Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

From the Chicago Sun Times:

The family of Derrion Albert, the 16-year-old fatally beaten Thursday in an after-school mob melee in Roseland, struggled Friday to understand how their honor roll student’s life could have ended in such violence.

Derrion has never been in a fight in his life,” said Joe Walker, Derrion’s grandfather who raised him. “He never raised his voice. Not in 16 years have I had one day of trouble.”

Walker broke down several times speaking about his grandson, proudly showing off the awards he received at Christian Fenger Academy High School for excellent attendance and being on the honor roll. Derrion had just started his junior year.

“We were crazy about him,” Walker said. “He was the type of grandson everybody wished for.”

Monique Bond, Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman, said Derrion “basically was walking along unprovoked, and unbeknownst to him he was about to walk into this conflict. I don’t think he even saw them coming.”

T-Awannda Piper, a youth worker at the Agape Community Center in the 300 block of West 111th Street, witnessed the brawl. She said the fight started with about a dozen high school students, then quickly escalated to about 100, about 3 p.m. Thursday.

“They had sticks; they were fighting with their hands; they were taking off their shirts and throwing them on the ground,” she said. “I saw [Derrion] get hit twice with a stick.”

She said Derrion fell to his knees, then was hit again in the head. He was unconscious but alive when she dragged him into the building with the help of a man driving through a nearby alley who abandoned his truck to assist.

Derrion was pronounced dead at 6:17 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

He died of cerebral injuries and blunt head trauma from assault, the medical examiner’s office said.

While the family did not believe Derrion was involved with a gang, several people have been victims of gang violence in the far South Side neighborhood over the summer.

Go here for the rest of the story.


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When I first read this story I had to reread it a few times just to make sure the Marriott in downtown Stamford, Conn., is really blaming a woman for getting raped on the hotel’s property. But it wasn’t a misread.

From the Connecticut Post:

STAMFORD — A downtown hotel being sued by a woman raped at gunpoint in its parking garage is claiming she was careless, negligent and “failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities,” according to court documents.

The victim’s attorneys also argue the hotel has inadvertently identified her to acquaintances by asking them to testify.

The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, along with the firms in charge of managing the hotel and its parking garage, made the claim as part of a list of special defenses filed in state Superior Court in Stamford last month. Such defenses allow defendants in civil suits to argue they are not responsible for damages even if the plaintiff’s story is true.

The woman filed the lawsuit in May 2008, six months after Danbury native Gary Fricker, 56, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after a plea deal in the case.

On Oct. 10, 2006, Fricker stuck a handgun in the back of the then 40-year-old woman and forced her and her children, then 3 and 5, into their minivan as they left the hotel, according to court documents.

She let him go through her wallet and told him he could take it, but Fricker demanded she take off her clothes. Fricker sexually assaulted the woman for several minutes, pointing the gun at her and her children and threatening to sexually assault one of her children. (more…)

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After two years, four teen suspects in the Dunbar Village gang rape of a mother and her son will finally go to trial.

According to police, a group of armed, masked intruders broke into the woman’s Dunbar Village apartment, forcing her and her son, then 12, into sex acts.

Afterward the attackers took pains to cover their tracks, pouring alcohol, nail polish remover and ammonia on the woman, according to a police report. Palm Beach Post

And these four aren’t even the only ones involved in this unthinkable crime. The others involved have not been caught. I can’t get over how the police said Avion Lawson showed no remorse for what happened. So disturbing and scary that there a people in society who can do things like this to others and not even blink an eye of remorse.

Go here for more background on the story.

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I have no words for how horrible this story is. I’m always shocked at how cruel people can be, but this is just on a whole other level.


From AFP:

Grave robbers stripped at least 300 plots at a historic black cemetery outside Chicago, dumped many of the bodies and then resold the plots for a profit, officials said Thursday.

The years-long scheme was carried out by the cemetery’s manager and three gravediggers who sold the “used” graves so they could pocket the fees rather than pass them along to the Arizona-based owners.

“This was not done in a very delicate way,” Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart said at a press conference.

“They would excavate a grave, excavate the entire site and then they would proceed to dump the remains wherever they found a place to do it in the back of the cemetery.”

They would also sometimes leave the remains in the grave and “pound them down and put someone else on top,” Dart said.

It will likely take months before authorities can identify all of the bodies and restore the gravesites, Dart said, adding that efforts will be complicated by the fact that the cemetery’s records were destroyed and altered.

“We don’t know what else to tell the people, but we are horrifically sorry they have been subjected to this,” Dart said.

“We are working on making this right.”

