Race and poverty roundup: Black ex-CPD officer shot 28 times sentenced; janitors ready to strike; Urban Prep under fire and more...

Howard Morgan, an off-duty black police officer shot 28 times by white cops was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday on charges of attempted murder. The Chicago Sun-Times called Morgan’s case Chicago’s “own Trayvon-like scandal.” The sentencing comes amid a growing public conversation about police accountability following a spike in shootings by officers. Howard Morgan’s wife, Rosalind, will join The Chicago Reporter on the Barber Shop Show Friday at noon on Vocalo 89.5 FM.

As part of Toni Preckwinkle’s plan to minimize the number of low-level offenders languishing in Cook County jail, the president of the Cook County Board has introduced an amendment to the county’s drug law. By replacing arrests and possible jail time with fines spanning $200-$500, Preckwinkle hopes to change how low-level offenders are charged, reported the Reporter.

Contracts for 13,000 janitors in Chicago are up on April 8th, and they’re ready to strike. The union has said that its worker, which clean the offices of Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and the CME Group downtown, struggle to make ends meet. The dispute centers around insurance as well as wage demands.

Colorlines.com has questioned the vaunted success of Chicago’s Urban Prep high school, the only all-black, male-only charter in the city. This is the third year that every senior has been accepted into college, the school boasts, but Colorlines.com finds that some parent advocates think the school may be ‘creaming,’ pushing out students that have gotten in trouble or may have learning disabilities.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement saw its largest ever immigration sweep this week, with more than 3,000 immigrants being arrested in a six-day operation. Though news reports about the arrests note that a drug distributor and a murderer are among the people rounded up, the racial justice website Colorlines.com’s immigration reporter notes that “the vast majority of those in the serious criminal list are not kingpins and murderers. ICE officials continue to draw on racialized hysteria to naturalize what’s clearly a bald policy of mass deportation.”

Five former New Orleans police officers accused of shooting unarmed people in the aftermath of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 65 years. A Chicago Reporter investigation from 2010 found that efforts to rejuvenate New Orleans after the hurricane helped middle-class and white families, but overlooked low-income and black families.

For some employees and users of the services of the Wicker Park Family Community Resource Center, the coming consolidation into the Humboldt Park office is the latest step in a reduction of services by the Illinois Department of Human Services that has accelerated since the recession.

Racist remarks over Twitter about the character choices in the high-grossing Hunger Games film have created a flurry of tweets, and other discussions, about racism and film. The Wall Street Journal notes: “Of course you can find idiots saying nearly anything if you search the web hard enough, but the racist “Hunger Games” tweets, because they are so shockingly ignorant even by the standards of the fringes of the internet, have kicked up a storm.”

Last but not least, Valerie Newsome speaks out about how the Illinois bill making its way through Springfield, designed to seal off some nonviolent convictions in people’s records to guard ex-offenders against discrimination when seeking housing or employment, would help her and thousands of other citizens in Illinois.


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  • I was in the courtroom today. You couldn't cut the tension with a buzzsaw.

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    Routine re-screening, incuding polygraphs every 5yrs to help fight and prevent police misconduct and corruption. Officers would think twice before breaking laws or rules of conduct. http://t.co/rv9CwYeR

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