Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Special Report-Update about CPD Contact Cards

A Special Report
Are CPD Contact Cards Unconstitutional?
by Beauty Turner, (Original day printed)
June 12, 2007
Many public housing residents from the Dearborn Homes on the South Side are upset at the Chicago Police Department because they are being forced to give out personal information about themselves and their guests' lives.
They want to know if the police department's current requirement that they provide the information to put on contact cards as a method of deterring crime is unconstitutional and an infringement of their civil rights.
Five months ago, police officers began collecting these 'contact cards' from the residents of Dearborn Homes as well as their guests, according to Carol Wallace, a long-time resident of the public housing complex.
Beginning in January this year, Wallace said police officers began stopping residents and demanding they give out information so the officers can fill out contact cards that list their name, age, address, telephone number, height, weight, color of their eyes and hair, and if they had any tattoos.
"I just don't get it now. CPD is making us fill out contacts cards so they can keep tabs on us. I'm an American citizen," Wallace declared during a phone interview that month. "We are living as if we are in a Third World country somewhere. We are being treated as if we are living in a concentration camp.
RJ talked to other residents at the Dearborn Homes during a five-month investigation of the issue. Many said they thought that the police harassment was just another way to push them out of their homes to make way for pricey condominiums.
In May, RJ received more calls from residents of the Dearborn Homes complaining about the CPD making them fill out contact cards. "Im afraid to go outside these days. They are making our lives miserable," proclaimed Samuel Lord, a longtime resident of the Dearborn Homes.
Eleanor Murray also called in that month. "Every time I go outside, the police stop me and make me fill out contact cards. I think they even had the nerve to ask me for my social security number," she said.
While at the public housing site in early June, Joyce Smith, a disabled resident, told this reporter that she was also stopped by police officers, demanding that she too provide them with her social security number for the contact card.
RJ called Gail Singleton, the elected president of the resident council at the Dearborn Homes, to ask her what she thought about the police making residents and their guests fill out contact cards. She could not be reached by press time.
CPD's Views on the Contact Cards
In early January, RJ first called police spokesperson Pat Camden and asked him if there was any truth to the allegations about police officers forcing Dearborn Homes residents to fill out contact cards every time they are stopped by an officer.
"Yes. That is true we are asking people that we stop who come into the Dearborn Homes to fill out contact cards," Camden said during the phone interview that month.
Camden said the reason for asking the public housing residents to fill out the contact cards would be to assist CPD in solving crimes in that community.
If we received a call about a crime that has been committed in that area or nearby and someone described a suspect and we see that we have someone on the contact card that matches that description, we will investigate that person," Camden said.
RJ also asked Camden if the police department was requiring people all over the city to fill out contact cards, including those living on the Gold Coast.
"Yes. All across the city and by the way, the officers fill them out, not the person," he said.
RJ asked Camden to provide copies of the contact cards and data about how many contact cards had been filled out in other parts of Chicago. Camden did not provide this information by press time.
"Which way do you want us to go? We are damned if we don't do anything to deter crime and damned if we do," Camden added.
RJ spoke with Camden again on June 8 to find out if the police officers demanding the information for the contact cards were stationed at the Dearborn Homes.
"No. We are not stationed there. We do not have an office space there. We are there to serve and protect the residents, just like we are with the whole city," he said in a phone interview.
Camden added that the requests by the police department for residents and their guests to provide their personal information to police officers at the Dearborn Homes has been happening "as long as I have been a police officer, for 37 years."
CHA Comments on the Issue
RJ spoke to Derek Hill, a Chicago Housing Authority spokesperson,in January to inquire if the agency knew about the police department's initiative of making the Dearborn Homes residents and their guests fill out contact cards.
RJ also asked Hill if the situation was OK with the public housing agency, which currently pays the police department $16 million annually for "above baseline police services" for the duration of their massive $1.6 billion Plan for Transformation.
"The Chicago Housing Authority pays the Chicago Police Department money to patrol our properties," Hill said.
"And if that is what the Chicago Police Department felt that they needed to do to keep our residents safe, then they should do that."
Legal Aspects
Dearborn Homes resident Carol Wallace called RJ again in May about the contact cards. She wanted to know if the police officers' demands for information were legal.
Where are our policy makers? Our so-called leaders? Why aren't they addressing these issues that are affecting so many low-income Black people?" she asked.
"Didn't Hitler do that to the Jews? Make them show them their papers and fill out contact cards on them," said an unidentified neighbor of Wallace's again during a telephone interview in April.
RJ called American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Adam Schwarz to inquire if it is an infringement of the Dearborn Homes residents' rights for police officers to ask them for information to fill out contact cards.
"There is a policy in the city called 'Terry Stops' but that is only if a person looks suspicious and you have reason to believe that that person may have done something. But that is not a reason to search or get contact cards filled out for everybody you come into contact with," Schwarz said.
"The fact that you are entering a home or exiting doesn't give rise to suspicious activities and should not be the basis of detaining or interrogating anyone."
Robert D. Whitfield, a co-counsel for the Central Advisory Council, the body of elected CHA resident representatives, also questioned the legality of asking for information from residents in this way.
"Yes. It is highly questionable and yes, it is illegal if they are stopping every single person no matter what," Whitfield said during an interview at a CHA Board of Commissioners meeting at the Charles Hayes Center in mid-May.
3rd Ward Alderman's Response
The news of the police asking the Dearborn Homes residents to provide them with background information about themselves for the contact cards didn't sit too well with newly elected 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell.
"No. They shouldn't be doing that to low-income people," Dowell said on June 7.
"We don't live in South Africa. That's not right. I will definitely be looking into this."

