The Watch

News and Information for Chicago FOP members.

Batter Up!

So will the city’s Corporation Counsel, led by Ed Siskel, approve a massive settlement rather than take the Coleman case to trial? Well, as if to just make sure that they do, Grimm obediently wrote another PR piece for Coleman informing the public that Coleman has been hired by the Chicago White Sox to get his old job back as a groundskeeper.

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Four Time Killer Strikes Again...

News outlet, CWB Chicago, doing a great job of coverage on crime in Chicago:

An altercation between residents at the Lakeview YMCA in January culminated today with a 55-year-old man being charged with homicide in the death of his next-door-neighbor...

Arthur Cannon, 83, died on January 12, ten days after George Field battered him in Cannon’s room on the facility’s fourth floor at 3333 North Marshfield, according to prosecutors. This month, the Cook County Medical Examiner ruled Cannon’s death to be a homicide with contributing health factors including arteriosclerosis, chronic kidney disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a post-mortem report.

Like spotting stuff like this:

In 1985, Field was found guilty on four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated battery, and one count of attempted murder in a bench trial overseen by now-deceased Cook County Judge Francis Mahon. Field was sentenced to 35-years on the murder and aggravated battery charges and 30-years on the attempted murder count, to be served concurrently. He was paroled in 2006.

Judge Luckman Reduces Charges, Robber Strikes Again

Armed gang member got a pass from Judge Luckman

From CWB:

Last July, Britten bit a Macy’s security guard who tried to stop him from leaving with stolen merchandise at 111 North State Street, according to police and court records. He was charged with felony aggravated battery of a merchant and misdemeanor retail theft. But Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman agreed to throw out the theft charge and reduced the felony count to misdemeanor battery in exchange for Britten’s guilty plea. Luckman granted Britten a two-year conditional discharge on August 8, 2017.

On August 31, 2017, Britten was arrested after management and customers reported that he was flashing handguns, yelling gang terms, and threatening to hurt somebody at Chick-fil-A, 177 South State Street.

Police said surveillance video showed Britten bring a leather bag containing two handguns into the restaurant. At some point, he took one of the guns out, placed it in his waistband, and said “I’m going to hurt somebody outside,” according to prosecutors.

Britten repeatedly yelled, “I’m BD! I’m BD,” a reference to the Black Disciples street gang, his arrest report said.

The Occasional Feminist?

Northwestern Letter Poses Tough Questions for Invisible Institute, Alison Flowers…

A letter sent by eight former Northwestern University students and two would-be employees to the school’s Medill School of Journalism claiming  “sexual harassment and assault” by a professor there got the media attention it was clearly aiming for.

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What Transparency?

Based on a Freedom of Information Request by attorneys working for the Fraternal Order of Police, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) revealed that the agency had employed an outside law firm as part the agency’s investigation of a 2015 fatal police shooting.

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Grimm, Sun Times Soft Peddle Immigration Fight In Controversial Exoneration

Despite prosecutors, law firm saying they believe men are guilty, two once convicted killers may try to remain in the country...


When the chips are down, the wrongful conviction industry can always rely on Andy Grimm and the Sun-Times.

This time the Sun-Times reporter goes to bat for a consortium of wrongful conviction law firms/schools that have worked hard to get two convicted killers declared “wrongfully convicted” and out of prison, even as the prosecutors who released them said they believed the men were guilty.

Welcome to Chicago.

Grimm delivers this time on an article about two men whose convictions for a 1998 double murder were vacated in December. The two men, Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes, were set free after prosecutors under Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx decided not to retry them. The men had won a new trial after their attorneys claimed they were coerced into confessing to the 1998 murders of Jacinta and Mariano Soto, who were repeatedly stabbed in their own apartment. According to prosecutors, the three offenders then kidnapped the Sotos’ children.

Reyes got life. Solache was sentenced to death but was saved from execution by Governor George Ryan, who ended the death penalty in Illinois in 2003 under pressure from the wrongful conviction crowd.

A third offender in the case, Adriana Mejia, who fingered them as co-offenders, remains in prison.

