Thursday, July 26, 2012

CAPS Beat 2523 Meeting Last Night (7/25/12)

Good afternoon, everyone. I attended the CAPS Beat meeting for CAPS Beat 2523 last night. It was an exceptional meeting with a huge turnout of people, despite the fact our meeting location was changed at the last minute from the Copernicus Center on Milwaukee to St. Joesph's on Belmont (which is now where we're going to meet for now on). Now mind you, our May meeting had been canceled due to the NATO Summit and the need for officers to work overtime with that. But the missed meeting is not the reason why we had such a big turnout, and I'll get to that later in this post. But there were about 75 to 90 people there, with several officers and Alderman Reboyras there also. All in all, it was a great meeting in which I think the thing I'll be talking about later has a plan of action by the police, the alderman and the community. Moving to the old problems...

Old problems:
* Ken-Well Park - There was a problem with late night basketball games and drinking. Officer Zamzow (who filled in for Sgt. Weiglein, who's on vacation until mid-August) reported that eight arrests have been made from that location for public drinking and violating the city law of being in a park after closed hours.
* Milwaukee and Ridgeway - There was a problem with prostitutes soliciting near Danny's Liquor. The person who reported it was not there (and they had the nerve to point fingers at the CPD for not doing anything last time), but Officer Zamzow reports that there has been three arrests from that location.

Moving on to the new problems....
* On Nelson, there was a shooting at 12:40am yesterday morning. Not a lot of information was given, but a young man in his late teens or early 20s was shot. There was also a criminal damage call over there, probably with bullets going through a window or something.
* On Monticello, a resident expressed concern/frustration about the Latin Kings loitering and what not.

And now moving onto the main topic of discussion at this meeting. A lot was talked about, so stay with me as I describe everything that took place.
I think as a lot of you know by now, there has been a "surge of violence", as some residents describe it, on the 2900 block of North Ridgeway Ave., with three shootings resulting in three people being shot in the last two weeks. On top of it, everyday there has been several incidents of gang activity, with gang disturbances, fighting, criminal damage, etc. Basically, in my opinion, it's chaos on that block right now. From what I know about everything that has been going on, all of this started on the 4th of July, with an incident of gangbangers telling off their neighbors. These neighbors were just outside, enjoying the 4th and blowing off fireworks, when the gangbangers kept walking by, back and forth. The neighbors kindly asked them if they could please stop doing that, but the gangbangers became angry with what was said and told the neighbors in so many words, "This is our neighborhood, you better get used to us!". Then from there, things went downhill, and fast.

Three days later, on July 7th, there was a shooting in the alley behind an address north of Oakdale on Ridgeway where members of the Insane Deuces gang live (and I think all of you know the address on that house), with a man getting shot. Someone who lives over here, please correct me if I'm wrong, but the man who was shot was the brother of a resident who lives on the block, and according to the resident, who showed up at the meeting yesterday, said that their brother is not a gang member. And I believe the victim. Why, you ask? Well, from what I've been seeing, the resident walked with a group of us on Tuesday evening at a police roll call (I'll get to that a bit later) we had in response to the activity, and when they came to the meeting last night, they were visibly shaken up when talking about what happened. Just yesterday morning, this victim's house was vandalized by these gangbangers, who again yelled that this was their neighborhood. From an email I received on this shooting, those Deuces who live at this address were hanging out in the alley when a black Tahoe fired three rounds at them, but they missed and the bullets went through a 2nd floor bedroom window on Oakdale, and then, unless I'm mixing this up with one of the other two shootings, the resident's brother was shot. I don't know how many times he was shot, where he was shot, age or anything. The email also reported that there were 20 people nearby playing in the open hydrant with children all over the place. And boy do the 911 calls verify this. There were several on Ridgeway, and on Oakdale. There were even calls on Milwaukee at Ridgeway and at Monticello, and well as Monticello and Barry. This shooting occurred on July 6th at about 7:45pm.

I'm not sure when the second shooting occurred (someone who lives on the block, please fill me in) or the details on it, but I imagine it occurred between the 6th and the 21st, when the third shooting occurred. Although, on July 9th, at 9:27pm, I did get a call on the blog here that someone recovered AK-47 shell casings on the block. The day before that, on the 8th, I received a call on the 3000 block of N Milwaukee at 10:20pm that a large group of gangbangers were fighting. Between the 10th and the 14th, I didn't hear any calls from that block about gang disturbances, fights, shootings, etc. But the block did go up for grabs on the 15th, starting at 2am. There were three calls placed between 2am and 3:30am, and the first one had eight to nine people fighting in front of 2913 on Ridgeway, one of the problem buildings. The second call, at 2:39am, had a large group fighting with guns involved, then the third and final call had eight to ten fighting again. On the 16th, there was some activity again. At 6:07pm, I had a call for an assault on the block. A man threatened to burn someone's house down. Then at 8:56pm, there was a call for a gang disturbance with five drinking in a car in front of 2915 on Ridgeway, another problem building. About 15 minutes, a Tac unit had a traffic stop right around the corner on George and arrested some people. Finally, before the third shooting, on the 20th, there was a call at 8:11pm at 2915 for six to seven Dueces loitering, drinking and having cars doubled parked.