Update- after this article was printed on June 12, on the web at (Wethepeoplemedia.org)
My former place of employment.
Results-Civil Rights Leader Jesse Jackson Sr. Invited Carol Wallace to Operation Push-to tell her story about eleven CPD officers allegedly ransacking her home after going national in Beauty’s Ghetto Bus Tours( Tours that were designed and created by Ms. Beauty Turner to get the voice of the voiceless out) Later Jesse spent the night at another public housing development
The Harold Ickes Homes where the residents were going through the same injustice CPD filling out contact cards on them plus locking them as well as their love ones, and guest who visit them up for trespassing.

Class Action Lawsuit Aimed At City Of Chicago Gathers Momentum

Notes Attorney Tamara N. Holder

Also Set To Sue Chicago Police Department For Defamation Of Character, Returns To Ickes Homes Monday November 5, 2007 at Noon, Joining Reverend Jackson and Rainbow PUSH Coalition

CHICAGO, IL (November 5, 2007) – Tamara N. Holder, Esq., who has led the fight for Harold Ickes Homes residents from day one, announces that the class action lawsuit filed against the City of Chicago in October is gaining momentum with over 300 complaints received thus far. Attorney Holder notes that there are more lawsuits to follow; such as false arrest, warrantless searches, trespass cases and a possible suit against Chicago Housing Authority (CHA).

CHA appears to do nothing to defend their residents, who live in filth and fear every day. With the degradation of women being searched by male officers, who put their hands down female’s pants. Together with allegations of police taking small amounts of money from people and commenting, “Thanks for my lunch money!” As well as allegedly informing residents that they are subject to search at any time because they live in government housing.

CHA risks being sued for a number of claims, such as building code violations; examples of which can be seen with elevators that do not close properly and faulty fire alarms. It has also been documented that CHA contracts out much of its work to entities such as private management companies; and Chicago Police, who are paid millions of dollars per year. Chicago police have also been reported to have had the CHA contracted towing company remove vehicles without CHA knowledge or consent, amongst other allegations.

The specific lawsuit only brings to issue that of the so-called “contact cards” being used under the guise “to monitor criminal activity.” Individuals stopped on the Chicago Housing Authority property are forced to provide officers with their vital info or risk being arrested for trespass, disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice, and interference with police investigation.

