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Chicago Community Journalism Project Returns, Faces Subpoena

Stateway Building [permalink] The View From The Ground, a web publication reporting on life in Chicago public housing, was published during 2001-2003 from a vacant apartment in a high-rise at the Stateway Gardens development. That high-rise has since been demolished, as has much of the city's public housing, but The View has returned to publication online.

The View is currently presenting an extended narrative inquiry into human rights abuses by police officers in Chicago public housing. Entitled Kicking the Pigeon, written by journalist Jamie Kalven, the series focuses on the story of Diane Bond, a Stateway Gardens resident who has brought a federal civil rights suit against five gang tactical officers known on the street as "the skullcap crew."

The suit claims the officers repeatedly invaded Bond's home, physically and sexually abused her, and left her traumatized. It also names as defendants the current and former superintendents of the Chicago Police Department and the current and former administrators of the Office of Professional Standards, the office within the CPD charged with investigating citizen complaints of excessive force. Bond's lawyers argue that supervisory personnel are complicit in the abuses of the skullcap crew, because they do not adequately investigate citizen complaints, and because they fail to monitor and discipline problem officers. The opposing counsel has subpoenaed Kalven's source documentation; Kalven has refused to relinquish them.

"At the center of this narrative inquiry," writes Kalven, "is the question: if a group of rogue police officers operated for years in Chicago public housing with impunity, what conditions would be required to make possible their criminal careers?" Read / submit comments

Additional Resources:
  • Restoring the View
  • This is CHAos
  • The View in the Chicago Reader
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