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Chicago Teachers Union calls for resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, supports legislation to recall Chicago's mayor...

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis and Vice President Jesse Sharkey at a recent press conference.At its January 6, 2016, meeting, the 800-member Chicago Teachers Union House of Delegates voted unanimously in favor of a resolution calling on Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and Cook County's State's Attorney, Anita Alvarez, to resign. The resolution also notes support in the Illinois General Assembly for legislation enabling Chicago voters to recall the city's mayor. (Disclosure: This reporter is a voting member of the House of Delegates and was present at the meeting at which the vote was taken). The union's House of Delegates is composed of more than 800 members, democratically elected, who represent union teachers and other workers in all of the city's more than 600 public schools (and other offices where union members work).

The resolution was made public in a January 7, 2016 press release issued by the CTU.

The resolution's exact wording follows:

RESOLUTION AND CTU PRESS RELEASE ON THE ACTION...

CTU PRESS RELEASE, JANUARY 7, 2016....

January 7, 2016 312/329-6250 (office) Chicagos teachers vote overwhelming to officially call for the resignations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez

CHICAGO The Chicago Teachers Union s (CTU) governing body voted overwhelming this past Wednesday evening to support efforts to force Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign from public service. This resounding call for justice came during the House of Delegates (HOD) meeting as growing local and national pressure for the mayor to step down intensifies in wake of the Laquan McDonald alleged 400-day cover-up conspiracy. School leaders made their views known through a resolution.

President Karen Lewis will discuss the Unions position during her remarks at the CTUs Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Breakfast, on Friday, January 15th at 9 a.m. at 2260 S. Grove Street. The special guest speaker will be outspoken scholar and Ferguson, MO, activist Rev. Osagyefo U. Sekou. The event is free and open to the public.

This weeks official support to remove the mayor from power should come as no surprise. Teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians have been vocal about Emanuels failed leadership of the school district and are petitioning state officials for an elected representative school board. In addition, educators are currently in roller coaster-style contract negotiations with the mayors hand-picked Board of Education. The Union also actively campaigned against Emanuels re-election which resulted in the embattled politician entering a run-off in the general election. Soon after winning-re-election in April, Rahms school chief Barbara Byrd Bennett was convicted of ripping off school students by benefitting from no-bid contracts.

Fed up with the attacks on their profession, CPS educators recently approved its second strike authorization since Emanuel took office in 2010. Teachers have said if the mayors handpicked CEO Forest Claypool continues to gut public education, fire veteran teachers and hurt students, they will withhold their labor-- like they did in 2012-- in order to fight for the school district their students deserve.

The House of Delegates resolution reads:

WHEREAS, for the past five years Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made a myriad of economic disinvestments and financial mismanagements that have resulted in the infliction of educational, psychological, and physical harm to Chicagos public schools and working-class neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, during his first term in office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, by means of his hand-picked unelected school board, closed an historic 50 public neighborhood schools in predominately Black and Latino communities; despite strong student, parent, community and CTU opposition; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has failed to support an education system that provides schools with the necessary resources to deliver robust wrap around services (such as counselors, nurses, social workers, PSRPs, and psychologists); fully-staffed libraries; reduced class sizes; and clean and safe learning conditions; and

WHEREAS, in April 2012, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, against vehement community opposition, elected to close six of the Citys 12 mental health clinics resulting in 2,798 patients losing critical services; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Rahm Emanuel continues to mismanage Chicagoans tax dollars by diverting public funds meant for blighted communities, that also can be used to fully fund our public neighborhood schools, to wealthy corporations; and

WHEREAS, these economic disinvestments and financial mismanagements made under the leadership of Rahm Emanuel contributed to the shocking and inexcusable murder of LaQuan McDonald, a 17 year old boy suffering from severe psychological trauma, whose fate may have been altered had his mental health needs been met both in and out of school; and

WHEREAS, Chicago and the nation continues to learn about police cover-ups, and the deliberate political maneuverings of Mayor Rahm Emanuel surrounding the October 20, 2014 death of 17 year old Laquan McDonald, shot 16 times by uniformed Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who has since been indicted of first-degree murder; and

