Wednesday, July 29, 2020

CPD Career Stories Series - Mark "The Flyin' Hawaiin" Acana

CPD Officer Mark "The Flyin' Hawaiin" Acana - CPD Photo

On May 14th, 2020, at 12:00PM, the Chicago Police Department and the residents of the city saw the retirement of a storied Explosives K9 Detection Officer named Mark Acana.

Mark was known among his fellow coppers as "The Flyin' Hawaiin" along with his K9 partner, Daisy.

Mark retired from the CPD Transit Security Unit (Unit 704) and was assigned Beat 7332. You can hear his retirement radio call here.

Mark was assigned CPD Star# 4355, and started his career in the 025th District on 02 April 1992, while Phillip J. Cline was the Chief of Detectives at Area 5 just upstairs at the 025th District station.

Mark Acana ended his time at 025 on 03 December 2008, starting a new district assignment in his same Explosives K9 Officer position in what used to be the 023rd District and later became 019.

On 10 December 2009, Mark Acana was detailed to CPD Unit 704, the Transit Security Unit. Mark was often heard on OEMC Citywide 1 during this assignment. His TSU assignment was to last until 15 June 2011, but he became a permanent part of that unit until 14 May 2020.

The Department marked his effective retirement date as 15 July 2020.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Area 3 Homicide Investigation - 355 N. Wabash

Date: 19 July 2020

Time: 2:35AM

Address: 355 N. Wabash (Wabash Ave Bridge/Wabash & Wacker)

Beat of Occurrence: 1834

Beat Assigned: 112, 114, 1834, 120, 1899, 1871, 1834 (Paper car), 1824 (crime scene), 1885-E (crime scene)

Supervising: 120, 1890, 1899

UCR: 0110 / 041-A

RD# JD-302372

Event# 02072


Event# 02072

The below summary details investigation of scene response, and actions taken on-scene. See investigation summary for more.

R/Ds assigned this investigation by Area 3 Sgt. on-duty after he was notified by a unit in the field of two people shot.

Unit 112 called out shots fired on Zone-4, and identified two victims. This unit was east of Wabash on Wacker.

1834 assigned to find crime scene.

0228AM tourniquet applied to female victim

CFD truck arrived at 0240AM

1899 performed search of walkway

1871 blocking eastbound traffic

Once victims were secured, and EMS on-scene, district boundary was determined according to incident address. This district boundary determined to be 018. 1834 assigned paper car.


F = 2 GSW arm.

M = GSW to neck/head (fatal) identified as Gregory Crawford (Alias Adam Miller), 35 years-old. Maywood resident.

Offender information:

Total of 3 offenders as follows

Per 102-S (001st District SDSC/Intelligence) - M/1, all black clothing, bald head, beard, 5 foot 7 to 6 feet, white gym shoes, 125 to 160lbs, fled northbound on Wabash by foot. Gold chain, white logo on left side of shirt pocket.

1 offender with pink shirt and blue jeans

1 offender white t-shirt (wife beater style shirt) with black and white pants

Flash sent via citywide at 0253AM

Witness security:

1833 - [Location Redacted]

Evidence Techs:

5802, 5812

Detectives Assigned:

5320 - Jacobs
Perricone - Star#21169
Leavitt - Star# 21081 (Lead)
Taglieri - Star# 20722 (Lead)

CFD Units:

Amb 11 transported victim Crawford at 0256AM, and 28 transported the female victim. 28 arrived at NMH at 3:03AM. 1824 assigned to the victims.

Victim Crawford assigned M.E. Case# 2020-09077

In essence, and not verbatim, unless otherwise noted, at or around 2:35AM on the above noted date, at the address noted in this report, the 25 year-old female victim waved down a near-by unit stating she and another car occupant now identified as Gregory Crawford, needed medical assistance after being shot near the cross streets of North Wabash and Wacker.

The unit then notified Zone-4 for CFD response, and a tourniquet was applied to the female victim by the unit on-scene.

R/Ds relocated to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and spoke with medical staff who worked on both victims, and learned that victim Gregory Crawford had expired, and was pronounced by the attending trauma physician.

R/Ds also interviewed CFD paramedics that transported both victims.

Investigation revealed the driver of the victims’ vehicle turned east onto Wacker Drive, and Crawford was in the front passenger seat. Crawford appeared to open the car door to get out before slumping to the ground.

Witnesses ran up to Crawford and started crying. A beat unit was parked near where the victims' dark-colored sedan came to a rest, outside the River Hotel at 75 East Wacker Drive. Officers ran over to the victims to provide help. Crawford was conscious at the time, and he refused to answer questions by an on-scene unit about the shooting. The 25-year-old female victim was uncooperative as well.

R/Ds relocated to the scene and interviewed Beats 112, 114, 1834, 120, and 1899.

Investigation revealed the 001st and 018th districts received recent information from beat officers that sizable groups were gathering near the river in recent weeks, and some special attention monitoring had been assigned.

The still images displayed below show persons of interest in this investigation. See the surveillance video here.


CFD, Area 3 Violent Crimes, CPIC, Ops Command, Medical Examiner, News Affairs

CW2 - 0337AM by 130, req. Crimelab for 2 crime scenes. 45 E. Wacker, and 358 N. Wabash, photos of victim's vehicle and shell casings. Black Honda Accura. The car was at the Wacker address, shell casings on Wabash.

CW2 - 0636AM by 1824 req body removal. Det Perricone - Star# 21169, A/3 Violent Crimes

M.E. Martens #89

Requesting Officer: Wytrzyfztzewski - Star# 16706

This investigation continues open, in-progress.

