Tag Archives: CPD

Chance the Rapper goes undercover as Lyft driver to raise money for CPS

Chance the Rapper partnered with Lyft to raise money for Chicago Public Schools, and went undercover as a ride-share driver to surprise unsuspecting residents around the city.

Hidden cameras show Chance picked up passengers while wearing a knit cap and sunglasses to disguise his appearance. They chatted about the city, life and music, and cracked jokes until they reached their destination.

That’s when Chance swapped the beanie for his signature 3 cap and took off the sunglasses, shocking his riders as they found out who they’d been talking to the whole time.

A few weeks ago, Hemphill-Davis got into a Lyft and was introduced to a driver named “John.”

Where they talked about what it was like growing up in Chicago, their shared experiences, plus their hopes and dreams. Then they started talking about local music.
Little did she know, “John the Driver” was actually Chance the Rapper.
“A lot of my friends, I think, are going to see the video and say, ‘There’s no way you could not have known,’ but I definitely did not,” Hemphill-Davis said.

When she opted in to “round-up-and-donate” in her Lyft app a year ago, she never thought it would lead to what has become the “ride of her life.”

“He takes off his hat and says, ‘Well I’m Chance the Rapper’ and I just kind of lose it at that exact moment,” Hemphill-Davis said, laughing.

Lyft’s “round-up-and-donate” feature rounds up fares to the nearest dollar and donates the difference to a charity of the rider’s choice. Last year, Lyft teamed up with Chance’s nonprofit, SocialWorks, and featured The New Chance Fund in its “round-up-and-donate” feature.

“People can round-up-and-donate and then give back to CPS through our new Chance Fund,” said Essence Smith, of Social Works.

SocialWorks donates money for arts education to Chicago schools in need. The New Chance Fund, which SocialWorks launched at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, will help 20 CPS schools give kids better access to enrichment programs during the school day.

Google teamed up with Chance the Rapper to bring computer science education to Chicago Public Schools.

Hemphill-Davis was one of the riders who opted in to donate to Social Works.
“It was just a simple way to donate to Chicago Public Schools. It was something I wanted to do because I’m a product of Chicago Public Schools,” Hemphill-Davis said.

Lyft officials said on average, each rider donates a few dollars each month. Since the partnership between Lyft and Social Works began, the nonprofit has raised more than $100,000 for CPS students and programs.

 

Mayoral Candidate Gery Chico: “There’s been a breakdown in trust between the community and the police”

Mayoral candidate Gery Chico shares his vision for the mayor’s office with Big John & Ramblin’ Ray, including what he has in mind for rebuilding trust between neighborhoods and the police department. Chico also touches on how his relationship with Rahm Emanuel has grown and what he believes is the culprit of the city’s money issues.

Kevin Graham, FOP President: “(The prosecution’s) case is based on one video”

The President of the Fraternal Order of Police Kevin Graham shares his opinions on the Jason Van Dyke trial with Big John & Ramblin’ Ray. Graham touches on the state of moral within the CPD, why he is not surprised that the prosecution may be ready to rest its case already, and his response to Jeff Session’s criticism.

Brian Warner, Former Chicago Cop: “You are trained to shoot until the threat is eliminated”

Former Chicago cop Brian Warner offers a unique perspective on the Jason VanDyke trial to Big John & Ramblin’ Ray. As a friend and former co-worker of VanDkye, Warner gives his take on how Chicago police officers are trained, and how the shooting of McDonald could have been prevented.

Chicago Police to Document When They Point a Gun, Lori Lightfoot: “I think it’s necessary”

 

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are accompanied by Chicago’s Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot, talking about the new policy that shall be coming next year where officers will have to radio in whenever they pull out their gun. Plus her thoughts on how to cut down the violence within Chicago.

 

 

Chicago police sergeant kills himself while on duty downtown

An on-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot himself Monday afternoon on the Near West Side.

According to Chicago police; 47-year-old officer, Steven Bechina, was found unresponsive inside his vehicle in the first block of North Desplaines.

He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition and later pronounced dead, police said.

Bechina was a sergeant in the Chicago Police Department’s Mass Transit Unit, police said.

Chicago police recommend when someone, including an officer, is contemplating suicide is a national suicide prevention hotline, 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433).

Chicago Sun-Times

CPD Officers caught sleeping, receive disciplinary action after photo goes viral

Photo of two Chicago police officers sleeping in a squad car has gotten a lot of attention on social media, prompting officials to take disciplinary action. The photo has also raised questions about officer safety and whether increased overtime is taking a toll on officers.

The photo was first posted Saturday morning on Facebook. It’s been shared more than 20,000 times since, including by mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green who blames the situation on mandatory overtime.

“Both of them, not one was out, both of them were asleep, they probably had a rough day, they may have done a lot of overtime and these are the effects of it,” Green said.

Green, who has been a vocal critic of the Chicago Police Department during his days as a community activist, said this one is on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the decision to deploy 600 more officers to combat the recent surge in gun violence.

The Chicago Police  Department released the following statement about the photo:

Officer welfare, health and safety are among our highest priorities. The officers involved in this incident were not on an overtime initiative and worked minimal amounts of overtime since July 1st and didnt work overtime this week or weekend.

 

Read more on the story, and statements from Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Paul Vallas from WGN-TV.

Search Continues For Missing Special Olympian

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are asking for the public’s help to find a missing man who disappeared while participating in the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics being held in Chicago.

CBS 2’s Vi Nguyen has more on the efforts to find him.

CPD said the 22-year-old man is a high-risk missing person and they’re still looking for him.

The last time anyone made contact with him was Thursday night and he hasn’t been seen since. Police have shared his picture on social media Friday night and CPD is hoping someone will recognize him.

The 22-year-old man with autism does not speak English. He was reported missing from the 100 block of East Delaware.

His name is Rezwanul Haque. He was last seen wearing a blue hat with USA on the front, a blue polo shirt with the word “Bangladesh” on the back, black pants, and white gym shoes.

He also had a light gray and red backpack.

According to Special Olympics International, Haque is an athlete with the Bangladeshi Unified Cup soccer team. He’s one of the hundreds of athletes taking part in the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics.

The five-day celebration began earlier in the week. It wraps up Saturday at Soldier Field with a concert at Northerly Island.

Special Olympics International released a statement which said they are deeply concerned and their top priority and safety of their athletes. They are working with local police to find him.

If you have any information or do spot the athlete, you are urged to call the Chicago Police Department.

Alderman Ray Lopez wants to arm the Chicago police officers with higher powered weapons

15th Ward Alderman Ray Lopez joins the show to talk to his desire to give CPD officers higher powered rifles in response to the ambush shooting of police officers earlier this week. “I think this was absolutely shocking to me.” Lopez said. “I could barely contain the rage and frustration I felt that night when I was before the press.”

“Unfortunately, we see these weapons used by gang members in our community and against our community,” Lopez continued. “But the fact that they specifically turned their weapons, targeting these officers while they were doing their jobs.”

CPD officer saved during stroke by 7-year-old son’s 911 call

(CHICAGO) A Chicago Police officer in the middle of her morning routine last month suffered a stroke, but her 7-year-old son realized something was wrong and called for help, saving his mother’s life.

On Dec. 21, Sherece Holland, 55, was helping her son Romeo brush his teeth when she started to have trouble speaking and moving her arms, according to a statement from Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Romeo ran to get his grandmother, who began to panic when she realized her daughter was displaying signs of a stroke, the hospital said. Romeo calmed his grandmother down and pressed the family’s emergency call button so that he could speak with dispatchers. Paramedics arrived and took his mother to Christ Medical Center for treatment.

“I had taught Romeo what to do in case of a health emergency with my mother. He knew to call for help, but I never would have imagined he’d use those skills to take care of me,” Holland said in the statement.

Holland suffered from a blot clot that blocked an artery leading to the left side of the brain, the hospital said. Her doctor, Scott Geraghty, removed the clot, which allowed blood to flow back into the brain.

“When she arrived, she was unable to say a word, and her right side was completely paralyzed,” said Dr. Geraghty in the statement.

Holland was discharged from therapy and is now back home with Romeo, according to the hospital.

“This story touches at the core of why getting patients to the hospital who are suspected to be having a stroke can be life-saving, and it’s all predicted on the fact that Romeo perceived something was wrong and acted to save his mom’s life,” said Dr. Melvin Wichter, chair of neurology and co-director of Neurosciences Institute, in the statement.

Romeo’s fast response prevented Holland from suffering brain damage or death and helped the family avoid what could have been a devastating Christmas, Wichter said in the statement.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Top cop asks IG to look at fiancée’s actions after traffic stop

(CHICAGO) Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is asking the city’s inspector general to look into allegations Johnson’s fiancée, a Chicago Police lieutenant, might have intervened to help her son following a traffic stop, a spokesman for the department said Tuesday.

In an emailed statement, spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the department became aware of the incident Tuesday morning and that an internal investigation has been opened into the “handling of the traffic offense” involving the son of Lt. Nakia Fenner, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

“Supt. Johnson is committed to the highest levels of integrity and professional standards for every member of the Chicago Police Department,” Guglielmi said. “He has asked Internal Affairs that this case be turned over to the Chicago Inspector General for an independent investigation into the facts to avoid any perception of impropriety.”

Rachel Leven, a spokeswoman for Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, said: “Our Office will review any information CPD provides in accordance with our procedures when we receive any complaint or referral.”