Then the third shooting occurred. The shooting happened last Saturday, on the 21st, around 1:00am. From the report I received on it, the shots were fired right at the intersection of Oakdale and Ridgeway, with about ten or 11 rounds. One went through a parked car, two went through a building on the corner into a 1st floor apartment and another round struck a guy in a vehicle in the intersection, who drove himself to the hospital, with no crime scene. From the report, the Deuces at 2963 on Ridgeway were the ones responsible for the shooting, and then it just escalated from there. That included more gunshots with one shot sounding like it came from a shotgun. The shotgun blast sounded like it came from 2913 or 2915, according to the report I have. They ran south on Ridgeway towards George. The shooting continued until 3:30am or 4am. This is where I found out the 2963 Deuces have ties to the 2913 and 2915 gangbangers. All three buildings are filled with Deuces. This is also where I would find out that they're at war with the Cobras, MLDs and the Latin Kings from Monticello and Barry. One report I received says that one of the Deuces who lives at either 2913 or 2915 should have an ankle monitor and should be on house arrest. Later on in the morning, at 10:59am, someone called from that corner building to report that bullets had gone through their window. Then at 10:38pm, someone from another address called to report they heard five shots. There were fireworks going off that night, though, so it might have been that.

The activity didn't end on the 21st, and has actually continued up all the way to yesterday. On Monday, the 23rd, the same night where multiple residents from the block met with Alderman Reboyras to discuss what's been happening, at 5:51pm, I received a call for a man with a gun call at 2915. There was a male Hispanic with a ponytail, wearing a white t-shirt, black baseball cap and black shorts who had a gun in his waistband. A second male Hispanic accompanied him and he was wearing a green t-shirt and blue jean shorts, and there was a third offender there as well. An update call I had two minutes later, at 5:53pm, said that more gangbangers were coming out of 2963. At 5:58, Beat car 2525 was on scene talking to a citizen, who said that the three main offenders ran into 2915, while the rest ran into 2963. Not sure what else happened with that, but I didn't get any more calls from Ridgeway for the rest of the afternoon or evening.

The next day, on Tuesday, as a lot of you know, we had the massive outdoor roll call at George and Ridgeway at 7:00pm, which triggered a great presence of community members, plus a large presence of police officers from the 25th District, as well as a considerable presence from neighbors from other areas in the neighborhood and a presence from the media. Although they didn't show the interviews on TV (as a matter of fact, they only showed about 20 seconds of what had happened), a few of us were interviewed by the media, including me. Speeches were done by the new 25th District Commander Navarro, Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th) and some neighbors, but Larry Ligas from the Logan Square Concerned Citizens did most of the talking. We also did a walk-down on the block, and Ligas went up to the people who live at the three problem buildings. Although I disagree with a lot of things Ligas did that evening, I do think he deserves some credit for organizing the roll call, although I was told at the meeting yesterday that Commander Navarro was the one who had the idea. We also did positive loitering out there for a good hour and a half.

The final straw, so far, of all of this was the CAPS meeting we had yesterday. Unfortunately, prior to the meeting, we learned that the resident's house where their brother had been shot, from the first shooting, was vandalized in the morning by a group, who also said that this was their neighborhood. This person showed up to the meeting and they were visibly shaken, as I mentioned earlier. Then I learned that there were calls going into 911 all day yesterday for gang activity on that block. Getting to the meeting itself, it at first looked as if only a couple of people from the block would show up, that there were not be an impact. When the meeting first started, there were several empty chairs. But then, slowly but surely, the meeting became standing room only, and at the height of the shootings and activity being discussed by Officer Zamzow and Sgt. Helpern, there were so many people there that a few had to stand in the hallway and look on and listen from there.

Several residents expressed frustration at what they thought was a lack of response from the Chicago Police Department, as well as Alderman Reboyras' office. In particular, one resident and Sgt. Helpern kept going back and forth about what the police should have done before and what they should do. Residents feel that there should be more patrols, which I can agree to, with more foot patrols and what not. The residents who expressed frustration accused the police of not dispersing gangbangers the way they think it should be done, which is considering more than three together mob action and arresting them on sight, and Sgt. Helpern expressed the law to them. From what he said, he says that the only way an arrest can be made, in addition to the eight-hour dispersal law in effect already, is that the same officer has to go back to the same location within an hour and it has to be the same offenders. Basically, the Sgt. and the resident kept talking about it for a few minutes. Then the resident said something that the Alderman didn't like (I should know, he sat right next to me), something along the lines that he doesn't care about what happens in his ward, and the Alderman stood up and addressed us. He told us that he's been aware of what's been happening and he is seeking to address it. From my personal observations, on this situation, since Reboyras was told about it, he's been on top of it. This is the most involved I've seen him, actually. He also told us to report things to his office, the police, etc. Same old, same old what we're always told at these meetings (I sincerely mean this, I'm not being sarcastic).

