Monday, December 31, 2007
Anti-Military Lawyer Damages Marine's Car on Eve of Deployment
Turns out this incident occurred in our great city therefore Cook County States Attorney's seeing to it that justice be served.
Marine Sgt Mike McNulty is on activation orders to Iraq (second tour). On December 1st, 2007, Mike went to visit a friend in Chicago before deploying to say goodbye. In order to get to his friend's residence, and keep in mind that Chicago is a myriad of diagonal and one-way streets, the front entrance (right way) to the one-way street was blocked. Mike, being a Marine, overcame and adapted by driving around the block to the other end of the street and backing up all the way to his friend's place.
While saying goodbye, at about 11am, he noticed a man leaning up against his car. Mike left his friend's apartment and caught the man keying his car on multiple sides.
After caught in the process, the man told Mike, "you think you can do whatever you want with Department of Defense license plates and tags". (In Illinois you can purchase veteran, Marine, or medal plates. Mike has Illinois Marine Corps license plates.) During the exchange, he made additional anti-military comments.
Mike called the Chicago police and had the man arrested. A citation against the man was issued for misdemeanor criminal damage to private property.
The police report (and I have copies if needed) states:
Victim related to P/O that as he walked back to his vehicle, he observed the offender leaning up against his vehicle and rubbed/dragged his left arm and hand across the passenger side. As offender walked away from victim's vehicle, victim observed a scratch along the rear trunk and passenger's door area where offender dragged his arm and hand over. Victim and witness stopped offender and confronted him. Victim has military plates and decals on his vehicle and offender made anti war and military comments to victim. Upon P/O's arrival to scene, offender denied scratch victim's vehicle, but did admit to rubbing past it. Victim at this time did not sign complaint, because he is leaving tour for military duty. Offender said they accused him of scratching the car because he is Jewish. Offender's statements/responses to P/O's questions unreasonable.
As it turns out, the man is Chicago lawyer Jay R. Grodner, who owns a law firm in the city and has offices in the suburbs.
After sending the car to the body shop, it was determined there is $2400 in damage, making this a felony. Mike went to court Friday morning to collect the damages against Mr. Grodner and file felony charges. Though the damages are over $300 (the amount which determines felony or misdemeanor) Grodner offered Mike to pay his deductible, $100, and have Mike's insurance pay for it.
The Illinois States Attorneys tried to coerce Mike into accepting the offer. Appalled, Mike said he wanted this to be a felony. The state told Mike that it was not worth pursuing felony damage against Grodner because they don't have the time. In addition, the state prosecutors told him that he would never it 'would be difficult to recover the damages' from Grodner because he is a lawyer.
Instead, the State asked Mike if he would accept probation for Grodner. Mike accepted, probation was offered to Grodner, and Grodner declined the offer, saying within ear shot of Mike, "I'm not going to make it easy on this kid". Mike's next court date is tomorrow, Monday, December 31st, to pursue misdemeanor charges against Grodner.
Mike's leave is over on January 2nd when he reports to Camp Pendleton before heading to Iraq.
Jay Grodner knows this and is going to file for a continuance until Mike is gone and cannot appear in court.
By account of the Illinois State's Attorneys, Grodner is likely to get away with defacing Mike's car with no penalty because, 1) Mike is about to deploy to Iraq and will not be available to appear in court, and 2) Grodner is a lawyer and can get out of this very easily.
So, does anyone have any ideas about how to proceed? All peaceful and rational ideas are welcomed. We are contacting the media about this, too.
Please pass this story on to anyone you know that might be able to help. Contact me if you have any information or ideas.
If you have any suggestions for Blackfive.net visit their site.
The tenets of Blackfive.net are:
Supporting the Military
Caring for the Wounded
Remembering the Fallen
Honoring the Sacrifices
I'll link them for future stories.
Would a felony upgrade be approved if the jag-off in question were an off duty copper? No doubt in my mind it would be.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
How did Annie Sweeney come to know about this story and be present when it occurred? My source claims that the WC told the Commander who then told the Deputy and someone up there called media affairs. Obviously someone up high saw this as an opportunity to shed a better light on a department that gets shit on on a regular basis. Its called public relations and it happens all the time. Someone told the press that our "heroes" aka CFD were passing out presents at La Rabida. Either the hospital or the Fire Department made that call and positive press was created. The bottom line is that the intentions were genuine and the members of that unit who participated came through for the intended recipients and some additional kids in the hood. Find some fault in that!
I had no intention of posting on the issue until seeing SCC's take on it.
SCC's post of 27 DEC "Feel Good Story" was about Annie Sweeney's story on TRU. SCC ended their post with
And the chosen subject of this feel good story? TRU. Is there anything these people can't do?
I wasn't absolutely sure if the above comment was a compliment or sarcasm but since SCC prides itself on "sarcasm and silliness" I leaned toward sarcasm. That's all and good but TRU is favorite target of many readers of SCC. Sarcasm and humor from the moderator is fine but the ensuing comments that resulted degenerated into impetuous backbiting. Like the targets before them TRU seems to take a beating at every turn. I do not have a horse in this race but I was deeply disappointed at what I read.
It seems that the post "Feel Good Story" got legs and spawned yet another post called SCC Comments where SCC defended the fact that its their blog and they will print what they see fit. Fair enough. SCC seems to take issue with a comment by Bill Schield Sgt TRU. It appears that this TRU Sgt took issue with SCC's sarcasm and the follow up comments made about TRU. My first thought was good for him he had the balls to stand up and post his name and then immediately my second thought was the shit he is going to catch from a whole bunch of anonymous tough guys. What if the comment was made by someone else claiming to be Sgt Bill Schield TRU. Either way they would shit all over him.
As of the writing of this post 137 comments were submitted on the "Feel Good Story" and 168 comments were submitted on the "SCC Comments". That's 305 comments about one group of police officers. Anecdotally I would say the negative comments were 10-1 against the guys and gals in TRU. That in of itself is so disappointing. I'm not disappointed that the comments were valid but that most were hypocritical and uninformed for the most part. You see as a sgt in a working district I dealt with TRU many times. As a sector sgt I can't turn a corner in the DOC without seeing flashing blue lights and multiple heads on the hood. I stop and they give me a thanks and a wave off. I drive by them on the street and for the most part I get a wave from one or both of the occupants. On a few occasions I would work the desk and for the most part the folks from TRU would bring in arrest and inventories that are no different then that of our gang/tact teams. The only difference is they wouldn't be bringing in the trespassers or loose cigarette hustlers. I rarely hear any grief from the guys on the watch about TRU being in the district except for the fact the the lock box keys seem to disappear when they are here. They bring their own wagon for transports they have their own supervisors for TRR's,IOD's and pursuits. I have on occasion been assigned a CR that I discover to be theirs. Big deal! I do a To-From and request it be reassigned to TRU. From what I hear they don't have too many problems in the south side districts but are treated less then poorly on the west side in particular in 11 and 15.
Schield claims there is nothing TRU can't do after SCC sarcastically questioned if there was anything that they couldn't do. Well I'm in no position to say they can or can't but SCC points out three things that TRU can't do
eat lunch without congregating
process a one bag dope arrest with less than 3 cars
take a joke
There isn't a gang or tact team that the first two criticisms don't apply to. As far as not taking a joke, there are nearly three hundred comments that go way beyond humor.
I am not an apologist for TRU and if you go back in the archives I have advocated the return of manpower to the districts. I am just tired of the same old beat downs that certain groups in this department take from the snide bitchy old ladies who share their lackluster opinions on a blog that at times can be absolutely brilliant.
That is just my opinion.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
A new regulation will require “regular and periodic financial disclosures” by all Los Angeles police officers “who routinely handle valuable contraband or cash.”
In the seven years they have operated under the consent decree, LAPD officers have seen millions and millions of dollars and countless man-hours devoted to complying with its many provisions.
William Bratton may be the LAPD’s chief, but in reality the department is run by lawyers and auditors. A new computer system demanded by the consent decree was intended to help supervisors monitor their officers, but in reality it is little more than a generator of worthless busywork, keeping those supervisors glued to computers in the stations rather than in the field where they might actually interact with the officers they’re supposed to be monitoring. And far too many honest and hardworking officers have been disciplined for making the smallest and most inconsequential of errors in reports that are now endlessly and ludicrously scrutinized.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
During a police graduation ceremony at Navy Pier, Daley said his appointment of the first outsider to serve as superintendent in nearly 50 years signals big changes in the demands made on police supervisors
I was talking to another supervisor who attended the graduation and he brought up the mayors speech. Fran forgot to mention Daley's berating of the attending press for their unfair coverage of the good most police do versus the endless coverage of the misdeeds by a few.
I had also heard about the decentralizing of the department by the new superintendent. What does this mean? The elimination of units? The elimination of the DOC?
