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Archive for December 17th, 2015

FBI Documents Reveal “Systemic” Chicago Police Corruption

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on FBI Documents Reveal “Systemic” Chicago Police Corruption

From: Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School
Sgt. Ronald Watts and his crew were “facilitating the drug trade” and engaging in a “criminal enterprise” for “damn near a decade” – 2014 deposition of current Chicago Police Officer
Ben Baker paid the price, has been wrongly imprisoned for 10 years, after refusing bribe.


CHICAGO, ILNewly released FBI documents show that the FBI, Chicago Police Internal Affairs and the Cook County States Attorney’s Office had a Chicago police sergeant and his “crew” under investigation for “systemic” corruption while prosecuting Ben Baker for heroin and cocaine delivery based on the testimony of the now-disgraced Sergeant.

The States Attorney’s Office, Police Department and FBI did not release their evidence of the corruption within the unit to Baker or his attorney. Baker remains in prison, where has spent the last decade for a crime he did not commit.

FBI documents said it was “common” for Sgt. Watts “to keep narcotics” with him “as leverage to extort people.” Sergeant Watts was convicted of extortion in 2013 and sentenced to 22 months in prison.

“Based on law enforcement’s own investigative materials and sworn statements, there is now overwhelming evidence that Ben Baker was framed by a corrupt team of Chicago police officers, just as he testified to 10 years ago,” said Joshua Tepfer, Baker’s attorney from The Exoneration Project.

Despite heavy redactions, FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act prove that Baker’s allegations against a corrupt Chicago Police tactical team were corroborated by law enforcement investigative materials available at the time of his trial, but were hidden from his attorneys and the public. The documents make clear that the FBI, the Chicago Internal Affairs Division (IAD), and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office were engaged in an “ongoing joint investigation” into the Watts’ District Two tactical team from as far back as the late 1990s up and through the 2012 indictment of Sergeant Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed.

“Stated simply, this is a cover-up of epic proportions,” said Tepfer. “The single federal charge against Sergeant Ronald Watts and one member of his crew was a whitewash. Ben Baker was a victim. There are countless others. Some of them are identified in FBI documents that are included in our filing. This police corruption was allowed to continue for close to 15 years.” 

Caught on a federal informants wiretap, Sergeant Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed pled guilty several years ago to a single count of shaking down and bribing a drug courier at the Ida B. Wells housing project. Upon announcement of the charges, former Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy publicly stated “there is nobody involved other than the two officers who were arrested.” The court filing, however, paints a different picture.

Quoting sworn statements from whistleblowing Chicago police officers, federal prosecutors, FBI Special Agents, and many citizen victims, Baker alleges that disgraced Sergeant Watts headed a Second District Tactical Team whose “crew” engaged in nothing short of a decade-long criminal conspiracy of extorting drug dealers, stealing narcotics, and planting evidence and falsifying charges against those who wouldn’t cooperate. According to December 2014 sworn deposition testimony cited in the petition, one current Chicago police officer said Watts’ “criminal enterprise” went on for “damn near a decade.”

Baker—a resident of the Wells public housing complex Sergeant Watts and his crew patrolled—testified at his 2006 bench trial that Sergeant Watts and officers under his command planted drugs on him after Baker refused to pay Watts a $1,000 bribe. Noting that “there might have been a different story” if Baker’s claims were corroborated, Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin found the claim incredible, and convicted Baker and sentenced him to 14 years in prison. Baker remains behind bars.

In a sworn affidavit, retired Chicago Police Officer Pete Koconis, who spent 18 years in IAD, confirmed that the scope of the FBI-led investigation was vast. Officer Koconis specifically identified not only Watts but the other officers who testified against Baker as focuses of the investigation. FBI documents show that citizen victims of the District Two tactical team were shown a photo lineup that consisted only of Chicago police officers in that unit.

Several of the officers working under Watts and alleged to be part of the corruption remain Chicago police officers today. This includes Officer Robert Gonzalez, who, according to a December 9, 2015 report from NBC 5’s Phil Rogers, was on the scene of three different police shootings of young black men over a two-year period—including both the October 2014 shooting of Ronald Johnson by Officer George Hernandez caught on video, as well as the summer 2013 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Christian Green.