Asked Tuesday night if, prior to Tuesday, Johnson had mentioned his plans to go to the Inspector General’s Office, Fenner said: “I don’t have any comment regarding that story.”

It’s not the first time Fenner has been the subject of one of the inspector general’s investigations.

In its scathing report on Chicago’s police force, the U.S. Justice Department lifted the veil on another Ferguson investigation involving Fenner — this one into allegations of cheating prior to the August, 2015 lieutenants exam.

“The city’s inspector general is . . . currently investigating allegations that three recently-promoted lieutenants were coached by a high-ranking official who helped develop the August 2015 lieutenant’s exam,” the report states in a section devoted exclusively to CPD’s much-criticized promotion process.

“Although the investigation is ongoing, allegations of improper exam procedures make CPD officers doubt the fairness of the exam process. . . . In addition to litigation concerning the tests’ discriminatory impact, promotional exams also have been tainted with allegations of cheating and cronyism in the exam’s preparations or administration.”

Fenner was not mentioned by name in the DOJ report, but sources said the “ongoing investigation” is a reference to allegations that Eugene Williams, a former finalist for police superintendent, improperly coached Fenner and two other women, including the wife of former First Deputy Police Superintendent Al Wysinger, prior to the lieutenants’ exam.

Williams was in a unique position to assist the women, since he had helped develop the exam. He has repeatedly refused to discuss the coaching allegations, and has since retired.

All three women, including Johnson’s fiancée, were promoted after scoring well on the test. Ferguson’s office has declined to comment on that case.

Johnson’s request to Ferguson’s office comes in the wake of a health scare last week. On Friday, the 56-year-old superintendent grew lightheaded and wobbly during a press conference at a South Side police station, leading him to disclose he has high blood pressure and is on the waiting list for kidney transplant.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

CPD releases January crime stats

CHICAGO The Chicago Police Department early Wednesday released its monthly crime statistics for January 2017.

Police recorded 51 murders across the city last month, one more than January 2016, the department said. Three police districts on the city’s South and West sides – the Englewood, Harrison and Austin districts – accounted for about half of the city’s murders last month.

Police counted 234 shooting incidents – eight fewer than in January 2016 – with 299 victims, an increase of eight compared to the same period last year.

The Deering District, which was one of the city’s top three districts for murders in 2016, saw a 50 percent reduction in murders last month compared to January 2016, police said. The department said 59 of the city’s 77 neighborhoods either remained flat or saw a reduction in murders last month compared to last January.

Officers recovered more than 600 guns last month, an increase of more than 60 percent over January 2016, police said. The department also noted that gun arrests overall have more than doubled compared to January 2016.

“In 2017, CPD will focus on initiatives that aim to reduce violence, increase the capability of our police officers, and rebuild public trust,” CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said in the statement. “Through these investments we will make this a safer year for Chicago.”

According to a Chicago Sun-Times list compiled using Cook County medical examiner’s and other public records, there were 53 homicides in Chicago in January 2017. The Sun-Times has also recorded 245 shooting incidents in the city last month with 307 victims, seven of whom were children aged 14 or younger.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

New Plan For CPD

By Nick Gale, WLS -AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) Chicago police are working to develop a new strategic plan for community policing.

Days after the U.S. Department of Justice released a report saying sweeping reforms are needed within the Chicago Police Department, Supt. Eddie Johnson wants to hear from community leaders and others.

Johnson says he intends to take a three-pronged approach. He says it will involve community engagement, a stronger relationship with the criminal justice system and will target violent offenders. Johnson says the DOJ report didn’t surprise him.

“What bothers me the most about the report is the training aspect of it. Because we owe it to our police officers to give them the best training possible because that makes them better when they’re out on the street,” Johnson said.

The group will meet several times before issuing recommendations at the end of March.

© WLS-AM 890 News

 

CPD union says IPRA investigators don’t meet state requirements

(CHICAGO) The union that represents Chicago Police officers says that investigators hired by the city to look into officer-involved deaths don’t meet the state’s minimum training requirements, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7 is asking a court to rule that the city is not in compliance with the requirements of the Illinois Police Training (IPTA) and Police and Community Relations Improvement (PCRIA) acts, according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages and to compel the city to become compliant.

The PCRIA, which took effect Jan. 1, requires at least one of the investigators looking into an officer-involved death be certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board as a lead homicide investigator, or be approved by the board for training of similar standards, the suit states.

The FOP claims the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), which investigates officer-involved deaths in Chicago, does not currently, nor did it before, have lead investigators that met the state’s standards, according to the suit.

IRPA will be replaced by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) in mid-2017, according to the suit, which supposes that investigators currently hired by IPRA will similarly be hired by COPA.

The FOP said it doesn’t believe the state board has certified any of IPRA’s investigators as “lead homicide investigators,” according to the suit. The state also has not approved the training obtained by IPRA investigators that would meet the requirements for them to serve as lead investigators, the suit said.

The FOP reached out to the city with their concerns, but city officials told them they believe IPRA’s investigators are in compliance, the suit said.

A request for comment with the city was not immediately returned Thursday night.

Chicago Police officer among 4 injured in Near North Side crash

The Chicago Fire Department responded to a four-vehicle crash early Thursday at West Division and North Orleans streets. | NVP News

UPDATES WITH ADDITIONAL DETAILS

A Chicago Police officer was among four people injured in a crash early Thursday on the Near North Side, fire officials said.

Paramedics responded about 3 a.m. to the four-vehicle crash at West Division and North Orleans streets, according to Fire Media Affairs Chief Juan Hernandez. One person was pinned inside a vehicle and had to be extricated.

The Chicago Police officer, a 45-year-old woman, was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Hernandez said.

Three men, all thought to be between 20 and 30 years old, were taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, he said. Two men were listed in critical condition and the third was in good condition.

Chicago Police did not immediately provide additional information on the crash.

Ruling clears way for questioning of Daley in torture case

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a lawsuit accusing former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley of ignoring evidence of police torture by ex-police commander Jon Burge can go forward.

Judge Amy St. Eve’s ruling Tuesday means Daley may be forced to give sworn testimony about what he knew of torture revealed when Daley was Cook County state’s attorney.

Daley has been ordered to give a sworn deposition in other lawsuits over torture claims, but the city settled those cases before he was questioned.

St. Eve’s ruling concerns a lawsuit alleging Alonzo Smith was beaten by detectives under Burge’s command during an investigation into a 1983 slaying. He sued in March after a judge found enough evidence of torture for a new trial, prompting prosecutors to dismiss the case.

A Daley spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Officials detail ‘targeted enforcement’ efforts over weekend

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police officials say there was a drop in the number of shootings and homicides over the past weekend after dozens of officers flooded three areas of the city.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Monday there were 37 shooting incidents over the past weekend compared to 63 the previous weekend and 70 the Halloween weekend. The weekend ended with five homicides compared to 18 during the Halloween weekend.

Police say they sent additional city, state, county and federal officers into the areas on the South and West sides where crime data and gathered intelligence suggested there might be retaliatory shootings for shootings that occurred two weekends ago. There, they made traffic stops, conducted parole checks and served warrants.

Police say they made 44 arrests, including one for a September homicide.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CPD: High security in Wrigleyville during World Series weekend

(CHICAGO) Acknowledging that the coming weekend will be “inconvenient” for neighborhood residents, city officials said Wednesday that first responders would be out in large numbers to ensure safety during any Cubs World Series celebrations in the streets of Wrigleyville.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said more than 1,000 Chicago Police officers, FBI and Homeland Security agents, Illinois State troopers and Cook County sheriff’s deputies will be out in the neighborhood “to ensure we have a safe and enjoyable weekend of baseball.”

“Security during the entire series will be very high,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Police officers also will conduct security checks within a two-block perimeter of Wrigley Field, according to Rich Guidice, first deputy director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

The Cubs are scheduled to play host to the Cleveland Indians on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

About 300,000 people — equivalent to more than 10 percent of the entire city’s population — were out in Wrigleyville last weekend celebrating the Cubs’ first World Series berth since 1945.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigleyville, said the same number of people, if not more, are expected in the area this weekend. “We’ve been down this road before,” he said.

Julian Green, a spokesman for the Cubs, told reporters the team has hired private security to work in concert with law enforcement throughout the weekend.

Last summer, the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory brought revelers out to Wrigleyville as well.

Robert Cesario, commander of the Town Hall District, said the department has made “tweaks” to its crowd control strategy since then.

“We looked at our plan from last year and we’re using that as a foundation to build on our plan for this year,” he said. “We made a few tweaks.”

According to a memo sent to the police department by First Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro obtained Tuesday by the Sun-Times, “All units of the Department will be in regulation field uniform and be prepared for deployment with soft body armor, helmet, baton and rain gear.”

The order will go into effect from Friday, Oct. 28, the date of the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years, until Wednesday, Nov. 2, the date of a potential Game 7. The order calls for officers to be prepared on Oct. 31, even though no game is scheduled that day.

Last weekend, six people were arrested on misdemeanor charges of unlawful ticket sales, traffic obstruction, storage of goods on the public way, disorderly conduct, reckless conduct and resisting arrest, according to police. Nine people were taken to hospitals.

Eric Carter, the police department’s deputy chief of special functions, said that people will be allowed to hang around the ballpark, provided they’re respectful and well-behaved.

“People will be allowed to, obviously, take their selfies in front of the marquee and celebrate somewhat,” Carter said.