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Why isn’t there more coverage of this story?

Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013

* Fox Chicago ran a story this week about a man who spent 14 months in Cook County Jail after being busted for violating a state Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon law that was recently tossed out by the Illinois Supreme Court. A total of twenty people are being released from Cook County’s lockup in the wake of the ruling and another 60 will have charges dropped.

From the story

Edward Hambrick has already spent more time behind bars at the Cook County Jail than some who’ve been convicted of violent crimes. His case began 26 months ago, when he said he left Pierre, South Dakota, where he’d been working as a computer programmer, to return to his native Englewood for a 20th high school class reunion.

Hambrick was staying at his mother’s house. Law enforcement sources told FOX 32 News it’s on a block controlled by a faction of the Black P Stone street gang. While his South Dakota license plates might have drawn attention, Chicago police said they stopped Hambrick on 79th Street because he wasn’t using his truck’s seat belt. That’s when an officer found his loaded, .45 caliber Taurus handgun and two magazines with 10 rounds each.

“‘Whose gun is that in the car?’ I said, ‘It’s mine.’ He said, ‘Well, why do you have a gun?’ I said, ‘For the same reason you have a gun, to protect myself,’” Hambrick says, describing his conversation with the cop.

Hambrick said he showed the police his Illinois Firearm Owner’s ID card, as well as a concealed carry permit valid in South Dakota. Precisely because he’d grown up on the bloody streets of Englewood, he said, he felt he needed a gun to protect himself. Hambrick, who said he once belonged to the National Rifle Association, admits he became belligerent as he then addressed the alleged shortcomings of Chicago’s gun laws.

“He said, ‘Well, Chicago has this ordinance that bans guns and you can’t have a loaded weapon, blah, blah, blah,’” Hambrick recalls. “I said, ‘Officer, did you take an oath to the constitution?’ He said, ‘Yes. We all did.’ ‘So, right now you’re violating your oath and you’re violating my rights.’ They subsequently ignored all that and arrested me for Aggravated UUW.”

It’s that charge, aggravated unauthorized use of a weapon for personal possession, that the State Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional last week. That’s why a spokeswoman said State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez will send assistant prosecutors into courtrooms Tuesday asking to dismiss AUUW charges against about 80 defendants, including 20 or so like Hambrick who couldn’t bond out and are in County Jail.

The 40-year old Hambrick said he wouldn’t plead guilty even to a lesser charge because it would instantly end his career in information technology.

So, isn’t the release of this guy an admission by State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez that people who have a valid FOID card and aren’t committing any other felonies can now carry loaded, concealed guns in Cook County?

Either way, I’m still amazed that the recent ILSCt ruling hasn’t managed to generate more interest from the Chicago media. Baffling, even.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    If they covered cases like this it might reflect on the suspension of disbelief that’s required for the reality that is Chicago politics when it comes to guns.

  2. - Mason born - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:03 am:


    Ever tried to tell a Teenager something they didn’t want to hear? It’s the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ear and chanting la la la.

  3. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    I asked the same question yesterday, Rich.

    Doesn’t that decision mean that defacto CCW exists in Illinois? If all who were charged are now having the charges dismissed, what is the liklihood that someone else stopped by law enforcement who is carrying a concealed weapon tomorrow will even be taken into custody, let alone be charged and bonded (assuming no aggravating circumstances)?

  4. - Chris - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:06 am:

    “So, isn’t the release of this guy an admission by State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez that people who have a valid FOID card and aren’t committing any other felonies can now carry loaded, concealed guns in Cook County?”

    Is there any evidence that his 45 was concealed?

    It does seem to be an admission that “people who have a valid FOID card and aren’t committing any other felonies can now possess loaded handguns in Cook County” without fear of prosecution. But that still doesn’t mean that the appearance of a handgun isn’t enough to constitute probable cause for an involuntary interaction with police.

  5. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    You would think it would have… I mean the 7th said the state had to implement a system. Here they are dropping charges on people.

    it also puts to rest the idea that some have that police and SAs wouldn’t prosecute “good law abiding people” with FOIDs just because they had a gun.

