Posts in category "Crime"

The Politics Of Park Benches

What’s wrong with this picture? Benches.  In a park.  What could be wrong with that? A great deal, actually. Those benches actually belong on the sidewalk next to the bus shelter, not on a grassy rise in Jackson Park. Your next question is probably “Well who cares where the benches are?   What’s the big deal?”... Read more »

Barbara Ann Smith: Will Her Murderer Ever Be Brought To Justice?

On March 21st, 2011 my neighbor, Barbara Ann Smith was found murdered in her apartment. Four years later, and to the best of my knowledge, her murderer  has not been caught. If any of Barbara’s family members read this post, I’d welcome the opportunity to talk to you about your experiences seeking justice for her murder. The... Read more »

The Metropolitan And The Woodlawn Organization Are A Hazard To My Neighborhood

I’m officially done with the the Woodlawn Organization and their building The Metropolitan. DONE! First it was open doors that allowed access to the building, now it’s an open perimeter along the back of the property.   Anyone can easily nestle themselves into its various nooks and crannies. Which wouldn’t be so bad if the... Read more »
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Writing On Race: Why A White Person Would Live Around Black People

With the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO the ugly specter of race, potential racism and bigotry is once again front page news. Speculation on the shooting is rampant and credible facts are in short supply. Frankly, (and this is putting it mildly) the whole thing is a mess.  A huge nightmarish mess. Make... Read more »

Nine Must Follow Twitter Accounts For Breaking News

As everyone around the world now knows, Chicago did not have a good weekend. By the Tribune’s count 82 people were shot between Thursday and Monday—14 fatally. You don’t need me to tell you that it’s crazy in our city these days and seemingly getting worse. But if you like being informed on the true... Read more »

Gang Graffiti: Should The Neighborhood Be Concerned?

I was out early yesterday morning and saw this bus bench defaced with gang graffiti a block from my home.  In my nearly 13 years of living in Woodlawn, this is the first significant tagging I've ever witnessed.
Early yesterday I noticed something I’ve never noticed before in my part of Woodlawn—an overdose of gang graffiti on a bus bench. It seemed like there were warnings to “Maui town” and  “Hoodgang” to “Lee (leave?) block or get shot.”   Is this the foreshadowing of a gang war off of Stony Island or am I... Read more »
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Death of A Teenager: Reality Sets In

On Monday afternoon Endia Martin lost her life allegedly over a boy. Truthfully, the teenager lost her life over misplaced aggression, the actions of a hyper violent adult and a poor choice by another girl. I couldn’t help but think about this scene from season 3 of “Homicide:  Life On The Street:” Now another girl,... Read more »

Mayor Emanuel And Community Values

Did Mayor Emanuel question the values and morality of the residents of violence plagued neighborhoods? Did those words seriously come from his mouth? That, ladies and gentlemen, take a set of stones.  An honest to God brass pair. The mayor has the gall to lay the bulk of the continuing violence at the feet of the people... Read more »

Chief Keef's Neighborhood

Let me see if I have this right. A landlord that doesn’t perform proper tenant screening. Questionable characters coming and going at all hours, stirring up a ruckus. Quality of life going down the shitter. Pissed off neighbors making frequent calls to the police. And those very same neighbors afraid to give their names to... Read more »
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Barbara Ann Smith: The Cold Case Murder

Barbara Ann Smith:  The Cold Case Murder
Three years ago last Thursday, my next door neighbor Barbara Ann Smith was found murdered in her apartment. Her killer has never been caught. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm on the south side rather than the exception. Despite the fact her killer has yet to be apprehended, I know she hasn’t been forgotten.... Read more »