Open-Source Intelligence & News Media

Chicago Tribune 19 July 7:28PM

Chicago Sun-Times 20 July 2020 4:12PM

Chicago Tribune 22 July 6:12PM

ANY PERSON with information related to this homicide should contact Chicago Police Area 3 Detectives Leavitt and/or Taglieri at 312-744-8261

Friday, March 13, 2020

Chicago Response to COVID-19

The City of Chicago has formed a response to the global spread of a contagious virus the CDC has identified as COVID-19. This response comes after a small amount of confirmed local cases of this virus were detected via the CDC testing protocol.

The first case in Chicago (2nd in the nation) was confirmed on January 24th, 2020

There have been extensive reports and updates issued by both the city itself, and local corporate news outlets. The City of Chicago response to COVID-19 takes the form of several committees. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on the existence of these committees on March 10th, 2020.

What we now know about the city's emergency response:
  • The Lightfoot administration has activated the city's Emergency Operations Center at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC)
  • This move cones after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a statewide disaster declaration as a result of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
Chicago-One is listing those committees here as shown in the Sun-Times piece

Organizing Task Force — the equivalent of a board of directors — is led by Lightfoot and includes Arwady and Rich Guidice, executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

CONTINUITY OF GOVERNMENT — Mayor’s office of operations, Paul Stewart. Prior to the outbreak, Stewart had been running point on the city rollout of recreational marijuana sales.

CITYWIDE WORKFORCE — Department of Human Resources, First Deputy Commissioner Chris Owen.

COMMAND AND CONTROL — OEMC and Chicago Fire Department, OEMC Deputy Director Tom Sivak and Fire Commissioner Richard Ford II.

PUBLIC SAFETY — Eric Carter, Chicago Police Department’s chief of counterterrorism.

MESSAGING AND MEDIA — Mayor’s press office, OEMC, Health Department, Communications director Michael Crowley; OEMC spokesperson Melissa Stratton; Health Department spokesman Andy Buchanan.

PROCUREMENT — Chief Procurement Officer Shannon Andrews.

FINANCE — Office of Budget and Management, Budget Director Susie Park.

INTELLIGENCE AND PLANNING — Health and OEMC; Griffin Byer, OEMC; Emily Zaran, Health Department senior emergency management coordinator.

SPECIAL EVENTS AND HOSPITALITY — Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Mark Kelly.

HOUSING AND WRAP-AROUND SERVICES — Department of Housing, Managing Deputy Commissioner Anthony Simpkins.

EDUCATION, PARKS AND LIBRARIES — Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson.

Faces of Chicago's Corona Virus COVID-19 Response

Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner - Chicago Department of Public Health

The Chicago Sun-Times tells what Dr. Arwady's days look like during the city's hectic fight against COVID-19.

Chicago-One reached out to Anthony Guglielmi, the Director of Communications for the Chicago Police Department, and also reached out to Melissa Stratton at the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications on March 10th, 2020 to ask questions regarding the Public Safety Committee and the Intelligence Committee. Stratton asked for time to respond. As of 13 March, at 2:47PM, Stratton has not responded.

Guglielmi stated in his e-mail on March 11th, 2020:

"The Chicago Department of Health is the lead agency for Coronavirus assisted by the Office of Emergency Management. CPD is part of the overall team to address any public safety or law enforcement issues that may arise. Eric Carter has been designated as the lead Point of Contact by the Superintendent given the Counter-terroism Burea's experience managing large scale special events. Chief Carter would also be supported by the Operations Bureau should there be a specific need."

The Timeline - Chicago's Response to SARS-COV-2 (Novel Corona Virus / COVID-19)

The first tweet from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office came on 28 February 2020 at 10:42AM.

First corona virus tweet from Mayor Lightfoot

March 4th, 2020 brought news from CBS 2 Chicago that the Chicago Fire Department was preparing for calls involving COVID-19

Photo courtesy of CBS 2 Chicago
 On March 12, 2020, a well-known local Chicago Public Schools advocate for disabled students challenged Janice Jackson on Twitter regarding her handling of this crisis and asked why she had opted to keep schools open.

Chicago Sped PAC on Twitter challenging Janice Jackson with time and date stamp at bottom of tweet

Friday, March 13th, 2020

This is the date when a mass response by the public and businesses in the city began, as both the public and the business community recognized the danger posed by this virus, and found the need to act was in the mass public interest to keep the impact of this virus manageable.

8:54AM - Chicago-One News is tipped-off by confidential source that the John G. Shedd Aquarium has held a meeting and decided to close early at 3:30PM, followed by closure for two weeks as a result of COVID-19. WBBM then confirms this publicly at 11:09AM

The Chicago Teacher's Union called for Chicago Public Schools to close.

9:59AM - WBBM's Rob Hart reported on, and publicly provided the below email to parents from the Archdiocese Supt. Dr. Jim Rigg, explaining that schools operated by the Archdiocese would close effective Monday, March 16th, 2020.

11:54AM - The Museum of Science and Industry Announces Closure in Response to COVID-19

11:55AM - Peter Nickeas of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that the Illinois Department of Public Health had announced a new development in the ability to test for COVID-19 via two private labs who were said to be reporting mixed posituve and negative results

1:11PM - Chicago Tribune reports that Mayor Lightfoot has said Chicago Public Schools to remain open, Teacher's Union wants them to close

1:25PM - The Associated Press reported via their reporter, Jill Colvin, that President Trump would declare a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

2:33PM - President Donald J. Trump declares a national emergency

2:40PM - The popular Chicago Scanner twitter account posted the below photos from an Aldi store at 4600 W. Diversey on the city's northwest side, saying, "Aldi 4600 W Diversey
Bread, TP, canned goods, cashier said there was a line outside before opening"

3:56PM - Governor Pritzker orders ALL schools closed, public AND private

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Charlie Beck Makes Big Organizational Changes, Rumored List of Promotions & Demotions

Per Charlie Beck at a press conference today, the department's re-organization starts in February. Pretty much all Department resources will be under a new bureau, called "Bureau of Operations". Everyone in the Bureau of Operations will be subject to orders from and supervision of the district commanders,  except the CPD Central Homicide Unit. Homicide will also stay within the regional Detective division organization.