WHEREAS, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel not only pushed for and approved the Chicago City Council to pass a $5-million-dollar settlement to the family of Laquan McDonald, but also fought for the better part of a year, spending hundreds of thousands on legal fees to block the release of the police dashboard camera video of the fatal shooting, until a Cook County judge ruled on November 19, 2015 that this violated the state's open records law and ordered the video to be released to the public; and

WHEREAS, both Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez and Mayor Rahm Emanuel orchestrated and intentionally delayed the release of these videos apparently for their own political gains in order to secure victory in their 2015 re-election bids; and

WHEREAS, the actions of both Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez impeded the criminal justice system, and in the process has led to the erosion of public trust and confidence in their leadership; and the only way to restore this trust is with their resignations; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the CTU support demands that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez resign immediately from public office for the unconscionable delay of their governmental institutions in addressing Laquan McDonalds killing and other issues of excessive, unwarranted, unjustified, and lethal police force in the City of Chicago that have surfaced in the aftermath; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the CTU support demands for a public review of the incidents cover-up by a civilian police accountability council; the creation of policies to prevent such cover-ups from happening in the future; a ban on the training or arming of local police by military institutions; and new training for the Chicago Police Department that emphasizes non-lethal ways for de-escalating the situation at hand; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the CTU work with Illinois State Representatives La Shawn Ford, Mary Flowers and other state legislators to pass House Bill 4356, which seeks to amend the Revised Cities and Villages Act of 1941 by establishing a procedure for an election recall for the Mayor of the City of Chicago.



Comments:

January 26, 2016 at 10:39 AM

By: Neal Resnikoff

Rahm hires "hog-tie" Ramsey as consultant @ $350 an hour; his arrest of protesters in 2002

Rahm hires "hog-tie" Ramsey as consultant @ $350 an hour; his arrest of protesters in 2002

Chicago Tribune headline:

Former Chicago officer returns to advise department on civil rights reform

Patrick M. O'Connell

Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-police-senior-advisor-met-20160124-story.html

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that a Chicago native once passed over for top cop will return to help guide civil rights reforms in the Chicago Police Department.

Recently retired Philadelphia police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, an architect of the Chicago department's community policing program, will return to advise city leaders on policies, training and accountability when it comes to the use of force, interactions with people with mental illness and community policing, the city said in a statement Sunday....

Ramsey will be paid $350 per hour as a consultant, the mayor's office said.

He plans to begin work Monday, participating in a conference call with officials in Chicago. Ramsey, who lives in Philadelphia, also plans to frequently travel to Chicago to work with police officers, community members and the U.S. Justice Department, which announced a review of the department in December in the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald video....

=======================================================

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_H._Ramsey

.....On September 27, 2002, the MPD [Washington, DC] made a mass arrest of a large group of demonstrators who had assembled in DC's Pershing Park to protest the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings. The police enclosed over 400 people in the park and arrested them without ordering them to disperse or allowing them to leave the park. Many of the arrested were not actually demonstrators, but were journalists, legal observers, and pedestrians.

On January 13, 2006, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that the arrests violated the Fourth Amendment and that Chief Ramsey could be held personally liable for the violations. On August 2, 2007, City officials in Washington agreed to pay $1 million to more than 120 of the protesters, on top of other settlements by the D.C. government, including one for $640,000.[2] ...

According to testimony given by Detective Paul Hustler, Ramsey himself gave the arrest order, although he has repeatedly denied this. Hustler claims he overheard Ramsey say "We're going to lock them up and teach them a lesson." [5]

===========================================================

footnote 5--

City Desk

Affidavit: Ramsey Ordered Pershing Park Arrests

Posted by Jason Cherkis on November 18, 2009 http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2009/11/18/affidavit-ramsey-ordered-pershing-park-arrests/

blog_Ramsey-1

An affidavit filed today in U.S. District Court raises questions as to whether former D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey may have committed perjury in his sworn testimony about the Pershing Park fiasco. Ramsey had repeatedly stated in depositions that he had not ordered the mass arrest of approximately 400 people during the Sept. 27, 2002, World Bank/IMF protests.

Yet the affidavit, by Det. Paul Hustler, a 22-year D.C. Police veteran, maintains that Ramsey indeed ordered the arrests.

Hustler's affidavit, taken Nov. 16, [PDF] is just the latest shock in a pair of Pershing Park class-action civil suits in U.S. District Court. In recent months, the case has been dogged by allegations of massive discovery violations. Judge Emmet Sullivan has called for an outside investigation into how basic evidence in the cases had gone missing.

On the day of the protests, Hustler's squad had been dispatched to Pershing Park to assist with crowd control. At the time, the police had surrounded anyone in the park whether they were IMF protesters or innocent bystanders. Hustler states in his affidavit that officers were ordered to funnel people into the park. Hustler was standing near Ramsey and various police officials at the time. He then goes on to state:

"As I walked closer, about five or six feet away from them, I heard Chief Ramsey say, 'We're going to lock them up and teach them a lesson.'"

Hustler's testimony had been the subject of an intense legal war between plaintiffs attorneys and AG Peter Nickles. Last week, Hustler's deposition was postponed. Nickles immediately filed a motion in U.S. District Court to bar Hustler from testifying in the nearly seven-year old case.

Yesterday, Judge Sullivan ruled that not only should Hustler's deposition go forward but that it had to be taken in the presence of either U.S. Marshals or a magistrate judge.

By then Hustler had already given a sworn affidavit to the plaintiffs lawyers. It is easy to see why Hustler's testimony is so explosive, given the light it sheds on Ramsey's credibility.

The former chief had plenty of opportunity to give his side of the story:

*On Feb. 25, 2003, Ramsey testified before the D.C. Council's Judiciary Committee. Then-Councilmember Kathy Patterson asked if Ramsey had been in on the decision to make the mass arrests. Ramsey replied: "No. When I came up on the scene, actually, that was already practically in progress."

*On Dec. 18, 2003, Ramsey conceded during a D.C. Council investigatory hearing that he did approve of the decision to arrest everyone in Pershing Park.

*On Sept. 18 and 19, 2007, Ramsey was deposed as part of the class action lawsuits stemming from Pershing Park [see video]. He reverted back to previous denials. He stated: "I did not order any arrests at any scene during the course of that day." Even when confronted with his testimony before the D.C. Council, Ramsey stuck with his denial that he had approved the mass arrests.

Hustler's affidavit was filed in U.S. District Court this morning. The Pershing Park matter has long been an embarrassment for the police department as well as the attorney general: The false arrests of hundreds of innocent citizens, the missing evidence and discovery abuses, and now the possibility of the former chief lying under oath.

As part of their filing, plaintiffs lawyers wrote: "The affidavit has obvious relevance to the missing evidence and any motivation for alleged destruction of such evidence."

Hustler's testimony also reveals the unease among authorities who were on the scene that day:

"Officers started to surround the park and push people back into the park. At this time I along with Sgt. Buethe started to walk away. A man from the press stopped me and said, 'Hey I'm from the press and I want to leave.' I called Chief Jordan over and said 'Hey Chief, this guy is from the press and he wants to leave.' Chief Jordan came over and said 'nobody leaves.' At this time Sgt. Buethe told me, let's go this isn't right. And we went to the truck and watched as the crowd was pushed back into the park. At this time, a U.S. Park Police Lieutenant also stated that they were not going to participate in this, and that they were going to pull out."

===================================

On the settlement of the case for over $8 million. It doesn't go into details about how the prisoners were bound by being hog-tied, some for up to 24 hours.

DC agrees to pay $8.25 settlement over mass arrests at 2002 World Bank, IMF protests

BY AP

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2009 HTTP://BUSINESS.GAEATIMES.COM/2009/12/15/DC-AGREES-TO-PAY-825-SETTLEMENT-OVER-MASS-ARRESTS-AT-2002-WORLD-BANK-IMF-PROTESTS-11667/

DC agrees to $8.25M settlement for protest arrests

WASHINGTON Lawyers for a group of 400 people arrested at a 2002 protest say the District of Columbia has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for about $8.25 million.

The settlement announced Tuesday says nearly 400 people arrested in 2002 near the White House will receive about $18,000 each.

The groups lawyers say police encircled the park during a protest of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Officers then arrested demonstrators, tourists and others without warning. The plaintiffs allege some were bound for 24 hours.

The deal follows another $13 million settlement last month for arrests in 2000.

D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles says the district government acknowledges no wrongdoing but that police have changed their procedures significantly.

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