  6. - Steven - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    I don’t think that’s right. Those 60 people were charged under the old law, which was an unconstitutional total ban. The new law is in effect, even if permits are not yet being issued. So, someone carrying a concealed, loaded weapon without a permit could now be charged under the new law, which regulates (constitutional), rather than bans (unconstitutional) concealed carry. If I were an SA I don’t think I would start pursuing charges under the new law until the state police start issuing permits, but the new law is in effect and requires a CCW permit to legally carry a loaded, concealed weapon.

  7. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:21 am:

    @Steven, not sure. You are assuming that all AUUW/UUW charges being dropped came before July 9th of this year, and I dont see that in the article.

    I would like to see the stats on that… as in have they still been arresting and charging AUUW/UUW since the “new law” went into effect?

    Which is also to say the UUW law has not changed, so much as an exception has been created. An exception that today no one qualifies for.

  8. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    I’ve been wondering why this IL Supreme Court case has not, by the media, been tied into this recent story:

  9. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    @Just observing
    that guy is being held on like disorderly conduct or something right now. They probably don’t know what to charge him with at the moment if the SA wants it to stick!

  10. - OneMan - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    I like to think of myself as a fairly rational person….

    But, I think it really comes down to there is a defined narrative about guns in Chicago media and this causes issues with that narrative. Not saying there is some big conspiracy or anything or even a small one, but just a viewpoint that impacts the editorial process…

  11. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    I have to correct myself. I dont think he is being “held” its his charge right now.

  12. - Hellinois - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Doesn’t fit the liberal agenda.

  13. - Joan P. - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    What was this guy doing in jail in the first place? Why was his bond so high that he couldn’t make it? A gainfully employed 40-year-old with a clean record and ties to the community, and who is charged with a non-violent offense, should have been released on his on recognizance or given a low cash bond.

    The real story here is the ridiculous bonds that are set. Is it any surprise that Cook County Jail is overcrowded?

  14. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Why aren’t there more folks commenting here about this issue? Fait accompli? Have the crowds of anti-CCers finally come to the realization that their cause is lost?

  15. - elginkevin - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    “what is the liklihood that someone else stopped by law enforcement who is carrying a concealed weapon tomorrow will even be taken into custody, let alone be charged and bonded”

    Very, very high.

  16. - Todd - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:52 am:

    looks like the SAs don;t even now what to do

  17. - Jim Oakparker - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    I agree with Joan P. How in the hell did a 40 year old spend so much time in jail for what? Absolutly astonishing that anyone would have to stay in jail for such a period of time; ???????

  18. - Tequila Mockingbird - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    If he was your average gun-toting chicago gang banger, he would have enjoyed a much shorter stay in lockup and a lower bond for sure. Gotta make an example out of the good guys while the gangs run the streets.

  19. - JoeD - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    Maybe the more incredible aspect is at the end of the Fox32 segment when Flannery says why his bond was revoked. He e-mailed some judges asking how he could file criminal charges against the judge and the arresting officers. That was considered a threat and his bond was revoked! Does that seem right under our system? That’s one way to squash official complaints.

  20. - Libertyville's finest - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    Edward should have hidden the gun in his glove box and kept his mouth shut. Obstruction of Justice is a very easy charge to have pinned to you. I will get my CCW license and comply to the letter of the law. Bet nothing happens to me.

  21. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    === Either way, I’m still amazed that the recent ILSCt ruling hasn’t managed to generate more interest from the Chicago media. Baffling, even. ===

    The personal bias shown by too many of my coworkers was one of the main reasons I abandoned my short career as a PJ back in the 80s - it killed my idealism. I suspect nothing has changed since then.

    I also wouldn’t be pushing the envelope with carry right now. I can wait.

  22. - Libertyville's finest - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    @ Ken in Aurora

    I’m with you on this. Doesnt it seem easier to be a victim?

  23. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==Why isn’t there more coverage of this story?==


  24. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:37 pm:

    @ - Libertyville’s finest - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    LOL WUT?

    (I’m not sure what you’re inferring - should I be upset? ;) )

  25. - Gurnee's best - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    A friend of mine told me today in response to Starbucks ‘asking’ not telling customers to leave their guns at home ‘would you tell someone with a gun to leave for minimum wage?’ The basic premise is that all guns, in all of their forms, are bad.

  26. - Libertyville's finest - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    @ Ken in Aurora

    I just meant in general. You can carry your gun legally and still likely get brought up on charges. You can defend yourself and still need to prove in court it was a proportional response.

  27. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:47 pm:

    The whole Starbucks thing didn’t have to happen, but the open carry zealots poked the caged animal long enough that it had to respond. Open Carry is to 2A activism as Westboro Baptist is to your local church…

  28. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:47 pm:

    @ - Libertyville’s finest - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:46 pm:


  29. - Nick at Night - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    I think since we have a CCW law in place as of July, the media doesnt see this as newsworthy as when the 7th Circuit Court handed down their ruling last year. Little will result of this. How can you politicize a high court ruling in the wake of a new law?

  30. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    Also, re: the golf tournament arrest - wouldn’t this have been a prohibited place under the new CCW law? Sounds like a righteous bust to me.

    The new law:

    Section 65. Prohibited areas.

    (a) A licensee under this Act shall not knowingly carry a firearm on or into:

    (10) Any public gathering or special event conducted on property open to the public that requires the issuance of a permit from the unit of local government, provided this prohibition shall not apply to a licensee who must walk through a public gathering in order to access his or her residence, place of business, or vehicle.

    (17) Any stadium, arena, or the real property or parking area under the control of a stadium, arena, or any collegiate or professional sporting event.

  31. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 2:07 pm:

    On its face,the Hambrick story is one of unbelievable injustice.

    I’d like to learn more about it though, especially the “blah, blah, blah” and admission of belligerence. Cook County doesn’t want to keep people in jail any longer than absolutely necessary. Something tells me there is more to this story than what was reported above.

  32. - Nick at Night - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    @ 47th Ward

    I agree.How did the cop see the gun to begin with? You open your mouth to a cop about constitutional rights and you’re getting cuffed. 2A supporters need to stop being provocative and just follow the law. Stop making a political statement!

  33. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 2:49 pm:

    Because they want him to be a victim to the mess the government created

  34. - Mason born - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 2:57 pm:


    – You open your mouth to a cop about constitutional rights and you’re getting cuffed. –

    I’m not disagreeing with your observation but how sad is that?

  35. - Nick at Night - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    Google this guy. No doubt there is more to it

  36. - More than meets the eye - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 3:04 pm:

    Profiling exists to this day. A woman at my job was fired for having a pending charge very similar to this. She is an IN resident, driving through Country Club Hills, ‘forgot’ she had the weapon on her and was charged. Mind you, she never spent a day in jail. I live in Lake County. I guarantee I would never get a charge like this if I have my CCW license. The law is the law. Follow it.

  37. - Nick at Night - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 3:05 pm:


    You have to ask yourself-do you really think this would happen to you? I dont.

  38. - Jaded - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 3:25 pm:

    Personally, I think everyone (including “2A supporters”) has a right make “political statements” about whatever issue they choose. After all, isn’t that what “1A” is all about?

  39. - Mason born - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 3:33 pm:


    I think you miss my meaning. Pointing out that you are exercising a Constitutional right shouldn’t be a reason to be arrested. Whether that right is protected by the 1st, 2nd, 4th, etc.

    As to the gentleman in the story i admit i am confused as to how he left the weapon sitting on the seat when he was pulled over. That being said he certainly was not granted a speedy trial by any stretch.

    I am confused what law you want him to follow though considering the law he was arrested for has been ruled unconstitutional. I also don’t think his attitude had anything to do with it i suspect he’d have been arrested and charged no matter what he had said.

  40. - D P Gumby - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 3:39 pm:

    As usual, the story sounds very selective in its facts. All one ever gets is what would fit on a tweet and most people never dig deeper before forming an opinion that corresponds with their preconceived ideas.

  41. - Mason born - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 4:06 pm:

    Question, is there a lawsuit waiting for all these folks wrongly accused?? This guy was locked up for 26 months that is what 80k in lost wages?

  42. - Mason born - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    sorry guy was only locked up for 14 months so more like 70k.

  43. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Sep 18, 13 @ 9:35 pm:

    …Probably not much more coverage because, like it or not, most everyone KNOWS now that conceal and carry is now the “law of the land” here in Illinois, and the mere, more FORmal administration of carrying out the law is just a brief matter of time now…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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