There will also be a Bureau of Constitutional Policing to handle all the legal and civil rights issues, and a new CPD Counterterrorism unit.

With the creation and implementation of the new Counterterrorism Unit, the superintendent's office has to figure out what to do with the existing 7010 through 7011G, 7100 through 7103, 7120 through 7129, and 7160 through 7179 units / teams and if they'll be independent units, unified with each other, or function as a joint command

Rumors of promotions and demotions are loud right now. There are names attached to these rumors, and the rumors appear for now to be credible.

Area 1 DC - Jose Tirado
XO - Cmdr Dion Boyd

Area 3 DC - Dan O'Shea
XO - Cmdr Mike Pigott

Area 4 DC Erest Kato
XO - Cmdr Rod Robinson

Area 5 DC Roberto Nieves
XO - Cmdr Fabian Saldana

Dep Chief Randy Darlin
XO - Patrol


Jacob Alderden - 001
Joshua Wallace - 002
Felipe Garcia - 004
Glenn White - 005
Larry Snelling- 007
Gil Calderon - 010
Jill Stevens - 018
Sean Joyce - 022
Jim Sanchez - Gang Intel
Duane DeVries - Intel
Kevin Bruno - IRT
Eve Gushes - FRU
Antoinett Ursitti - CIT

Detective Commanders

Area 1 - Tom Miles
Area 2 - Joel Howard
Area 4 - Rich Wiser
Area 5 - Eric Winstrom

Deputy Chiefs

Migdalia Bulnes - Det
Dan Godsel - Academy
Kevin Johnson - CAPS
Chris Kennedy - Anti Terrorism

Eric Carter- Anti Terrorism
Brendan Deenihan - Det
Jim O'Donnell - Constitutional Policing

Street Deputy
Melissa Staples

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

General Enforcement Unit Officer Shot on West Side Pursuing Murder Offender

RD# JD-132836, 132848 with event number 09266 for the UCR Code 0110

Event Number: 2002909272

UCR Code: 0450 (10-1)

District: 011 and 012

Time: 2:25PM

Beat of Assignment: 1100, 6255, 1164A, 1164C, 1160, 6502, 6592F, 1131, Car 4-B, 6550, 1104, 6515

Paper Car: 1131

Extra Resources: 014 provided several units; 1423, 1462 Tact team

Transporting Ambulance: 23 (victim shot in head)

On 29 January 2020, the Chicago Police ShotSpotter alerted to 2 rounds at 4055 W Madison. 1102-S (011th District SDSC) notified Zone-10.

6255 (Area 5 General Enforcement Sgt) witnessed an offender produce a gun, and commit the offense of 1st Degree Murder, and pursued the offender who was in a white pick up north on Karlov from Wilcox. Immediately after this, shots were fired at the police, and the officer was struck in the right forearm. Immediately, a 10-1 was called. The Officer was transported by squad to Stroger after opting to first apprehend the offender. 6255 stated on the air that they have an undercover operation going-on there.

Approximate Timeline from here:


Pick up spotted, pick-up crashed at Congress/Damen one offender in ccustody with a weapon recovered at 2020 W Harrison.

Units found 2 shell casings at 4049 W Wilcox

Units found 1 live round at 4053 W Wilcox

The original shots fired with ShotSpotter notification at 4055 W Madison was for the Male victim shot in the head at Madison & Karlov, this was the homicide witnessed by the officer.

6200 (Narcotics Section Commander) confirmed to have been on the air during the incident

Media staging was at Madison & Keeler

The 014th District Commander was heard on-air offering resources

Offender was taken to Mt. Sinai for medical evaluation

The CTA re-routed the 7 Harrison bus until 8:34PM, per the authorized CTA Twitter account

Audio clip here

Interim Supt. Beck stated in a press conference moments ago that the officer shot is in his early 40s, and opted to pursue the offender instead of going right to the hospital.

Chicago-One notes the officer was involved in an undercover narcotics and gun trafficking operation, though Beck stated he couldn't say what kind of operation the officer was part of. The presence of the Narcotics Section Commander was the tip-off here.

When asked what agencies are involved, he refused to say.

The trauma surgeon said the officer will likely go home tomorrow.

The homicide and a separate crash scene near the hospital were both not connected to this incident.

Friday, January 17, 2020

CTA Photo Policy and Internal Documents Show Conflict of Policy vs. Rights

Millions of people travel on CTA rail lines each year, thousands or more per day as they make their way from point to point across the city. The prevalence of smartphones and HD cameras, as well as city-operated HD cameras aboard CTA trains and at CTA rail platforms have made photography & video recording of CTA buses, CTA trains, and CTA rail stations a normal part of life in the life of Chicago that is also something of a Chicago tradition.

Local Chicago photographer Barry Butler has snapped untold numbers of photos of CTA trains, and platforms over the years. Mr. Butler is a celebrated local celebrity for his work that has been featured in local major news media several times. Mr. Butler has a popular website, a Facebook and Twitter presence where his CTA photos and his other city based photos can be enjoyed by all.

Major news station camera personnel, as well as major news photographers have snapped untold numbers of photos centering on CTA travel for decades.

