Murder of Reporter Remains Unsolved

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30-Year-Old Zachary Stoner – Chicago

Cristal M Clark  

May 30th 2018 was met with the death of gangland reporter Zachary Stoner who’s bullet riddled SUV had been found the night before in downtown Chicago, leaving the reporter clinging to life with a gunshot wound to the head.

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According to a police report, a car pulled up next to Zachary’s SUV around 1:30am two blocks from the club Zachary had been at, at least one gunman then opened fire although the report also indicates that were 4 attackers in all.

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Since then the Chicago police had been unable to solve Zachary’s murder for some odd reason and this is despite the fact that they have several witnesses and a street that is full of surveillance camera, as well as according to documents that were obtained by The Associated Press, which indicate that police do in fact have quite a bit of evidence to pour over in this case.

If you are surprised by this, don’t be, statistics show that roughly 80% of the homicides in Chicago go unsolved as it is, once you add in anything gang related the chances of the murder ever being solved, well let’s just say that it may be highly unlikely that gang related homicides in Chicago are solved.

Zachary had been attending a rap concert at the Refuge nightclub prior to the shooting, videographer Raheem McCaskill has footage of the night showing Zachary mingling with the crowd which included some gang members and enjoying the night, everything seemed to be going rather well.

Zachary was known for doing special interest stories in relation to the gangs, murders, up and coming rappers and the like, he was not afraid to go where mainstream journalists are more often than not afraid to go, at times right into gang territory.

Rapper Thomas T-Streetz Davis was also shot and killed a week later on the day of his close friends Zachary’s funeral and some suspect that it was in direct relation to Zachary’s murder.

Due to the circumstances in this case it is more than just likely that Zachary had been murdered due the work that he did. When you take risks and report on gangs, sometimes you end up a target.

Zachary spoke about his fear of being killed by a gang because some might have felt that he favored enemy gangs in the area. In one video in particular Zachary pulled out a handgun whilst stating, that he carried it everywhere because “you just gotta be prepared.”

Unfortunately, Chicago’s homicide clearance rate is sitting at right around 18% for 2017 although Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi argues that as a bit misleading as it takes around 18 months on average to solve a homicide, according to Anthony the number of homicides solved is at right around 48%, which is actually not entirely accurate. Something tells me he pulled that number out of magically colored hat.

According to the FBI, the national average is 62%.

This case highlights Chicago’s continued problem with efficiently solving homicides despite having witnesses and surveillance footage, they need to sit down and take a hard look at that because overcoming the problems they seem to be having is crucial.

Chicago’s year to date:

Shot and killed: 192

Shot and Wounded: 783

Total Shot: 975

Total homicides: 210

Cristal M Clark

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Chicago Serial Killer Problems

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Does Chicago Have a Serial Killer on Her Hands?

Cristal M Clark

Chicago has had a small problem with women vanishing since around 2001 only to be found murdered, strangled and stuffed in garbage cans or left in alleyways, each murder similar which has been well documented through the years yet, Chicago Police had been reluctant to suggest let alone investigate the possibility that they may just have a serial killer on their hands.

That is in fact, about to change as Chicago police have announced that they are finally investigating the deaths, primarily of sex workers, as the work of a potential serial killer, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

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This comes after years of pressure from activists and groups like the Murder Accountability Project, “I believe there are probably more than one serial killer active in Chicago,” Thomas Hargrove, founder of the Murder Accountability Project.

Thomas is not wrong, the killer or killers in this case look for and prey on the easily forgotten, those that are less likely to be missed by someone which is part of the reason this particular killer or killers have gotten away with it for so long.

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According to the Sun-Times, Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday night at a board meeting that his department has launched a review into the murders, although he doesn’t believe there’s enough evidence to suggest it’s a serial killer at work. Which is funny considering that the Murder Accountability Project, has been doing all of the leg work here and has investigated the unsolved murders of at least 51 women.  

7 of the women were found in garbage receptacles, 2 were killed within days of each other back in November of 2007 and found dead in burning trash cans in the same park. Many of the murdered women were found on the south and west sides of Chicago, and almost all were black. Some of the women were raped and beaten.