The scheme came to light when Burr Oak Cemetery’s Arizona-based owners contacted the sheriff’s department after discovering a large discrepancy in the cemetery’s finances. (more…)

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“Everybody that’s haters, they just been haters. All my real fans, I love you all. I ain’t a monster,” Chris Brown.

After pleading guilty on Monday to assault against his then-girlfriend Rihanna, Chris Brown will serve five years probation and community service. I can’t even say I’m surprised that he didn’t get any jail time. After R Kelly got off scott free for accusations of child molestation and is back in the biz, to me, it wasn’t likely that Chris Brown would get jail time. After all, he just assaulted his girlfriend, it’s not like he did something serious like upset PETA or something.

 Brown, 20, showed no emotion as his high-profile defense lawyer Mark Geragos told Los Angeles Judge Patricia Schnegg of the plea agreement with prosecutors.

Dressed in a gray suit, the singer was accompanied into the courtroom by his mother and an entourage of supporters.

“I think it’s commendable that you took responsibility for your conduct, sir,” Schnegg told Brown. Reuters

 Uh huh. If you say so, Judge Schnegg.

Shaking my head at the supporters who came out to cheer him on yesterday. Sigh. No matter what a celeb does, there are always some fans who will show them love as they go to court/prison. (more…)

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And I told myself I was going to keep it light this week on the blog. Had to break the promise. I will probably come back to this topic in a more in-depth form later.

Suspected gunman James W. von Brunn

Suspected gunman James W. von Brunn

A rifle-wielding white supremacist entered Washington’s Holocaust museum on Wednesday afternoon, fatally shooting a security guard before being wounded himself by return fire from other guards, authorities said.

 Stephen Tyrone Johns, a six-year veteran of the museum’s security staff, later “died heroically in the line of duty,” said Sara Bloomfield, museum director.

Law enforcement sources identified the suspect as James W. von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist from Maryland. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which focuses on human rights, said Brunn has “an extremely long history with neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”

“I am shocked and saddened by today’s shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum,” said President Obama, who just days earlier had spoken emotionally about the Holocaust when he visited Buchenwald, a former Nazi concentration camp with Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel.CNN

Holocaust museum guard Stephen T. Johns

Holocaust museum guard Stephen T. Johns

I still don’t understand how people can have that much hatred toward others. After watching the news and then going to work yesterday afternoon, I was saddened as well. But strangely I wasn’t really shocked by the news. And that’s actually what made me do some thinking.

I wasn’t shocked because there’s so much hatred festering in the country right now. Just last weekend I wrote about the suspect in the assassination of the abortion doctor who called the media to warn that more violence will occur.

The Homeland Department of Security issued a report in April that signs of extremism are on the rise.

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment. DHS


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The funeral of the assassinated abortion doctor, George Tiller, took place yesterday in Wichita, Kan. It brought out about 900 people.

Tiller, one of the nation’s few providers of late-term abortions, was killed by a gunshot last Sunday in the foyer of his own church, Reformation Lutheran, while he was serving as an usher and his wife was singing in the choir. Tiller’s clinic in Wichita was among a few in the U.S. performing third-trimester abortions, and that made it a target of regular protests. Most were peaceful, but his clinic was bombed in 1986. Tiller was also shot in both arms in 1993. Topeka Capital-Journal

What stood out to me about Saturday’s funeral was the small group of protestors who stood outside the church.

17 demonstrators showed up from Westboro Baptist Church, known for picketing soldiers’ funerals to present its message that their deaths are God’s punishment for Americans’ tolerance of homosexuality.

They held signs such as “God sent the shooter” and “Abortion is bloody murder.” Topeka Capital-Journal

I can only imagine God up in heaven saying, why are they bringing me into this? Those crazies are not representing me!

As soon as I saw those pictures, I was like, Whaaaat? Really? You’re standing outside this man’s funeral promoting that God is responsible for his death? No matter what side of the abortion issue you fall on, that’s just so wrong.

What type of church would promote those types of teachings? I just don’t understand. How can the members of Westboro feel for the unborn babies but not for a man who was shot down a week ago while attending church?

Today, I saw that the suspect in the assassination made a call warning of more violence.

Scott Roeder called The Associated Press on Sunday from the Sedgwick County jail where he is being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of George Tiller.

Roeder told the AP: “I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal.”

He wouldn’t elaborate. Associated Press

So he just wanted to let people know that more domestic terrorism will occur. Wow. I don’t even know what to say about that. Well, yeah, I do. People are so scared of terrorists coming from abroad, that they don’t even see that these homegrown extremists are capable of the same acts.

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