Chicago-One was made aware of several complaints about CTA personnel telling contractors, and CTA passengers alike that the CTA has BANNED ALL PHOTOGRAPHY.

A check of the CTA website shows that CTA has not banned photography, and actually shows that photography is absolutely allowed so long as certain rules and policies are followed. The CTA website shows two different photo policies, one governing everyday photography by the public, and one governing professional photography.

Chicago-One has spoken with CTA personnel on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak to the media. say they are instructed by their training and by their management that photography is not allowed, and CTA employees say the CTA photo policies on the CTA website are out of date and incorrect.

Chicago-One News obtained documents from the CTA pertaining to photography incidents between January 1st, 2018 and November 18th, 2019. The CTA responded with documents on 14 January 2020 after asking for a time extension.

CTA employees who tell the public that the CTA or some law they often are unable to quote, will often reference terrorism and will say that CTA emoloyees are to report all photography to U.S. federal authorities.

The CTA itself says in the FOIA response letter that they have no shared documents between itself, Chicago Police, or Homeland Security on file, at least for the timeframe Chicago-One had them search, which spanned well over a year.

The CTA handed-over 7 documents involving photography incidents. Those documents show that the information given to Chicago-One is true. CTA employees are acting on the belief that the CTA has banned photography and video recording.

The first incident occurred January 9th, 2018 at 4PM on the Irving Park Blue Line. The complaint states a student went to that location to do a class project with a hand-held DSLR camera. The CTA employee there told her photography is not allowed due to terrorism concerns.

The second incident of 2018 took place at the Addison Red Line at 3PM when a contractor employed as a photographer with intersection, and displaying a CTA property permit alleged to be invalid by the CTA Customer Assistant, was told he would not be given access to CTA property or allowed to photograph. The contractor's supervisor was involved by the contractor employee who is alleged to have said the CTA employee was incorrect.

Complaint number 3 came about CTA Brown Line Run 407 southbound at Western on September 27th, 2028 at 11:15AM. This complaint also involved a CTA contractor working for Intersection. The photographer was working while displaying a CTA property permit on the Brown Line, assigned to go car to car at each stop. The complaint states the train operator yelled at the intersection photographer, called control, refused to observe his CTA permit, refused to listen to anything he had to say, and waved him off.

On November 26th, 2018, once again, a Brown Line operator displaying the same behavior complained about on September 27th, 2018, was reported by telephone. The run number was 420, and the location unknown.

On May 03rd, 2019, a father and his young son were on the Blue Line at Washington when a CTA employee again acted on the belief that all photography & video recording activities were banned. The complaint is posted here to allow the father to speak in his own words.

On March 29th, 2019, at the Wrstern Blue Line, a CTA customer states a person wearing a safety vest and who did not identify himself, "angrily yelled" at the customer while customer used a phone to snap a photo of an oncoming train. The customer states the safety-vest clad person harassed customer and "perpetuates his misunderstanding through customer harassment". Customer asked CTA to issue a memo to employees regarding the CTA photo policy.

The 7th complaint was dated for October 17th, 2019, and the narrative section is provided below.

Chicago-One confronted the CTA with the findings of this FOIA request. CTA Media Affairs offered no insight in these incidents, saying on this:

"CTA’s photography and video policy is located on the web here and reads as follows:

In general, simple personal (non-commercial) photography and video recording are permitted on CTA property and vehicles. Use of ancillary equipment, such as a tripod, or taking pictures or video of non-public areas of CTA property are not permitted.

CTA rail and bus operations employees who interact with the public are expected to be aware of our policy."

Chicago-One spoke with Barry Butler on January 17th, 2020 for roughly 23 minutes about these findings, and read the article to him. The conversation is recounted here in essence, not verbatim. Mr. Butler stated his surprise to have received an e-mail from Chicago-One on this topic wherein these CTA documents were obtained.

The conversation centered on Mr. Butler's experiences working as a photographer on and around CTA property. Mr. Butler states that he has not personally had any of the issues presented in these findings made by Chicago-One. Barry Butler's advice to all photographers if confronted anywhere with these sorts of issues is to walk away, saying that in essence a battle isn't worth the shot. During this conversation, Butler stated he had photographed with security right next to him and had no issues.

Chicago-One brought forth the idea that moving to a different spot might even get a photographer a better angle from which to hey the shot.

Mr. Butler further stated that his experiences working with CTA media personnel has been a wonderful experience with no problems of any kind.

Chicago-One asked Barry what he has planned for future CTA shoots, and he said with a smile in his voice that he has some ideas, and some may just involve his creative skill for using the sun and the moon. He said "it's all about planning, and hoping the weather cooperates"

Mass Shooting at West Side Barber Shop on Pulaski

Address: 234 N. Pulaski

Time: 6:14PM

Date: 16 January 2020

Beat of Occurrence: 1114

Beat of Assignment: 1131

Paper car: 1131

RD# JD-118228

Event# 2001712698

UCR Code: 041A

Media staging: West End & Pulaski


BWC Event. Event#12698 011th District SDSC notified Zone-10 of a shot spotter notification of 10 shots fired at 3940 W. Washington. 1131 was assigned with Beat 1192 who confirmed having heard the shots.

All other responding units were notified via OEMC Zone-10 to a mass shooting involving 5 victims at the above address.

R/O's arrived to find 5 victims shot. 1 victim is 11 years old, 1 victim is 12 years old, 1 victim is 16 years old for a total of three children victimized, along with 1 30 year old male and a 40 year old male for a total of two adults victimized. One extra victim, a tender-age toddler who was inside the address at the time of the incident was noted as severely psychologically traumatized but not shot.

Victim injuries noted immediately at scene:

11 year-old: GSW, lower left back. Victim 2: GSW, right hip. Victim 3: GSW, left arm. Victim 4: GSW, left thigh. One victim is 12 years old with GSW right leg, tourniquet applied at 6:20PM.

At the time of the incident, victims ranged in condition from critical to serious. Victim conditions were later stabilized at local hospitals.

Offenders entered the above address, looked around, and exited the address. Offenders at that time drew weapons pointing in the doorway of the address, and fired multiple rounds striking five victims.

1120 assigned 1135 to Stroger with victims and report to 1131 for purposes of accurate documentation, and self-assigned himself to Sinai. One victim self-transported to Rush.

CFD Units assigned: 4-5-7, 4-4-11, Ambulances 33, 23, 15, 64, 44, and 10

EMS ops entered through the north and exited south for rapid victim transport.

Ambulances 23, 33, 15 to Stroger with child victims

Ambulance 10 - one adult male victim to Sinai

Timeline and assisting units as follows:

At 6:14PM, R/O's on Beat 1102S (011th District SDSC) notified Zone-10 of shot spotter notification of 10 rounds 3940 W. Washington.

1131 assigned. 1192 heard the shots and also responded.

6:16PM reports of person shot.

6:17PM report of mass shooting, 5 victims

6:18PM more cars, 1104 has casings and needs traffic blocked

1112 - traffic control. PuVictimaski & Lake
6:20PM - 1120 (Sgt) issues orders to start grabbing I.D.'a of people willing to cooperate so Area Detectives have contact info.

1125 - Traffic control. West End & Pulaski northbound, change to 1156 assigned.

1183 - Traffic control. West End northbound

1122 - Traffic control. Pulaski & West End

6734C (Organized Crime) - responding

4310 - has 3 cars C & D units.

4311 - has 3 cars available

1120 - Orders ambulance staging at Maypole & Pulaski

6:24PM - Fire initiates an EMS Plan-1

1171 - Traffic control. Pulaski & Washington blocking northbound traffic on Pulaski.

Offender Description:

2 male blacks, 5 foot 10, 30 to 40 years of age, one wearing a grey jacket, both with short hair, one wearing an olive green jacket, fled on foot westbound on Maypole from Pulaski.

Zone-10 dispatcher had to tell units to keep victim information off the air.


1100, 1120, 1110, 1199, Area North Violent Crimes, Ops Command, 3D55 (News Affairs), Car 51, CW2 / Area North Forensics for photographs and evidence collection.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Chicago's 911 Records Show 221 Ambulance Responses to 911 Center

On December 06th, 2019, Chicago-One News received a tip from a source inside the workings of Chicago city government that the calltakers and dispatchers of the city's 911 operation, the very people the public depends on to send emergency help during moments of life-threatening danger are themselves routinely in need of emergency assistance due to what they say are shocking, life-threatening and inhumane working conditions.

The source who tipped-off Chicago-One News asked to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation for speaking out. The tipster stated that mostly female workers from minority backgrounds are forced into what amounts to a dangerous environment where calltakers and dispatchers who are often forced to work overtime are subjected to discipline for performing necessary female self-care, and are intimidated by supervisors and management into coming into work while sick with flu symptoms and symptoms of other various medical issues that normally would cause a reasonable person to believe that time off from work to seek medical care is needed.

The tipster also complained about unsanitary conditions at the city's 911 center. 

That same day, Chicago-One News  performed a multi-part public records request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act for the below items:

"OEMC Sanitation and Health Safety Policies affecting OEMC Dispatch personnel for fire/EMS and police operations"

"Records showing fire/EMS responses to OEMC from Jan 1st 2016 to December 4th, 2019"

Internal memos and communications within OEMC administration offices between Jan 1st, 2016, and Dec 4th, 2019 regarding illnesses and health conditions occurring within the working environment of police and fire/EMS dispatch operations"

"Internal memos and communications within OEMC administration offices between Jan 1st, 2016, and Dec 4th, 2019 regarding illnesses and health conditions occurring within the working environment of police and fire/EMS dispatch operations"

"Grievances & complaints filed within OEMC police and fire/EMS dispatch operations relating to the treatment of female calltakers and dispatchers and health/safety concerns in the OEMC fire/EMS and police operations floors between Jan 1st, 2016, and Dec 4th, 2019."

Chicago OEMC responded to Chicago-One on 06 January 2020, stating that they have no sanitation or health safety policies at OEMC, but that "the city follows all federal OSHA guidelines with regard to health and safety (

The city contended that the rest of the request was unduly burdensome except for two items. Chicago's OEMC turned-over an Excel worksheet listing no less than 300 calls for Chicago Fire Department ambulance service to the 911 center itself for OEMC employees who experienced serious medical crisis while at work.

Beyond those 300 calls for CFD Ambulance responses, OEMC disclosed that they had two employee grievances on file pertaining to bug infestation, but bites occurring at an employee workstation, and unsanitary conditions filed on March 25th, 2016 and one on December 17th, 2017.

Below is a screenshot from the e-mail sent to Chicago-One News by Chicago OEMC. Text highlight performed by OEMC. The e-mail was signed by A. Martin, FOIA Officer for Chicago OEMC.

The 300 calls for an ambulance response included:

* 5 incidents of an unconscious OEMC employee,

* MULTIPLE incidents of OEMC employees being sick enough to require ambulance response

* 5 calls for a "CVA" (Cardiovascular Accident) which is the medical term for a stroke

* 24 calls for an OEMC employee being short of breath

* Several calls for OEMC employee(s) in psychiatric distress

* MULTIPLE calls for chest pain

* Several calls for things like hemorrhaging and head pain

See the Chicago OEMC Ambulance call log here

Recently, just after the 2020 new year, a Chicago Police Dispatcher was heard on the air working while barely able to talk. A Chicago Police Officer suggested on the zone she take some medical time, to which the dispatcher replied "they discipline people for that".

Chicago-One News reached out via telephone on January 07th, 2020, to OEMC and spoke with Melissa Stratton, Director of Media, who stated that she was aware of the Chicago-One FOIA, and more specifically, a water main outage that OEMC disclosed to Chicago-One that took place and for which the below memo was sent out. Director Stratton requested an e-mail from Chicago-One regarding all of the issues discovered by Chicago-One. Stratton acknowledged that e-mail later in the evening on January 7th, 2020, saying "I’m looking into this but need to connect with some folks. I’ll circle back once I have more information." Chicago-One never heard back from Stratton after that.

On January 15th, 2020, Melissa Stratton, a Media Affairs Director for Chicago OEMC, sent the following statement via e-mail:


"OEMC's operations are critical to the city of Chicago. Any known health, safety or unsanitary issue at the city's 9-1-1 center are addressed immediately. While OEMC seeks to maintain needed staffing levels for handling critical 9-1-1 calls, employees are not encouraged to come to work sick, nor penalized for taking medical time off.

As for the ambulance runs to the 9-1-1 facility during a three-year period, over 25% of those calls were refusal of transport to the hospital. Employees may experience sickness or shortness of breath for any number of reasons; however, any concern affecting the overall work environment brought to management's attention is addressed. Given the importance of the role of call taker or dispatcher and the nature of their responsibilities, it can be stressful at times, requiring full attention. Female call takers and dispatchers compose a majority of the total 9-1-1 workforce, with over 80% female call takers/dispatchers on the police side.

Employees on the OEMC Operations floor who are ill have many options to get well. For example, they may use sick time negotiated into their collective bargaining agreement, medical leaves of absence, and/or family medical leave time.

OEMC makes every effort to provide a safe, healthy and comforting environment, providing a Quiet Room, work out room, kitchens and recreational activities for employees' use to encourage health, fitness and comfort."

Stratton also noted that although the report showed 300 ambulance calls, "the previously issued FOIA report erroneously included test calls and calls for service that occurred externally near the building that reflected OEMC’s address. After reviewing it further with Fire Operations, it appears there were 221 calls for ambulances to OEMC."

Regarding the allegations made in the grievance shown here, Stratton provided this response:

The Illinois Department of Labor - Division of Occupational Health and Safety found no apparent safety or health hazards identified and there were no health or safety violations identified at the facility.

• Air Quality Reports indicated no anomalies. No dust deposition, no mold, no signs of insect/animal infestation and all humidity, temperatures, and CO2 rangers are in line.

• OSHA tested carpet and found no anomalies. OEMC addresses any carpet issue whenever an IOD report is filed.

• The OSHA found conditions at OEMC to be satisfactory on all fronts. The report specifically cites the fact that OEMC’s air quality was good, no bugs or rodents present and whenever we receive a complaint, it’s taken seriously.

Chicago Police Area Central RBT Mission Team Arrests Suspect in Vehicular Hijackings

Today, the Chicago Police Department has charged a man Area Central Detectives and the Area Central RBT Mission Team say is responsible for two vehicular hijackings.

Chicago Police issued the following statement:

A south side man was charged in two separate Vehicular Hijackings after extensive investigation by Area Central Detective Division R.B.T. Mission Team.

Caleb Morales was positively identified and subsequently charged in connection to two separate vehicular hijackings.

On January 5, 2020 at approximately 2:46 PM, this offender entered 2019 Porsche Cayenne on the 300 block of West Illinois Street and attempted to force the victim from the vehicle while implying a weapon. The offender partially forced the victim from the vehicle and then drove off, throwing the victim from the vehicle, causing the victim to incur several injuries.

On January 12, 2020 at approximately 12:56 PM, this offender entered a 2014 Ford Escape on the 1400 block of West Fulton Street and forced the occupants out of the vehicle at gunpoint, including two minor children. One of the minor children was removed and slammed to the ground, before the offender fled in the vehicle. An extensive investigation was conducted which lead to the positive identification of this offender. Caleb Morales was charged with two felony counts of Vehicular Hijacking and will appear today in Central Bond Court.

Monday, January 13, 2020

U.S. Secret Service File Release Highlights 2008 Threat Made Against Obama Chicago Presidential Election Rally in Grant Park by High Ranking Member of White Supremacist Group "World Church of The Creator"

The U.S. Secret Service is slowly but surely releasing files regarding the agency's 2008 activities surrounding the November 4th, 2008 election of U.S. Senator Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. President, including the agency's activities in and around Chicago's Grant Park.

On Monday, January 13th, 2020, the U.S. Secret Service released 42 pages of documents to Chicago-One News as the result of a federal Freedom of Information Act Request, some of which were more highly redacted than others.

The file highlights threats made against Obama investigated by the Secret Service between the dates of November 1st and November 5th, 2008. The most serious threat the USSS responded to is one suspected to have been made by someone the agency referred to in a protective intelligence document as "a high ranking member of white supremacist group World Church of The Creator"

The above document shows that the suspect, only known as "subject 2", had an address in Chicago at the time of the investigation.

The World Church of the Creator is a white nationalist organization that was born from the white supremacist "creativity movement" founded by Ben Klassen (1918-1993) who committed suicide. Klassem was responsible for founding an organization recognized by his worldwide following as a "church" they called "Church of The Creator" until one of their "ministers" was found guilty of the murder of a black U.S. veteran. The person found guilty was George Loeb.

An individual named Matt Hale took over the group in 1996 after a lawsuit won by the family of the murder victim forced it out of business.

A check of the online FBI Records Vault maintained by the FBI did not return results, but that does not mean files on Klassen or his organization do not exist.

The same night on November 4th, 2008, the Rosemont Police Department stopped an individual with several weapons who the Secret Service was told had an interest in Obama.

Yet another person with ties to Chicago caught the interest of the USSS when he got frustrated with the Obama campaign's text messages to his cell phone. See what he did to draw the ire of this agency by checking out or downloading the entire 42 page file below.

USSS November 04th 2008 Protective Intelligence File

Commentary on Second City Cop - "Why Do These Files Exist?"

SCC's Response to the recent Cook County Circuit Court ruling mandating the city to produce nearly 5 decades of police misconduct files that CPD officers say shouldn't exist

The answer:

Generations of CPD brass, FOP leadership, COPA / OPS, and CPD Records Division chain - of - command dropped the ball.

Another answer from the legal side of this:

There is no state or federal law tied-in with FOIA, and no current or past provision in Illinois FOIA mandating citizens, or anyone else who is legally in possession of records they obtained via the FOIA process to destroy their copy of those records.

What that means:

Even IF there were strict enforcement of records retention laws / policies / regulations / FOP contractual mandates, the records may STILL exist somewhere. That means records could be posted online as part of someone's research or as part of a commentary on those records, even as part of a news piece. Remember, free press isn't limited to multi-million dollar corporate news companies. Due to decades of federal and state court rulings, everyone is the press under the 1st Amendment.

Here's an example of FOIA at work vs. FOP contractual agreements and CPD policies:

Any Officer / Detective / Sgt, or someone else up the chain either creates an official document, or is the subject of official documentation of ANY kind. That document has a destruction date once it's complete. Whether by law, by dept policies, or FOP contractual obligation. Before that document reaches its destruction date, it is perfectly responsive to FOIA. There could possibly be TENS, HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS, or even scores more people holding perfectly legal copies of that document. Now that documents are mostly electronic or are easily digitized, there honestly is no such thing as a "destroyed" document.

Any I.T. expert will tell you that once something exists in digital form, it's forever. Deleting it doesn't make it go away. Overwriting that digital space won't make it go away, either.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Area Central Detectives Issue Two Robbery Pattern Alerts For The 018th District

Area Central Detectives have issued a community alert in the 018th District for a pattern of violent robberies that have occurred on the city's North side since December 24th, 2019. This is Area Central crime pattern 20-1-009B.

These robberies involve more than one offender who have used two different vehicles as the means to commit these robberies and flee the scene.

200 block of East Delaware at 7:44PM on January 8th, 2020

200 block of East Walton 7:54PM on January 8th, 2020

900 block of North Dewitt at 11:04 p.m. on Dec. 24

200 block of East Pearson at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 30

800 block of North Dewitt around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 30

800 block of North Dewitt at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 2

900 block of North Dewitt at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 3

200 block of East Chestnut at 8:35 p.m. on Jan. 6

Offender Description:

Two to three black males, early- to mid-20’s, 5’6” to 5’10” tall and weigh 145 to 185 pounds

Anyone with information, anyone who thinks they see these offenders, or who knows where these offenders are can call 911 or Area Central Detectives 312-747-8380

The next robbery/theft alert below affects CTA rail passengers

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Area Central Detective Division Robbery Alert

Area Central R/B/T Detectives have issued a community alert after a pattern of robberies in the Gold Coast area.

The robberies occurred in the:

900-block of North Dewitt Place in the late evening of December 24,

200-block of East Pearson Street in the late evening hours of December 30

800-block of North Dewitt Place in the morning hours of January 2

900-block of North Dewitt Place in the evening of January 3.

Three women were robbed in the 200-block of East Chestnut Monday at about 9:05 p.m.

In each of these robberies, two to three male offenders approach the victims and commit a strong-arm robbery.

These aren't the only robberies Area Central is investigating. The Area Central Detective Division has also issued two other alerts as well. One is for a robbery pattern in the 001st District, the other in the 002nd District - Wentworth.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Police Witness Suicide on McVicker After Footchase in 025

The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications received a 911 call from a caller about a person trying the back door of the residence at 2174 N. McVicker

The incident unfolded at 12:51PM on 02 January 2020. Chicago-One review of the OEMC police radio recording reveals several police units keying on the Zone-12 frequency at one time, making it difficult to determine what happened. The police unit who yelled out "shots fired by police" on the zone barely got his traffic through the radio pile-up. Eric Tendian of the Chicago-based Crime is Down emergency services resource website recorded a portion of the events that occurred. Listen here.

The Zone-12 dispatcher sent the call out at 12:48PM. Beat 2532 volunteered to answer this call, and a backup unit was assigned. The call was sent across the zone as a burglary in progress.

The 25th District Commander was enroute to the scene at 12:55PM.

2563B confirmed on the zone that the person Police shot was being sought by them, saying "Bonafide, that's our offender". Area North Detective Unit 5314 confirmed they were on the way to the scene at 12:55PM. 5317A was also on-scene.

2530 gave the order to shut off the bodycams at 12:57PM

CFD Ambulance 63 was assigned.

Beats assigned were 2512 in the rear, 2524 on-scene, and 2522 in the front.

Chicago Police Department Director of Communications, Anthony Guglielmi, made this statement (quotes omitted)

CPD detectives, ChicagoCOPA and Cook County Medical Examiner are investigating an afternoon shooting on the northwest side after a man appears to take his own life after a traffic stop, foot pursuit and armed encounter with officers. Here are the preliminary details.