Residents expressed more frustration after the Alderman spoke, and as those of you know from last night, this is when I got up and spoke to the crowd. Before I write what I said, I just want to say this, in case anyone was wondering: I was NOT told by the Alderman, nor the Sgt., nor our Beat Facilitator, to stand up and say what I said. I stood up because I wanted to get that off my chest, and plus the fact a lot of people were unfairly pointing fingers at the police when some of the action that needs to be taken should be by us, the community. I feel that the police are doing what they're supposed to be doing, and I support their efforts on their situation. I said what I felt, and it was purely from my heart. So getting on to what I said, for those of you who weren't there last night, I  told everyone that instead of just pointing fingers at the police and the alderman, we need the community need to do our part, and that would be to form a block club. I talked about the nonsuccessive efforts I had with forming a block club on Ridgeway  and surrounding streets for the last two years, because of so much apathy from our neighbors, and I expressed that I was frustrated that the residents were sitting there just pointing fingers at the police when they need to take action, too. I told them that it is time to form a block club in this area. Be advised, I didn't yell and scream at the people, but I told them bluntly how I felt, and for those of you who were there and became offended, I wasn't trying to be mean or insulting, and I apologize if anyone felt offended. But it's true, we have to do our part as a community.

After I stopped talking and sat down, the police went over their plan of action in response to this. Officer Zamzow told us that this area is going to become an area of "special attention", and that they're going to bring in the Troubled Buildings unit in. More roll calls will also be held, and there will be other things happening, too. I also heard Sgt. Helpern mention to Alderman Reboyras that they should do some sort of violence mission (I heard everything they said, but won't disclose it until the police come out and say what they're going to do). Officer Zamzow also advised that a block club needs to be formed and that we need to all come back for the next CAPS Beat meeting in September.

Then the meeting was adjourned, and numerous residents stayed a while after, talking amongst theirselves and the police. And now for my personal observation, in so many words, I feel as if we had a great presence last night, and I feel that some solutions were implemented. A lot of discussing, good for the most part, was done, too. The police certainly have more information than they did before the meeting. It was a fantastic meeting.

For this Beat meeting post, I'd like to say thanks to all of the residents for being involved in this meeting and thanks for the GREAT turnout last night. Work still needs to be done, however. I ask for those residents who read the blog but don't come to the meetings (because they don't want to), please, go!

Next meeting: September 26, 2012 at St. Joesph's (4021 W. Belmont) at 6:30pm.

Thank you,


Rand Al'Thor said...

Great job Timmy. I think the problem houses should be looked at. The alderman should order building inspectors to look at them. Most likely these gangbangers are renters. Go after the landlord for renting to these rats and their parents. Make the landlords begin to put pressure on the renters. Have the alderman put pressure on the owners for building violations via the inspections board. Fines in this regard can make a landlord push to get the rats out. If those gangbangers rent then it's not their neighborhood. They can be kicked out quick on their dirty asses.

Anonymous said...


All of that has already been done and is in the works! We have covered all of the bases with the alderman, city building dept and the police dept. We are holding our ground and we are winning the fight! I am proud of all of my neighbors for coming and standing together to let these turds know that we are not going to stand for this and that we will not be intimidated!

Anonymous said...

AvondaleLoganSquareCrimeBlotter said...

Thanks for the link, anonymous 1:50. Pretty good video, but it is scary to think some of us were on video like this. Personally, I know I won't be going on that block by myself until I know this is all cleared out. Last thing I need is for them to know where I live. However, they're right, we are taking back our neighborhood.

Anonymous 1:24, you're right. We are holding our ground and I'm proud of all of you for your wonderful efforts the last few days.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the residents should just get together and drag that Deuce out of his home for a beat down?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:10 am

Apparently, the father, who we all know is well aware of what has been going on, provided a beat down right in the street the other day after the minivan windows were broken. Trust me, the thought has crossed our minds! Okay, it has more than crossed our minds but we are trying to take care of this the right way first!

Matrim Cauthon said...

The uneducated scum who are causing home owners and decent people problems should be investigated and put on heavy survelience. As a community get together and put money in together and go to Costco and buy an 8 or 10 wireless camera surveilience camera system and focus it on those problem houses. The system is cheap and it records into a 500GB DVR storage unit. It can run day and night for over a year with that storage. And residents should independently film footage of the uneducated gang rats hanging out, walking around, selling/doing drugs, drinking at all times. If the cops don't do anything go straight to the media. Get the FBI involved. Give them their license plate numbers, addresses and descriptions. Get the pressure on. HEAVY PRESSURE.