Blog Archives

Chicago suburb bans assault weapons after Florida massacre

The rest of Illinois should do the same.

The Crusader Journal

AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania FILE PHOTO – AR-15 rifles are displayed for sale at the Guntoberfest gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) – A Chicago suburb has banned the possession, sale and manufacture of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines in response to the massacre at a Florida high school and other recent mass shootings in the United States.

Residents of Democratic-leaning Deerfield, Illinois have until June 13 to remove any firearms and magazines that fall outside the new restrictions or face a fine of between $250 and $1,000 per day, according to an ordinance passed by the town board on Monday night.

The ban was a direct response to the Feb. 14 killing of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and the student-led campaign for tighter restrictions on guns inspired by the mass shooting, the ordinance said.

The Deerfield decision is likely to…

View original post 244 more words

Illinois Correctional Officer Found Guilty For Grabbing Bartender In Her Crotch

Donald L. Cheney, Jr.

Generally, I would not think that this case would be of interest here because it’s unlike other cases I report that involve excessive use of force while on duty.  This one caught my attention because we have a president in office who said when men have money, they can do whatever they want to women — even grab them in their private areas.

Donald L. Cheney, Jr. did just that, and this case shows what women have to go through and prove to get a semblance of justice.

Illinois Department of Corrections Officer Donald L. Cheney, Jr. 42-years old, has been convicted of misdemeanor battery for doing what Donald Trump said he can do because he has money. Cheney Jr. was a correctional officer at a women’s prison in Illinois.

Cheney Jr. was originally charged with felony criminal sexual abuse.  He opted for a bench trial before Circuit Judge Thomas E. Griffith. Cheney’s defense filed a motion to dismiss the felony charge on the grounds that it was not proven that force was used.  Judge Griffith dismissed the felony charge, but found Cheney guilty for a misdemeanor battery charge.

The victim was a 27-year old bartender who on December 19, 2015, was working at the Department of Corrections annual Christmas party. She said she walked up to the table where the defendant was sitting when he grabbed her crotch area, over her jeans. Read the rest of this entry

Attorney Disciplinary Commission Takes On Complaint of Harassment

Cross posted from flightattendantfailures.wordpress.com.

Harassment by electronic means is an issue now before the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

ardcThe case is pending, but I’m reporting on it because the attorney has admitted that she “…regrettably sent…” the subject communications. The attorney has denied that she did so for the purpose to embarrass, delay or burden the employees of the firm that contracted with her.

The purpose of the attorney disciplinary process is not to punish the attorneys for misconduct, but to safeguard the public, maintain the integrity of the profession and protect the administration of justice from reproach.

The attorney is Cynthia Jean Koroll, who has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since November 2001.  The practice of law is her third career after serving in the military, being a registered nurse, and teaching nursing for a university.   Read the rest of this entry

Cyberharasser Sentenced to Two Years Probation

power-point-cybercrime-13-638This case, although several years old, captured my attention because of the perpetrator’s employment with the Department of Defense.   That is an agency unsuccessfully used by some known harassers to give false reports against activists, bloggers and others.

Here is the story …

Lori Stewart of Urbana, Illinois opened a blog titled “This Just In.” She shared gentle stories about gardening, her military family, and vacation photos.  In 2006, Lori founded the non-profit organization Toys for Troops.   It was soon afterwards when someone using the handle “JoeBob” began sending her vulgar comments.

Lori’s son was in the military, so JoeBob referred to Lori’s son as an “inbred half-retarded son” and said he hoped he took a bayonet in the gut.  JoeBob also sent comments that were anti-Semitic and homophobic.   Read the rest of this entry

29 Arrests Made in Massive Rockford Drug Ring Bust

Have you ever lived in a city where business location after business location have no cars in the parking lot, yet they don’t go out of business? You check to find out that the business is “family owned” with 2 or 3 employees, and that their sales never increase or decrease after being in business for years?

