The Black “Dirty Harry”

Those of you old enough may remember movie characters  “Coffin” Ed Johnson and “Gravedigger” Jones in the Blaxploitation flick “Cotton Comes to Harlem” based on a series of books by Chester Himes

Fans of the genre also remember Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry”.

Turns out both of those films and roles were likely  based after a black cop in Chicago, nicknamed “Two Gun Pete”, AKA Sylvester Washington.

Chicago cop struck fear into South Side from 1934-51

The legend of “Two-Gun Pete,” the cold-blooded cop who shot at least nine men dead on the South Side, began with a gun battle eight decades ago.

Just six months into his rookie year in April 1934, he caught 27-year-old Ben Harold red-handed during an armed robbery near 51st and State streets. What followed was a shootout that brought several bullets dangerously close to the young stockyard-worker-turned-policeman.

When the smoke cleared, four of the cop’s five shots had hit their mark, tearing through Harold’s torso. He staggered several steps before falling dead in a doorway.

After nearly emptying his six-shooter, Pete started carrying a second handgun for backup. He eventually swapped his .38-caliber revolvers for more powerful .357 Magnums, and his reputation grew.

Though he was one of the deadliest police officers in Chicago history, few people without a longtime South Side connection have ever heard of Two-Gun Pete, or the enigmatic man behind the nickname, Sylvester Washington.

The Tribune set out to bring his story to a wider audience, separating facts from myth. The newspaper examined official records, talked to police veterans who knew him, and interviewed his third wife, who was a DuSable High School student when they secretly wed in the 1960s. The Tribune also found a woman who says she owns one of Washington’s guns.

Two-Gun started as an anonymous bluecoat walking a beat, but he ended up as a ghetto superstar — a flamboyant, crooked, braggadocious, womanizing, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed police detective.

He was tasked with clearing out bad elements from every nightclub, flophouse and pool hall in what was then called Black Metropolis, a South Side community mired in poverty and violence, yet bouncing to a jazzy beat.

Washington spent most of his career working out of the old Wabash Avenue police station at 48th Street and Wabash Avenue. By the mid-1940s, his 5th District, with a population of 200,000, led the city in slayings, robberies and rapes, and was nicknamed the “Bucket of Blood.”

But the mention of Two-Gun Pete’s name could clear a street corner in seconds.

“Everybody knew Sylvester Washington,” said Rudy Nimocks, a former deputy police superintendent. “They knew his car. And the prostitutes would go hide someplace when they saw him. He was something else.”

Facing criticism that police were failing to protect black residents, Chicago’s top brass looked to Washington and other tough black cops to get ahold of crime. But the bosses may have made a pact with the devil, entrusting citizens’ safety to a profoundly violent man.

“He was the meanest, cruelest person that I have ever seen in my entire life,” said his third wife, Roslyn Washington Banks.

Pete augmented his fierce reputation with the tools of his trade: a nightstick and meaty hands that he used to slap grown men to the ground like small children.

And there were his sidearms — pearl-handled .357 Magnum revolvers. One had a long barrel, the other a short barrel. Each pistol was holstered in its own belt around his hips, both pearl handles pointing right for the right-handed gunslinger.

“I seldom miss the mark with them,” Washington bragged to Ebony magazine. “I can put 14 bullseyes into a target out of 15 shots, and have made a marksmanship record of 147 out of a possible 150.”

Police officials told the newspapers that Pete had gunned down nine men by 1945. He later claimed the career total was 11. And even later, he added one more body to the pile, telling a young reporter named Mike Royko: “I kept my own count and I counted 12.”

Depending on which number is accurate, Pete was either the deadliest police officer in Chicago history or tied with Frank Pape, a North Side cop who started on the force three months before Pete and killed nine men… more

Black Chicago Policeman, Shot 21 Times in the Back – Charged With Attempted Murder

On the surface at least – something appears to be very wrong here. How exactly dies a police officer getting stopped for a simple traffic violation devolve into a full out gunbattle?

And how exactly do you charge the only guy in said gunbattle who never discharged his weapon, and was shot 21 times in the back, with “attempted murder”?

Howard Morgan, Black Off-Duty Cop Shot 28 Times By White Chicago Officers, Faces Sentencing

As much of the country follows the Trayvon Martin case, activists in Chicago are hoping to bring some of that attention to Howard Morgan, a former Chicago police officer who was shot 28 times by white officers — and lived to tell his side of the story.

Morgan was off-duty as a detective for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad when he was pulled over for driving the wrong way on a one-way street on Feb 21, 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. While both police and Morgan agree on that much, what happened next is a mystery.

According to police, Morgan opened fire with his service weapon when officers tried to arrest him, which caused them to shoot him 28 times. His family, however, very much doubts those claims.

“Four white officers and one black Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad police man with his weapon on him — around the corner from our home — and he just decided to go crazy? No. That’s ludicrous,” Morgan’s wife, Rosalind Morgan, told the Sun-Times.

She was not the only person to doubt CPD’s side of the story. A Change.org petitionsigned by more than 2,600 people called for all charges against Morgan to be dropped, and now Occupy Chicago is getting involved.

“After being left for dead, he survived and was then charged with attempted murder of the four white officers who brutalized him,” Occupy wrote on their website, adding that Morgan was found not guilty on three counts, including discharging his weapon. The same jury that cleared him of opening fire on the officers, however, deadlocked on a charge of attempted murder — and another jury found him guilty in January.

That jury was not allowed to hear that Morgan had been acquitted of the other charges.

Protesters and Morgan’s family say the second trial amounted to double jeopardy, and claim officers have gone to great lengths to obstruct justice in the case:

  • Howard Morgan’s van was crushed and destroyed without notice or cause before any forensic investigation could be done.
  • Howard Morgan was never tested for gun residue to confirm if he even fired a weapon on the morning in question.
  • The State never produced the actual bullet proof vest worn by one of the officers who claimed to have allegedly taken a shot directly into the vest on the morning in question. The State only produced a replica.

“If they can do this and eliminate double jeopardy and your constitutional rights, then my God, I fear for every Afro-American — whether they be male or female — in this corrupt unjust system,” Morgan’s wife told the Sun-Times.

Howard Morgan will be sentenced Thursday. He faces 80 years in prison.

Gospel Legend – Jessey Dixon

Jessey Dixon, most noted as a Gospel legend, but influential in popular music, has passed away. The star, best known outside of Gospel circles for performing with Paul Simon, wrote songs for a number of pop music greats, including Cher, Diana Ross, and Randy Crawford – and performed with Earth Wind and Fire as a keyboardist.

Jessy Dixon Dead: Gospel Legend Dies In Chicago At 73

 Jessy Dixon, a singer and songwriter who introduced his energetic style of gospel music to wider audiences by serving as pop singer Paul Simon’s opening act, died Monday. He was 73…

During a more than 50-year career, Dixon wrote songs for several popular singers, including jazz and rhythm and blues singer Randy Crawford. He later wrote songs performed by Cher, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole and Amy Grant.

But it was for his gospel singing – religious music that combined the rhythmic beat of blues, jazz and soul – that Dixon first gained attention. It was during an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972 with his Jessy Dixon Singers that Dixon first came to Simon’s attention. For the next eight years, Dixon toured with the pop icon, collaborating on Simon’s `Live Rhymin’ Simon’ and `Still Crazy’ albums.

Dixon also played keyboard with Earth Wind and Fire and guitarist Phillip Upchurch…

Born March 12, 1938, in San Antonio, Dixon’s professional compass was set by gospel music legend James Cleveland, who heard Dixon’s teen group perform at a theatre in the south Texas city. Dixon said Cleveland liked the group, but he liked Dixon more and persuaded him to move to Chicago to join his group, the Gospel Chimes, as both a singer and pianist.

Chicago’s South Side was the place to be for a gospel musician, especially in the early 1960s.

