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A Chicago police officer has lost her badge after a drunken altercation at Horseshoe Casino. Lori Ann Cooper has been charged with battery against a public official. Yes, gaming officials are public employees, just like police officers. She has been charged with one felony, battery on a public official, and three misdemeanors, resisting law enforcement, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. The Chicago police announced that Cooper had been stripped of her badge pending the outcome of the investigation, but it does not look good. 

What Happened?

Off-duty police officer was working security at the casino. He responded to a call that a casino employee had been battered in one of the bathrooms by an intoxicated female casino-goer. When he arrived, the employee declined to press charges and did not appear injured. Nonetheless, Cooper and her friend were asked to leave the premises. According to security personnel, as Cooper and her friend attempted to exit the premises, they began fighting with each other. 

In Georgia, if you and your friends are committing some crime, get spotted, and run, you can be charged with murder if a police officer pulls the trigger and kills one of your friends. In fact, all of your friends who were there at the scene can be charged with your friend’s murder even though they never pulled the trigger.

In Illinois, we do things a little differently. Firing wantonly at fleeing suspects is not considered a laudable act. In Chicago, we have a civilian oversight agency that investigates police shootings and when and if appropriate, files recommendations with the department for disciplinary action. This is where we are with the fatal shooting of Maurice Granton, Jr. who was killed by police in 2018 while attempting to flee. While the task force would not disclose the contents of their investigation and simply handed their recommendation over to the department, this is generally an indication that they found cause for disciplinary action and perhaps even criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Granton’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Chicago P.D. claiming that he was shot in the back while unarmed and posed no threat to police officers. His attorney claims that his hands were visible when the shot was fired. The family is seeking an undisclosed amount of money to settle the claim.

A judge denied bail for an 18-year-old man who sexually assaulted a family member in plain view of the camera during an e-learning session. Authorities say that a teacher and other students witnessed the event as it occurred. The assault occurred during a break in the girl’s online class.

The teacher was working on a different computer during the break when she heard two of the students ask what was going on. When the teacher opened her screen back up, she witnessed the girl being assaulted. The teacher then yelled for the students to log off at which point the defendant Catrell Walls picked up the laptop and closed it.

The teacher reported the incident to the principal who alerted police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Her father, the principal, and the school’s CEO went to the girl’s home. She told them that Walls “just hit her.” Later, the girl described the sexual assault and said that it had happened before. 

Two men are facing charges for conspiring to burglarize Walgreens during the civil unrest that has been plaguing Chicago since the George Floyd murder. William Lorenz, 40, and Ivan Bermudez, 42, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit burglary of a controlled substance. The two men were arrested by federal agents, meaning that they will be facing federal charges.

Conspiracy Charges

As you may have noticed, the two men are not facing charges for committing burglary, they are facing charges of conspiring to commit burglary. However, the two men were arrested after illegally entering three Walgreens stores that were closed while looting and vandalism were occurring. The complaint accuses the men of entering the stores for the purpose of removing drugs from the shelves. 

While Donald Trump has recently announced that federal authorities will be unleashed in major democratic cities, by now, federal involvement in Chicago has been an ongoing fact of life for major developers and politicians for centuries. Most recently, the feds filed a criminal case against ComEd, and they are also targeting House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The feds have lobbyist Mike McClain speaking to a ComEd executive. He told this executive that he should not put anything in writing and that putting things in writing could “only hurt ya.” The two men then discussed a favor for Mike Madigan that federal authorities believe is part of a larger bribery scheme.

How Did the Bribery Scheme Work?

javier-villaraco-235574-copy-300x225Curtis Lovelace was charged with the murder of his wife, Cory Lovelace, in Illinois. After a mistrial the first time around, a jury decided that the prosecution had not met their burden of proof and acquitted Lovelace of the crime. Nonetheless, Lovelace was sent a bill for over $40,000 for posting bond and various expenses related to his in-home incarceration. We also spent some time in a county jail before he was able to get friends to lend him the money.