Back in the late 80’s a young man told me how drug dealers operate by having straw businesses and straw customers.  He said it was a good setup to launder drug money.  Now, I don’t know if the following involves any businesses that launder money,but upon hearing the local news last night, it made me wonder.

After more than a year of investigation, authorities have charged 29 people in a drug bust.  Those charged include a former high school head football coach and teacher, two businessmen, and a dentist.  The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office, Rockford Police Department and DEA conducted the investigation. The Illinois National Guard assisted.

Authorities seized $1.7 million in cocaine, 72 marijuana plants and 7.1 pounds of cannabis worth $16,223 on the street; 360 hydrocone pills worth $2,880; eight guns; $243,600 in cash, six vehicles and $50,000 in jewelry.

The investigation began in June 2014 with a single phone call from a confidential informant. The tip came in about powdered cocaine sales on the “far east side of Rockford,” said Bob Reffett, a Rockford Police Department detective.  By identifying the area as “far east side of Rockford,” local media is identifying the more “safer” area of Rockford.

Many of those arrested had few if any prior convictions and were released on bond, and many of those arrested are over the age of 40. Read the rest of this entry

Illinois Passes Police Reform Law

elgie-sims“Police encounters gone tragically wrong in Ferguson, New York City, Baltimore and elsewhere forced the nation to confront uncomfortable realities about race and policing in America, and here in Illinois, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle felt compelled to take action to address the disparities and restore trust. Independent investigations, better training and better record-keeping will foster an atmosphere of seriousness about tackling racial disparities in law enforcement and zero tolerance of police misconduct.” Statement of Representative Elgie Sims (D-Chicago), who spearheaded the legislation in the House.

Kwame Raoul

Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul

“Illinois has set the standard, set the standard nationally.” Statement of Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, who co-sponsored the Bill in the state senate.

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law, which will take full effect in January 2016. Currently the state is forming a commission to review training requirements and other issues. The commission is scheduled to report to legislators and Governor Rauner by the end of January.

Some of the highlights of the new law.

Read the rest of this entry

Lawsuit Cites Report That 20 Percent of Guns Recovered At Crime Scenes in Chicago Are Purchased Outside of Chicago

With Illinois conceal carry going into effect, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was faced with federal lawsuits from gun activists because Chicago had banned businesses from selling guns and ammunition within its borders. In 2014, a federal court decided that the city failed to prove that banning the sale of guns by licensed dealers was necessary to reduce gun violence. Still, some gun dealers say that Chicago has ordinances that require them jump through hoops.

Illinois doesn’t license and regulate gun dealers. The state leaves it up to municipalities to regulate gun stores doing business in their towns. For example, Chicago can have different regulations for gun shops located in Chicago than Cicero, Peoria, Lyons, etc.  One town requires that gun dealers be licensed by the federal government.

When straw purchasers are identified and denied sales in Chicago, they can drive the Illinois highways to other towns until they find a gun shop that will sell to them.

Dan Gross

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, left, and the Rev. Michael Pfleger attend the Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers protest at Chuck’s Gun Shop on June 6, 2015, in Riverdale. (Jeff Schear, Getty Images)

Reverend Michael Pfleger and Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, announced that many of the guns recovered from Chicago crime scenes came from stores located in Lincolnwood, Lyons, and Riverdale, Illinois. Today, a lawsuit was filed by Lawyers for the Coalition for Safe Chicago Communities against the aforementioned Chicago suburban villages for their failure to regulate gun shops. Read the rest of this entry

Illinois Does It Again – Arrests Two For Internet Harassment

cyber-harassment-provocationIn November 2014, we reported on the case of Steven and Joseph Rusinowski versus Robert DiDomenico. It was a case of cyberharassment gone wild. The case was originally filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County and on July 15, 2011, transferred to the federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois.   On October 2, 2014, the jury returned a verdict in favor of  Rusinowski and against DiDomenico, awarding Rusinowski $50,000.