Attorney Holder will be returning to Ickes Homes Monday November 5, 2007, to garner updates; she will be joined with Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

About Tamara N. Holder:

Tamara N. Holder, Esq., (http://www.xpunged.com) is one of Chicago’s rising legal analytical stars. She gained national attention for fighting for the rights of railroad workers who were fired in the name of “homeland security” which led to a Congressional hearing. She most recently filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Chicago and its Chicago Police officers for illegal searches at the Harold Ickes Homes. Her law firm specializes in criminal defense, expungement cases, malpractice and personal injury lawsuits. Ms. Holder sits on the Women of Power Alumni Association Advisory Board; and is also the founder of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Expungement Clinic.

Update-(2008) Many residents as well as their friends and relatives were being arrested and detained, and being charged with trespassing after visiting love ones in the Harold Ickes developments:
The residents are fighting back and winning.

Defendants Acquitted In Ickes Trespass Case Elevates

Tamara Holder’s Fight For Public Housing Residents

CHICAGO, IL (February, 2008) – On February 8, 2008, Tamara N. Holder, Esq., who has been leading the fight for Harold Ickes Homes residents, recently won two cases of trespass on the Ickes property by way of acquittal. The State of Illinois failed to meet its burden that Ickes residents could not have visitors on the property and such visitors would be arrested for trespass by Chicago Police.

Each defendant, Larry Smith and LaCharles Washington, was charged with two counts of trespass: Trespass to State Supported Land and Trespass to Real Property. Attorney Holder subpoenaed the Chicago Housing Authority and the Woodlawn Organization (the Ickes’ property manager) for alleged rules and regulations that residents could not have visitors.

LaCharles Washington was visiting his infant child prior to going to school around 10 am, when he was arrested outside the steps of an Ickes building and detained for ten days. According to Attorney Holder, he was later told by an assistant public defender to plead guilty if he wanted go home since he could not afford to post bond. Attorney Holder was in court that day and convinced Mr. Washington to withdraw his plea of guilty and fight for his innocence.

These victories also settle a previous belief of Judicial Subcircuit No. 9 Judge Marvin P. Luckman, who, in open court, previously told defendant Larry Smith, “Unless you are on the lease, you can’t be on the Ickes property.” Mr. Smith is also the father of an infant child who resides on the property; he was arrested with the child’s mother, Marie Battle, last July. Attorney Holder tried Ms. Battle’s case last October, which resulted in a not guilty verdict by Judge Luckman.

The acquittals now set a precedent for the many pending and potential future trespass cases against relatives and friends of Ickes residents. The victories also provide more fuel to the class action lawsuit filed by Attorney Holder on behalf of Harold Ickes Home residents against the City of Chicago Police Department in October of 2007. Attorney Holder has received hundreds of complaints regarding abuse of police power, including but not limited to trespass.

Attorney Holder, who represented the men pro bono, commented, “the most important thing to me is that public housing residents realize that they do not have lesser rights just because the live in public housing.” She continued, “These victories prove that if you fight for what is right, you will prevail. Many of these arrests and prosecutions are flat-out wrong and a waste of the taxpayer’s money