Officer Gonzalez personally discharged 11 rounds in the Green shooting, including the fatal one. Paramedics originally reported that Green was shot in the chest, but the medical examiner later confirmed Green was killed by a bullet to his back.

In his 2006 testimony, Baker named and identified Officer Gonzalez as part of Watts’ crew and complicit in framing him. Gonzalez testified at Baker’s trial that he had been working under Watts’ supervision since approximately 2001 but denied any wrongdoing.

A time-line of Ben Baker’s case and the corruption within Watts’ Second District tactical team can be found here. More information about The Exoneration Project can be found here.


Fearing Their Home Will be Vandalized if Left Vacant, South Side family Refuses to Leave Foreclosed Home

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on Fearing Their Home Will be Vandalized if Left Vacant, South Side family Refuses to Leave Foreclosed Home

Facing the prospect of being evicted and left homeless, the McClendon family has resolved to occupy their modest South Side to win an opportunity to repurchase the foreclosed property they claim was lost to a reverse mortgage scam. To date, the bank, the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, has refused their offers to repurchase the home, stating instead that the family must first leave, the home, either through an eviction or on their own accord, before it can be put up for sale.

“Our family has made it clear to Fannie Mae that we are not leaving until they give us a chance to buy our family home back from them, fair and square,” explained Arlene Richardson, one of the family members seeking to repurchase the home. “The people from Fannie Mae probably don’t have to worry about any vacant buildings, but around here, empty homes don’t stay vacant for too long. They get broken into and bring our neighborhoods down. Fannie Mae doesn’t care about what happens to neighborhoods on the South Side, but we do. We live here and we’re not leaving.”

After Ms. Richardson’s mother, Bertha McClendon passed away in April 2010, she and her other siblings learned that their elderly mother had been tricked into a reverse mortgage loan by a broker who would later been indicted for mortgage fraud. In spite of strong indications of fraud, the McClendon family found its repeated attempts to either save their home from foreclosure or repurchase it denied. Earlier this year, a Cook County judge certified their foreclosure and issued an eviction order.

According to the McClendon’s, the only reason Fannie Mae is pursuing an eviction against them is to have the home empty when they pursue a mortgage insurance claim with the Federal Housing Administration, overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. But the McClendon family has obtained a recent statement from HUD officials indicating that their regulations do not mandate that the home be empty when the mortgage insurance claim is filed.

“What people need to remember is that Fannie Mae is operating off of taxpayer money,” explained Shirley Henderson, a Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign activist who is supporting the family. “That means that if the McClendon family’s home is left empty and vandalized, taxpayer money is being wasted. This family has a human right to housing and it’s in our best interest to support them.”

In 2011, the Federal Housing Finance Authority, the federal agency that oversees Fannie Mae, sued the city of Chicago to avoid responsibility for fines and penalties associated with its vacant property ordinance. Three years, an agreement was reached which allowed Fannie Mae to avoid paying fees and fines associated with its vacant properties.

To date, the McClendon family has refused to leave their home vacant, instead demanding that Fannie Mae give them an opportunity to repurchase the home without it being left empty. To date, nearly three thousand people have signed their online petition to Fannie Mae: http://start2.occupyourhomes.org/petitions/fannie-mae-keep-the-mcclendon-family-in-their-home.

For more information, contact Shirley Henderson 773-907-3961

NAACP Statement on Declaration of Mistrial in First Freddie Gray trial

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on NAACP Statement on Declaration of Mistrial in First Freddie Gray trial

BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks  issued the following statement in response to the mistrial declared in the trial of Baltimore City police officer William Porter.  The trial was the first of six planned for police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015.

“The NAACP has closely watched the investigation into the tragic and senseless death of Freddie Gray at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve the communityThis was a tragic and extreme example of law enforcement ignoring their own official and moral protocols when it comes to policing and protecting our community, and a grim reminder of the urgent need for criminal justice and law enforcement reform in cities across America.  

