Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times
by Stefano Esposito

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database

Activists spoke at the Cook County Board's Criminal Justice Committee hearing Tuesday, saying many unanswered questions remain about the Cook County Sheriff's Office's controversial gang database. | Facebook photo.

By Stefano Esposito

@slesposito | email

Good riddance — but not yet.

That seemed to be the message Tuesday from dozens of community activists, who applaud the decision to destroy the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s controversial gang database but not before some key questions are answered.

“This rush to get rid of it is a way to protect themselves from public scrutiny and from being accountable,” Miguel Lopez, an organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations, said during a public hearing of the Cook County Board’s Criminal Justice Committee. “There are still way too many questions, questions that the Cook County sheriff may never have the courage to honestly answer.”

One activist after another expressed frustration that neither Sheriff Tom Dart nor any of his representatives were at the hearing to talk about what the activists see as a flawed database that doesn’t prevent crime but creates fear and panic in the city’s minority communities.

“What is the sheriff afraid of?” Olivia Abrecht, a youth organizer with the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, said before the hearing.

At one point, Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims told the gathering: “We’re not the sheriff’s boss. . . . The sheriff is elected by the people.”

Cara Smith, Dart’s chief policy adviser, has said the database is offline and in a secure place.

The board on Tuesday read a letter from Bradley Curry, Dart’s chief of staff, who said that because the county’s inspector general is investigating the database “it would be inappropriate to engage in a hearing about the very issues being considered by IG [Patrick] Blanchard until the investigation is concluded.”

The board voted in February to destroy the county’s Regional Gang Intelligence Database. That ordinance prohibits the sheriff’s office from maintaining, recreating or sharing information on the database. It also mandates the sheriff’s office to “enact the final destruction” of the tool.

But that didn’t end the concerns. Activists say they’re worried about hundreds of local, state and federal agencies that might have downloaded information from the database and might be still using that information. They also want to know who is on the list so those people could potentially petition a judge to have their names removed.

Amy Campanelli, the Cook County public defender, told the board why she believes gang affiliation can be so damaging.

“When jurors hear the word, ‘gang,’ that triggers bias, dangerousness and a stereotype that the person must be guilty of the crime — just from the alleged association of being in a gang,” Campanelli said.

Hazel Crest Police Chief Mitchell Davis told the board that a gang database is “definitely an asset” for the police, but he said it needs to be assembled fairly.

“You can’t just tell me that black and brown folks are the only ones in gangs,” said Davis, who is African American.

RELATED

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
Unverified, outdated police gang database lists 134,000 names, watchdog says


 

 



Recent Headlines

Deadline for Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Kaegi: 'The embrace of a failed status quo makes no sense'
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Census hiring event Wednesday in Schaumburg
Monday, January 20, 2020
Daily Herald

Proposed health oversight shift not a ‘power grab,’ Cook County officials say
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Cashes In On Legal Weed
Thursday, January 16, 2020
WBEZ News

Cook County OKs 3% marijuana tax
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Pace Announces Public Hearings on Proposed North Shore Service Changes
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Preckwinkle looks to claw back some oversight of Cook County Health
Thursday, January 16, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Pot taxes in Chicago could be as high as 41% by July as county moves forward with 3% levy
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Wants Sweeping New Authority Over Cook County Health
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
WBEZ News

Preckwinkle urges businesses to help fight 'cost of segregation'
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Daily Herald

County Finance Committee set to approve $165K settlement in ‘political discrimination’ case
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

More Weed Taxes? New Hospital? What To Watch For At Cook County Board
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
WBEZ News

Seniors now able to apply for multi-year homeowners property tax break this year
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Owes $79 Million In Unclaimed Property Tax Refunds; Do You Have Money Coming?
Monday, January 13, 2020
CBS Chicago

Lincolnwood OKs sick days for workers but rejects minimum wage
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook county Just Housing Ordinance affects associations
Saturday, January 11, 2020
Daily Herald

Cook County debt gets dinged
Friday, January 10, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle Again Calls For Hospitals To Treat More Uninsured
Thursday, January 09, 2020
WBEZ

Cook County Commissioners propose 3 percent cannabis sales tax in wake of legalization
Thursday, January 09, 2020
Daily Northwestern

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP