Tuesday, May 20, 2014

MANIPULATORS: 19th District Stars In Magazine Exposé

Image: Chicago magazine
Chicago magazine has published part two of its in-depth look at how the Chicago Police Department manipulates crime statistics.

Our 19th district is front and center throughout the report. Get comfortable and settle in for an excellent read.

One way the department massages statistics is by downgrading serious crimes to less serious categories. Aggravated batteries get knocked down to simple batteries. Robberies—the third most-serious crime category behind homicide and rape—are whittled down to much less serious "thefts." Burglaries? They can become "criminal damage to property" cases in a flash.

We've collected a few of our favorite downgrade stories for the occasion:

• On September 10, 2013, a woman was seemingly robbed outside of the Jewel-Osco store near Broadway and Addison. The offender took money from her and the officer who handled the call told dispatchers twice that the woman had also been punched in the face by the offender. But the official police report says the offender "snatched" the victim's money and makes no mention of the woman being punched. Result? The case is classified as theft, not robbery.

On January 25, a man stepped out of Trace bar in Wrigleyville for a smoke. Five strangers started talking to him and, according to the police report, proceeded to "grab at his pants pockets taking his wallet, keys and cellphone" and then fled in a nearby vehicle. Funny thing: Officers who handled the call on January 25 said that the man had been beaten, too. Sounds like a clear-cut robbery, right? Nope. The final police report makes no mention of a physical attack and the police department downgraded the crime to "pocket picking."

Earlier this month, we told you about a woman who was informed by the police department that the complete stranger who took possession of her cell phone and refused to give it back to her was not a thief. According to the police department, that woman "lost" her phone and officers refused to file a criminal case report. Instead, the matter is recorded as "lost property."

On June 22, 2013, a man reported that an offender followed him into the Bank of America vestibule at Belmont and Sheffield, and forced him to withdraw money. Less than 30 minutes before, a different 911 caller reported that he was forced to withdraw money from a different ATM one block away. In the Bank of America case, even though the victim told the 911 call taker that he had been "forced" to withdraw money, the final police report makes no mention of that. Rather, the report says, the offender "snatched" the victim's money, which eliminates the "force" element required for robbery classification. The case remains classified as a theft, not robbery. Officers never made contact with the victim of the other incident.

On February 26, an apartment was broken into and burglarized on the third floor of a multi-unit building on California Terrace. Police recorded it as a burglary. That same day, the guy who lives one door away from the burgled apartment found that someone had tried to bust open his front door. Attempted burglary, right? No. Criminal damage.
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  1. Kind of like catalytic converter thefts being downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors, or 311 being told to classify all phone thefts as misdemeanors even though replacement costs without insurance are typically over $500.

  2. Vote Rahm out....dump Eli.

  3. I bet Voulgaris is shitting bricks over this article in Chicago magazine. Or, maybe not. I'm sure Tunney is just staring off blankly into space. Rahm likely thumbed his nose (again). This blows, this really blows, that such lies and deception are taking place to keep numbers down and make it appear that this is a safe neighbourhood. We all know it isn't.

    1. Voulgaris and Rahm and Tunney and McCarthy could care less. They feel they have the election wrapped up because of Rahms money, Obama's backing and the news media on their side. They will continue to disrespect us and put us at risk in order to be reelected. Rahm must be defeated.

  4. insanely awesome article. said this about part 1, but this is the kind of press we have been looking for. just hope it spurs the action and gets the attention it deserves - and isn't just a ripple.

    also props to the contributors who are also strong voices on this blog. thank you for speaking for us!

  5. Interesting observation here- I have lived in Boystown now since May 3rd- 17 days to be exact. I have been all over the neighborhood, mostly during daylight hours and never later than 11:00 pm. I have seen only one police car in Lakeview in 17 days. If I had criminal inclinations, I would come to this neighborhood!! How can you report crime when there are few police officers in the 19th district? Oh yeah- no report, no crime.

  6. I can not wait to move out of this neighborhood on August 1.

    1. July 1 for me. What a great alderman. By By

  7. VOTE YOU F---kers VOTE!

    The royal families running the show are all crooks

  8. @Strega Nona Thanks. I only wish more people would speak up, speak out, and/or do something outside of this blog. I also am with you in hoping that this gets some press and gets more attention.

    I am still waiting with bated breath for ANY of the spoken of "strong candidates" challenging Tunney to step forward. I think the groundswell of support is apparent, but if they don't get their $hit in gear, they'll never have enough time or money to mount an effective challenger campaign. Personally, I'm ready and willing to support nearly anyone challenging him, but as yet, none of these strong, dark horses has stepped up.

    1. Whomever runs needs two talking points:
      1. Hire more cops. 2. Drastically change the operating procedures (or simply shut down) COH and the like .

  9. Hate to say this but this district might be the worst place to live. A once nice area. Yes you need to make money to live here but your place will be broken into and robbed, you could be walking home from train or bus and get beaten and robbed, or just beaten for no reason with a hammer. You call police for service but they are in a rap and you get no police service, maybe an hour or two later. Changes need to be made before the streets are taken back from the animals preying on anyone and everyone.
    Is there not a vice unit to take back Belmont ave? From sheffield to Halsted. It's worse then Time square Lol.
    How about the mounted units working wrigleyville on weekends through the summer?
    Maybe a well supervised bike team working nights to patrol up and down Halsted, yes Boys Town should have police protection too, every night batteries, robberies, intimidation, hate crimes.
    Is there a Boss high up in Police dept. That can make this happen??
    How about the Mayor these are his voters, a big number of them. Does he Not care to keep their votes?