“Going to church was like going to school,” Dixon said. At church, he heard the likes of Mahalia Jackson and blues pioneer Thomas A. Dorsey, who is credited with creating modern gospel singing.

“Reading his (Dorsey’s) music and studying it, he was the one who wrote for Tennessee Ernie Ford, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone,” Dixon said. “All these people were singing his music and were making it commercial.”

Dixon credited the creativity of artists like percussionist Maurice White and blues singer Willie Dixon, no relation, inspired him to compose. He started with choral music for Chicago’s Thompson Community Singers, for which he sat at the keyboards. Several of his early songs have become classics, sung in churches across America, including: “Sit At His Feet and be Blessed,” “These Old Heavy Burdens” and “I Love to Praise His Name.”…

 

4 Year Old Chicago Boy – “I’m Gonna Have Me a Gun!”

Chicago’s WBBM, a CBS affiliate is under fire for misleading editing of a comment by a 4 year old to portray stereotypes within the black community.

Here is the story as it ran on WBBM – and the unedited interview -

This is a case far more reminiscent of the sort of journalistic flim-flam played by Faux News. What the little boy says is totally different from what is portrayed on the “News” segment.

A clear breach of journalistic integrity… with a generous sprinkling of racism.

WBBM Distorts Child Interview: Chicago CBS Outlet’s Misleading Editing Of Kid’s Remarks (VIDEO)

WBBM-TV, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, has come under fire in recent days for broadcasting an interview with a four-year-old boy, and deliberately taking his quote out of context to completely pervert its meaning.

The story aired on June 30, as part of a package about overnight violence around the city.

(Scroll down to watch the distorted interview.)

It first describes the shooting death of 16-year-old Juan Batista, then reports on two other teens who were shot but not killed in the city’s Park Manor neighborhood on the South Side.

“Kids on the street as young as four were there to see it all unfold, and had disturbing reactions,” then-anchor Steve Bartelstein said, leading into video of an interview with the four-year-old boy.

When asked, “What are you going to do when you get older?” the boy responds: “I’m going to have me a gun!”

“That is very scary indeed,” Bartelstein adds. Continue reading

Appeals Court Declares Rahm Emanuel Ineligible for Mayor

Let me get this straight…By serving his country he is no longer a “resident”?

Wouldn’t that apply to every single Congressman and Senator…As well as Armed Services Member serving overseas?

This one stinks!

Appeals court orders Rahm Emanuel off Chicago ballot

An appeals court has ordered former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel off the ballot for mayor of Chicago, saying he does not meet the residency requirement for candidates.

Attorney Burt Odelson, who represents clients challenging Emanuel’s residency, told the Associated Press about the 2-1 ruling from the Illinois appeals court.

Odelson’s clients say Emanuel is not eligible because he spent much of the past two years living in Washington as President Obama’s top aide.

Kevin Forde, Emanuel’s lawyer, told the Chicago Sun-Timesthat the 2-1 ruling is “a surprise.”

Michael Dorf, an Illinois election lawyer not involved in the case, said the dispute is “absolutely headed for the state Supreme Court.”

Dorf told USA TODAY’s Judy Keen that he listened to the appellate court arguments last week and “thought Emanuel’s side had the better piece of it.”

“Common sense clearly works in Emanuel’s favor,” Dorf said.

The ruling can be read here.

Emanuel, a hard-charging congressman before Obama tapped him for White Hosue duty, is leading polls conducted by theChicago Tribune and various unions for the mayor’s job. Emanuel, a former top fundraiser and aide to President Bill Clinton, also leads in fundraising with $11.7 million in receipts.

The election is on Feb. 22 and the winner will succeed Richard M. Daley, the city’s longest-serving mayor.

Earlier this month, an Illinois judge upheld the ruling of a Chicago elections board that Emanuel meets the residency requirement. The legal challenge arose because Emanuel rented out his Chicago house while serving as White House chief of staff.

 

 

 

Chicago Returns Fire on SCUMUS 5

Not surprisingly, the City of Chicago has pushed back on the SCUMUS 5 Majority ruling on the Second Amendment. This one ought to provide fodder for the courts for the next 20 years.