What’s more is that 75 Chicago women have been killed in a similar fashion strangled or smothered and left to die in public since 2001, according to an analysis done by the Tribune. Of those murders, 25 cases were closed, resulting in the arrests of 13 men. In some instances, police never interviewed people in the neighborhoods near the killings or friends of the victims.

An unnamed man told the Tribune when asked about the murder of Velma Howard, a woman found dead on his block in 2014,“They just picked the body up and left.”

It’s important to understand here that the Chicago police have never had a stellar relationship with the very people they have sworn to protect and serve. Rather than protect and serve many have been caught abusing the laws they have sworn to uphold and abused, beat, tortured and tormented suspects, innocent people and bystanders. So it is no surprise that they failed at investigating the murders of so many of these women.

When you sleep at the wheel you miss your mark and that mark is finding the killer or killers of these women. These police blatantly made the choice not to look into these murders for so long it would not come as a total surprise to learn that evidence was lost, mishandled, destroyed and not even collected to begin with.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson doesn’t think they have a serial killer and that could very well be simply because the police failed so many times in Chicago to do it’s actual job and that was to investigate each one of these murders as if the women actually mattered.

Cristal M Clark

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Chicago – 101 shot over the 4th of July Weekend

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Chicago, IL – Police growing weary of the violence

Chief police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi was quoted as saying, “he mood here is frustration.”

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According to Anthony, the same tactics that were deployed over the memorial day weekend were used and simply did not work, which Anthony seemed to be perplexed by. One such tactic was the ShotSpotter, which is used just like it sounds, to detect gunshots.

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Forgive me, but I see no reason to be “perplexed” by the fact that the ShotSpotter failed to work with fireworks, especially homemade fireworks going off during the long holiday weekend. I myself, would not have relied upon that particular tactic. But that’s just me.

According to initial data, a lot of the shootings came about due to relatively petty disputes that grew out of hand, along with drinking in excess I am sure.

A couple of examples the police gave were: A shooting that started as an argument over where people were sitting, a confrontation between a driver and bicyclists then the driver decided to get a gun from his trunk and officers intervening.

Some of the shootings were retaliation, overall drinking this holiday weekend definitely played a huge part in all of the shootings in Chicago, and it seems to be more of a combination of celebration gone wrong after heavy drinking with some gang violence sprinkled about.

The youngest person shot was a 13 year old boy and the oldest over the weekend was a 60 year old man.

It is time that someone (Looking in the general direction of Donald Trump), to come up with an actual long term plan so as to fix this issue for the long term. Currently all Trump is doing is sending in more Fed’s to help create the “Gun Violence Task Force,” which he announced last Friday.

While that sounds pretty and all, it’s not fixing the core root of the problems Chicago has always faced in looking at her history. Those problems tend to bring about the violence and overall those need to be addressed in order to prevent the violence long term.

Historically, Chicago has always been plagued by years of violence then a lull, then an upward trend back into years of violence so finding a long term solution so as to prevent this repetitive behavior would actually be more beneficial for Chicago.

So as far as the violence goes to date in Chicago here are the numbers:

Total Shot: 1863

Total Shot and Wounded: 1537

Total Shot and Killed: 326

To date, Chicago has surpassed last year’s total homicides by 2 according to the latest data over at http://heyjackass.com/

In 2016, it was roughly 62 shot, 8 dead over the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Cristal M Clark

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FBI – to fix a broken Chicago?

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US Federal Bureau of Investigation – Chicago, IL

I keep seeing these headlines because of a tweet Donald Trump tweeted hinting at the idea that the Feds, particularly the FBI will, with the support of Donald Trump take on crime in Chicago.

I find it a bit odd that the media has made such a spectacle out of that tweet, immediately rushing in the door with stories and theories about what the Feds might be able to do.

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Here are some simple facts and numbers for you:

Chicago has historically always been riddled with crime, the reason so many of us wrote about it last year is because our hope was to find out why, what the root cause of it all was and how we could all work together to solve and treat the reasons behind the violence. 

