Sunday, November 8, 2009

UPDATED: Another Uptown Shooting Not Thwarted by Positive Loitering

UPDATE with VIDEO by JOE GRAY (below) At about 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, shots rang out at N. Sheridan Road and W. Lakeside Place, one block south of W. Lawrence Avenue. This is yet another Uptown crime story broken by Chicago News Bench as it was still happening. Click images to enlarge Police on the scene told Chicago News Bench that nobody was hit by the bullets. A foot chase netted one suspect, but it's believed that a second suspect got away.

Just Fisticuffs? from Joe Gray on Vimeo.

When we arrived on scene, police were beginning their evidence search, looking for bullet casings and other items. An officer said that at least two casings had been recovered. A cell phone was dropped by a doorway, and a striped sock or glove was dropped a few yards away by the window of a furniture store. Both were marked as evidence. This story is developing. The shooting took place just spitting distance from the now-infamous riot of this past August, captured on video by Joe Gray, which received worldwide attention. Reporting shootings in Uptown has actually become boring, it's so routine. Here's yet another incident of bullets flying, despite Mayor Daley's draconian anti-gun laws and 46th Ward Alderman Helen Shiller's denial that such things happen frequently in Uptown. It should be noted that no "positive loiterers" were reported to have been in the area at the time of the shooting - but would it have prevented the incident? "Positive loitering" is useless and ineffective, as proven by yet another shooting in Chicago's troubled Uptown neighborhood. This latest shooting went down exactly one block east, in a straight line, from the home of Richard Thale, facilitator of CAPS Beat 2312. Mr. Thale and fellow loiterers have been busy - when convenient - committing "positive loitering" in Uptown. The idea behind that is, apparently, to deter crime. It isn't working, despite the bragging and news coverage that pretends it is, and its effects cannot be measured. Just what is a "positive loiterer," anyway? Isn't any civilian on the street, with no bad intentions, be considered a positive loiterer? After all, the vast majority of 911 calls are made by ordinary people who see crime and report it. Many of those were simply standing on a corner, strolling on a sidewalk, sitting in their car. Do you have to belong to a CAPS group, or be designated a "positive loiterer," to actually be one? The notion of a handful of unarmed yuppies loitering "positively" on a corner for an hour or two, then congratulating each other for reducing crime in the neighborhood is laughable. This is not meant to besmirch Mr. Thale, nor his fellow well-intentioned loiterers. Mr. Thale runs a tight CAPS group, and his heart is in the right place. But good intentions do not always fare well on the razor sharp edge of reality, and reality fired at least four bullets at the corner of W. Lakeside tonight. Even if there had been positive loiterers milling about nearby, would the shooter or shooters have been deterred? If so, might they not have simply waited to shoot at their target until they were a block past the loiterers? Mr. Thale's partner, James Cappleman, is again running for 46th Ward alderman in the 2011 election. He was defeated by Shiller in 2007. Mr. Cappleman will have to explain the many shootings that have already happened since Mr. Thale's positive loitering effort was initiated. Mr. Thale owns that effort, and you can bet that that there will be more than a few additional shootings in Uptown between now and the February, 2011 election. To be clear, none of the crime is the fault of either Mssrs. Thale or Cappleman, but if they want to claim credit for fighting that crime, they'd best be prepared to substantiate it. Unless they do a scientific poll of known gangsters in Uptown that shows that the gangsters did not commit crimes because of positive loiterer lurking nearby, they have no proof whatsoever that positive loitering has any real effect. To be truly effective, positive loiterers would have to be (a) omnipresent, on every corner every hour of the day and night, (b) armed, at least with pepper spray and batons, and (c) trained in police tactics. Thale's positive loiterers are none of those. The cops are, God bless them - but many of the bad guys are, too. RELATED: Ald. Helen Shiller Wallows in Lies, Self-Pity Another Useless Public Safety Meeting CAPS Beat 2312: “Hey, Mister” - Lake Effect News Conservative Caps, Shirt and more! Leave a Comment - Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Visit us on Twitter!