Lovelace is now jobless, family-less, and his life is destroyed. After the acquittal, Lovelace petitioned the court to return the entire $350,000 bond. But instead, they sent him an “administrative fee” for $35,000 and charged him another $5,000 for the 277 days he wore an electronic monitor.

Recently, the Supreme Court of Illinois declined to hear his case.

lucas-quintana-K0mIaYnusPA-unsplash-copy-300x200While much of the U.S. mourned the senseless tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, others with a political agenda pointed out the numerous deaths that occurred over the same weekend in Chicago. These deaths were heavily politicized for two reasons — they occurred in black neighborhoods and Chicago has strict laws when it comes to gun ownership. Second Amendment Rights advocates pointed to the futility of gun control measures while those with a racial agenda hoped to even out the death toll by claiming that blacks commit “just as many mass shootings” as whites. While statistically valid, the argument fails to show the motive behind such murders. Mass shootings committed by whites are generally politically motivated by hatred, while black mass shootings often involve gang violence.

Perhaps one of the most stunning reminders that gun violence is a threat no matter who is pulling the trigger or why they are pulling it, is the recent death of a Northwestern student who was standing with his groceries at a bus stop on his way to a condo that he and his fiance recently purchased.

There he met Deonte Speed, who had chased another man and was firing his gun at him. Speed managed to miss his target entirely but hit the young student, killing him. After hitting the Northwestern student accidentally, Speed continued to chase the other man and fire until losing him in a railroad embankment.

tertia-van-rensburg-37121-copy-300x224The trial of Brendt Christiansen, the man accused of murdering Chinese exchange student Yingying Zhang, has begun. Amid claims that there is surveillance evidence showing Christiansen admitting Zhang into his car the night she was murdered, the prosecution will introduce evidence gathered by his longtime girlfriend, who wore a wire for federal investigators, against Christiansen at trial. She will claim that Christiansen repeatedly indicated to her that he wanted to be a serial killer and made other inflammatory proclamations.

Defense attorneys, however, are questioning her sanity and her competency to bear witness against her former boyfriend. They are attempting to subpoena psychiatric evaluations of the former girlfriend citing that it is relevant to the quality of her testimony. Additionally, the witness, referred to only as T.B., will provide evidence that she introduced him to the “BDSM lifestyle” which vaguely translates into fetishists who enjoy bondage and domination. 

“Damaged and Unstable”

dmitry-bayer-1376680-unsplash-copy-300x200For the first time, executives whose companies peddled billions of dollars worth of opioids and created millions of addicts are having criminal charges thrown at them. This represents a marked departure from civil lawsuits filed by individual states that sought to recover medical costs related to the opioid epidemic.

The prisons are filled with street-level dealers and major players who trafficked in drugs like heroin and fentanyl. However, those who did so above the law have been, more or less, untouchable until now.

Federal authorities are now targeting major executives of opioid medication companies with similar charges related to drug trafficking. With so much nationwide sympathy for the lives that these companies have destroyed, it is quite possible that these criminal charges will be successful.

elti-meshau-208526-unsplash-copy-300x199A former Elgin resident has pled guilty to attempted murder and aggravated arson charges stemming from a 2017 incident. She was accused of entering her ex-boyfriend’s house in Roselle and then stabbing and attempting to suffocate a woman she found there. She then attempted to set the townhouse on fire. The woman she attacked and another man in the home were injured when they jumped out of a second floor window to avoid the fire that had been set. She then was accused of stealing a car to flee the scene. She has been held on $2 million bail since her arrest in July of 2017. She entered her plea in DuPage County court with the knowledge that she would be sentenced to 28 years in prison, according to The Daily Herald. At the time of her arrest, she was also facing additional charges of home invasion and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Attempted Murder in Illinois

Attempted murder in Illinois is a very serious charge. It is considered a Class X felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

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