Showing posts with label Chicago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago. Show all posts

January 5, 2017

Disabled Youngster Targeted by 4 for Live Assault on FaceBook

Four people have been charged with hate crimes for allegedly carrying out an assault, live-streamed online, in which a man was tied up, hit and cut with a knife by several assailants.
In Effort To Curb Violence In Chicago, A Professor Mines Social Media
Authorities say the victim, who had been reported missing before the attack, has "mental health challenges." He was encountered by police on Tuesday evening and is recovering in the hospital.

The Facebook Live stream showing the attack has been deleted. But multiple outlets have posted videos they identify as archives of the stream, recorded by a woman who frequently turns the camera on herself. The clips show multiple people taunting, threatening and hitting a man who is tied up in a corner. At least once, a man uses a knife to cut the victim's hair, cutting into his scalp.

On the video, the assailants, who are black, say "F*** Donald Trump" and "F*** white people." They force the victim, who is white, to say "F*** Donald Trump," as well.

The four people accused of the crime have each been charged with a hate crime, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's office. Other charges include burglary, robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

The Associated Press reports that police say they don't believe the victim was targeted because he was white:
Live-Streaming Of Alleged Rape Shows Challenges Of Flagging Video In Real Time
"Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday morning that charges are expected soon against four black suspects. Guglielmi says the suspects made 'terrible racist statements' during the attack, but that investigators believe the victim was targeted because he has special needs, not because of his race.
"Guglielmi says it's possible the suspects were trying to extort something from the victim's family."
As for the remarks about Donald Trump, Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said at a news conference late Wednesday that investigators are working to determine whether the statements are "sincere or just stupid ranting and raving."

Chicago police found the victim in distress on the street before they were aware of the existence of the Facebook live stream, authorities said at the news conference. The four suspects were arrested after police were called to a residence near where they'd found the man and then connected the incident and the location.

The victim, a resident of a Chicago suburb, apparently spent at least 24 hours in the company of his alleged assailants — one of whom he knew from school, police say. He had been reported missing on Monday. Police say he traveled into the city with his acquaintance in a stolen van.

A GoFundMe account for the victim has been set up; a public relations representative for GoFundMe says the website will be working with the campaign organizer to ensure all money raised reaches the victim.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson highlighted the "brazenness" of the assailants, for not just carrying out the attack but broadcasting it "for all to see."

"It's sickening," he said. "It makes you wonder what would make individuals treat somebody like that. I’ve been a cop for 28 years — I've seen things that you shouldn't see in a lifetime — but it still amazes me how you still see things that you just shouldn't [see]."

November 7, 2013

Illinois Celebrates Gay Marriage!

 Mitchell Miller, in blue, cheers with his partner Frank Castillo, right, during a gay rights rally after the day's two U.S. Supreme Court rulings related to gay marriage, at Halsted Street and Roscoe Street in Chicago.

Robyne O'Mara and Lynne Burnett have been together 33 years, and on Tuesday they watched, almost in awe, as Illinois lawmakers cast votes that would make the couple's decadeslong relationship equal to any other.
"We were just blown away," O'Mara said after the General Assembly passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. "I think the momentum in our nation has convinced people. It's been an amazing ride the past several years. We’re so grateful the legislators took it upon themselves and recognized that every citizen has the right to marry." 
Across the state, gay and lesbian couples and their advocates celebrated as Illinois was poised to become the 15th in the country to allow same-sex marriages. The bill will now go to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he will sign it into law.
Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of the gay rights group Equality Illinois, reflected on the end of a yearslong legislative battle: "The first thought that popped into my mind was all those families around the state that I've met over the past five years in fighting for marriage equality. The couples, their parents, their children, all who have waited for this moment.
"And I thought about my own daughter, who is 4 years old, that she will grow up not knowing that the first four years of her life were spent with the state treating her family as second-class citizens. Instead she will grow up with the equal dignity and respect that she deserves."
Opponents of the bill expressed disappointment with the vote and fears that the law will infringe on religious freedoms.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois said in a statement that it is "deeply disappointed that members of the General Assembly chose to redefine what is outside of its authority: anatural institution like marriage. We remain concerned about the very real threats to religious liberty that are at stake with the passage of this bill."
Bishop Larry Trotter, another staunch opponent of the bill, said in a statement that he applauds those who voted against the bill "for standing their ground in their defense of traditional marriage in Illinois."
"(W)e will always believe that marriage is between one man and one woman," Trotter said in the statement. "Yet we will still love the members of the LGBT community."
Earlier this year, the Sidetrack bar in Lakeview had ordered a banner in preparation for an anticipated vote on the marriage bill in March. But that vote never came.
Shortly after passage of the bill, the bar employees hung up the banner, which read: "November 5, 2013, Marriage Equality Passes in Illinois!"
"We knew the banner would go up one day," said Chris Hill, who handles advertising for the bar. "It was just a matter of what date we were going to stick on it."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel dropped in at Sidetrack and another bar, Roscoe’s, on Tuesday evening to congratulate supporters of same-sex marriage on the victory. 
"This is a time when our laws are in line with our values," Emanuel said.
Sandra Simmons, 64, was at a weekly seniors get-together at the Center on Halsted, a gay and lesbian community center in Chicago, when she heard news of the vote.
"You hope against hope because with all the other disappointments that have occurred in the legislature, for them to finally do something good, it's nice," Simmons said. "This is major."
Camilla Taylor, an attorney with the gay rights group Lambda Legal, applauded the 61 House lawmakers who voted in favor of the bill.
"We were hopeful, we were very optimistic," Taylor said. "We expected there would be a lot of courageous legislators who maybe hadn't made their courage known beforehand, and we were rewarded."
Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said: "The truth is that this is really a victory for the thousands of couples and their families across the state of Illinois who are going to wake up and read in the paper that a majority of the leaders in this state now believe they are equal to everyone else."
Lambda Legal and the ACLU are involved in a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage. If Quinn signs the same-sex marriage bill into law as expected, Yohnka said the groups would "look at not moving forward with the lawsuit at some point in time."
While many religious groups opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, those that supported the bill applauded Tuesday's vote.
"I'm ecstatic," said the Rev. Richard Tolliver, rector of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church in Washington Park. "I just knew it would happen. I just didn't know when. It's another step for social justice."
O'Mara, the woman who watched the vote with her partner, said her nephew performed a ceremony for the couple after the state legalized same-sex civil unions.
Looking ahead to the possibility of same-sex marriage licenses being issued in June, O'Mara said: "We're going to have to call him back. It might be time for a repeat.”

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