One of the most important rulings in that case caught the attention of attorneys. The judge ruled that Illinois has long arm jurisdiction that applies to electronic harassment. That means that those who harass citizens of Illinois over the internet and/or telephone, no matter where the perpetrator lives, will have to defend in Illinois.

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

In February of this year, we reported on Brandon Wilson of Las Vegas, Nevada, who hacked, harassed, and pulled pranks over the internet. Evidently feeling comfortable behind his computer and using handles, he made a serious mistake — he made a call to Naperville, Illinois 911 and gave a false police report resulting in SWAT showing up to an innocent man’s house. Evidence was gathered from Wilson’s computers showing that it was not the only time that he made a false police report.

Wilson was extradited to Illinois.

Last month, KMOV news reported that a Collinsville, Illinois’ family was electronically harassed. It began with the family’s 12-year old son receiving threatening voice texts and harassment on Facebook. The 12-year old’s brother, 20-year old Devon Dean, tried to step in to stop it, but the person then made him a target.   The harassment included racially offensive comments. Read the rest of this entry

19-Year Old Arrested For Cyberharassment

Brandon Wilson

Brandon Wilson

Online, he uses the handle “Famed God.” Brandon Wilson now has fame, but not in the manner he wanted.   Thursday, Wilson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is now behind bars in Nevada waiting extradition to Illinois. In July, Wilson allegedly reported a murder to Naperville’s emergency 911 line. The SWAT team responded and found that the call was a false report.  Illinois prosecutors said there is evidence on Wilson’s computers that the July 10, 2014 “swatting” hoax was not the only time that Wilson made false police reports.

Swatting” is the new form of internet harassment which involves falsely reporting a dangerous situation to send the police to another person’s home. The false report can lead to deployment of a SWAT team.

Wilson is also said to have hacked the gaming consoles of two others and threatened to put someone “in debt for life” by accessing banking information. Illinois prosecutors said charges Wilson faces include two counts of computer tampering, one count of intimidation, computer fraud, identity theft and disorderly conduct. If convicted, Wilson faces up to 5 years in prison.

Read the rest of this entry

Illinois Law Does Not Prohibit Recording On-Duty Law Enforcement

On Twitter, it started with circulating the headline of an article published on The Free Thought Project titled “Illinois Just Made it a Felony for Its Citizens to Record the Police and the Media is Silent.” The article claimed that Illinois passed a law making it a felony to record police officers. That is not factual. The emotional state of many Americans with the thought that a law prohibits the video recording of police officers using excessive force, was at the forefront of the headline that misrepresents the amended Illinois law.

Snopes has already printed about the apparent confusion of the law, which isn’t a new law at all but rather, an amendment to an existing law and does not prohibit the recording of on-duty police officers.

The Free Thought article states that the wording from the legislation is vague, and it included the following;

(a) Eavesdropping, for a first offense, is a Class 4 felony (from Ch. 38, par. 14-4) and, for a second or subsequent offense, is a Class 3 felony.

(b) The eavesdropping of an oral conversation or an electronic communication of any
law enforcement officer, State’s Attorney, Assistant State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, or a judge, while in the performance of his or her official duties, if not authorized by this Article or proper court order, is a Class 3 felony, and for a second or subsequent offenses, is a Class 2 felony.

Had readers clicked the link to the Bill, they would have read two words that should have stood out.  Those two words are;

  1. eavesdropping

  2. private

eavesdropping2When I read the first tweet reporting this, (and expressing disgust that Illinois would legislate such a law), I didn’t respond.  I didn’t respond because my first impression that anyone reading the word “eavesdropping” would understand its meaning.  I was wrong, not taking into consideration that people passing the tweet around are not residents of Illinois understanding how “eavesdropping” is defined in Illinois law. Read the rest of this entry

Changes To The Illinois Constitution On The Ballot

voteYesterday, I received a pamphlet in the mail from the Illinois Secretary of State. It is addressed to “Residential Customer” and titled, “Proposed Amendments and Addition to The Illinois Constitution.” Of course, it captured my attention.

