The Chicago Bureau

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‘We Charge Genocide’ Issues Damning Report on Abuse and Brutality in Chicago

Abuse and Brutality in Chicago

Page May had only one word for it: torture. That was how she and others with the new activist group We Charge Genocide are classifying police brutality in Chicago in a report compiled for the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the findings of which were presented this week before a crowded room of activists at the Jane Adams Hull House. Continue Reading →

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Juvenile Life Without Parole, and the Hope and Horror of Re-sentencing

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CHICAGO — Tuesday afternoons around lunchtime, Precious Blood Ministry in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood opens for a group of mothers chatting up to the door, balancing home-made lasagna and chocolate chip cookies. They come from the West and South Sides of Chicago, and they’re good friends despite their circumstances for coming together, which isn’t just to discuss the polar vortex over sloppy joes. The group’s leader is a redheaded real estate agent named Julie Anderson, whose brawling voice precedes a plain-spoken personality highlighted by intermittent, self-deprecating quips at the expense of her own Catholic idiosyncrasies. Others include mother-daughter pairs and grandmothers who make the trek down to Precious Blood every week alone. One woman carries a petition along with a photo of her son everywhere she goes. Continue Reading →

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‘Affluenza’ Case Highlights Socioeconomic, Racial Disparities in Justice

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CHICAGO — In 2004, 21-year-old David Koschman lost his life in a drunken confrontation. Nearly 10 years later, his killer has only begun to face judicial consequences for the crime. For seven years, Koschman’s case remained an unsolved homicide, despite several witnesses identifying Richard “R.J.” Vanecko as the assaulter who punched Koschman in the face after a long night of drinking, causing Koschman to fall backward and hit his head on the street. Koschman died 12 days later but the assaulter was never charged. A 2011 Chicago Sun-Times investigation led to the eventual indictment of Vanecko, nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, in 2012. Continue Reading →

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