“As we learned in this trial, the disdain police showed for Gray clearly demonstrates that the Baltimore Police Department must change the culture of its police force and address issues of police brutality, accountability and excessive use of force.  While we continue to closely follow the trials scheduled in this case, we urge Police Commissioner Davis and elected officials to work together to enact transparent reforms that can rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve.

“While we respect the legal process and still await justice, the death of Freddie Gray and other tragedies continue to point to the need for systemic reform both within the municipal police departments and statewide.  We call on the community to continue the protests while using all of the available nonviolent means to seek justice for a violent death. We still believe that Officer Porter and his fellow officers failed in their fundamental responsibility and we continue to wait for justice.  

President Obama Nominates Four to Serve on the United States District Courts

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Nominates Four to Serve on the United States District Courts

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama nominated Judge Paul Lewis Abrams, Judge Suzanne Mitchell, Scott L. Palk and Ronald G. Russell to serve on the United States District Courts.

“I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama.  “I am confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”

Judge Paul Lewis Abrams:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Central District of California
Judge Paul Lewis Abrams has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California since 2002, where he also serves as a judicial officer in the court’s Conviction and Sentence Alternatives Program.  Prior to his appointment as a Magistrate Judge, Judge Abrams served as a Deputy Federal Public Defender in the Los Angeles Federal Public Defender’s Office from 1987 to 2001, where he served as a Supervising Deputy Federal Public Defender from 1992 to 2001.  From 1985 to 1987, he served as the Director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ Valley Rights Project.  He started his legal career as an associate at Jeffer, Mangels & Butler (now Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP), where he worked from 1983 to 1985.  Judge Abrams received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law in 1983 and his A.B. with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979.

Judge Suzanne Mitchell:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Judge Suzanne Mitchell has served as a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma since 2013.  Prior to her appointment as a Magistrate Judge, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Appellate Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma from 2010 to 2013.  From 1999 to 2010, she served as a senior law clerk to the Honorable Robert H. Henry of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, for whom she also clerked from 1996 to 1997.  In between her clerkships, Judge Mitchell worked at the Oklahoma City law firm of McAfee & Taft from 1997 to 1999.  Judge Mitchell received her J.D. with high honors from George Washington University Law School in 1996 and her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University in 1990.

Scott L. Palk:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
Scott L. Palk has served as the Assistant Dean for Students and Assistant General Counsel at the University of Oklahoma College of Law since 2011.  In addition to overseeing admissions and providing legal counsel, Palk serves as a consultant to the University’s Threat Assessment Review Committee, advising in areas of criminal threat assessment and legal access. From 2002 to 2011, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma, where he held a number of managerial roles beginning in 2004, including Deputy Criminal Chief and Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council Coordinator.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Palk served as an Assistant District Attorney for Cleveland County in Norman, Oklahoma from 1992 to 2002, where he served as the First Assistant District Attorney from 1999 to 2002.  Palk received his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1992 and his B.S. from Oklahoma State University in 1989.

Ronald G. Russell:  Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Utah
Ronald G. Russell is a shareholder in the Salty Lake City law firm of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless, where he specializes in commercial litigation and real estate law.  He joined the law firm as an associate in 1983 and was elevated to partner in 1988.  Russell has spent the entirety of his legal career at Parr Brown, with the exception of a one-year period in 1984 when he served as a law clerk to the Honorable David K. Winder of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.  Russell has also served for twelve years as a part-time elected official in local government, including one four-year term as a council member on the Centerville City Council from 1998 to 2001, as well as two consecutive terms as Mayor of Centerville from 2006 to 2013.  Russell received his J.D., Order of the Coif, from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1983 and his B.A. cum laude from Weber State College in 1980.

CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield Says Budget Deal is Inadequate

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield Says Budget Deal is Inadequate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement in response to the proposed budget deal as it relates to CBC priorities:

“The Congressional Black Caucus fully discussed the proposed budget deal and its ramifications as it relates to our constituents.  In advance of the vote on Thursday and Friday, we express our discomfort over the budget deal.  We desire to enter into immediate negotiations about CBC priorities.

