Yesterday afternoon, Alderman Helen Shiller posted a lengthy response on the 46th Ward website regarding the widely viewed August 13th Uptown riot video and the firestorm of controversy surrounding it. Given the gravity of the situation for Uptown residents, it’s a response worthy of a line-by-line analysis by a communications strategist. Being one, myself (how useful is that?), that’s exactly what I’ve done. Read on to learn why I think Shiller’s response doesn’t fit the crime.
On July 6th, I reported on potential violence along the lakefront during Chicago’s Independence Eve fireworks. The next day, in consultation with my Chicago Now editor, I filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on several city agencies. Now thirty days later, here’s what I’ve heard back.
Yesterday’s post on alleged gang violence during Chicago’s Independence Eve fireworks generated a lot of local attention and concern. That post compared official reports of a relatively ‘peaceful’ July 3rd fireworks display with reports from the blog, Second City Cop, and several Twitter members indicating a sizable gang presence, multiple gang-related fights, numerous guns recovered, and a potential shooting in the vicinity of Buckingham Fountain. Here’s how you can help get to the bottom of things.
For the second time in two years, Chicago’s Independence Eve fireworks started early. Last year’s reason? Gang violence, including four shootings–one fatal–after the display, that marred the evening and marked a controversial start for then-new Chicago police superintendent Jody Weis. This year, Chicago police brass reported gang activity yet again, in and adjacent to the Taste of Chicago grounds both before and after the show. Trouble is, the blogosphere is reporting a lot more violence–including potentially another shooting–than can be found in the city’s official version of events.
When the Wisconsin police attempt to stop you for driving without a license, it’s usually a good idea not to take them on a high-speed chase back to Illinois down I-94. Unfortunately, my friend, Gay O.J., didn’t have a good idea when those flashing lights started.