Whose heads will the new Superintendent axe? Since the mayor brings up supervisor accountability my guess would be Matt Tobias and Debra Kirby to start.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Here are the facts as you know them:
1. the complainant alleges the accused are two unknown (any gender)/(any race) officers
2. the alleged incident occurred in your district
3. the complainant is uncooperative and therefore you are unable to obtain the signed sworn affidavit.
I would say this scenario typifies 9 out 10 CL numbers that I have received.
You are left with no choice but to prepare your summary digest including 4-5 attachments showing your attempts to contact complainant. The investigation is "UNFOUNDED" due to the lack of cooperation from the complainant. You send it through and it is kicked back because they want to see what you have done to identify the accused.
This is in my opinion is a major problem.
(50 ILCS 725/3.8)(b) Anyone filing a complaint against a sworn peace officer must have the complaint supported by a sworn affidavit.
In other words if the complaint is NOT supported by a signed affidavit the complaint does not exist. If the complaint does not exist they why should the accused of a non complaint be identified?
AFFIDAVITS IN DISCIPLINARY
10. No officer will be required to answer any allegation
of misconduct unless it is supported by an
appropriate affidavit, except as specified in paragraphs
one through five above. In the event that
no affidavit is received within a reasonable time,
the investigation will be terminated and no record
of the complaint or investigation will appear
on the officer’s Disciplinary History.
According to the Department Advocate we must make every effort to identify the involved officers. The officers have no recourse because the allegation can not be investigated and they will have an "UNFOUNDED" disposition in their CR history. In the past that would have been acceptable, however the number of complaints against an officer in a period of time is the issue regardless of disposition. Officers are being placed in the BIS and despite what the Department says it is a form of discipline.
In the above scenario the investigating sergeant discovers by PCAD that officers made a traffic stop and our complainant was ticketed for no DL and no insurance. The complainant was placed in custody (TVB) and vehicle was searched before being towed.
Had the complainant signed the affidavit the officers would have been exonerated.
FOP and PBPA need to push to have all complaints administratively closed when they are not supported by affidavit whether the accused are named or not. Again according to 50 ILCS 725/3.8 (b) Anyone filing a complaint against a sworn peace officer must have the complaint supported by a sworn affidavit. It stands to reason that minus the affidavit the complaint does not exist.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Rejda is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lauren Kiefer, 24, of unincorporated Oakbrook Terrace. Family members discovered her beaten body in her home Christmas Day as they returned from a party.
Rejda was arrested a short time later, after his DNA was identified at the crime scene, authorities said.
In July, prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty. Birkett said the death penalty was appropriate because Kiefer was murdered during the course of aggravated criminal sexual assault, home invasion and residential burglary.
Of course he will now receive a mental fitness exam to see if he is fit to enter into such a plea. This sort of reminds me of Gary Gilmore.
Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad on January 17, 1977, at 8:07 a.m., after angrily telling his lawyers to drop the appeals they had filed in defiance of his wishes
After being asked for any last words, Gilmore simply replied, "Let's do it."
"Every day a policeman gets up and their wife and their children look at them and they are put in harm's way. Every time a fireman goes to work, they are put in harm's way. Every time a young man or woman in the military is put in harm's way . . . that is part of joining the military. We understand that. And that is part of the mission in regards to bringing democracy and safety against terrorism, not only here in the United States but throughout the world."
Richard Daley, when asked about the risk that goes with being a soldier
The Mayor's son, Patrick, is an enlisted member of the 82nd Airborne and a graduate of the University of Chicago. Patrick could have easily taken the route to become a commissioned officer, however he not only enlisted but he chose to became a paratrooper. On Tuesday the Mayor announced that his son was being deployed.
The mayor's eyes welled up with tears once Tuesday when he said his son "is honored to serve this great country."
As a father who has a child presently serving in our Armed Forces my thoughts and prayers to the Daley family and all the families of those serving.
GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!
A ranking Cook County prosecutor said Tuesday that he has suggested taking investigations of police shootings away from Chicago police and putting the often controversial incidents in the hands of specialized "shoot teams" that would be independent of the city.
Robert Milan, the office's first assistant state's attorney and a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed State's Atty. Richard Devine in the Feb. 5 primary, said he brought the idea to top police officials during discussions over how to improve shooting investigations.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
And here is the brilliant argument presented by Carothers.
“If you work for Streets and Sanitation in Chicago . . . and you run over somebody with a truck, then you have to go take a Breathalyzer test and, in fact, a drug test as well,” said Carothers, a strong mayoral ally and chairman of the Police and Fire Committee. “So I think it’s just appropriate to do this. . . . I have a concern to just make sure that the public knows that we’re doing all that we can to make sure that police officers are not impaired.”
Well ass wipe, if the S&S guy runs someone over its an accident. We shoot someone it is because we were in fear of our life. Since when has a shooting incident been questioned as to the sobriety of the involved?
In one incident in 2000, an off-duty officer shot and wounded a man at 3 a.m. in a fight outside a South Side bar. The officer, who contended the man had pointed a gun at him, reported he had consumed 11/2 shots of cognac. But he was not given a breath test until seven hours after the incident. In a subsequent calculation, a state toxicologist estimated that the officer’s blood alcohol content was at least 0.11 and possibly as high as 0.15. A person is legally drunk under Illinois law at 0.08.
and this is what they came up with.
I'm getting so sick and tired of this bullshit!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
December 5, 2007
Letters to The Editor
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
The Chicago Tribune is biased against the Chicago Police Department. Its goal is, and always has been, to portray police officers in the worst possible way to its readership. In order to poison the minds of its readers, the Tribune needs a bridge to the public. This is where Steve Mills, house reporter to the People’s Law Office and the Loevys, comes into play.
When reading Mill’s articles, one must realize that the story is being told by a person who is clearly biased against the Chicago Police Department. Reputable news outlets rely on unbiased reporting. The Tribune does not subscribe to that philosophy. Mills is an out-and-out “police hater.” At a national conference in New Orleans, Steve Mills was quoted as saying the following about Chicago Police Officers:
“It’s very clear. It’s us against them.”
“I mean why not make it (the relationship with police) an all out war…It’s our job to go after them.”
When Mills writes a story, he misleads his readers by providing a slanted account of the details. He admitted to as much when he said, “So, well, we can’t be as systematic as we’d like sometimes, if you can’t get enough—as long as you, you know, you stay focused like a laser on what you’re really trying to prove, you can go far enough and get enough into the paper to make the points.”
Make the points? What about reporting the entire story rather than bits and pieces which support your conclusion? The readers have no choice but to think poorly of police officers after reading his misleading stories. But then again, that is exactly what Mills and the Tribune want.
Mills talks about the tragic situation when a paraplegic was shot by police officers. After reading his story, a reader has no other choice but to conclude that the officers acted inappropriately. That is because Mills followed the Tribune script perfectly: “Present only the facts which hurt the police.” What Mills failed to write, by design no doubt, was that the paraplegic was fleeing the police in a stolen car moments prior to the shooting. He did not mention that the offender was driving the wrong way down streets during his flight. He also failed to mention that the offender threw a second gun out of his car during the chase. He claims that a gun was planted on the offender. So the first gun was his, but the second one had to be planted?
Moreover, it is undisputed that the offender’s family was outside when the shooting took place. It was a warm summer evening, with people all over the place. Surely someone must have seen the police plant this gun? Not one of those persons ever alleged that the police planted the gun on the offender. It was not until years later that someone concocted this story. Mills also failed to mention that the police explained that the offender pointed his gun at the officer who was standing outside his window when he was then shot by a police officer from the rear of the vehicle. Mills contends that since there were bullet wounds to the back of the offender’s hands, it is obvious that the offender had his hands “raised in surrender.” Mills neglected to mention that it was at least equally plausible that the wounds to the back of the offender’s hand came as the result of his pointing his gun at the officer. But then again, why should Mills or the Tribune let facts get in the way of a good story.
His series, which will continue all week, will likely contain more fabrications, selective testimony and out-and-out lies. This disservice to the members of the Chicago Police Department and every citizen of this City will have lasting effects. When credibility is given to one man who builds bridges between fact and fiction, and misleads the public, the credibility of all members of the media is questioned, just as is the credibility of all police officers.
Mark P. Donahue
Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge
(I'm sure FOP does not mind that I reproduced their letter to the editor. )
A couple of weeks ago I posted my disgust with the Sun-Times and vowed to never purchase that rag again. Add the Tribune to that list
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The lawsuit centers on the allegation that Donna Lewis, a Grand Crossing tactical officer, was wrongly denied a special assignment in Washington to assist with crowd control during street demonstrations at an International Monetary Fund conference in 2002.
Lewis said her supervisor, Lt. Terence Williams, who is now the commander of the Calumet District, told her she couldn't go because she was female.
Snyder's of Hanover, the Pennsylvania snack food-maker aiming to buy Jays, doesn't intend to operate the plant on 99th Street, thus jettisoning 220 production jobs. A warehouse and distribution facility at the site, which employs 420 others, will continue to operate for "an unspecified period of time," Jays said in a press release.
Do they still get fresh bread from Gonella on Kensington?