Officers meet residents at park


by BRIAN NADIG

The 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District held a May 22 community policing event at which officers walked through Chopin Park, 3420 N. Long Ave., in an effort to engage residents following a recent problem involving gang graffiti on the sidewalk around the park.

The "Faith and Action Event Initiative" featured officers approaching people in the park and discussing any concerns that they have about the neighborhood. It was reported at the May 19 meeting of the 16th District Advisory Committee that a similar event may be held at another park in June.

It also was reported that police superintendent Garry McCarthy and the district will hold a community meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at Saint Priscilla Church, 6949 W. Addison St. The meeting is part of McCarthy’s "listening tour" on which he plans to meet with residents in each of the 22 police districts in the city, 16th District captain Hooton Bahmandeji said.

The goal of the tour is to improve the relationship between residents and the police department, which is facing a lawsuit about the way it conducts street stops. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of six black men who claimed they were stopped by police and frisked even though officers had no reasonable suspicion to do so.

It also was reported at the committee meeting that a 25-year-old man was arrested at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, after he allegedly drove his van into a police squad car twice in an alley in the 3200 block of North Cicero Avenue. The driver had been involved in an incident earlier in the day in which his vehicle almost struck a police officer, according to police.

After the man did not comply with officers’ orders, he was shot with a stun gun, but he was able to pull off the prongs from the gun, police said. The man eventually was arrested, police said.

The suspect, who was identified by police as Rocky R. Colon, of the 4800 block of West George Street, was charged with resisting arrest, aggravated assault and driving under the influence and was cited for several traffic violations, police said.


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