The introduction says,

“At the General Election to be held on the 4th of November, 2014, you will be called upon to adopt or reject the following proposed amendments to the Illinois Constitution. As required by law, I provide you with the following information.”

Wow!  To be fully informed, I read the 6 pages.

There is one proposed Amendment, and an addition to Article III which is titled, “Suffrage and Elections. Read the rest of this entry

Man Who Saved Abandoned Newborn Baby Gets Invited To Her High School Graduation 18 Years Later

This is great!! Thanks for sharing it.

Kindness Blog

A 911 call was made in Gibson County, Illinois, on a November morning in 1995 about a child who had been left under a pine tree at a cemetery…

Man Who Saved Abandoned Newborn Baby Gets Invited To Her High School Graduation 18 Years Later

Police and firefighters rushed to the reported scene, but found nothing.

Local firefighter Charlie Heflin decided to look in a different cemetery.

He didn’t find anything there either, and had already began walking back to his car when he had a hunch to check one more spot.

Heflin told WFIE:

“I heard a little whimper when I got close to the tree. I dug down inside this real huge pine tree and found her.”

The baby girl was on the verge of death, covered in blood and leaves in the freezing weather. Her umbilical cord was still attached.

“I handed her off to the paramedics and I didn’t see her since.”

The child was adopted five days later by Bonnie and Greg…

View original post 211 more words

Illinois’ New Conceal Carry Law-What Now?

Illinois is the last state to legislate conceal carry.  Appropriately interpreted by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, I call it the Citizens’ Militia gun rights act.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoed legislation for conceal carry in Illinois, blasting them for negotiating away public safety to appease the National Rifle Association. (NRA).  In December 2013, a federal appeals court ruled the state’s ban on carrying concealed firearms was unconstitutional.  Governor Quinn put up a good fight to prevent conceal carry from becoming Illinois law.  In the end, the NRA won.

quinn-pat

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn

“Despite my objections, members of the General Assembly surrendered to the National Rifle Association in the waning days of session and passed a flawed bill that allows people to carry guns in establishments that serve alcohol, and allows people to carry unlimited guns and unlimited high-capacity ammunition magazines,” the governor said in a written statement. “It was wrong on May 31 and it’s wrong today.”

Some good did come out of it.  The legislation allows for business owners to ban firearms on their property as long as they post signs indicating they don’t allow guns.  I saw such a sign yesterday posted on a bank.

In the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Gov. Pat Quinn appeared on national television and declared that Illinois doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law like Florida and “we don’t want it.”  Illinois has justifiable homicide statute.  Some say it is generic, saying that a person who is attacked is justified in using deadly force “only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.”  Lawyers depend on decisions by the Illinois Supreme Court. Read the rest of this entry

The Right to Dignity – Woman Stripped Naked By Male Deputies

On February 1, 2014, we reported the case of Charda Gregory.    That case occurred in Warren, Michigan in November, 2013. In that case, video from the jail shows that Charda was placed in a restraining chair that held down her arms, and police Officer Bernadette Najor proceeded to cut and pull on Charda’s weave that had been sewn into her natural hair, pulling out some of Charda’s hair in the process.  It was a dehumanizing act of humiliation.

Dana Holmes

Dana Holmes

On May 19, 2013, in the LaSalle County, Illinois jail, 32-year-old Dana Holmes was arrested for DUI.  Caught on camera are three male officers, and one female officer, dragging Dana into a cell and holding her down while the female officer strips Dana of her pants and the male officers strip her of her upper garments, leaving Dana naked on the floor.

Dana Holmes stripped naked

The officers said that Dana was resisting arrest and kicked at them.  The video does not support that, and neither does Illinois law.  Illinois law provides that the accused held in jail can be stripped searched only when there is reasonable belief there is a concealed weapon or controlled substance on their body.  They must be stripped by an officer of the same gender, and the strip cannot be observed by others. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: