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Posted: 2/27/2002 6:03:22 AM EDT
The thing that gets me, is why the F*#K a city needs to keep secret stuff??? I am so proud of what the mayor is doing. c-rock http://chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0202270045feb27.story?coll=chi%2Dnewslocal%2Dhed Newly written anti-loitering code faces test 1st law targeting gangs struck down by Supreme Court By Eric Ferkenhoff Tribune staff reporter Published February 27, 2002 Chicago's new anti-gang loitering ordinance faced its first legal challenge Tuesday as attorneys for three men arrested in Pilsen argued the law unfairly targets minorities and sweeps up innocent citizens. City lawyers, who rewrote the ordinance after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the old law in 1999, countered that the new version aimed at ousting gangs from street corners is clear and will survive any constitutional challenge. Cook County Associate Judge Mark J. Ballard is expected to issue a written ruling on March 19. The three men challenging the law were among the first arrestees under the new ordinance that took effect in summer 2000. After the hearing, police said there have been 171 arrests since then and 22,410 people have been ordered to "disperse" from gang and drug hot spots. Anyone returning to a hot spot within three hours after being ordered to disperse faces arrest. Charges were dropped or dismissed in more than 100 of the cases, 22 are pending and an estimated 16 have been convicted, said a spokeswoman for the city Law Department. The high court ruled the old law, first enacted in 1992, was unconstitutional because it gave police too much discretion in targeting gang members for arrest. Defense attorneys for the three suspects--Alan Lopez, Miguel Perez and Antonio Correa--argued little has changed. Critics say the law targets minorities and gives police broad powers to arrest or harass anyone they suspect of being in a gang. Assistant public defender Richard Dvorak said the city "got lost" while trying to follow the Supreme Court's "roadmap" to craft a new law. Not only did the city fail to specify exactly what constitutes a crime under the ordinance, he told the court, but it also failed to craft a law narrow enough that police did not ensnare innocent people in its zeal to rid the city of gangs. "We can't allow the beat cop to serve as a constitutional scholar," Dvorak said. Lawrence Rosenthal, an attorney for the city who argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, said the new law so closely followed the directions of the high court that the justices essentially wrote the ordinance themselves. The original law authorized police to arrest suspected gang members and their associates if they were loitering on street corners or in other public places with "no apparent purpose" and also refused orders to disperse. The justices said that ordinance was too vague and affected too many innocent people. It was only in effect for three years but yielded more than 40,000 arrests.
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 6:07:54 AM EDT
Also, by not releasing the list of hot spots or posting signs to identify them, "The city actively deceives its citizens," Dvorak said. "I cannot think of a law more arbitrary and discriminatory, where you can do one thing on one block and it's OK. When you do it on the next block, it's not, and we're (the city) not going to tell you where that imaginary line is."
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 6:47:27 AM EDT
Never thought I'd see the day when I'd be backing Mayor Ritchie Daley but I agree with him on this one. These street gang thugs are our version of domestic terrorists. They're no different than Al Quaida, the Taliban, and the PLO. They smuggle Drugs, commit Murder and Rape and in general terrorize the Neighborhoods with Violence and stolen firearms. Lawful, legitimate gun owners get the blame every time one of these Mutants does a drive by and pops a gang rival. Calls for new gun control laws arrise every time one of these Scum shoots a kid. And yet all I ever see on Cable is how Evil the KKK and American Nazis are. The big threat to our National Security isn't a handful of guys wearing white hoods or shouting "Sieg Heil". The threat is these big inner city street gangs who shoot and kill cops and are using their income from drugs to fund activities that may undermine our safety. And if Daley can get a law passed to get 'em off the street and into a jail cell where they belong, all power to him.
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