According to prosecutors’ theory in the trial, the couple was murdered in a bizarre plot by the three accused to kidnap their newborn child. Another child was also kidnapped.

Fortunately for the attorneys of the two men, they have a powerful ally in CCSA Kimberly Foxx and her top people, including Eric Sussman. Unlike her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, Foxx’s administration has bought into the police misconduct claims made against Guevara in several cases.

So it was of little surprise to law enforcement that after the judge tossed Solache’s and Reye’s confessions, based on the police misconduct theory, these prosecutors declined to retry the two men, at the same time admitting they believed they were likely guilty.

From the Chicago Tribune:

First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman said prosecutors still strongly believe Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes are guilty of the 1998 fatal stabbing of a couple in their Bucktown neighborhood home. . . .

If Sussman believed they were guilty, didn’t he have an obligation to retry them?

At the time of the murders, the men were in the United States illegally. So, amidst the media frenzy that attends every prison release of a “wrongfully convicted” person by Chicago journalists just like Andy Grimm, Solache and Reyes were reportedly whisked away by federal immigration officials before they could be released.

Talk about spoiling the wrongful conviction party.

The two have apparently been in federal custody ever since. But signs are emerging that their attorneys are finagling a way to allow them to either stay in the country or return.  

From Grimm’s article:

Solache may go free on $7,500 bond as soon as Friday, said Jessey Neves, spokeswoman for the MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern University. Immigration officials also appealed Reyes[’] request to voluntarily return to Mexico as soon as next week, said Vân B[.] Huynh, the immigration lawyer handling his case.

Solache no longer has family in the U.S., and intends to return voluntarily to Mexico after settling his affairs in the U.S., Daniel said. Neither man had yet attempted to use their long incarceration or the allegations of police abuse to qualify for a “U Visa,” which is legal resident status offered to immigrants who are crime victims.

Even Grimm can’t hide in his article the apparent tension in the federal agencies at the thought of Solache and Reyes staying in this country. But Grimm devotedly and obediently piles on the social justice rhetoric on behalf of the attorneys representing the once-convicted murderers.

At an immigration hearing this week in Chicago, officials presented the two confessions obtained by Guevara in 1992, as well as confessions from co-defendant Adriana Mejia and two witness statements, Huynh said. An immigration judge ruled that since the confessions had been ruled inadmissible, he would not consider them in weighing whether to grant bond.

In his article, Grimm grudgingly mentions that the prosecutors still thought the men were guilty of the murder. But he altogether ignores that the case was farmed out to a third-party law firm by the city for review.

And their conclusion?

“In fact, we have concluded that evidence available to us leads us to reject their claims of actual innocence.”

In other words, they concluded that the two men likely did ruthlessly and repeatedly stab a couple with a newborn baby and another child in their apartment, blood splattered even onto the walls.

Here’s something Grimm doesn’t discuss either, the last and most crucial stage in the wrongful conviction crusade from criminal to victimhood: the inevitable lawsuit and multimillion-dollar settlement against a city besieged with such claims, besieged in large part because of journalists like Andy Grimm. 

So before the rest of the country can weigh in, before the media outlets outside the borders of Chicago can dig into the magnitude of what may be truly taking shape in the Solache and Reyes saga, Grimm goes to work soft-peddling the chilling possibility that two men prosecutors still believe knifed a couple to death might remain in the country.


Sun Times:

A man released from prison in December after serving nearly 20 years for a double-murder, only to land in an immigration detention facility, went free on bond Friday...Solache posted $7,500 bond and left the downtown Chicago Immigration Court building around noon. Reyes, who has agreed to voluntarily return to Mexico, still is in custody; ICE attorneys have said they intend to appeal his request to leave voluntarily, instead favoring a forced removal that would make it more difficult for Reyes to return to the United States legally someday.


Despite Prosecutor Saying Men Committed Murders, Attorney Says Firm Will Press Lawsuit


Men were illegal aliens at the time of murders...

On Monday a Chicago attorney said that his law firm intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of two men whose conviction for a double murder was vacated last year, even though prosecutors said they believed the men are guilty of the murders.

From the Chicago Tribune:

First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman said prosecutors still strongly believe Gabriel Solache and Arturo Reyes are guilty of the 1998 fatal stabbing of a couple in their Bucktown neighborhood home. . . .

Nevertheless, Loevy & Loevy attorney Steven Art said Monday that his law firm intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of both men, illegal aliens at the time of the murders, before they leave the country to be sent back to their native Mexico.

Not only did prosecutors say that they believed Solache and Reyes were guilty, a third-party re-investigation of the cases by the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP also bolstered the guilt of the two men.

From their report:

“In fact, we have concluded that evidence available to us leads us to reject their claims of actual innocence.”

The case could ignite renewed debates about sanctuary cities and the prevalence of crime by illegal aliens because Solache and Reyes, along with a woman named Adriana Mejia, were convicted of murdering Jacinta and Mariano Soto in 1998 by repeatedly stabbing the couple in their own apartment. Blood from Jacinta Soto was found on the wall five feet away from her body. According to prosecutors, the three offenders then kidnapped the Sotos’ children.

Reyes got life. Solache was sentenced to death but was saved from execution by Governor George Ryan, who ended the death penalty in Illinois in 2003 under pressure from the wrongful conviction crowd.

A lawsuit against the city by the men and their attorneys at Loevy & Loevy could become a public relations nightmare for the city, as sources indicate that both men may also be angling to obtain a visa that would allow them back into the country, possibly as part of their legal crusade.

Where would they stay? For how long?

Not since Madison Hobley was exonerated in 2003 from death row for an arson that killed seven—another case Loevy & Loevy worked on—has the city seen such a bizarre turnabout in a wrongful conviction case: Two men serving life sentences for a double murder and kidnapping, freed from prison even though a prosecutor said he thought they were guilty, filing a lawsuit, and then, perhaps, coming back into the country.

The case could also cast a dark shadow on Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx’s administration. The reason is that her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, stood by Guevara and the convictions.

“We don’t feel these guys are innocent guys,” prosecutor Fabio Valentini said about the Guevara cases under the Alvarez administration.

But within weeks of Kimberly Foxx taking over the prosecutor’s office after defeating Alvarez in the election, the state’s attorney did an about-face. Rather than back the Guevara cases as Alvarez did, Foxx began siding against the detective. She walked away from the convictions of two men in another Guevara case, both of whom were released from prison.

Foxx then forced Guevara to testify in the Solache/Reyes case, imposing a deeply suspicious “immunity” on Guevara that undermined his right to plead the Fifth. Guevara’s attorney cried foul, saying that his client was being put in a “perjury trap.”

According to the website Illinois Sunshine, Arthur Loevy donated $20,000 to Friends of Foxx in February 2016.

Her current director of Policy, Research and Development, Katie Hill, is also a former employee at Loevy & Loevy.

Is there a conflict of interest in the prosecutor’s office?

And then there is the Chicago media. The media is often accused by police officers and the FOP of a powerful bias in favor of wrongful conviction claims. The bias may be rearing itself again, for the media relentlessly covered the Solache and Reyes case when their attorneys and supporters were alleging misconduct against retired detective Guevara, but have gone silent about the two men possibly coming back into the country and filing their lawsuit against the city. 

Another Hinkel, Tribune Narrative Takes A Nosedive...

Tribune reporter Dan Hinkel’s coverage of a 2015 police shooting is beginning to resemble the paper’s disgraced coverage of many wrongful conviction cases.


Hinkel has broken several “scoops” about a 2015 shooting in which a Chicago Police officer shot a bat-wielding assailant, accidentally killing a woman as well. All of Hinkel’s scoops about the incident and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) investigation of it cast a negative light on the police officer involved, including Hinkel’s coverage of the ruling by COPA that the shooting was unjustified.

That ruling by the COPA in December was immediately condemned by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Sensing something highly unfair and inappropriate was taking place in the COPA ruling, the FOP authorized its attorneys to dig into the COPA investigation. The FOP also notified the city’s Inspector General’s office that there was a pattern of leaks from COPA and its predecessor, IPRA, to reporters like Hinkel. These leaks, if true, not only violate COPA’s rules of confidentiality, but also make it appear as if the agency is using “friendly” reporters to push their claims against the police.

But this is nothing new at the Tribune. Much of the paper’s coverage over the last three decades is rooted in their championing a host of cases in which guilty men claimed they were innocent. With the cheering of the Tribune, many of these offenders were released, claiming they were coerced, even tortured, into confessing to crimes they did not commit. Would these men have been released without the incessant drumbeat of reporters maintaining that they were the victims of police misconduct?

But about ten years ago, the narratives began to unravel. Now, a vast body of evidence is taking shape in various legal and media venues pointing to the fact that these stories are completely false, beginning with the exoneration of Anthony Porter from death row in 1999, an exoneration that spurred dozens of others.

The Tribune’s bolstering of these narratives, and then its reaction when they began to fall apart, is a dark chapter in the viability and integrity of Chicago’s media. It points to a news outlet embracing a story before obtaining the facts and evaluating them. It points to a news outlet ignoring key evidence to maintain that narrative, and it points to a news outlet wholly unwilling to acknowledge that it got a story completely wrong.

Is this what is taking shape in Hinkel’s coverage of the 2015 fatal police shooting?

Well, it didn’t take long for the attorneys to find something unusual. In response to a Freedom of Information request, the FOP discovered that COPA had paid an outside party in connection with its investigation of the shooting, a Boston Police lieutenant who seems to have expertise in police shootings. 

Curiously, no mention of this person or any observations, rulings, or opinions he might have had about the incident was made in COPA’s final report. Even more curious, no mention of this third party was ever made by Dan Hinkel.

All the scoops Hinkel got in the story—but not this scoop about a third party.

It begs a question. Is Hinkel writing his story from a preconceived narrative, just as the Tribune seems to have done in so many wrongful conviction cases? Look at Hinkel’s list of stories for the last few months on the Trib website. They are almost uniformly anti-police, as if Hinkel, and many of his colleagues at the Trib, seem to think that a primary function of the media is a relentless attack on the criminal justice system, particularly the police.

Well, here are two grand questions that must be asked in the wake of the discovery of the third party’s involvement in the COPA investigation. If COPA left out any information about a third party in their final report, did they also leave it out of the file submitted to the Superintendent of Police, who must rule on whether the officer will be fired based upon COPA’s claim that the shooting was unjustified?

The fate of the officer involved in the shooting now hinges on a decision by the Superintendent of the CPD. COPA was mandated to provide that entire file to the Superintendent.

Well, did they? 

Here’s what the Superintendent said in a letter, according to Hinkel’s competitor, the Sun Times:

“Despite the fact that COPA informed the media of its final opinion, CPD has not received the entire file. I am requesting that COPA confirm that CPD has everything that COPA consulted or relied upon in rendering its opinion in this matter and ask that COPA provide every document that is relevant to this investigation, including but not limited to exhibits, witness interviews, videos and expert reports,” Johnson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Got that? A letter obtained by the Sun Times. Not by Dan Hinkel.

Equally important, did COPA submit whatever opinion, input, or report this third party may have made to the Cook County State’s Attorney when prosecutors reviewed the case to determine whether the officer would be charged?

If COPA failed to do so in either case, there is indeed a scandal brewing at the agency less than a year into its inception. And there is yet another dark cloud forming over the Dan Hinkel and the Chicago Tribune.

Will Hinkel look into these key aspects of the case, or will he react as Tribune columnist Eric Zorn did in 2005 after a civil trial over the Anthony Porter exoneration not only vindicated the detectives who had been so badly maligned by the Tribune, but also proved once again that the Tribune’s claims of Porter being innocent of a vicious double murder were complete hogwash?

After that verdict, Zorn, who reportedly never even bothered to hear the evidence in the trial, nevertheless angrily declared that Porter was innocent. Zorn wrote a column the next day angrily attacking the detectives’ attorney, who said after the trial that Porter was the killer.

Imagine that. A journalist doesn’t even bother looking at all the evidence before declaring people innocent and guilty. Is this what journalism has become in Chicago?

Well, is it, Hinkel?