Attorney General Kwame Raoul ‘reviewing’ Van Dyke sentence

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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office says it is reviewing the legality of the sentence handed down last week to former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for the murder of Laquan McDonald.

“We are going to do a careful review of the record and the law and make a determination based on our review,” Maura Possley, a spokeswoman for the office, said Wednesday afternoon.

Raoul, sworn in as attorney general this month, would not say whether he believes Van Dyke’s punishment is fair.

Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan last Friday sentenced Van Dyke to 81 months in prison — less than half of what prosecutors had sought. Van Dyke could be released in three years.

Outside the courtroom, Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon said he was “satisfied” with the sentence.

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“We achieved our goal of justice and holding Jason Van Dyke accountable for his actions,” McMahon said.

But many police-accountability activists viewed the sentence as a setback.

A jury in October convicted Van Dyke of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm, one for each shot into McDonald.

Some legal experts say the best way to challenge Van Dyke’s sentence would be to seek a “mandamus” order from the Illinois Supreme Court. That court could find Gaughan violated the law by basing the punishment on the second-degree murder count, a Class 1 felony, instead of the battery counts, which carry a more serious designation, Class X.

A spokesman for McMahon on Wednesday said the special prosecutor is “still reviewing” the sentence. The spokesman would not say whether McMahon asked McDonald’s mother, Tina Hunter, for her view on whether the sentence should be challenged.

McDonald’s great uncle Rev. Marvin Hunter, the family’s spokesman, said “justice was not served” and accused Gaughan of treating Van Dyke as if the crime were a “minor drug offense.”

A staffer in Gaughan’s chambers on Wednesday said the judge declined to comment on the sentencing.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx did not answer what she thinks of the sentence or whether she would play a role in challenging it. A consideration for Foxx is her predecessor Anita Alvarez’s recusal of the office from the case after civil-rights groups accused her of pro-police bias.

Locke Bowman, an attorney who led the push for a special prosecutor in the case, said the Supreme Court has authority to toss out Gaughan’s “illegal” ruling that second-degree murder is the greater offense.

“If you turned the tables and if a young African-American man had regrettably fired 16 shots at a Chicago police officer and killed him,” Bowman said, “the judicial system would impose a massively punitive sentence.”

On Thursday, Van Dyke’s attorney slammed Raoul for reviewing the sentence.

“Another politician has chosen to exploit the tragic death of Laquan McDonald for his own political gain,” the attorney, Dan Herbert, said in a statement. “The judge in this case carefully considered the arguments made and issued the correct ruling under the law.”Van Dyke’s defense team says it is exploring its own options for challenging the sentence as well as the conviction.

Van Dyke began shooting McDonald, 17, as the teen carried a knife and walked away from officers on a South Side road in 2014. Many of the 16 shots hit the teen after he had collapsed to the pavement.

A police dashcam video contradicted reports by officers that McDonald was attacking Van Dyke.

Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson last week acquitted three officers of charges they covered up for Van Dyke

Two men, including one carrying rifle while running through Oak Park neighborhood, captured by police

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Two men, including one caught on video carrying a rifle while running through an Oak Park neighborhood, were apprehended by police on Wednesday morning, according to Oak Park police. Officials said the men were seen abandoning a stolen car that fit the description of a vehicle involved in a shots-fired incident reported earlier in Chicago.

Oak Park police said the men were being followed by authorities while they drove in the area. Police said that shortly after 8 a.m., the men exited the dark-colored car near the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Maple Avenue in western Oak Park, and then ran in different directions through the neighborhood. Police said a video from a security camera at a nearby home showed one of the men was carrying what police described as a rifle.

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According to Oak Park police, the men were quickly taken into custody, and both were turned over to the Chicago Police Department. Police also said a weapon was recovered.

Chicago police said the stolen car had earlier struck two squad cars and fled west from the 4000 block of West Monroe Street. The car was also wanted in connection with a previous shots fired call in the area, police said.

No information was available about whether they had been charged as of Wednesday morning.

No injuries were reported, and no shots were fired in Oak Park, police said.

Oak Park police stated that gun shots had been reported earlier in the morning in Chicago, and a car fitting that description by Chicago police was spotted in Oak Park. The car was traveling west on Jackson Boulevard, with police following at a slow speed, when the car apparently had a mechanical problem, which prompted the men to get out of the car and run off, police said.

Chicago inspectors find code violations at R. Kelly’s studio

CHICAGO — Chicago building inspectors have found code violations at R. Kelly’s recording studio, including evidence the industrial space was used as a residence.

Building Department spokesman Gregg Cunningham says the agency will list the violations during a court hearing next week. He says the inspectors were looking at plumbing, electrical systems and carpentry.

Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenburg, says no one was living at the studio and it should not be surprising that it included places for sleeping or taking breaks.

Kelly has been hit in recent weeks with sexual misconduct allegations. The Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” recently drew fresh attention to the allegations and the #MeToo and #MuteRKelly movements have held protests outside the studio demanding promoters stop booking his concerts.

Greenburg says the inspectors didn’t find anything supporting misconduct by Kelly.

Medical marijuana Super Bowl ad rejected by CBS

The company described its Super Bowl commercial as more of a public service announcement.

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A medical marijuana company said its ad planned for Super Bowl Sunday was rejected by CBS.

Acreage Holdings told USA TODAY it made a 60-second ad featuring three individuals who say their lives have improved by using medical marijuana.

The company described the commercial as more of a public service announcement than an advertisement.

Acreage said the rejection came after its ad agency sent storyboards to the network.

The company told USA TODAY it received a return email that said: “CBS will not be accepting any ads for medical marijuana at this time.”

A CBS spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY that it does not currently accept cannabis-related advertising.

According to USA TODAY, the spot focuses on a Colorado boy who suffers from Dravet syndrome, a Buffalo man who was on opioids for 15 years after back surgeries, and an Oakland veteran who lost part of his leg during military service.

At the end of the commercial viewers are then asked to call on their congressional representatives to call on change.

Acreage said it expects to post the ad online once it’s finished.

CBS is reportedly charging around $5.2 million for a 30-second ad during this year’s Super Bow

Carey Kelly tells in an interview how him and R. Kelly were molested by older sister for years during childhood.

It’s more to this “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary that aired on “Lifetime” but I feel it’s much more of a psychological issue that needs to be solved. Instead of pointing the finger…. Let’s HELP and fix the problem. More to come on #BHRELIVE

Live & Direct Show 10/23

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www.spreaker.com/episode/16037328

On today’s episode the host Blaq Hippie, Jitim Young, Corey CL Crockett and Lavar Hamlin are talking real life topics that goes thru both men and women mind, talking NFL and NBA first two weeks along with the CP3, Rondo Fight….. also how feel about the way Lebron James handled it. Tune in Mon-Fri @7pm and call in (708) 328-8923 #BlaqHippieRadioEnt #ProductOfChicago #LiveAndDirectShow

Live & Direct Show 9/27

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https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15826334

Today’s episode the fellas Blaq Hippie and Smokey D are discussing Bill Cosby going to jail, the Laquan McDonald murder trial and much much more! Tune in and listen LIVE Mon-Fri @7pm

Live & Direct Show 7/12

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https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15245498

Live & Direct Show 7/3

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https://www.spreaker.com/episode/15187762