Chicago reporter's three grim years of covering overnight crime

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What happens to a journalist assigned to cover Chicago's overnight violent crime? Chicago Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas describes in harrowing detail how three years of covering endless violence and misery changed him: Read the rest

Predictive policing predicts police harassment, not crime

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In Chicago, the "Heat List" system is used to direct policing resources, based on data-mining of social media to identify potential gang-members; the model tells the cops where to go and who to arrest, and is supposed to reduce both violent crime and the likelihood that suspects themselves will be killed -- but peer-reviewed analysis (Scihub mirror) of the program shows that while being on the Heat List increases your chances of being harassed and arrested by Chicago PD, it does not improve crime rates. Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen

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The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

Mother's Day was Chicago's most violent weekend in the last 7 months

Nortasha Stingiey (R) hugs Lutrice Boyd at a "Purpose over Pain" gathering. The group of mothers who lost children to gun violence are calling for a stop to shootings in Chicago. May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

Eight people were killed in Chicago over Mother’s Day weekend. Another 43 people in the city were injured in gun violence.

Read the rest

Chicago’s hottest tourist ticket: a corruption walking-tour

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Journalist Paul Dailing, creator of the 1001 Chicago Afternoons blog, has created a walking tour of the most corrupt sites in Chicago's fantastically corrupt history, and it's selling out. Read the rest

Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report: racism, corruption, and a "broken system"

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Chicago's Police Department are notorious: the force maintains a "black site" where prisoners are secretly held under fake names and tortured, uses political shenanigans to suppress information about corruption, sabotages their own dashcams, secretly operates illegal mass-surveillance equipment (bought with asset forfeiture money, natch), forces out internal investigators who do their jobs conscientiously, and don't get me started on the evils of the Illinois prison system! Read the rest

Photo of Bernie Sanders being arrested in 1963 Chicago protest

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Some of Sanders' Democratic Party adversaries have claimed that the Senator's history of principled stands has been short on racial equality, a charge that has required those opponents to claim that photos of Sanders being arrested at civil rights demonstrations are actually photos of someone else. Read the rest

Report: Chicago PD dashcams sabotaged by officers

Police body cameras are seen on a mannequin at an exhibit booth by manufacturer Wolfcom at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago

80 percent of Chicago PD dashcam videos have been tampered with or otherwise damaged, according to technicians' reports, with audio missing due to 'intentional destruction' in many cases.

Radley Balko:

At minimum, intentionally destroying dash-cam equipment is destruction of public property. You could argue that it’s also tampering with or destroying evidence, particularly if there’s proof that it was done after a shooting or other major incident. [state’s attorney Anita] Alvarez tried to imprison a woman for recording the alleged harassment she received from police while attempting to file a report alleging sexual assault by another police officer. But when cops tamper with evidence of a police shooting of an unarmed man, all she can say is that it’s “frustrating” and that she’d “prefer to have the audio”?

The lack of consequences is the thing. This goes for everything from internet comment trolls right up to killer cops. Read the rest

In the data, Chicago's crooked cops are so obvious they practically glow

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As Chicago's mayor/kingmaker/kingpin Rahm Emanuel grins at the chorus demanding his resignation for his role in covering up video showing that Chicago PD officers shot a man 16 times, lied about it, and confiscated and destroyed all the evidence they could find, the Five Thirty-Eight blog looks at the data on Chicago's dirtiest cops. Read the rest

Survivor-count for the Chicago PD's black-site/torture camp climbs to 7,000+

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In February, the Guardian reported stories about the Homan Square, the Chicago Police Department's off-the-books black-site, where (mostly black and brown) suspects are denied counsel while being brutalized into forced confessions. Read the rest

Hands-free, self-saranwrapping toilet at O'Hare Airport

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Amir captured this video of O'Hare Airport's hygiene-freakout toilets that automatically and in a hands-free fashion wrap the seat in fresh, germ- and piss-free plastic film between each user. Read the rest

LAPD & Chicago bought "Stingrays on steroids" with asset-forfeiture & DHS money

The military surveillance devices known as "Dirtboxes" have been in secret operation for more than a decade, tracking citizens' locations and intercepting their calls, breaking the encryption on hundreds of calls at once. Read the rest

Chicagoans: EFF fundraiser at Cards Against Humanity's club!

EFF's executive director, the wonderful Cindy Cohn, will host a Q&A before a night of outstanding comedy and improv. Read the rest

50th Nebula Awards Weekend coming to Chicago

Jun 4-7, join science fiction writers from around the world for events including a banquet, a self-publishing workshop, and a tour of Fermilab. Read the rest

First-hand reports of torture from Homan Square, Chicago PD's "black site"

In the wake of last week's revelations about Homan Square, the off-the-books "black site" where Chicago PD disappear prisoners for violent, aggressive interrogation, four of the site's victims have come forward to describe the highly racialized human rights abuses at the secret site. Read the rest

Chicago Police Department maintains "black site" for illegal detention and torture

Homan Square is the Chicago Police Department's "secure site" where people as young as 15 are detained without charge and without access to counsel, subject to beatings that result in head wounds, and, in one case, death. Read the rest

Chicago schools lost $100M by letting Wall Street engineer their finances

In 2007, the school raised $1B, and instead of issuing bonds, it let the bankers who'd been courting it talk it into issuing a floating-rate bond that it swapped into a fixed-rate issue. Read the rest

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