Friday, November 28, 2008


Governor Rob Blagovjevich and Senator Dick Durbin think Former Governor George Ryan should have his sentence commuted to time served.

Citing the frail health of Ryan's wife, Lura Lynn, and the 74-year-old former governor's health concerns, Blagojevich said a commutation by Bush would be a "fine decision."

Blagojevich becomes the second high-profile Democrat in the state to support efforts to have the outgoing Republican president free the former GOP governor from prison.

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the chamber, said he was considering asking Bush to commute Ryan's sentence.

These two political hacks have no credibility in my book. I am amazed at the quality of elected officials that the people of the state of Illinois continue to put in office.

An impassioned plea by US Congressmen Ted Poe of Texas for the pardons of or commuted sentences of US Border Patrol Agents Campion and Ramos.

Mr. Speaker, at this time of the year, it is common for whatever President is in power to review requests for pardons and for commutations of sentence. And yesterday, the President exercised his constitutional authority and pardoned numerous individuals, at least 29 of them, and I have all of their names here. I count seven drug dealers that were pardoned, one individual for receiving kickbacks in defense procurements contracts, and he commuted one sentence of an individual that was aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine.

I want to make it clear; the President has the absolute power under the Constitution to pardon anybody he wishes or commute the sentence. And I want to read part of the Constitution, a pocketbook Constitution that many of us here carry that says, "The President shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States."

You notice, Mr. Speaker, it doesn't give any conditions, except he can't pardon someone who has been impeached. It doesn't require that a committee decide who is to be pardoned. It doesn't require that the Justice Department do anything or be even involved in the process. It gives the power of pardon and commutation to the President; and he has that right to pardon anyone he wishes, and I uphold his right to do so.

But in jail today in the Federal penitentiary somewhere across our United States are two individuals who I think should be pardoned, or at least their sentences should be commuted. And numerous people on the House, on both sides, have asked the President to look at these cases and pardon these two individuals, especially in light of their appellate court hearing that took place just a few weeks ago in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana. Of course, those two people are Border Agents Ramos and Campion, who I feel like were unjustly convicted by an overzealous prosecution, a comment that was made by one of the Federal judges on appeal, "overzealous prosecution."

But be that as it may, and it seems to me that they have been imprisoned a year now, most of that time they have been serving solitary confinement. For what crime? Well, because they supposedly violated the civil rights of a drug smuggler bringing drugs in from Mexico worth about $1 million. And the United States Government, rather than prosecute the drug dealer, prosecuted the Border Agents because they didn't follow policy, protocol, filling out appropriate forms after this shooting took place. But they go make a deal with the drug dealer. They make a deal with the devil, and they get testimony from the drug dealer in their trial. Talking about the Federal prosecution made a deal with him.

But, you see, that whole case kind of has some bad things that happened. We had learned, several of us, that while the drug dealer, granted immunity, that means they are not going to prosecute him, to testify, and before the trial took place, he brought in another load of drugs from Mexico to the United States worth about $700,000.

The U.S. Attorney's Office, in a carefully worded propaganda piece, denied that that ever occurred. But since we saw, and I have seen the DEA report, we knew a second drug deal took place. And now, finally, after this took place and many of us knew about it, the Federal Government has decided to prosecute the drug dealer on that second case; conspiracy to import drugs into the United States, and charging a new indictment with three offenses, conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States.

So the Federal Government makes a deal with the drug dealer. He brings in drugs after the deal is made. Now he is in jail. And it seems to me, justice would demand that these two Border Agents be released at least until this appeal is over with. But I think they should have their sentences commuted or even they should be pardoned by the President.

But I say all that to say the bureaucrats say, Oh, these two Border Agents haven't followed protocol. They haven't applied the right way, they haven't filled out the right forms for a pardon and a commutation of sentence. Well, the Constitution that I just read doesn't require forms to be filled out for people in prison to get a pardon. I don't remember Mr. Scooter Libby filling out some kind of form to get a pardon. He didn't even ever go to jail. He just got a Get Out of Jail Free card. He was pardoned. The President had the absolute right to do that. I don't quarrel with that. President Nixon got an absolute pardon by President Ford. He didn't fill out any forms to get that pardon.

So, Mr. Speaker, I recommend and urge the President to commute the sentences of these two Border Agents. And he can do it on his own. He doesn't need permission from some bureaucracy, and I hope he does so and does so quickly.

And that's just the way it is.

Thanks Congressmen

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The department saw many command changes today. The biggest change would have to be Deputy Superintendent Mike Sheilds being demoted to Lt. Following list via comment section on SCC
Assistant Superintendent –
Law Enforcement Operations: James Jackson

Assistant Superintendent – Administration: Beatrice Cuello

Bureau of Patrol

Deputy Superintendent: Daniel Dugan, Jr.

Chief, Areas 1, 2, and 4:
Eugene Williams

Chief, Areas 3, 5, Central Control Group and Special Functions Group:
Michael McCotter

Deputy Chief, Area 2 Dana Alexander

Deputy Chief, Special Functions Group: Patrick McNulty

Commander, Targeted Response Unit: Kevin Ryan

Commander, 001st District: Chris Kennedy

Commander, 004th District: Eric Carter

Commander, 024th District: Dave Sobczyk

Commander, 025th District: Robert Lopez

Bureau of Investigative Services

Chief, Organized Crime Division: Ernest Brown

Deputy Chief, Organized Crime Division: Nicholas Roti

Deputy Chief, Field Group B: Constantine Andrews

Commander, Gang Enforcement Unit: Leo Schmitz

Commander, Gang Investigations Section: Joseph Gorman

Commander, Deployment Operations Center : Steve Caluris

Thursday, November 20, 2008


From the Chicago Police Lieutenants Association website

By Lt. John Garrido

On 2 Nov 08, 25th District officers arrested 2 offenders for drinking on the public way. A custodial search incident to the arrest revealed the offenders to be in possession of fictitious SS cards and fictitious green cards. When Detective Sofrenovic sought the appropriate felony charge, ASA Essig rejected charges, citing "Prosecutorial Discretion"
and "4th Amendment issues" in regard to the arrest.

Being the W/C that day, I contacted her supervisor, ASA Grawth. Aside from the b.s. discretion nonsense, I was more concerned about the 4th Amendment argument. He alleged that when officers make a physical arrest for a charge that is less than a misdemeanor (like drinking on the public way or a traffic citation) and it leads to another charge due to the search, they are actually violating the offender's constitutional rights under the 4th amendment. Believing he was wrong, I went for the over-ride; thank you Commander Welch.

I did a little research and confirmed that not only is he wrong, but there is a recent United States Supreme Court case to support the argument that there is no 4th Amendment Violation; the case couldn't be more on point and it was decided on April 23, 2008. FINDLAW.Com

Thanks Lt.


Via FOP Lodge 7


On Monday, November 11, 2008, the appellate court ruled that prosecutors can use, in criminal proceedings, the results of a police officer’s breathalyzer test that were obtained administratively (by IAD). The court reasoned that such results are non-testimonial; therefore breathalyzer results are not covered under the Fifth Amendment and are not protected under Garrity. This ruling in no way impacts statements made pursuant to an administrative investigation. Since Garrity was decided, the law prohibiting the use of administrative evidence has been watered down very much, especially in Illinois. Garrity only applies to testimonial evidence. Therefore, only statements made by an officer in an administrative investigation will be suppressed at any subsequent criminal proceedings (with rare exception); however all non-testimonial evidence is clearly admissible at criminal proceedings. (i.e. breath/blood test; identifications at line-ups, contraband found in PO’s locker, etc.).

The case at issue involved an off-duty police officer who was involved in a traffic altercation which included a high speed chase and allegations that the officer threatened the individual with his weapon. The officer was placed under arrest on the scene for aggravated assault and driving under the influence. The officer was brought to the 14th District and the arresting officers asked him if he was willing to submit to a breathalyzer test. The off-duty officer refused and accordingly was processed as a “refusal” per the statute. At that point a sergeant from IAD arrived, identified himself and presented the off-duty officer with the standard administrative proceedings rights and notification of charges. As you are aware, included in those rights is the language, “any admission or statement made by you…and the fruits thereof cannot be used against you in a subsequent proceeding.” We are familiar with this as the Garrity rule.

Pursuant to Illinois law, an individual charged with DUI clearly has the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer exam, although that right appears to be in jeopardy as other states have legislated away the right to refuse. Regardless of an Illinois driver’s right to refuse, since the Jones case was decided in 2005, the law is clear that when a driver’s blood or breath is taken, despite their refusal, it is admissible in a criminal proceeding. The courts do not allow the police the authority to use physical force to obtain a result, however results obtained any other way are fair game at criminal cases. (i.e. coercion, blood draws at hospitals and administrative searches).

The Lodge is contemplating whether to petition the Illinois Supreme Court to rule on this issue. The decision will be made in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Military Deployment Award

86 members of the Chicago Police Department were honored today for their military service during a time of war. Most are Guardsmen/Reservist who have served in either Iraq or Afghanistan and others were active duty troops. Some have served in the Gulf War and Kosovo and a few served in Viet Nam.
It's no surprise to Kurth that so many Chicago police are also military men and women. Soldiers and officers have common goals: to serve and protect.

"It's what's inside of you," he said Monday. "You're willing to help. You're willing to join in. You're looking for the bigger, common goal."

Thank You from a prior service Vet

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Today the Tribune ran a story on Maria Ramirez. Maria Ramirez is the mother of Mathew Ramirez who was gunned down in February 2006 by Christopher Sodaro.
For more than two years, Maria Ramirez had attended every hearing of the suspect, Christopher Sodaro. Matthew Ramirez died at age 16, walking home from a friend's house on a cold February night in 2006, shot because Sodaro mistakenly thought he was in a gang, authorities said.

Police never found a weapon, Sodaro never admitted guilt and the state's best witness was another gang member. And so in July a judge released Sodaro, now 17, saying there wasn't enough evidence to convict him.

The justice system was unable to provide any closure for Mrs. Ramirez but the thug life that Sodaro led certainly did.

Then on an October night, she got the news. The teen accused of killing her son was dead. Sodaro had gotten into a fight with rival gang members, and he was dragged by a car to his death. Nobody has been charged.

Mrs. Ramirez summed up her feelings on Sodaro's death.
"I'm extremely happy. This kid, this guy was a hard-core gang banger," she said recently. "At least now he's not out on the street, able to do what was done to me to another mother. At least he can't kill another now."

She knows some might disapprove of her honesty. She doesn't care.

Unfortunately the trade off was hardly fair. A good kid's life traded for a thug's life. No Mrs. Ramirez, I don't disapprove of your honesty, you have every right to feel that way.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Congratulations to President Pallohusky on a resounding victory for election to another term as President. 677 ballots were sent in, 7 were spoiled as either not signed or from retirees, etc. Leaving 670 (out of 1306 members) valid ballots cast. 17 Sgts did not vote in the Presidential election, leaving a total of 653 valid votes for President (exactly 50% turnout).


John Pallohusky: 473
Gerry Majerczyk: 180

Good luck to John and the old/new board in contract negotiations. I really have to start studying for that 2010/2011 Lts. test now (and take a handful of ibuprofen for that ass-kicking I just received).

Congratulations again to John.

--Gerry Majerczyk

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Detective Joe Airhart died yesterday November 4th as a result of gunshot wounds he suffered in 2001. Leave a reflection at Officer Down Memorial Page.


Sunday, November 9th; 1500 – 2100 hours

Cage Funeral Home
7651 S. Jeffrey

St. Jude Service at 1900 Hours

Funeral Services:

Monday, November 10th; 0900 to 1100 hours – Final Visitation

Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago
5850 South Woodlawn

Mass begins at 1100 hours

Interment at Beverly Cemetery
120th & Kedzie

Monday, November 03, 2008


This American Hero, Sgt Joe Cook, is from the Chicago area. The video wasn't produced by a slick advertising firm or funded by any political action committee. No, it was made by a guy who felt it was important to get his message out about the war and the service and sacrifice of our troops.
Thanks Joe
Please keep in mind that this is an open blog
that can and is read by people other than Chicago Police Officers.