Note the word treat, is meaning is very different from both fix and prevent.

I know it’s a mouth full and it was a long shot, the point was completely missed sadly.

So for 2016 to start you off here are the final numbers for shootings, not just deaths that occurred in Chicago according to heyjackass.com:

Total Shot – 4378

Total Homicides – 795

Of that total for Homicides – 713 were killed in a shooting related incident.

But Chicago has been this way since around the late 60’s with the most violent year in terms of murder occurring back in 1974, with whopping 970 murders recorded for that year. The population in Chicago for that year if you wanted to know, was somewhere around 3 million or so.

Of course broadcasting the news back then is not what it is in today’s world so you really didn’t see worldwide attention being placed on Chicago that year.  

Chicago hit another record murder number in 1992, with 943 murders for that year and funny story, the population was under 3 million at that time.

Again, the internet was not as big as it is today so it wasn’t making headlines like it is today. These days it is a dinner table conversation.

After that, crime at least murder dropped steadily off with 641 murders for the year of 1999. By the time 2000 came around Chicago enjoyed a down-tick in overall crime until around 2010, when the numbers began to rise again.

For the year 2004, Chicago basked in the light and saw just 448 homicides which was the city’s lowest amount of homicides since the year 1965.

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So we are looking at part of that uptick or we are looking at the end of it.

Donald Trump subtly suggested that perhaps it might be time for the Fed’s to step in and fix Chicago and I am not sure that will help, in the long run in fact, I am not sure how I really feel about that.

Maybe it will for the next 4 years but if you are looking for a long term fix, that might not be the entire answer here.

We can call for being tough on crime right? But let me ask you my readers, while it all sounds pretty, has that ever in any state really solved the crime issues or did criminals just continue to commit the same crimes and just find a way around the criminal justice system?

As an example let’s look at a really easy one,  DUI’s.

Some states have gotten understandably tough on DUI offenders in the hope that it will deter other potential drunk drivers and or discourage individuals from making the same mistake twice.

The reality is only one side of the box got fixed while the other half just floated off in the wind.

Today, nationwide you see offenders who have been through the system driving without a license, continuing to drink, oh and drive without said license.

Some do the blow and go device in the car, they have others blow into it for them or they take a cab home from the bar until they don’t have to carry the device anymore, because some states give them the option, classes or blow and go.

So why stop drinking when biding one’s time seems like the better option right?

Right after they are done using the device they go right back to the drinking and driving thing instead of a cab because hey after a year or so, taking a cab really is costly.

Besides, after having spent a year or more taking a cab they paid attention to cops who were out patrolling on the nights they drink…they pretty much know when and where to avoid.

Full disclosure, I have never had a DUI but several of my friends have had them so I know the tricks they utilize based off of what I have personally seen them do.

Many offenders have managed to figure out ways around that pesky piss test if they have to have them, they go later in the day after downing tons of water and things like sports drinks.

And they have found ways to ace the court ordered DUI classes, because if the offender at any time was in the system for any reason they realized all of these drug/alcohol classes are pretty much the same no matter how many times you’ve been to them and if they are geared toward a second and third offence (many are not by the way), those are the same too.

That is just one small example of what our country is pretty good at, fixing one small part of a problem to make certain groups and individuals happy but we fail so clearly at really addressing the root cause of the problem and how to treat it.

So, the problem continues to be a problem because the reality is, while drunk driving deaths may have gone down, only a small part has gotten better due to tougher laws, the other reason is because criminals have found a way around the system.

If we are not careful, I see us making the same mistakes over again in Chicago.

Chicago in the past has brought crime rates down by taking recommendations from both the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York City Police Department, and implementing those recommendations.

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At this juncture however, Chicago should also be looking at how to treat the real issues they face. You can only be so tough on crime and Chicago and her issues are different from New York and LA.

The societies between the three cities is a quite different.

Besides, the reality is that the Fed’s are a little limited in what they can do.

Passing more gun laws are not the fix because the Chicago police said pretty early on in 2016 the majority of the violence was due to feuding gangs.

Anyone know of many gang members purchasing guns legally and you can’t count that one known gang member who did manage to clear the background check and by a gun, in Chicago back in 2016…He’s already been counted.

The most extreme measure would be calling in the National Guard but we have one small little issue with that…A federal statute, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, that statute just so happens to prohibit federal troops from being deployed in civil law enforcement.

To be fair, trying to get around that law spells trouble for anyone who tries.

So in my mind fixing a broken Chicago takes more than asking for the FBI to step in and help, being tough on crime and adding more gun laws.

Funding youth job programs is great but those need to work in conjunction with police the youth will trust because some of those kids face trying to get out or get killed scenarios.

First, fixing a broken Chicago requires us to take a step back to study and understand Chicago through both the good times and the bad so we can begin to see where it starts to fall apart.

Our ability to see where it starts to fall apart is actually pretty critical because once you fully understand it, then you can change it.

Cristal M Clark

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Chicago, IL Police sued for excessive force

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By the burglars they injured during a robbery

In an odd twist of fate, two burglars have joined a suit against the Chicago Police for shooting up the van they were riding in to escape a burglary in met with well, bullets.

The suit was filed by David Strong’s mother. 27 year old, David the driver, was shot in the head and died at the hospital. Two other 37 year old men Leland Dudley and John Givens who were also in the van and who were injured have joined the suit.

They were also convicted of the burglary.

The police claimed that the men were traveling at a very high rate of speed and broke through the garage door they were burglarizing.

They were met with by police and a hell of a lot of bullets.

The burglary happened 4/30/2012 and the aftermath was caught on surveillance video.

Officers got a call about a burglary around roughly 3am, they witnessed 3 men loading merchandise into a van, at this point about 12 officers surrounded the building, they see the van ram through the garage door and the officers open fire. After the van came to a stop the video shows one officer reloading his gun approximately 8 seconds after the crash.

One officer was hit by the van with minor injuries.

The lawsuit is claiming that none of the men were armed and that the officers had no justifiable reason to use deadly force as the driver of the van was not attempting to hurt them.

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It is important to know that the Chicago police department has had well over 100 complaints with regard to police misconduct and use of excessive force.

This is an interesting case because it’s difficult to truly determine if the men intended to ram into police or not. It is clear that they did not want to get caught, as the video shows when they drove through a closed garage door.

So on one hand you have two surviving burglars who were convicted of the crime saying that they were never going to use the van to run down a cop or two.

And on the other hand, you have a group of police who felt the need to open fire on what they considered a weapon on wheels.

Which by all rights, they had a right to after looking at the video…except that…you also have to consider the time of day the burglary happened. 

What is interesting about the suit is, if an innocent bystander had been hit and injured or killed while 12 police officers yelled for the driver to stop without ever opening fire, the public would be upset because police decided not to open fire.

But because it was so early in the AM, it was highly unlikely that an innocent bystander would have been injured, it would have been smarter to let the men drive away. Most shops and stores have insurance and police could have had a much different game plan, instead of shooting.

This perfectly illustrates the point of so many frustrated individuals across our nation in that police are, in certain cities and states, shooting first without a moment’s thought, and then asking questions later.

The time of day that the crime was committed made it highly unlikely that an innocent bystander would have been injured or killed therefore, was deadly force really and truly needed?

This case asks the one simple question, since when does common sense have to be written into police policy?

I am never one for the bad guy getting away but even when they do, they will usually break the law again, or get caught trying to pawn or sell stolen goods.

I am also not one to advocate the use of deadly force when common sense says it’s not needed.

I would much rather disappoint a shop owner with the news that the burglar got away than a family when I tell them that a son, brother, father or uncle were killed when over 70 bullets were fired into the a vehicle they were in by none other than the police.

The use of deadly force in some cases has become the norm rather than the exception. When you weigh in the time of day of this crime, the use of deadly force just doesn’t make sense.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop