* More details on Bryon Champ, who was allegedly wounded by a rival gang member before allegedly taking part in a mass shooting in a Chicago park…
Champ’s criminal record includes a 2012 conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and a 2011 conviction for receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to Cook County Jail boot camp for the gun-possession conviction and had received probation in the other case, records show.
In the 2012 case, police had responded to a report of someone being shot and saw Champ running through a gangway with a gun in his hand, according to court records. When police arrested Champ a short while later, he was carrying a .40-caliber semi-automatic gun loaded with 10 rounds and one in the chamber, records show.
So Champ gets sent to boot camp, but Edward Hambrick, who had a valid FOID card and an out of state concealed carry permit, languished 14 months in the Cook County jail after being busted for having a loaded gun in his car.
It makes me wanna scream.
* And then there’s this…
Brian Otero spent nearly two years in Cook County Jail waiting to go to trial for a burglary. The jury found him not guilty, but he didn’t get to leave the courtroom like they do on TV. No, he was brought back into the Cook County Jail to be “processed” out. He was put in a small cell just off the front of the courtroom, to eventually be brought back into the jail.
Now remember, at this point, there are no charges against Otero, yet he’s being detained against his will because that’s just how we’ve always done it in Cook County. Defendants who have been held in jail awaiting trial are brought back into the jail. They can be handcuffed, searched, and locked back up in their cell even though there are no charges against them.
Sheriff Tom Dart and county officials are doing little to change the seemingly unconstitutional practice and that could cost taxpayers millions
On his way back into the jail after acquittal, Otero was put in a holding cell with a number of other inmates and three men attacked him.
“They approached me and asked me, ‘Did you win your case, are you going home today?’” Otero said in an interview in his attorney’s Loop law office. “Upon me saying ‘yes’ one of them swung at me and when he swung at me the other two grabbed me and they started hitting me all over my body.” […]
Otero was eventually brought back to his cell, to wait. Ten hours after he was acquitted he was finally released from the jail.
Fingers are pointing everywhere…
But even if the sheriff’s office makes the technological leap to the 1990s in all 17 courthouses, the rest of the Cook County court system under Clerk of Courts Dorothy Brown is pretty solidly stuck in the 70s. The whole court system is paper and carbon copies. That presents a problem for Lt. Charles Luna when he’s supposed to release someone from the jail.
While it’s Sheriff Dart who is detaining people, it’s Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez who tells Dart what he needs to do to comply with the constitution. For two weeks Alvarez’s office has failed to provide WBEZ with any explanation as to whether the current practices are constitutional, or what her office is doing to ensure Cook County doesn’t have to pay out millions in settlements arising from this practice of detaining people after they’ve been found not guilty.