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 first blood bank in the world was established at Cook County Hospital by Dr. Bernard Fantus in 1937.
   
     
     
     



Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News
by Sharon Heffernan

WBEZ News

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues

Shannon Heffernan

May 14, 2019

Bill Healy/WBEZ

At a Cook County hearing on Tuesday, advocates reiterated their concerns about the accuracy of the decommissioned gang database and said having been listed on it could hurt a person's ability to get a job or housing, and affect criminal court hearings and lead to negative immigration proceedings.

Cook County advocates warned that the harm caused by the Regional Gang Intelligence Database could continue, even though the county passed an ordinance to eliminate the database in February. At a county hearing on Tuesday, advocates reiterated concerns about the accuracy of the database and said having been listed on it could hurt a person's ability to get a job or housing, and affect criminal court hearings and lead to negative immigration proceedings.

In January 2019, the countywide database contained information on over 26,000 individuals, and that information was shared with hundreds of outside agencies. One of the major concerns expressed by advocates at Tuesday’s hearing was that those outside agencies may have saved the shared information and could continue to use it, even after Cook County’s sheriff destroys the database. Advocates are asking that individuals who were on the database be confidentially notified, so that they can deal with any repercussions.

Julie Mao, an immigration law attorney, said database information is often used by Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) to target someone for detention and deportation.

“Notification would really allow people, as well as their immigration attorneys, to understand where those ICE allegations come from, particularly if they come from a now defunct Cook County database,” said Mao.

She said notifications would allow people to better defend themselves in immigration court.

Ava Garcia, with the Centro de Trabajadores Unidos United Workers Center, testified at the hearing that her community has families who’ve been torn apart because of deportations related to a gang label and said the database “turns junk data into a weapon for deportation and criminalization.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest news, stories and insider events.

Top of Form

SIGN UP

Bottom of Form

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was not at the hearing and no one from his office answered questions about how the office maintained, shared and used the database. In a statement provided to the board, the sheriff said it was not appropriate for his office to participate in the hearing because of an open investigation by Cook County’s inspector general on the database.

“The purpose of today was to hear directly from those who implemented the database. And so if our questions go unanswered, we will know that the sheriff’s office didn't act in good faith,” Cinthya Rodriquez, a community organizer, said.

Shannon Heffernan is a criminal justice report for WBEZ follow her at @shannon_h.



Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

News from the Cook County Health System
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

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