Presidential Election an issue to low income people

Presidential election an issue to low income people
By; Ms. Beauty Turner

Who's backing Barrack or Hillary?
In our communities granulated, grayish dust continues to spill down the side of public housing, low rises, mid rises, walls in IDA B Wells public housing complexs.
Many of these residential housing developments are having their date with a wrecking ball; while numerous of aims from the wrecking ball is taking away big chunks of concrete and mortal where people lived and once called their homes.
Sights like this is taking place all over the windy city, as well as now in other cities and states.
High rises, mid rises, low rises on the south side, northwest side as well as the west side of town in Chicago, places such as Robert Taylor Homes,Stateway Gardens, Rockwell Gardens,Henry Horner Homes,Cabrini Green development, Madden Park Homes. Darrow Homes, as well as other public housing developments are experiencing this shift in housing displacement.
Even some Section 8 residential rental housings.
There are blue prints on somebody table to dismantle and displace places like Grove Parc Apartments on 61 Street and Cottage Grove after all they have now failed at least three HUD Housing of Urban Development inspections.
Many of the residents that lived in these places that I mention do not have jobs and have difficulty acquiring gainful employment, after all many places are now laiding off workers,places such as the Chicago Housing Authority, President Todd Stroger firing people in health care, as well as in the prison system,plus Mayor Richard M.Daley is shutting down schools in the educational system, thereby laying off teachers, teachers aids, and the likes, transportation is looking at a dooms day senario because of lack of funds.
People are being stacked up on top of each other like boxes in a factory at relatives homes after becoming displaced out of these housings.
Shelters are being overcrowded leaving many peple with no where to go.
And yet the CHA ambitious plan is not yet over.
Jobs are shipping out and going overseas leaving American people without a roof over their heads or food on their tables.
Many of the people that living under these conditions believe that the United State Senators Barack Husien Obama or Hillary Clinton will not be visiting the people who live in these areas that I mention.
Police shootings of civilians are rising like mercury in a themostrat on a blizary snowy, day in the winter time.
33 police shootings of civilians and 18 fatalities have occurred since January 07 until now.
No Presidential candidates have talked to or spent any time with the weeping mothers, who's children have been the victims of these 33 shootings nor the mothers of the 33 shootings of school age children by gangs.
The sad part is that these shootings and violence are errupting like a volcano in these candidates back yards right here in Chicago.
How can you clean up the rest of the world back yards
when your yards are filthy?
Violence and killing are taking place on our city streets right here in the good old windy city of Chicago, and not just in war torn Iraq! The displacement of the poor, as well as the violence are ripping out the social fabrics that made American's, America! My question to Barack as well as to Hillary who is backing us?
By the way you are both invited to hear the voice of the voiceless by getting on my famous Beauty's Ghetto Bus Tour.
Will you be the president for some of the people or for all?
remember this line in the Constitution- "Liberty and justice for (ALL)"
CALL ME OR E-MAIL ME AT 1-773-297-5619 or e-mail me at Beautyturner@gmail.

CHA Untrue Units

CHA Untrue Units
By: Ms. Beauty Turner

24% of the federal housing budgets has been cut .
I know you are asking what does that mean to me?
It means 8 million dollars were yanked from the Chicago Housing Authority Relocation Transformation plan according to Derek Hill CHA spoke person.

A plan that is moving ten of thousands of low income residents in to so called mixed income communities as well as into the private market.

A long stag came into the seam of this silk nylon plan; creating a bit of confusion as well as chaos between private market landlords and CHA.
What CHA didn’t tell you which is what I’m uncovering from their piles of demolition dirt is that they had contracted with private landlords to move some of the residents into what they called true units.
But the truth is they gave out very little detail when they were relocating the last of Robert Taylor residents and some of State way Garden residents into what the residents felt were their permanent units into the private market.
From the residents points of views the truth is that CHA can no longer live up to their obligation when it comes to paying those private landlords so guess what many of those same people who moved about a year ago has to move again.
Two such resident are Community Activist Barbara Moore and her daughter Kolette Moore a young mother of two teenage boys who were relocated from the last building standing in the Robert Taylor Homes,
You might remember it; a reddish sixteen stories public housing high-rise that stood off the back of the street on Federal, right across from the Boys and Girls Club located at 5135 South Federal.
In November the Moore’s called me and asked me to come over so I did.
They had moved one block over east from where Robert Taylor Homes once stood. .
The building that they moved to was a three flat brick building, sandy off white covering with over fifteen units in it, which stood right across the street from Reverend Hubert B. Martin’s Church “Progressive Community” located at 4752 South Wabash.

Kolette Moore said to me
“I haven’t even been to court and this landlord is forcing CHA to move me to the Trumbull Lowden Homes, “ during an interview on November 29th at her mother home. Which by the way was directly right across the hall from where Kolette lived. .
Her mother and her were moved about a year ago from the last building that were standing in the Robert Taylor Homes .
Barbara Moore is a well known activist who is known for standing her grounds when former CEO of CHA Phillips Jackson wanted to tear down her building where she were the President at 5266 South State Street.
Her and the Coalition to Protect Public Housing raised a strong fight against the CHA in 1998.
“ “CHA moved me and my daughter into this building together because they knew that I could no longer walk and I’m suffering from a lot of different illnesses,” Barbara said hardly being able to breath properly.
“Now a year later they are forcing my daughter to move away from me and she haven’t even been to court,” Barbara. Moore added.
“If I get sick or if there’s a fire here who will help me get out; I’m an invalid now; I can‘t walk,” Barbara continues.
“Beauty CHA is sending a truck here tomorrow to force me and my children to move to a place that I know nothing about!” Kolette said in a tearful voice.
“I have sons they will not be safe there!” Kolette added.
“I heard that there’s a lot of shooting that is taking place there!” Kolette added. .
“How could they just come to your home in one day and say you have to move and they told me that they don’t have to have an explanation?” Kolette went on to say.
“My mother need me here she doesn’t have anyone to help her get dress, eat or wash up; this is not right!” Kolette went on to say. “I’m her care taker how could they do this? “ Kolette breaking down into a fit of tears. “That’s my mama!” Kolette moaned.
“CHA nor this city or private landlords doesn’t seem to care about us!” according to Kolette.
I called CHA spoke person Derek Hill and told him about Kolette and Barbara Moore situations as well as their concerned..
“She agreed to move last week now she’s complaining,” Hill said.
“We are saving Kolette from being evicted by giving her a newly rehabbed unit in the Trumbull Lowden Home.” according to Hill.
“These are temporary units we begged the private landlord to let some of our residents stay here.”
Hill added.
Now those landlords want their money or want the relocated residents out of their buildings.
“Why can’t she take her mother with her?” Hill said doing a late night telephone interview.
I asked Barbara Moore why can’t she move with her daughter?
“My hospital is not too far away from here,” Barbara Moore said.
Trumbull Lowden Homes are too far away from all of the things that I need like my hospital, and medication!
Moore added.
“How can they just come to our homes and move us out when ever they feel like it without due process of the law,“ Barbara said.
“Last I looked this is still America! “ Barbara Moore added.
The next day bright and early before the sun begin to shine a big CHA moving truck pulled up to 47 52 South Wabash and moved Kolette and her family to the Trumbull Lowden homes leaving her invalid mother behind to fend for herself.
Barbara’s voice cracking as she tried to explain to me on the telephone about her dilemma “Who will go and pay my bills, pick up my medication, take me to the hospital !”
Cast Management which is the private management company for the building they lived in- agreed that Kolette Moore lived at 4752 South Wabash but decline to say anything else.
I talked to a lawyer Nicky Bazer from the legal Federation about this situation.
And she told me that what they did to Kolette doesn’t ring right to me.
“CHA didn’t tell us that the units that we were relocated to weren’t our permanent units, matter fact we were told that they were our permanent units!” Kolette Moore said.
Residents question to CHA what else are you not telling the truth about?

4 Anti War Activists Arrested at Bush Luncheon

Anti War Activists served Bush at his luncheon in Chicago

National Lawyers Guild observers report that there were 4 arrests. Arrestees include Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network and CCAWR and Kevin Clarke and Jeff Pickert from the International Solidarity Movement (I SM-Chicago ),

Demonstrators clash with cops outside Bush luncheon
- Associated Press.

CHICAGO -- Four antiwar demonstrators were arrested Monday in a brief clash with police outside the Union League Club in downtown Chicago where President Bush had just finished lunch with civic leaders.
The demonstrators tried to dart from the curb and into the street outside the club to stretch a large green banner saying "End the War and the Occupation" in front of Bush's motorcade.

They continued to struggle as horse-mounted police forced them back to the curb. Four of those who defied the officers and struggled to get into the street with their banner were arrested and taken away in a police van.

The names of those arrested and the charges against them would be released later, authorities said.

Fewer than 100 demonstrators waited for hours for Bush's motorcade to leave the club, which is located on Jackson Boulevard in the south Loop around the corner from Chicago's Everett M. Dirksen Federal Courthouse.

The demonstrators were closely watched by 15 horse-mounted police in powder-blue helmets. A huge powder-blue Streets and Sanitation Department truck sealed off the west end of the block in front of the club.

When the motorcade finally left, it was moving so fast that if Bush saw anything of the demonstrators it was no more than a fleeting glimpse.

Some people clustered on the sidewalk booed as the motorcade whisked by and as the demonstrators were taken into custody one young girl shouted: "This is what democracy looks like." Other bystanders cheered the president as his car went by, although it is unlikely he heard either.