“At this time, we are reluctant to support the Omnibus or the Tax Extenders.  They are lacking in support for our communities.

“Our first concern is that the negotiation process did not include members of our Caucus.  It was negotiated in secrecy and much of our information was obtained from news accounts.

“The CBC advocates for African American communities.  Historically, black communities and institutions have been victims of budget cuts as Congress attempts to reduce the deficit.  We have reached a breaking point.  African Americans and other communities of color can no longer absorb the cuts and allow deficit reduction to take place on the backs of our constituents.

“For years, we have attempted to obtain targeted funding for persistent poverty communities.  We desperately need investment in infrastructure in low income communities that would remove blight and make communities safe.

“The CBC has long advocated for investment in civil rights programs and strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  The budget deal reduces funding for many programs that we consider our priorities.

“Finally, we strongly support efforts to protect Puerto Rico and its impending financial crisis.  It is unfortunate that the budget deal does not include a provision that would prevent financial disaster for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

“We call upon the House and Senate leadership to allow the budget deal to be revised to include protections for vulnerable families and communities.”

New Orleans Doctors and Registered Nurse Sentenced for Roles in $50 Million Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on New Orleans Doctors and Registered Nurse Sentenced for Roles in $50 Million Fraud Scheme
Two doctors and a registered nurse were sentenced to prison for their roles at the center of a $50 million health care fraud scheme in New Orleans.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office, Special Agent in Charge CJ Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) Dallas Regional Office and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit made the announcement.

Dr. Barbara Smith, 67, of Metairie, Louisiana; Dr. Roy Berkowitz, 69, of Slidell, Louisiana; and Beverley Breaux, 67, of New Orleans, a registered nurse, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance of the Eastern District of Louisiana to 80 months, 64 months and 50 months in prison, respectively. Judge Vance also ordered Smith, Berkowitz and Breaux to pay $9,484,939, $4,952,816 and $2,057,179 in restitution, respectively.

Evidence introduced at trial showed that the defendants and others carried out a home health care fraud scheme in and around New Orleans through multiple companies over the course of more than 10 years. Smith and Berkowitz falsely certified that thousands of Medicare recipients were homebound and required nursing or therapy services to be provided in their homes. Breaux falsely certified that these patients were homebound and falsely claimed to have treated patients that she had not seen. From 2007 through 2014, the companies in this scheme submitted more than $56 million in claims to Medicare, the vast majority of which were fraudulent. Medicare paid approximately $50.7 million on these claims.

This case was investigated by the FBI, HHS-OIG and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Louisiana. Trial Attorneys William Kanellis and Antonio Pozos of the Fraud Section prosecuted this case.

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 2,300 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $7 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

U.S. Department of Justice December 16, 2015
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

BMO Harris Bank Skirts City Law, Plays Scrooge in Englewood

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on BMO Harris Bank Skirts City Law, Plays Scrooge in Englewood

Letters to Editors

From: Metropolitan Tenants Organization


In a blatant attempt to beat the clock on Chicago’s Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance (KRCO), BMO Harris Bank has caused the eviction of five families from their homes in the 7200 block of South Lowe in Englewood just as they were preparing for the Holidays. The tenants unfortunately lived in a building being foreclosed on by BMO. When the boiler in the building went out, neither the bank nor the owner would step in to get it fixed. As a direct result of that decision, the City ordered the building vacated due to “dangerous and hazardous conditions.”    
Englewood has a population that is 97.5% African American, and where 49.8% of households live below the poverty level. Yet BMO’s Receiver hired a contractor from outside the neighborhood to board-up the building where the 5 families were evicted. The white contractor arrived for the job driving a truck “proudly” displaying a Confederate flag.
By not acting on the repair work, BMO’s court-appointed Receiver, Steven Spinell, caused the building to become vacant before the foreclosure process is final, thereby preventing residents from qualifying for the $10,600 in relocation assistance they would be entitled to under the KCRO – in effect, punishing the tenants for the financial woes of their landlord. The law was passed by the City Council at the height of the foreclosure crisis precisely to prevent such actions.


