Daily archives: October 12th, 2009

Apparently We’re Killing Each Other Less Frequently in Chicago

The news is better in Chicago, but only 11% better.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Homicides continued to decline this year in Chicago through September, including homicides of school-age children, according to Police Department statistics.

Homicides fell 11 percent through the first nine months of 2009 compared with the same period a year ago, department officials said.

Through Sept. 30, there had been 348 slayings, down from 393 for the same period last year.

Through Sept. 15, killings of youths between the ages of 6 and 18 declined by 14.5 percent compared with the same period last year.

Last week, police Supt. Jody Weis trumpeted a 47 percent decline since last year in homicides involving youths — but that figure included those between ages 9 and 19.

Despite the decline in youth slayings in Chicago, the issue has grabbed the spotlight since the fatal beating of 16-year-old Derrion Albert near Fenger High School after classes on Sept. 24.

The city and nation have been riveted by the startling video of the beating, in which several teenagers can be seen wielding large planks of wood in a melee involving more than 50 youngsters.

In response, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder came to Chicago last week to meet with students and city officials about youth violence.

Was this a quick move on Mayor Daley’s part to quell the unease surrounding the death of Derrion Albert? You bet. 11% means that forty-five fewer people were killed in Chicago this year compared to last year.

That is significant.

Let’s hope it lasts…

Schwarzenegger Signs Bill Establishing May 22 Harvey Milk Day

From Change.org:

Harvey Milk, the legendary LGBT activist and San Francisco Supervisor who was assassinated in 1978, has finally been given official recognition by the state of California with his own day. The bill to establish May 22 — Harvey’s birthday — as Harvey Milk Day was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last night, capping off a whirlwind year in which Milk Day was originally vetoed by the Terminator, then the “Milk” movie exploded, then a Presidential Medal of Freedom was given posthumosly to Milk, and now, full circle, Schwarzenegger gets that Milk is an important figure for the state to honor.

Kudos to the state of California and to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for making this finally happen.

And thank you, Harvey Milk.

Tip of the hat to Michael Jones for this.

Eric Berger, Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer, Killed in Kennedy Rollover

From the Southtown Star:

An off-duty Chicago police officer was killed overnight in a rollover crash on the Kennedy Expressway on the city’s Northwest Side.

Eric Berger, 52, lost control of a 2007 Volkswagen two-door hatchback about 3:45 a.m. in the northbound lanes of Interstate 90 at Nagle Avenue, Illinois State Police Trooper Mark Hall said.

A preliminary investigation indicated Berger lost control on a curve at Bryn Mawr Avenue, at which point the car rolled over and he was ejected, Master Sgt. Todd Borisy said.

From WBBM:

State police are now confirming that it was an off-duty Chicago police officer who was killed in an early morning crash on the Kennedy Expressway.

State police say 52-year-old Eric Berger of the Albany Park district on the Northwest Side was off-duty and driving a 2007 Volkswagen north on the Kennedy expressway when he lost control. 

The car flipped over and Berger was ejected. He was dead by the time emergency crews arrived. 

Police say there’s no evidence alcohol was involved. They say it appears he was simply driving too fast. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Read more

Video: Michael Jackson’s ‘This Is It’

The album, Michael Jackson’s This Is It
, is a companion piece to the Michael Jackson’s This Is It Movie and features the music that inspired the film, demo recordings and two versions of the previously unreleased song, "This Is It".

Source: michaeljackson.com