Chicago Anti-Loitering Law-Get High Court Review!

Chicago Anti-Loitering Law-Get High Court Review!
Posted by FoM on December 07, 1998 at 13:26:05 PT

Ordinance targets street gangs!CHICAGO - Police grabbed Luis Gutierrez off the street on a chilly October night and locked him up under a city anti-loitering law designed to combat drug-trafficking street gangs.
``I felt shocked and completely powerless,'' said the 25-year-old, who works as a consultant for people working to get U.S. citizenship. And he quietly maintains that he never belonged to a gang.The anti-loitering ordinance, which has been used for 45,000 arrests, goes before the U.S. Supreme Court this week for arguments on whether it endangers individual rights.The American Civil Liberties Union and the Cook County public defender's office challenged the 1992 ordinance, and the Illinois Supreme Court last year held it unconstitutional, saying it is too vague and ``smacks of police-state tactics.'' The ACLU also says the measure is ``archaic'' because a 1972 Supreme Court decision prompted most cities to abandon loitering laws.The ACLU has gained my respect since they have taken on the D.C. Initiative!The anti-loitering law was designed to let police clear the streets of dealers even if they can't catch gang members with drugs.He estimates that about 15 gangs operate 40 to 50 open-air drug marts, each staffed by six to eight people, in his West Side area. On a tour of the area last week, drug dealers were plainly visible in the streets and back alleys. Their gang membership is no secret.In addition to drugs, gangs were blamed for 182 of Chicago's 759 homicides last year. Police estimate citywide gang membership at more than 10,000.The ordinance says officers may arrest two or more people standing around ``with no apparent purpose'' if they refuse to move along and at least one is believed to be a gang member.If we continue to address the drug issue this way no one will be allowed on the streets after a certain hour! To me that would be like living in a police state!
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Comment #1 posted by Dominc on March 12, 2000 at 21:48:47 PT:
Anti Loitering Law
Two of my friends were arrested today March 12, 2000 for allegedly loitering.This took place in Harvey, Illinois. This is A south suburb of Chicago. Both of them were going to visit a friend at home. They were arrested as they walked up to a friend' porch and put into a police patty wagon. When one of them complained about the way they were being treated, the driver slammed on the brakes to throw them from their seats. The officers did not read them their rights nor did they tell my frineds what they were being arrested for. I was under the impression that officers had to read you your rights,Correct me if I'm wrong. My friends are not in gangs.They have never been a gang. One of them is a college graduate with a good paying job. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering. Come on, these guys are not trouble makers. Their only crime is being black and living in a bad neighborhood. They were held in Harvey Police Station for three hours. That's not the worst part. The worst part is that they are not going to take any legal action against the officers or the department. These officers are banking on the fact that my friends won't do anything about what happened. My friends feel like nothing will happen and noone will take their word over the officers. I've been trying to convince them they should file complaints agianst the officers and a lawsuit against the department. Officers who violate people's civil rights should not be officers. These officers would have not done this in Naperville to white guys.Because they know that the white guys know their rights and won't tolerate that kind of treatment. If this law was overturned by the supreme court then how is it legal for them to arrest two non gang members for loitering while going to visit a friend. Someone Please Help me .Just point me in the right direction. I'm tempted to email the local newspaper and see if they are interested in investigating this and other incidents in Harvey. 
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