John Bartlett, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) reacted strongly to BMO’s actions saying
“This is an outrage. The law needs to be tightened to prevent such travesties.” Bartlett went on to explain that
“MTO has worked in no less than five similar buildings this year. In each of these buildings, there have been tenants who ended up homeless as a result.”    
As the Bank’s receiver for the building, Spinell notified tenants they would have to move and that they would receive one-month’s rent as relocation assistance. The assistance however would not be paid until they vacated their homes, making it impossible to use the “relocation assistance” to assist in their relocation. On November 12, Judge Pamela Hughes Gillespie issued a formal Order to Vacate by December 4 and gave the Chicago Police Department the authority to forcibly evict residents onto the street. When the tenants asked where they should go, the Judge suggested from the bench that they try overnight homeless shelters.


Tenants contacted the Metropolitan Tenants Organization for help and gained legal representation from the Lawyers Committee for Better Housing.They went back to court on November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving) and were partially successful, winning an increase in relocation assistance to $3,000 per household.  However, when they returned to Court on November 30 seeking more time to move, the Judge declined to grant more time, or to order advance payment of the relocation assistance.


Without the advance payment of relocation assistance, renters being evicted find it nearly impossible, both financially and logistically to move by court imposed deadlines. As housing advocates point out: even $3,000 is clearly not enough money to enable low-income tenants, with little to no savings, and often with poor credit, to be able to afford moving costs and new security deposits.


MTO’s Bartlett says that renters caught up in other people’s financial problems need to be protected.
“That’s what the law is for, tenants forced out by foreclosure should get the $10,600 spelled out in the KCRO, and should receive at least half of it upfront to facilitate their relocation.”
Some residents of the building BMO is foreclosing on are Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Housing Choice Voucher holders, and as such are required to request moving papers from CHA, find adequate housing, and get their potential new home inspected by CHA before approval to move in can be granted. CHA’s lengthy approval process complicates the search for a new home, especially with the added factors of racial and economic discrimination faced by voucher holders. Last month, WBEZ radio ran a Special Report about the discrimination CHA voucher holders encounter.
MTO has been trying to help the tenants displaced by BMO Harris Bank’s action find new housing, hopefully before Christmas.

Metropolitan Tenants Organization

Incarcerated Moms Will Have a Holiday Visit With Their Children

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on Incarcerated Moms Will Have a Holiday Visit With Their Children

1,400 and counting holiday gifts shipped to facilities, thanks to generous donors

I have been taking care of my grandchildren since their mom went away to Logan Prison, and I try to make all things possible for them, but have very little money to do so. My daughter is so grateful and happy to know her kids will have gifts and not feel forgotten. That’s the greatest gift a mom can ask for.” –Barbara McGee


CHICAGO, IL. According to the Bureau of Justice, the average distance between an incarcerated mother and her child is 160 miles. That distance is particularly far for the poor and disproportionately Black families who are most heavily impacted by incarceration. In the United States, a quarter of a million mothers are in prison or jail, and 80-85% of the mothers incarcerated in Illinois are mothers of minor children, most of whom were in their care prior to their arrest. That leaves a lot of moms locked in and a lot of children locked away from their care, the majority of whom are left without either parent and must be cared for by another family member or foster care.

While there is public outcry over the resources spent to support mass incarceration, little of that money is spent to support children impacted by incarceration. For the second year in a row, three organizations, Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, The Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers (CLAIM) program of Cabrini Green Legal Aid and Nehemiah Trinity Rising came together to raise $3,000 to bus children to visit their incarcerated mothers, as well as to generate gift donations for 7 facilities, including Logan and Decatur Prisons, and Cook County Jail, so that moms who are incarcerated can give holiday gifts to their kids. 1,400 donations of toys, games, art and science kits and journals have been sent to facilities through an Amazon wish list called “Holiday Solidarity: Gifts From Incarcerated Moms to their Kids”. With an average gift price of $20, that’s $28,000 worth of donations to incarcerated moms and their children in 3 weeks. At least 200 more donations are needed to raise enough donations for moms held in Division 17 of Cook County Jail, which holds more mothers than any other U.S. jail.


In addition to creating an opportunity for incarcerated moms to share gifts directly with their children, the organizers hope to raise the visibility of the largest group of people disappeared within America, the millions of people in U.S. jails and prisons. Due to drug laws, incarceration of moms for survival crime related to addiction, poverty and domestic violence, and criminal justice “reforms” such as mandatory minimums, women suffer the fastest growing rate of incarceration, with an increase of 800% in just 30 years. Among them, Black women are disproportionately affected, and given current rates, the lifetime likelihood of incarceration for Black women is 1 in 19. As a result, 1 in 9 Black children have a parent who is incarcerated, compared to a still enormous rate of 1 in 28 for all children. Too many children live each day with the trauma and insecurity of having their parents taken away from them. The goal, therefore, is also working together to support resourcing communities,  community-based alternatives to all forms of incarceration, and to interrupt a systemic crisis and cycle that greatly increases the likelihood of incarceration for juveniles.


Most of the gifts have already been delivered directly to the facilities through the wish list. Donations for local facilities will still be collected until next Friday at a holiday party celebrating the gift drive and mothers and children who have been reunited. At this free event, attendees will hear from formerly incarcerated moms, wrap gifts, and do holiday-themed craft activities with kids. Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, the CLAIM program of Cabrini Green Legal Aid and Nehemiah Trinity Rising would like to thank everyone who has donated, shared the list, and who has committed to work in solidarity with incarcerated mothers everywhere.


What: Holiday Party in Solidarity with Formerly and Currently Incarcerated Moms; donations are still being collected via Amazon Wishlist as well: http://amzn.com/w/56C8E97VD7K4

When: Friday, December 18th, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Where: First Baptist Congressional Church, 1613 W. Washington, Chicago

For more information, contact: Holly Krig, 630-258-8552

Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration;

Alexis Mansfield, 312-738-2452  x 448,

Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers/Cabrini Green Legal Aid


Latina Mothers and Immigrant Families to March Against Police Violence

Posted by Admin On December - 17 - 2015 Comments Off on Latina Mothers and Immigrant Families to March Against Police Violence

March led by immigrant families and Latina mothers inviting other members of the Latino community to get involved in organizing to end police violence and support Black-led organizing.


A family-friendly march against police violence and pro-Black lives will begin in Pilsen and end at the Cook County Juvenile Center, where participants will gather to hear stories from those who have experienced criminalization and incarceration over tamales, caroling, and music.

The march will take place Saturday, December 19, 2015. Participants will meet at 1900 S. Carpenter at 11:30 a.m. At 12:00 p.m.,  the march will begin, and arrive at the Juvenile Center (also known as the ‘Audy Homes’ at 1100 S. Hamilton Avenue) at approximately 1:00 p.m, for a rally, “play-in” and press availability.
Two local organizations are coming together to call on other members of the Latino community to get involved in ending criminalization and supporting Black-led organizing.


Chicago Latina Moms is a group of mothers and mothers-to-be in the Chicago area, while Organized Communities Against Deportations is an organization made up of immigrant families facing and fighting deportation and criminalization.

After the systemic violence brought to light by the video of Laquan McDonald’s murder, members of the Chicago Latina Moms group began to have conversations about the fears as parents of Black and Brown Latino children of police brutality, surveillance and criminalization, and the need to get involved in supporting organizing being done by Black youth in Chicago. They came together with Organized Communities Against Deportations, a group that organizes against the criminalization of immigrants and the use of immigration enforcement as an extension of police enforcement.

The two groups are looking to bring attention to how police and state violence affects immigrant and Latino communities, and make a call for Latinos to support of the demands of Black-led organizing in Chicago. In particular, they echo the demands of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and Black Youth Project 100, including de-funding the police department and investing in their communities, the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, and a fully independent civilian police accountability council with hiring, firing, subpoena and budgeting power.

Chicago Latina Moms is a group of self-identified Latina mothers/mothers-to-be, mothers of Latina/o children, and allies of Latina mothers. Organized Communities Against Deportations is a Chicago-based, undocumented-led, community group organizing against immigration detention, deportations and unfair immigration enforcement practices.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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