If you, or anyone you know are currently suffering from, or have have a history of suffering from suicidal feelings or thoughts, help is available. Call 1-800-273-8255

You may also visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Online

Chicago's Violent Start to 2020

The city of Chicago has experienced a violent, traumatizing start to 2020.

This report is sourced from city public records in the form of OEMC police radio recordings, and Open-Source intelligence.

1 minute into the new year, a Chicago Police Officer's marked vehicle was struck by gunfire through the windshield in the 010th District. 15 minutes later, a 24 year-old woman celebrating the new year in her home was struck by a stray bullet that came through her 2nd floor apartment window in the 011th District. Just minutes after that, Chicago Police in the 004th District were shot at from an apartment building. The shots are suspected to have been fired from 7847 S. Ridgeland.

The shots fired on Ridgeland resulted in a SWAT HBT response that wrapped-up around 6AM on January 1st, 2020 with no arrests. During the HBT portion of this incident, radio traffic indicated police experienced difficulty utilizing their SWAT HBT training. Radio traffic was heard wherein police told the Chicago Fire Department to enter the area from the wrong direction, resulting in CFD responders being in the line of fire and told to re-locate to a new staging area. Officers then had to be told to stay with their vehicles after officers were observed leaving their police vehicles. Yet another anomaly occurred when police were evacuating the building. Police brought evacuees out of the front instead of the rear, placing evacuees in the line of fire.

Police ordered a wagon to come to the scene for temporary detention of building residents, and gave the appearance that potential suspects were being detained together instead of being separated.

The 025th District had several firsts of the year in one incident on the morning of January 1st, 2020. These firsts were their first footchase, first footchase involving a domestic violence offender, and in the same incident, the first footchase of the year resulting in arrest as well as the district's first arrest of the year for a domestic violence offense.

This incident took place at the corner of Grand and Neva on Beat 2512.

No injuries or deaths took place in any of the two above incidents. 

Chicago-One now cautions readers, as the next part of this news story is easily upsetting to some, and involves the double murder of two young children, an attempted suicide, and an aggravated battery / attempted murder of an elderly person in the same incident. Less detailed reporting by the Chicago Tribune here.

On January 02nd, 2020 at 01:48AM, police were called to 7251 S. South Shore Drive for a woman and a child who fell from the window. Radio traffic reveals that the zone dispatcher had to send the call over the air twice before a 003rd District tactical unit took the assignment. 1st call at 1:50AM, 2nd call at 1:52AM. Unit 362-D took the call at 1:52AM.The Sgt assigned to 310-R then followed in taking the call. 371-R was assigned at 1:56AM to meet 310-R at the address.

UCR Code: 0479 (Agg Batt - hands, first, feet, serious injury), 0110 (Homicide, First Degree Murder), 

RD# JD-101272

This is OEMC Event# 20-002-00844

What follows next is a rough timeline of events relating to thos incident response. Chicago-One will have the official timeline of events at a later time. 

Original Tweet sent by CFD 4-1-8
362 -D confirmed a crime scene and 62-E asked for an EMS response at 1:59AM. At 2:00AM, 62-E urgently called the zone dispatcher requesting an EMS response for a 2nd baby and an adult male. One member of the on-scene tactical team notified the zine dispatcher just seconds later that CPR had been started on the baby in the apartment. The dispatcher timestamped it at 2AM. 321-R was assigned shortly after.

362-D notified the zone dispatcher at 2:05AM that the water to the apartment needed to be shut-off due to flooding from the bathtub. Mention of the bathtub detail came at 2:07AM. 362-D notified the zone that the water had been shut-off at 2:16AM. 362-D then asks for the event number, which is also issued at 2:16AM.

CFD Ambulance 38 transported the adult female at 2:21AM

310-R notified the zone at 2:21AM that he needed two crime scene cars, one for the downstairs scene, one for the upstairs scene. 372 would likely be the paper car.

311-R assigned to downstairs scene - 2:21AM

306-F assigned to the upstairs scene - 2:23AM

300 - request via zone for call on her cellphone from 310-R (2:29AM)

310-R - Notification to zone that each victim will have a squad car follow them to each respective hospital they go to - 2:31AM

Request for crime scene tape upstairs on the 11th floor - 2:39AM

2:39AM - EMS Plan-1 secured

2:44AM - 312 and 331-R assigned to follow CFD Ambulances 55 and 70 to Comer Childten's Hospital. 312-R assigned to CFD Ambulance 55, 331-R assigned to 70.

3:54AM - 321-R notifies the zone she's going to Comer

3:55AM - 371-R changes the UCR to 0110, 399 notified

At or around 4AM, the zone instructs 371-R to call news Affairs and the M.E. as soon as possible

4:20AM - 371-R notifies the zone that the M.E. is enroute to Comer

5:14AM - 301 asks which units are still at Comer, and the zone tells him 320R, 321R, 324R, 310R, and 312R

Change of watch occurred at 6AM and 330 sent 331 to relieve 306-F

330 assigned 331 to handle the 11th floor inside scene, 323 assigned to the outside scene, and 330 was enroute to assess the scene at 6:18AM

6:24AM - 300 tells 323 to move their car so media can have better pictures and Area Central Detectives can do their work

6:50AM - 310 relocates to U of C to continue investigation of this incident

7:01AM - 399R heads in to the 003rd District station

7:09AM - 324 assigned by 310 to relieve 324R at U of C and told to contact 340 by phone

8:03AM - 324 instructed again to call 340 by 310

8:06AM - 399 tells 310 to call him

This effectively ends pertinent open-source response and investigative items for this incident. This is a fluid, ongoing investigation. Chicago-One will have more as it is made available.