Another bad decision leading to a Draconian response.

Chicago approves tough new handgun restrictions

The Chicago City Council on Friday approved what city officials say is the strictest handgun ordinance in the United States.

The 45-0 vote came four days after a Supreme Court ruling made it almost certain that Chicago’s handgun ban would be overturned. The high court ruled Americans have a right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they live.

The new city ordinance bans gun shops in Chicago and prohibits gun owners from stepping outside their homes, even onto their porches or garages, with a handgun. It will take effect in 10 days.

The ordinance also:

_ Limits the number of handguns residents can register to one per month and prohibit residents from having more than one handgun in operating order at any given time.

_ Requires residents in homes with children to keep them in lock boxes or equipped with trigger locks.

_ Requires prospective gun owners to take a four-hour class and one-hour training at a gun range. They would have to leave the city for training because Chicago prohibits new gun ranges and limits the use of existing ranges to police officers. Those restrictions were similar to those in an ordinance passed in Washington, D.C., after the high court struck down its ban two years ago.

_ Prohibits people from owning a gun if they were convicted of a violent crime, domestic violence or two or more convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Residents convicted of a gun offense would have to register with the police department.

_ Calls for the police department to maintain a registry of every handgun owner in the city, with the names and addresses to be made available to police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders.

Those who already have handguns in the city — which has been illegal since the city’s ban was approved 28 years ago — would have 90 days to register those weapons, according to the proposed ordinance.

Residents convicted of violating the city’s ordinance can face a fine up to $5,000 and be locked up for as long as 90 days for a first offense and a fine of up to $10,000 and as long as six months behind bars for subsequent convictions.

Though Monday’s Supreme Court ruling did not specifically strike down Chicago’s handgun ban, it ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling.

Mayor Richard Daley moved quickly to get a new ordinance in place and has indicated that he expects legal challenges to the new restrictions.

This Ain’t Chicago – It’s China

Over the past 3 years or so the City of Chicago has been roiled by a series of shootings of school children by school children. 36 Dead in the 2009 School year, and over 500 injured by violence in the last 2 years. That faction of black conservatives who eek their living pimping black depravity publically experiencing serial orgasms as each new report of a shooting or beat down has come in from police reports providing fresh fodder for their tawdry warez spewed across the Internet and pages of conservative rags operating like hourly hotel rooms on the sin strip of any big city are breathless with anticipation.

There indeed is a problem in Chicago, a serious one shared by far too many urban environments where a culture of violence and guns in the poor, mostly urban black communities (although poor, urban Hispanic communities aren’t far behind in reality). And the purpose of this blog isn’t to minimize those problems. The issue is the context. I mean, this is America – and like Mom and Apple Pie, one of our core shared beliefs is that each and every problem has a solution. Depending on whether you are right or left in your political belief system, those solutions might involve grabbing the bootstraps in self-help, morality, or the application of money…

The first law of computing is … Garbage In – Garbage Out (GIGO). Ergo, automating something doesn’t fix anything that was inherently wrong to begin with (garbage) – it just spits it (garbage) out the other end faster. It is one of the reasons I believe the CRM Systems many companies in the US have fawned all over themselves in adopting as efficiency tools, and methods to address customers are so pathetically disconnected from the very customers they seek to manipulate. “Re-probleming”… Indeed.

Garbage In – in this case is the manufactured proxy that this violence is a “black problem”.

It isn’t – it is an AMERICAN Problem. While it may be more psycho-sexually gratifying in the case of conservatives to point out it’s “their problem” (Dem black folks, or Dem Hispanic folks), and thus score points for whiteness; guilt assuaging – “it’s not MY kids”; or in the Liberal belief set ‘There’s an Ap for that!” – the real issue is we’ve been heading for a train wreck since Ronnie Raygun Rambo-ized America with Hollywood’s full profit minded acquiescence.

Garbage out – is the belief system foisted by intentional or unintentional mis-identification of the problem, is that Continue reading

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