officers.

• Substantially increases both initial and ongoing education requirements with no money to pay for the increased costs and no assurances that the courses will even be offered.

• Mandates the use of body cameras by all departments for every officer with no money to pay for the cost of those cameras.

• Defunds any department that does not comply 100% with the draconian requirements of the legislation.

• Eliminates funding for law enforcement agencies.

• Eliminates Cash Bail.

• Enacts multiple benefits for felons.

• Prohibits use of force in almost all situations, and makes officers criminally liable for virtually any use of force.

• Removes prohibitions against obstructing police officers.

• Charges officers with Official Misconduct, a class 3 felony, for banal and incidental issues.

The fight over this bill is a fight to save law enforcement. If this bill passes, it might as well be a crime to be a law enforcement officer in Illinois. Help us contact your Senator and Representative to implore that they do not hand this state over to the felons while criminalizing the policing profession.

To sign the Illinois FOP's petition, click this link and add your voice: https://www.ilfop.org/stop-bill-hb-163/


That's what the Illinois FOP said. Chicago's FOP added to it by saying:

House Bill 841 (Police Licensing) was introduced, and we saw the final version of the bill for the first time on Friday night. As introduced, the bill paints officers in a really bad public light for unfounded reasons.

[HB 841] was dumped on top of the other so-called ‘reform’ bill (HB 163-SFA2) that was introduced earlier in the week…the significant concerns we raised were not addressed. There is even now a movement afoot to add even more egregious provisions to these existing bills, including the decriminalization of such things as heroin and Fentanyl.

It is dangerous to try to ram these bills through on short notice in the lame duck session. We continue to be ready to discuss police modernization legislation, but it is imperative that such legislation be fully vetted when there is more time to do so in the spring legislative session. As we advised earlier, the General Assembly has until Jan. 13 to pass this legislation before the next duly elected General Assembly takes office. Please continue to contact your legislators and inform them of your opposition to this bill.

The Chicago FOP also said that HB163 will lead to mass retirement of police, especially in the city:

“[In Chicago], we have over 2,500 officers with 20 years on and over the age of 50. We have over 3,000 with their 20 years in, regardless of age. Most will leave, and this city will be more dangerous than ever before. Crime will skyrocket, and that will drive out the citizens in record numbers. It will lead to a bankrupt state of Illinois. This state has never been closer to the tipping point.”

The proposed laws have aroused concern among at least two of the Southwest Side’s leading crime fighting groups.

“We support our police, and this legislation has to fail,” said Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch President Al Cacciottolo. “We have a lot of police that live in our community, and that bill—if enacted--will send a message that criminals can do what they want and get away with anything. It will essentially strip police of their powers and make police question why they should do the job any more.”
   
Scottsdale Neighborhood Watch President Jason Huff said he thinks the new measures, “including giving criminals no-cash bail, restricting use of force in most incidents, and not penalizing people for obstructing officers will further embolden these criminals to cause havoc. 
  
“I believe officers are entitled to bargain for their contracts, and I support the residency rule currently in place in the city. Also, annual training to deal with individuals with mental, emotional and other traumatic illnesses would be beneficial. Body cameras for all will protect and give better accountability to both the officer and citizen during any stop or use of force. These are common sense.

“The other suggestions in this bill would seem to cause officers to not be proactive. Eliminating immunity and being able to be sued legally for following policy and procedures that you where trained on and are using during work is insane. Finally, I have no problem with police receiving complaints like any other municipal employee, but they need to be reviewed and not held on their record if found to be untrue or unsubstantiated.”

West Elsdon resident Sam DiVicenzo, a retired police officer, said the legislation “will only make a bad situation worse in Chicago. Police won’t stick out their necks if they think no one has their backs. We saw that under [Mayor] Rahm [Emanuel] when so many police officers went fetal and stopped assertively policing—just going through the motions and getting through their shifts while criminals ran amok. With this new legislation, police may go from fetal to comatose.”

Supporters of the legislation claim it is merely an attempt to make police better and more professional.

But is it? In my opinion, this is clearly anti-cop legislation that needs to be voted down now.

I've already signed the Illinois FOP's petition, and I will follow up by contacting my local state senator and state representative. I hope you do, as well.


Friday, January 8, 2021

Crime News Update

  Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


* * *

Police continue to investigate slaying of teen on Archer

Detectives continue to hunt for suspects in the slaying of a 13-year-old boy, shot to death as he
Xavier Quiroz.

stood outside in the 5500 block of South Archer, two days after Christmas.

Xavier Quiroz was attacked just before 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 27. He reportedly was on his way to a store to buy batteries for a Christmas toy. He was struck in the chest, back and shoulder. He was rushed to Advocate Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:36 a.m.

Detectives are said to be exploring multiple possibilities—everything from a random act of violence, to a case of mistaken identity to a targeted shooting for reasons unknown. No one is in custody.

Family members expressed shock and confusion over the killing. Jennifer Simon, the boy’s mother, told local news reporters that her son was a child with a kind heart who never got into trouble with others.

A GoFundMe page set up by relatives to pay funeral expenses has generated $19,745 in donations from 340 people, far surpassing its $10,000 goal.

“Xavier was a CPS Kinzie Elementary School student who was a victim of senseless gun violence over the Christmas weekend,” family members wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Xavier loved basketball, his dogs, and his family. Xavier is survived by his mom and two younger brothers, ages 4 and 6.”

As donations cascaded in, the family added, “There are not enough words to express our heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received for Xavier and our family. We are both humbled and heartened by the incredible generosity from family, friends, and community. Because of you and your overwhelming kindness, we can now cover the cost of Xavier’s funeral expenses and provide traumatic grief counseling and extended support for Xavier’s two younger brothers and mother during this unimaginable time. Please know that Xavier’s entire family remains forever grateful for all you have done in the midst of our tragedy.”





Claim man damaged fence, trespassed
Glenn Whitmore


A 56-year-old Hearst area man was charged with criminal trespass to land and criminal damage to property after he was arrested in the 4600 block of South Lavergne at 4:06 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6.

Glenn Whitmore, of the 4500 block of South La Crosse, allegedly damaged a fence as he broke into a property and then broke the window of a vehicle, a CPD spokesman said without elaborating.

According to public records, Whitmore has been arrested seven times by CPD since 2018 on charges that included theft, burglary and criminal trespass to property.




Charged with unlawful possession of debit card
Violetta Antczak



A 38-year-old woman from suburban Burbank was charged with unlawful possession of a credit/debit card when she was arrested in the 8600 block of South Pulaski at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.

Violetta Antczak, of the 6100 block of West 79th Street, was apprehended by detectives acting on a tip.

According to public records, Antczak has been arrested three times by CPD since 2015 on charges that included criminal trespass to land.




Claim man stole at Ford City
Timothy Gee



A 36-year-old South Side man was charged with retail theft after he was arrested at a store at Ford City at 4:25 p.m Monday, Dec. 7.

Timothy T. Gee, of the 300 block of East 80th Street, allegedly stole apparel and other merchandise from a store. He was detained by a security guard and held for police.

According to public records, Gee has been arrested 10 times by CPD since 2017 on charges that included burglary, retail theft, battery, domestic battery and criminal trespass to a vehicle.



Claim man is connected to October shooting
Ronnie McGhee



A 32-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon after he was arrested at his home in the 5400 block of South Kilbourn at 9:35 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14.

Ronnie B. McGhee was reportedly implicated by video evidence in an Oct. 15 shooting near 37th and Western in which West Englewood resident Carols Yanez, 20, was fatally struck in the back as he rode in a northbound vehicle.

According to public records, McGhee was arrested by CPD in 2014 near 63rd and Francisco and charged with possession of a controlled substance.




Allegedly kicked woman in the stomach
Joel Covarrubias



A 27-year-old Ashburn man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested at his home in the 3800 block of West 77th Street at 9:06 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Joel Covarrubias allegedly kicked a woman in the stomach during an argument.

A charge of aggravated assault was added after the victim told police that Covarrubias threw a candle in a glass jar at her. He also was charged with violating an order of protection.




Traffic stop leads to weapons bust
Jonathan Marques



A 29-year-old Scottsdale man was charged with unlawful use of a weapon after he was arrested during a traffic stop near his home in the 7700 block of South Karlov at 8:27 pm. Thursday, Dec. 10.

Jonathan A. Marques allegedly admitted to officers that he was carrying a handgun in his vehicle.

According to public records, Marques was arrested last July at his home and charged with domestic battery.





Home search leads to drug charges
Jorge Quiroz



A 20-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with four counts of illegal drug possession after he was arrested by officer executing a search warrant at his home in the 5200 block of South Melvina at 9:35 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12.

Jorge Quiroz allegedly was found to be in possession of a large amount of cannabis and other items, a CPD spokesman said.

According to public records, Quiroz was arrested by CPD in 2018 near 51st and Lamon and charged with cannabis possession.






He scratched my face, woman tells police
Jonathan Ledesma



A 48-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with domestic battery after he was arrested at his home in the 5600 block of South Archer at 1:54 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Jonathan R. Ledesma allegedly scratched the face of a 38-year-old woman during an argument. 

According to public records, Ledesma has been arrested three times by CPD since 2018 on charges that included possession of a controlled substance.





Police arrest man who reportedly fled
Enrique Enriquez


A 36-year-old Little Village man was charged with driving on a revoked license, speeding and aggravated fleeing after he was arrested by police in the 5400 block of South Millard at 7:11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

Enrique Enriquez, of the 2300 block of South Trumbull, was initially spotted driving a vehicle without headlights near 52nd and Kedzie, a CPD spokesman said.

Police reportedly tried to curb his vehicle, but he allegedly sped away and eventually bailed out near 51st and Millard. After a foot chase, police put him in custody.

According to public records, Enriquez was arrested at his home earlier this year because he was listed as a fugitive from justice on an out-of-state warrant.




Reputed gang member busted on 57th
Ernesto Magana



A 22-year-old man from the town of Minooka, Ill. was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a streetgang member in a vehicle after he was arrested in the 3900 block of West 57th Street at 1:01 a.m. Monday, Dec. 7.

Ernesto Magana, of the 1300 block of Emington Lane, was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by police because it was blocking an alley, a CPD spokesman said. Magana also was charged with possession of a firearm laser sight.

According to public records, Magana was arrested last January on the West Side and charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon.




‘Suspicious person’ call leads to arrest
Eddie Anderson



A 51-year-old West Side man was arrested on a warrant charge after he was apprehended in the 5400 block of South Nordica at 7:58 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Eddie Anderson, of the 400 block of North St. Louis, was detained by police responding to a “suspicious person” call. A CPD spokesman did not say what the warrant pertained to or from which jurisdiction it was issued.

According to public records, Anderson has been arrested four times by CPD since 2018 on charges that included aggravated assault and criminal damage to property.




Convicted felon charged on gun rap
Dontay Sampson-Jones



A 29-year-old Woodlawn man was charged with failing to register with authorities as a convicted gun offender, after he was arrested during a traffic stop in the 3800 block of West 59th Street at 6:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21.

Dontay Sampson-Jones, of the 5900 block of South Michigan, also was cited for driving on a revoked license.

According to public records, Sampson-Jones has served time in state penitentiaries on convictions that included possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance. In 2020, he was arrested twice and charged with domestic battery.






Allegedly spat in officer’s face
Mashay Miller


A 21-year-old South Side woman was charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer after she was arrested in the 6100 block of South Kedzie at 1:26 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Mashay Miller, of 600 block of East 40th Street, allegedly spat in the face of a police officer attempting to detain her as part of an investigation.

A CPD spokesman said that Miller walked away from a vehicle curbed by police, in response to a report of members of a funeral procession waving guns out of their vehicles. The procession started at a funeral home near Archer and Kedzie, the spokesman added.

According to public records, Miller was arrested in 2018 and charged with battery.











# # #


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Businesses Step Up For Lopez Family

Family lost dad and mom to COVID-19

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

People across the Southwest Side are stepping up to help the
Mr. Guadalupe "Lupe" Lopez

family of 58-year-old Guadalupe “Lupe” Lopez, an Archer Heights man who last month lost his battle with COVID-19.

Among those stepping up are three local business owners who have volunteered to help sell raffle tickets designed to raise funds for the Lopez family as they struggle with the loss of the family patriarch—and at the same time grieve the very recent loss of their mother (and Lupe's wife), Maria, who also lost her battle with COVID-19.

Those business owners are Geno Randazzo of All Exterior Contractors, Mike Riordan of the Mike Riordan State Farm Agency, and Mary Ellen Brown of Midway Storage.

“By all accounts, Lupe Lopez was a good husband and father, a good co-worker, a good coach of youth athletic teams, a good neighbor and so much more,” Randazzo said. “Stepping up to help his family was an easy decision to make.”

Raffle tickets are priced at $10 each (or $20 for 3). First prize is an M4 rifle. Second prize is an autographed Gale Sayers jersey. Third prize is a set of Supreme Whiskey Stones custom glasses. Drawing will be held December 16.

Tickets will be sold until December 15 at:

All Exterior Contractors, 6206 W. 63rd St. (Unit B), from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday though Friday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Mike Riordan State Farm, 6538 W. Archer, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed for lunch from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.); and

Midway Storage, 5660 W. 55th St., from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed for lunch from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.), and 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday (closed for lunch from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.).

Shortly after Mr. Lopez’ death, his colleagues at the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications issued a statement that noted that they were “incredibly saddened to confirm that one of our 9-1-1 Dispatchers, Guadalupe “Lupe” Lopez, passed away. Lupe was not only a beloved employee of the OEMC family for over 33 years, but also a wonderful friend to many, including many at the Chicago Police Department. He was a kind-hearted man, a genuinely caring person, and a trusted confidant to those he worked with. His contributions to 9-1-1 and the City of Chicago will not be forgotten."

A statement from the Chicago Police Department said, “Officers in Chicago rely on their dispatchers while serving and protecting this city. For Chicago Police Officers working Zone 10, Guadalupe Lopez was that voice of security and reassurance. Today Guadalupe Lopez lost his battle with COVID-19. The Chicago Police Department mourns his loss. 

Lupe was a 33-year veteran of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and he will never be forgotten!”